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Rotosound was originated by James How in 1958 in the United Kingdom. James How designed his own string winding machine and began manufacturing guitar strings in his shed. Originally he called the company Top Strings, but couldn’t copyright that name, so he changed it to Rotop and finally into Rotosound around 1965. This tied in nicely with the company’s flagship round wound bass string. Bass players found this new round wound sound cut through the mix with more definition than the traditional flatwound strings of that era.

The company is now run by Jason How, after the death of James How in 1994. The old string winding machines have been replaced by state of the art units, but the strings conform to the original specifications so the strings sound exactly as before except with higher quality. Rotosound still make their flat wound bass strings by hand. Jimi Hendrix was a notable Rotosound users, he used their medium string set.

As James How remembered:

D'Addario string factory

Close up of electric guitar string making machine in the D'Addario factory

This is one of those How-It's-Made factory tour films, which shows how guitar strings are made in the D'Addario factory. It also shows the quality control procedures used to test that the strings are fit for their purpose. The strings are stretched and twisted in a medieval torture chamber until they break. I never knew there was such a thing as a ball-end-sorter. Even though its mostly mechanised, a human worker still has to start the wire wrapping process on each string by hand. And the final coiling, before they are put in bags, is also done by hand

Change Acoustic Strings: A Beginner's Guide


Changing strings can be daunting for new guitar players. There are many ways that you can do it, especially the bit where you secure the string to the tuning peg. Is there a right way to do it? Dan Cross of about.guitar.com thinks so. Have a look at his step by step illustrated guide to changing strings on an acoustic guitar.

Link: Illustrated beginner's guide to string changing on an acoustic guitar.


Located in Benicia, California, Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc. was founded as a small, family-owned and operated company in 1965, and has since grown to be a leading manufacturer of electronic effects, picks, capos, slides, strings and other musical instrument accessories. Dunlop is the home of such products as the Cry Baby wah and Tortex picks.

Dunlop brands include MXR, CryBaby and Way Huge Electronics.


The Stagg brand was introduced by distributor EMD Music, as their first house brand in 1995. Global sales of Stagg products expanded to the point that Stagg now provides most of EMD's revenue.


The Yamaha Corporation is a multinational Japanese company with large musical instruments and electronic interests. Yamaha was established in 1887 as a piano and organ company and has grown to become the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments.

They produce a wide variety of guitars and have a reputation for good quality control standards. They have some good beginners guitars as well as some great high end instruments.


Warwick was founded in 1982 by Hans-Peter Wilfer as a premium brand with a small range of models. Warwick basses were made from exotic tonewoods with Neck-through design. Warwick also produces budget versions of the original models with less exotic woods and different finishes under the Rockbass, Pro and Artist brands. Rockbass are made in China and the Pro & Artist series made in South Korea.


Sabine, Inc. began as a guitar repair/flute manufacturing shop in 1971 in Gainesville, Florida. it was founded by Doran Oster, a graduate of the University of Florida's School of Engineering. The company added accessories and guitars to the retail store's inventory and with a special attention to customer service, Sabine Music Center soon became the largest music and instrument retailer in North Central Florida. Oster refocused the company back to manufacturing with the invention of the "best capo ever made." Emphasis on manufacturing continued with the introduction of the company's first electronic product, the MT-4001 quartz metronome. Sabine introduced its first tuner, the ST-1000, in 1987, and by 1990 it became the best-selling chromatic tuner in the United States. By the 2000s the company had shifted focus to concentrate on their a range of wireless microphone systems. In 2014 Sabine Inc was acquired by ClearOne


Paul Reed Smith Guitars (PRS Guitars) was founded in 1985 in Annapolis, Maryland by Paul Reed Smith. Smith started building guitars while still in college and soon decided to make it his career. In the early days he was making around 1 guitar a month. He would hanging out at the local concert venues and talk his way backstage to to show his guitars to the touring musicians. He would occasionally make a sale this way: Carlos Santana, Al Di Meola, Howard Leese, and other well known players agreed to try out his guitars. After getting some success with orders for more than 50 guitars, he made two prototypes and took them on the road to demo to East Coast guitar dealers. This generated enough orders for him to start his company.


In 1960 Joe Morrell opened a music store in Bristol, Tennessee and later founded the Joe Morrell Music Distributing Company. In 1983 Joe Morrell built the Grand Guitar on West State Street, Bristol - a 3 storey guitar shaped building, which housed a country music museum. In 1989 Morrell purchased radio station WOPI which he moved to the Grand Guitar building. Since the late 1970s Morrell has distributed their own brand of lap and pedal steel guitars. Morrell lap steel guitars are made in the USA but Morrell brand acoustic and resonator guitars sold via Morrell Music Store are most likely not.

Source: Morrell Lap Steel website (26 June 2018)


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