While testing the MGR floating bridge as an alternative to the Steinberger R-Trem, I decided that I should test a variety of double ball end guitar strings to make sure that they all work with the new bridge.
I think that you should be able to use your favorite strings and not be forced into using double ball end strings on any guitar but they are very convenient and make string changes a breeze.
Here's a table with the brands, descriptions, part numbers, where I got the strings, where the strings were made and what I paid for them.
Here are the same string sets with more information
For the MGR Bridge, what I was mostly interested in was string length. How good a string sounds is subjective but how good a string will work with a certain piece of hardware, we can measure. The string length of a double ball end string is really important for ease of installation / removal and for tuning range, especially on the 1st string. I wouldn't want anyone to run out of turns on a tuner before a string is in tune! I've heard of people using crazy light strings, so I'll have to test those later too.
To measure string length, I put all of the strings on a nail board with the same starting point and an end point with zero tension to measure the free lengths.
Once all of the strings were mounted, I drew a line to easily compare the length of each string visually. Here are the results!
Although I don't like the excessive packaging and the fact that they are made in China, the Steinberger strings appear to be the best value. There is a nice overwrap on the the plain strings, they come in sealed pouches and an extra 1st string is also provided.
String lengths are more or less the same between the brands of calibrated strings and between the brands of non-calibrated strings. My measurements are not super accurate and this is just one set from each brand. How consistent would the string length be for each set from set to set? I don't know! We would have to get several sets from each brand to look for consistency.
It's interesting to note that ghs mentions that the standard strings (non-calibrated) do not fit TransTrem unit. LaBella, on the other hand, mentions that standard double ball guitar strings may be used for the TransTrem, however, for best results, they recommend the calibrated sets. This might be why the LaBella's are a bit shorter than the rest, just a guess.
20/1/2020 10:08:19 am
Hi. May I have the indiv string lengths for each? Like to use this to determin exact length for TranTrem for my C-scale baritone guitars--to make dbl-ball ends to suit the 4 frets longer scale length. Thanks!
20/1/2020 08:12:47 pm
Hi Elliot, I don't have the right tools for exact measurements. All that I can say is that the calibrated string lengths are approximately as follows:
23/1/2022 03:01:08 pm
Hi. Will any of these fit the Floyd Rose Speedloader system? They have hung all of us owners out to dry by discontinuing the strings for their Discovery guitars. Pretty lousy for what I thought was a reputable company. Now I have 8 year old strings on mine and I could call wild turkeys with the squeaking.
23/1/2022 06:03:58 pm
Hi John, I read up on this and wow, not good. I don't think that any of the double ball strings would work. From what I can tell, the length tolerances are the biggest problem. Strings stretch, necks flex and wood expands and contracts.
3/2/2022 06:04:07 pm
Hi John, I've ordered an old set of Floyd Rose Speedloader strings to get the measurements off of the ball ends. I'm pretty sure I can make some adaptors so that regular strings can be used for the Speedloader system. I really hate to see great guitars and innovative hardware not being used! So far, I'm thinking one regular bullet end and one end with an integrated 40:1 micro tuner to fine tune the string length once the bullets are attached to the strings by soldering them.
28/1/2023 09:47:18 pm
You reviewed mostly medium strings (approx .10-.46). Have you tried .09-.42, if the double ball versions exist? I know with the crappy R-Trem you cannot get by with anything heavier than 09-42 unless you want the posts to bend immediately. .08-.32 is your best bet to "attempt" to not bend your crappy die cast Chinese R-Trem.
29/1/2023 01:38:50 pm
Hi Scott, the standard gauge of strings that I use these days is .09-.42. I buy double ball strings from Headless USA or JustStrings.com. I'm currently working on a product so that anyone can make custom strings using their favorite brand of strings.
30/3/2023 11:28:41 pm
i wqs given a red discovery with the speed lolader system. as a investment they are not all that and floyd is nolw making the newr ones with normal nflyd and tuners. so what i did was i too a picr of maple fit itno the center of the headstock mount a standartd floyd locking nut ands isntstallled tunerds and poof it workewd and had no issies and it lookwed cool i paint t5he ceter pice red and made wateslide floyd rose decal and it looked laguit. .. and its really not destroying it if they never makes strings then the guiytar isnt worth a darn .
31/3/2023 11:13:19 am
Really cool idea!
31/3/2023 01:23:09 pm
yeah it worked the block of maple i cut out was to strtenghten the headstock i wasd affraid it would break with the tension i did n ot glue it i preed it in snug fit its an option my discovery was the cheaper one but still if you like the thing make it playable i figure..
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