In the early 1990s we were fortunate to discover Newtone Strings, a small British string manufacturing firm. Newtone sent us a few samples and we were in love! We remain convinced that they are the finest strings made!
Malcolm Newton is the owner and head craftsman at Newtone strings. He is an ex-coal miner, ex-lineman, and spent many years as a wire rope and heavy cable maker. He eventually left the industry and found his métier when he began to make guitar and mandolin strings in the late 80′s.
Newtone strings are a truly hand-made string, built one at a time to Malcolm Newton’s exacting standards.
Newtone strings are consistently true and balanced and use only top quality Phosphor Bronze and pure Nickel windings on tin plated round and hex steel cores. The high quality round core construction on his acoustic strings results in a fuller bass and rounder tone with noticeably lower tension than other strings. Thousands of our customers now play only Master Class Phosphor Bronze acoustic strings.
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About Newtone Strings
Mass produced guitar strings use a hexagonal core. This hex core improves the bond between the bronze or nickel winding and the center core of the string so it will ring true.
Unfortunately, tiny cavities inside the string between the wrap and the core allow moisture and dirt to accumulate which soon deadens the string. Hex-core strings also have a stiffer feel and slightly higher tension compared to round-core construction.
The “Plain” Truth
As a guitar player, a Luthier and owner of the Twelfth Fret, I had found in the past that that all plain strings are more-or-less the same for all brands. Malcolm Newton has explained to me that virtually everybody sources out their core string wire from the same sources.
That said, Newton specifies the thickest nickel plating available. This extends the life span of your plain strings before the plating wears off and the raw steel is exposed which soon turns black. He also more carefully measures his core wire for thickness and tests for tensile strength several times through the length of the enormous factory spools. He finds they often change in character over the thousands of feet of length. Though costly, he often rejects wire that I understand would normally be used in larger mass production facilities.
So Newtone plain strings are different! The plains are smoother with thicker plating and we find they intonate more accurately. Many players feel that the extra heavy tin plating gives a nicer feel to the string.
Grant MacNeill (pres. Twelfth Fret Inc.)
Newtone strings are a truly hand-made string using only pure Phosphor Bronze windings on tin plated round steel cores. Newtone Masterclass strings are consistently true and balanced. The high quality, round core construction results in a full, round tone with noticeably lower tension than other strings. Most of our professional studio session player customers have switched to Master Class Phosphor Bronze Acoustic strings. They are available from Extra Light through to Medium gauges. We have fine tuned the light gauge range by offering two .012 gauges, Light and Custom, for pickers who want a fuller bass response without making the jump up to Medium gauge.
A new range of strings designed for reduced tension without significant tonal loss, and built to equalize tension on each string. Phosphor Bronze wound onto round cores with unique core-to-wrap ratios; with thinner gauge cores to reduce tension and heavier gauge windings to add mass. This increased winding thickness regains most of the loss in bass response one normally hears with low tension strings.
I originally saw huge potential for these strings with late 19th and early 20th century vintage guitars where steel strings are used but one worries about damage from higher tension modern strings.
But we have found many players with modern guitars love them too…particularly technical fingerstyle players with a light right hand attack. Also people with left hand issues due to arthritis or tendonitis can benefit from the lower tensions and improved ease of fretting.
|NHS-010 (94 pounds)||.010||.013||.017w||.023||.032||.043|
|NHS-011 (114 pounds)||.011||.015||.019w||.026||.036||.047|
|NHS-012 (131 pounds)||.012||.016||.020w||.028||.38||.051|
Newtone National Strings
Newtone National strings are a truly hand-made string made from pure Phosphor Bronze Wound or Pure Nickel Wound on tin plated round steel cores. Available in Medium and Heavy Gauges, the Newtone National Strings are gauged to be full and balanced for open G and D tunings. We have found these strings work particularly well on National Reso-phonic, Dobro style guitars and Weissenborn Style Hawaiian Guitar.
Newtone Aloha Strings
Although the Aloha have the same gauges making up the set as the National Mediums, they are very different.
They are still on Round cores and wrapped with Phosphor Bronze, but they have lighter cores specifically designed for ‘Slack Key’ tunings to avoid damaging the neck of Weissenborn, hollow neck style instruments.
Newtone Archtop Strings
Pure Nickel, Compound wound
Jazz guitarists playing traditional archtops often waver between round wound and flatwound strings.
Round wound are full, clear and project well, but are often considered too bright and give too much left hand string squeak.
Flatwounds give no string squeak and offer a full, fat bass response but are very dead in the trebles. Flatwounds feel incredible: rubbery and flexible with lower tension.
Choosing the perfect string for jazz is often the cause of much angst! Newtone Archtop Strings offer a unique “double-wound” or “compound-wound” string.
