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Gibson Humbucker Guitar Strings

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                                                   Gibson Humbucker Guitar Strings
                                                                By Michael Tafoya



     This is a new line of electric guitar string from the Gibson Guitar co. called Gibson Gear, Elgin,
Illinois U.S.A. It’s new to me…

I’ve written articles calling the Gibson electric guitar string “the best” actually; they’re my favorite
electric guitar strings. Like I’ve said before, “I’ve used most of the major string brands and I play all the
time. Also, I know it’s been said time and again “that guitar strings have so much in common that
there’s no discernable difference between the various brands of strings”. I can understand this
sentiment, yet I’ve come to understand a few things regarding the manufacturing and the elements
involved making the string do what it does.

Things like, cover to core ratio, (the gauge or diameter of the wire used for the strings). If you were to
put a thicker core the string would seem to have a stiff feel, where if you’d use a thinner core wire the
string would be feel loose and seem to bend more easily. Too much in either direction, and the string
doesn’t work for anyone. The same for the alloys or types or metal used to make the string effects the
sound and feel.

I was a die-hard steel wrapped string guy since the early eighties starting with Bill Laurence steel wrap
guitar strings; I switched to The Gibson “Live Wires” and fell in love with the punch and (feel and
sound) consistency not so much the gauge. Later, when the “Vintage Re-Issue” nickel wrapped string
came out, I tried those and found that they felt smooth on my fingers and, the strings tended to have a
different response and sound which I thought was interesting. I guess the nickel wrap with the plain
steel strings made me feel like my solos kicked in the high places. And, I switched to those. You know,
I liked the way those strings sounded. There was a nice decay and not too much spike compared to a
shorter decay and higher spike like I felt with NPS (“Brite Wires”), yet there was a problem. The nickel
cover was a very soft one so I’d encounter fret wear immediately. And, the string would lose tone.

The GIBSON HUMBUCKER strings are made to be more alive or easier for the pick-up to respond to.
The package says, “The only guitar string optimized for the humbucking pickup, Gibson Humbucking
guitar strings utilize a special composite core wire and a specially formulated wrap wire. This design
offers a unique magnetic formulation to make the most of dual-coil high-output pickups”. They sure
write purdy.

I don’t use high-output pickups; I use the Gibson ‘57 Classic” and “Classic Plus” pickups on my Gibson

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“Explorer” (called my Frankenfiddle). These strings felt good and the tone had a good blend and
consistency between the wrapped and plain strings. I just put the strings on my guitars, the “Explorer”
and 56 ”Les Paul ”Jr. (different pickups) forgot about it until I was on stage and rocking. I’ve been using
the “Brite Wires” for the last few years Gibson has discontinued the steel wrap (“Live Wires”) because I
couldn’t afford to change my strings every single show for a good while there. Which made the
“Vintage Re-issue” a no go. Since then I’ve never wanted to play strings that have no sound after the
show. Too much hassle. And, the “Brite Wires” sound, was a good sound, everything was there.
Nothing jumped out to me and I found myself just “playing guitar”.

So here I am, playing a show and noticed the tone. Plus, my fingers felt different smacking those wires.
The rest of the night was fun and “in the moment”. The next week I called Gil Pini at Gibson Gear in
Elgin to ask him what was up with these “bad boys” and he hipped me to the extra iron in those “kickin’
rockers”.

I don’t have any “insider details” concerning the “Gibson Humbucker” electric guitar strings. I know they
are sealed for protection from oxidization for the elements as all their (Gibson Gear) strings are. These
are my immediate reflections as an experienced performing musician, guitarist, and still…. A fan!! Keep
up the fantastic work, guys. You ROCK!!!!

When I find out more about the “Gibson Humbucker” electric guitar strings I’ll let you know.

Peace, and find your MUSE,

Michael Tafoya p.s. I’m not affiliated with Gibson Guitar I’m a fan and customer.

Michael Tafoya is a two time Epic recording artist. He uses Gibson Guitars, Gibson Strings, Epiphone,
Marshall, and Crate amplifiers, and Dunlop guitar Picks. http://www.tafoyaslostboyzz.com/




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                                                           Guitar Strings - Part 1
                                                              By Michael Tafoya



 Getting in tune and staying in tune, are what the job requires, for sure. I’ve been in so many situation’s
where string breakage and not staying in tune just creates havoc on the band, Audience, and music.
I’ve had situations in my youth and now a days to be sure, where I’ve neglected to either change my
strings, and a couple of times I like a dumb kid just didn’t bother to properly tune my guitar.

I used to work for the Gibson Guitar String and Accessories Division (now called GIBSON GEAR) as a
shipping and receiving clerk then moved up to Regional Sales Manager in Elgin, IL. In those capacities
I was able to see the Gibson String line from start to finish, as well as learning what alloys the strings
were made of. I got to understand how those alloys affected their overall tone feel and playability.

Mind you, I’ve been playing now for over forty years and I’ve used just about every brand of string
manufactured. Obviously I haven’t tried every string brand sold out there, just most of them. I tend to
play very hard when I’m rocking and I’m used to certain brands of guitar strings giving out. I don’t
pretend to know what the ins and outs to manufacturing strings. I do know what works for me.

I’ve used The Gibson Brand string for decades before I worked there and after I got the job in shipping
(working for minimum wage); I’d buy the strings and turn them on to my guitarist friends. I’d also give
them to some friends who weren’t guitarist, just guitar players. My point was to hip my buddy’s to these
strings that seemed to tune well, not break from a good workout. Besides, I’d get them on discount.

I know when I was trying to sell these strings to music dealers that I’d hear “all strings are the same
man”! It would seem to make sense, it’s not true! There are very good strings, good strings and there
are poorly made strings. Yes, it’s a subjective call and I am a ‘Gibson’ man. That saying doesn’t hold
water to me at all. Since I stopped working for Gibson I’ve used and abused all types and brands of
guitar strings. I know from experience that for the hard core “smack down” bruise and bloody your
fingers guitarist. Gibson is one of the best.

What I do know and can tell you about these strings is the wound strings are smooth, feel tight, bend
like a Mo-Fo and don’t break after a long set of banging and rocking your balls off!

Give these strings a shot and see what I know works for me.

Next time I’ll give you my take on what and how the different alloys do to the playability and tonal
character of your performance.



Mike uses Gibson Guitars, Gibson Strings, Epiphone, Marshall, and Crate amplifiers, and Dunlop
guitar Picks. http://www.tafoyaslostboyzz.com/Articles/Articles.htm




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