Featured Builder – Stringjoy

thin-logo-1Over the past few installments, I have focussed on Australian builders, but this week I decided to have a look at something different. Stringjoy is a company that I have heard about a lot recently through the 60 cycle Hum podcast and through Instagram posts, and I thought that I would get in contact. Now, a lot of buyers tend to look for the USA made products, which usually come with the extra quality that the extra checks and balances buys, whether it be a Gibson Les Paul, a Fender MIA strat, or an original NYC Muff. This is where Stringjoy fits in, an American builder in the USA, with all the quality that you can assume comes with that. Scott from Stringjoy was kind enough to answer some questions that I had about his products.

What got you into playing guitar, the gear making business and what is your current rig?

I’ve worked in music my whole life, first as a player, then I worked in artist management for a while, then finally got into making guitar strings.
These days I almost never play out so my rig is a bit loosely defined. Most often I’m playing at home and trying to keep the noise down so I play through my Vox AC4 and typically favor my 339 semi-hollow.
On the board this moment I’ve got a Hardwire tuner into a Keeley 2 knob Compressor, into an EHX Soul Food, into a ProCo Rat II, into a Digitech Multi-Chorus (seriously, it’s my favorite chorus right now), into a Dwarfcraft Wizard of Pitch, into an EHX Memory Man, into a TC Electronic Hall of Fame, and it’s powered with a Walrus Audio Aetos.
What do you find is the biggest reason that people are buying from you – is it the ability to customise a set or is it the current demand of boutique builders/retailers (or a combination of both?)
stringjoy australiaFor those who haven’t checked out Stringjoy they offer quality hand wound strings in sets that are fully customisable, or bought as a standard set (or changing just a few strings in a standard set). This set up allows the player to choose exactly what they want to use on their guitar for whatever preference, whether this is for a certain genre, a certain feel or a certain playing preference.
Scott says : We definitely still do a lot of custom work for guys with specific needs, but at this point most people come to us just for the quality of the strings themselves. In the past decade or two we’ve seen boutique companies make a big mark on the pedal, amp, and guitar worlds by offering a handmade, higher-quality product and delivering it with care—and it’s been an honor to be able to do that same thing in the string world.

What are the benefits of Stringjoy over other major brands

Ultimately it comes down to quality and service. We do everything we can to ensure that our strings are the highest quality, whether it’s in the winding process, the material sourcing, or the way we inspect each string. Beyond that, we earnestly try to connect with our players and be there for them no matter what comes up. It sounds simple, but it makes a difference.

People ask me a lot about the difference in quality—once people play our strings, almost everybody gets it right away, but every so often someone who’s debating whether or not to give Stringjoys a try will write me asking why they should pay more for these than one of the big brands. I try to shoot straight with everybody, so I’ll tell them, it’s about the last 20%.

See, with a lot of subjective things, you can usually put a little bit of money into something and get 80% of the way there. These days, you could buy a Shure SM57 and a decent recording interface and with some skill you could get 80% of the way to a professional recording. But to get that last 20%, you’ve got to invest in great preamps, a treated room, better mics, a killer interface, etc. It’s the same thing with strings. You can spend less than what our sets cost and get 80% of the way there—and that’s fine. If you’re just starting out, that’s absolutely what you should do. We’re here for the guys that need that last 20%.

What is the weirdest/most unique set of strings that you have custom made?

Oh man, there’s too many to count! On the two extremes, I’ve got plenty of guys who play .007s, which is just crazy thin to me, and I’ve got06_strings plenty of guys who string up .090s on their 6 string electric guitars to tune down to bass territory. When I first started, these kinds of things seemed super strange, but now nothing really shocks me.

Any other thoughts on the guitar or building industry that you would like to express?

It’s a really great industry, but a bizarre one to be sure. We know how to have fun more than a lot of other industries and that has to count for something. I’d say the strangest thing is just how much it can vary by what you’re selling. All the pedal companies I know are super friendly with one another and act like they don’t compete with one another (though of course they do, on some level). In the string world, however, it can be pretty ruthless.

How can Australians get a hold of Stringjoy strings? Have you got any plans to move into retailers?

We’re always available directly through our site, Stringjoy.com, but we also hope to move into retail in Australia in 2017. If there is a shop near you that you’d like to see Stringjoy in, please write us and let us know! We’re at support@stringjoy.com

You can find Stringjoy at their website, on Facebook and on Instagram

In the next few installments we will be looking at featuring some more Australian brands and also some small overseas brands that are selling in Australia, feel free to comment below who you might like to see get featured.

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