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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.