Newtone uses a conventional round-wound string as a “core”, then this finished string is wound a second time to “bulk up” to the full final string diameter. For example: picture a finished D string which has a quite fine windings. Then wind it a second time with the same fine windings to “bulk up” to an low E string diameter. This gives you an E string with the feel of the fine windings on a D string. Furthermore, it is an low E string with the solid steel core of a D string so clearly needs less tension to reach pitch.
The result is less string squeak, a softer more flexible feel similar to flatwound — but unlike flatwounds, Newtone Archtop strings retain the treble clarity one expects from round wound strings.
Django Jazz Strings
Django Jazz Strings are individually handmade from the finest materials available, and wound to give the authentic tone and feel of the acoustic gypsy jazz guitar.
Compatible with all pickup systems, these strings are not restricted solely to acoustic use. A smooth warm tone can be expected on all guitars.
“Strings, like guitars, are things of personal preference. All I can say is that these strings are the finest I’ve found – free of all intonation problems, supple, brightly responsive, long-lasting and made in perfectly matched gauges. They will improve the tone of any steel-strung acoustic guitar and, consequently, your playing.”
Ian Cruichshank (Author, “The Guitar Style of Django Reinhardt”)
Newtone Mandolin Strings
phosphor bronze loop-end
Newtone Mandolin strings are built to the same exacting standards as the Master Class acoustic guitar strings. Premium Phosphor bronze is wrapped on heavily nickel-plated round cores.
These are THE best mandolin strings available.
Note that European gauges are light by North American standards so their choice of gauge-names can be misleading. The medium light .009 to .035 is extremely light! We use this gauge on early 20th century, vintage bowl-back mandolins and on cheaply made mandolins in danger of structural failure.
The so-called “Custom-Heavy” set was especially made for The Twelfth Fret.
This Custom-Heavy, .0 11-.041 gauge is our “standard gauge” most commonly used by bluegrass mandolin players.
Newtone Mandola Strings
phosphor bronze loop-end
Newtone Octave Mandolin Strings Phosphor Bronze
Newtone Irish Celtic-Bouzouki Strings
These round-core Phosphor Bronze strings are hand-made in the style of Newtone’s Masterclass strings. Normally available in loop-end, Newtone Irish Celtic-Bouzouki Strings can also be special ordered in pure nickel wound and/or ball-end construction for no extra charge. Gauged to conform to common Irish Celtic-Bouzouki tunings but we also have many professional Greek Bouzouki players who prefer these strings.
|Custom Heavy (w/extra octave bass strings)||.012/.012||.018w/.018w||.028/.028/.015||.042/.042/.018w|
Burns of London electric guitar Strings
Pure nickel-wound strings hand-made in the tradition of the legendary Burns Bison (Vista-Sonic) Guitar Strings as used by Jim Burns on his famous Burns of London Bison Guitars. These incredible strings were available to most of the greatest British Rock and Blues players in the late 1960’s.
Newtone Burns of London strings are a truly hand-made string using only pure nickel windings on tin plated hex- steel cores. Newtone Burns strings are consistently true and balanced for modern conventional Rock, Blues and Jazz guitar styles. The high quality, pure nickel wound construction give a fuller, mellower and rounder tone with noticeably less treble “edge” than most modern strings.
They are available from Extra Light though to Medium gauges. We have fine tuned the medium-light gauge range by offering two .011 gauges, Medium-Light and Custom by offering a 3rd G string in .019 plain or .022 nickel-wound.
Newtone Irish Tuning Tenor Banjo Strings
Gauged to suit the unique alternate tunings used by Irish banjo players for Celtic and traditional fiddle tunes. Theses round-core Phosphor Bronze strings are hand-made in the style of Newtone’s Masterclass strings. Available in loop-end for no extra charge.
Newtone Tenor Banjo Strings
Ideal for traditional Jazz, Dixieland and old time British Music Hall styles of Tenor banjo. These round-core Phosphor Bronze strings are hand-made in the style of Newtone’s Masterclass strings. Normally available in loop-end, Newtone Tenor Banjo strings can also be special ordered in pure nickel wound and/or ball-end construction for no extra charge.
Newtone Plectrum Banjo Strings
Ideal for traditional Jazz, Dixieland and old time British Music Hall styles of Plectrum banjo. Gauged to suit the higher tension long scale neck of the Plectrum banjo. These round-core Phosphor Bronze strings are hand-made in the style of Newtone’s Masterclass strings. Normally available in loop-end, Newtone’s Plectrum Banjo strings can also be special ordered in pure nickel wound and/or ball-end construction for no extra charge.
Newtone 5-String Banjo Strings
These round-core pure Nickel-wound strings are hand-made in the style of Newtone’s Masterclass strings. Normally available in loop-end, Newtone 5-String Banjo strings can also be special ordered in Phosphor Bronze wound and/or ball-end construction for no extra charge.
Newtone Banjo strings are made to conform to the gauges most commonly used by Bluegrass and Nashville session players. Many banjo players prefer the warmer tone of the pure nickel-wound strings but the greatest tonal advantage is due to the superior quality of Newtone’s exceptional plain strings.
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