D'Addario XL Nickel Round Wound Guitar Strings are available in all popular sets and gauges.
D'Addario pioneered the use of nickelplated steel for electric guitar. Today, discerning professionals like Mark Tremonti, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, and Brad Delson, just to name a few, choose XLs for their distinctive bright sound and excellent intonation.
D'Addario String Alloy/Tone Glossary
Electric and acoustic guitar strings, as well as all of their bass strings are produced by winding a wrap wire around a high-carbon steel hexcore wire. The type of alloy used as the wrap wire determines the tonal quality of the strings. Here's a quick reference guide:
Nickel - D'Addarios XL strings are made using nickel-plated wrap wire. Nickel provides great overall tone and sound, and has been the best-selling type of electric guitar string over the last 50 years.
Stainless Steel - D'Addario XLS guitar strings are made with a stainless steel wrap wire. Stainless steel provides a brighter, more cutting tone. They're generally used on electric instruments, but can be used on acoustic instruments as well. ProSteels bass strings utilize a specialized steel alloy that delivers super bright highs and deep, focused lows for a distinctive piano tone.
Phosphor Bronze - D'Addario Phosphor Bronze acoustic guitar strings are legendary for their full, rich, acoustic tone. Phosphor bronze provides a warm and bright tone. They also produce Phosphor Bronze strings for acoustic bass.
80/20 Bronze - D'Addario 80/20 Bronze (also referred to as brass) acoustic guitar strings provide a brighter tone. 80/20 Bronze strings have great acoustic clarity coupled with extra-bright, loud tone.
About D'Addario - A Brief History
The roots of D'Addario's deep involvement in the design, manufacture and distribution of musical instrument strings date back to the late 1600s.
The D'Addario family's involvement in the musical instrument string business stretches back nine generations, across the Atlantic ocean, to the small town of Salle in the Italian province of Pescara. This was sheep grazing country, and the intestines of the animals were used to manufacture strings for lutes, guitars, harps and assorted other musical instruments. The D'Addario family has been producing gut strings since this time.
But the family manufacturing remained in Italy until 1905, when Charles D'Addario immigrated to America and decided he would go into business importing the family's strings for sale in the US. He continued this enterprise through the conclusion of the first World War, at which time he set up a small shop in Long Island City, NY and began to manufacture strings in America.
The shop was cramped, and had a limited output, but the strings that Charles produced for violin, viola, cello, bass and other classical instruments were of such exquisite quality that a strong following developed for the products amongst the violin makers of America. Charles traveled to many of these violin shops himself, journeying as far west as St. Louis. He was joined in 1936 by his son, John, who was away from the company only during World War II, when he served in the armed forces. During this period, guitars were becoming popular as rhythm instruments in dance bands, and John D'Addario began to introduce new products to the range. Guitar strings, naturally, were the primary additions.
With the advent of synthetics after World War II, the business began to change. The introduction of nylon enabled the D'Addario family to produce the first strings made of nylon monofilaments and fibers. During the 1950s the guitar began to gain in popularity, and toward the end of that decade, with the enormous popularity of Elvis Presley and rock n' roll, the guitar string business began to grow.
But this was only the beginning. In the '60s and '70s, with the rise of the Beatles and the immense popularity of folk music, the guitar became the single most popular musical instrument in America. In 1962, the company was reorganized to combine the C. D'Addario & Son line of traditional string products with the new boom in the guitar world, and re-named Darco Music Strings, Inc.
Darco grew quickly, and it was during this period that the business became a chief manufacturer in the field. John D'Addario is credited with several major innovations in the production of strings, including the first automated equipment. He worked with various suppliers of materials to develop standards which are still used by most major manufacturers to this day. It was also during this period-the late 1960s-that he was joined by his son John D'Addario, Jr.
As the business continued to flourish, Darco was approached by a premier guitar manufacturer, C. F. Martin & Co., Inc., and the companies merged together into a joint operation in 1969, combining one of the most respected names in guitars with a string manufacturer of equal status. It seemed that the merger would benefit both companies.
After five years of this association, however (a time in which John's son Jim joined the firm), the D'Addario family decided that they would have preferred to remain an independent business. As their commitment to C. F. Martin & Co. drew to a close, they began planning a new operation, and in 1973, J. D'Addario & Company, Inc. was born and began to manufacture musical instrument strings for the fall of 1974.
The D'Addario name and reputation for service and quality served it well in developing a market for their "new" products. As John Jr. and Jim became more involved and developed new marketing strategies, they saw the new line quickly move to the top in popularity. The initial production staff of 15 people was increased, and has now ballooned to over 350, making the D'Addario company the largest producer of musical strings in the entire world.
In 1979 D'Addario moved from its original 10,000 square foot location in Lindenhurst, NY to 25,000 square feet in Farmingdale, NY and operations have been expanded on several occasions since. A big expansion took place at the end of 1994, when the company relocated to a new 110,000 square foot facility in Farmingdale. The building was completely renovated for D'Addario with high efficiency lighting and air conditioning added to the manufacturing area, as it was in the previous facility. This facility also houses a state-of-the art computer room with D'Addario's web server (www.daddario.com), which receives hundreds of hits a week.
Since the early 80s, the company has been complementing its array of products with related music accessories which have been purchased for resale. The world famous Vandoren-Paris line of reeds and mouthpieces for woodwind instruments was added in 1986, and have been strikingly successful in the US market. Guitar related accessories have also been introduced, with plans in the making to supplement the selection with additional items. The addition of the popular Planet Waves line of guitar straps in 1998 shows that those plans are already strongly underway.
Yet another area of growth for the company is in bowed instrument strings (which, incidentally, were what first established the company). D'Addario acquired the Kaplan Musical String Company, a long established manufacturer of classical instrument strings in 1981, and embarked on a rigorous program of research and development to establish a world-recognized line of products in the field. Today, with the most modern machinery and equipment coupled with advanced knowledge of the products and manufacturing techniques, the D'Addario line of bowed instrument strings is recognized as world class.
In 1995, D'Addario acquired Evans drumheads, a long respected drumhead manufacturing company. In only a few short years, D'Addario has made significant developments and improvements to drumhead production techniques and manufacturing processes.
The company markets its products in the United States through 20 wholesale distributors and 5400 retail music stores. In addition, the export markets are handled by 120 distributors in 100 countries. D'Addario also supplies many manufacturers in Japan, India, Korea, Republic of China, and Taiwan with original equipment strings for use on new instruments produced in those countries.
In addition to its manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Farmingdale, the company also operates its own distribution company in Toronto, Canada. This facility is connected to the Farmingdale operation for interactive order processing.
D'Addario also boasts a complete research and development facility within the operation. In the past several years, the company has developed a number of new products in the classical string field, including synthetic core violin, viola, and cello strings, as well as some accessories for band instruments. One of the primary functions of the engineering department is the development of automated manufacturing processes. Recent advancements include the automation of packaging, the integration of packaging functions with manufacturing, and the upgrade of string and drumhead making equipment. D'Addario designs and builds virtually all of the advanced equipment used for its operations.
Renovations have recently been completed on a second building, just across the street from the present facilities. The new building houses Evans drumhead production, which has grown at an incredible rate, and also the company's in-house printing department, including a new $1.5 million Heidelberg press. D'Addario also has plans to expand its string making operations and continue to add subsequent products to its line of related musical instrument accessories.
The success of D'Addario products is due not only to excellent product knowledge, but also to state-of-the-art equipment and up to date marketing and merchandising. Producing the highest quality, most consistent product makes D'Addario a leader in the field.