Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stewart-MacDonald String Spreaders Review


We are looking at a product today that is so simple that I wish I had thought of it. These are string spreaders that are sold through the Stewart-MacDonald guitar supply company.

Stewart-MacDonald of Athens, Ohio has been selling guitar parts and luthier tools for over 40 years, and is the best company in the business. They carry OEM parts for both electric and acoustic guitars, as well as a panoply of bodies, necks, pickups, bridges and tuners in case you want to build your own guitar. They also have every tool you will need to build or set-up your own guitar, rewind your pickups or replace worn out frets. For example, they carry files for every application, including ones for nut work and cleaning up sharp fret edges. If you need it, they have it.

Their string spreaders were the brainchild of a real-life ace repairman, David Lynch (no, not that one). These tools might look hokey and seem like a waste of money to you, but believe me when I say that they easily pay for themselves in the time they save and the frustration they avoid.

There are a lot of jobs on the guitar where you just need to get the strings out of the way, such as cleaning the fretboard, working on a nut slot, touching up frets or adjusting pickup pole pieces. It is a hassle to unwind the strings all the way, so often times guys will tape them back or use Velcro to hold the loosened strings so they do not get in the way. My old favorite was to hook a wooden pencil behind them.

But the string spreaders make this a lot easier. You get a pair in the set, and they are about 3 ½ inches long and are made of brass coated with rubber so they do not scratch the neck. They are nice and springy and have hooked ends to hold the strings in place while you work. They install in a jiffy and help you get down to what you are supposed to be doing a lot quicker.

Anyway, the Stewart-MacDonald string spreaders are a peach, and if you do any work on your own instruments I recommend that you pick up a set. They are only $9.95 for a pair, or $8.95 is you buy 3 or more sets.

How can you go wrong?


No comments:

Post a Comment