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Post subject: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:14 am
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:?: Anybody Know :?:

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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:26 pm
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I think I have read an article here in the "Fender Forums" quite awhile ago about this? To paraphrase my memory (oh lord), it had something to do with "Squier". His family had been making violin, and strings of those instrument types for 100 years. Fender contracted them, then eventually bought them out? Fender and Squier had a real strong relationship over the years, which led to the "Squire" brand of instruments, to honor him?
Keep in mind, this is all what I think I remember from an article I read somewhere, sometime ago.


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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:42 am
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Here's what Wiki has: "Fender Musical Instruments Corporation entered the picture in the 1950s, when the V.C. Squier Company began supplying Southern California inventor and businessman Leo Fender with strings for his unusual new electric guitars. The V.C. Squier Company became an official original equipment manufacturer for Fender in 1963, and Fender bought the V.C. Squier string company in early 1965 shortly before Fender itself was bought by CBS in May of that year."

Also there is this synopsis by brotherdave:
"V.C. Squier strings were handmade in Battle Creek, MI and the company had been in business there since 1890 and became the foremost violin string maker in the USA by 1900. (Their primary USA competition was Black Diamond.) V.C. Squier Company broadened first to a wide range of string production for classical orchestral instruments including cellos and basses. By the 1930's they were making strings for about any stringed instrument you could name and quickly developed strings for use on the earliest electric/acoustic (Jazz-Box) guitars in the 1930's.

Leo Fender settled with V.C. Squier also as the first official OEM supplier of strings to be branded as "FENDER" starting in 1963.

Then, through the first two months of 65 Leo Fender finalized a buy out of the V.C. Squier Company lock, stock and barrel. V.C. Squier now was a division of FENDER. When Leo sold FENDER to CBS the V.C. Squier Company went to CBS too since it was a FENDER division.

By 1965 CBS began relocating all guitar/bass string manufacturing to Fullerton and the banjo/mandolin strings would follow in turn and then in 1975 CBS suddenly killed off all remaining Battle Creek production including V.C. Squier Company's still viable violin, acoustic bass and cello string production.

The V.C. Squier brand goes totally dormant until resurrection in 1982, minus the "V.C." as Fender's budget SQUIER line of guitars and basses introduced to compete with Asian knockoffs of USA Fenders."

There is an article by a Battle Creek reporter that I cannot find right now, but I'm sure he stated that CBS shut down Squier string production very abruptly sometime in 1968. Which is about the same time GHS cranked up.

CBS moved some of the equipment. Some say to Fullerton, others say to Mexico. Could have been both. Need serious clarification on these points.

Also, exactly when did Fender stop string production altogether?

As of right now, I do know that Fender's 4 and 5 string bass sets are wound to Fender's specs by D'Addario. I do not know for sure if D'Addario is winding guitar strings for Fender, although it does seem likely.

So there are huge gaps of missing historical information that need to be fleshed out.

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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:29 pm
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Fedner strings are made at Fender Factory, I believe in Mexico:

https://picasaweb.google.com/meridianmusicguitars/FenderFactoryTour2006?fgl=true&pli=1


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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:32 pm
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atolleter wrote:
Fedner strings are made at Fender Factory, I believe in Mexico:

https://picasaweb.google.com/meridianmusicguitars/FenderFactoryTour2006?fgl=true&pli=1


OK, thanks for that link to photos from 2006 Fender Factory Tour in Ensenada, Mexico. So we see some half dozen or so string winders in action.

Right now, if you look at the photos of Fender string sets they all state "Made In USA". I seem to recall someone saying that production shifted to contracted American string winders around 2010.

Good we're getting somewhere, a piece of intel at a time. 8)

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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:25 pm
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It's funny... all the proprietary stuff in the world is all hush, hush.
The car manufactures say, "use only genuine mopar oil in your Dodge." When you ask, "which oil company makes mopar oil, Vavoline, Pennsoil, Mobile, nobody knows, or isn't telling. It has to be one of them big wigs, right?

On another note... I thought I read somewhere Di Addario was the only string mfg in the U.S.A. If that is true, and Fender Strings say, "Made in USA", then...?
Maybe they aren't the only mfg, but close anyway.


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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:30 pm
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Reportedly around 32 guitar string makers in the US today.


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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:46 pm
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Yup, don't remember reading about that. :lol:


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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:54 am
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The major string winders in America are:
1) D'Addario
2) GHS
3) Ernie Ball
4) DR
5) Black Diamond
6) LaBella
7) Dunlop

There is a lot of scuttlebutt about Dean Markley. Insiders have said that they've ceased production and gone to contract winders.


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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:50 am
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Fender string winders at work in Ensenada, Mexico, 2006

Image


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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:56 am
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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:20 am
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Fender's Ensenada facility cranked up in July 1987. Exactly when string production began there is the open question. Also the years of string production by Fender in California between the CBS shutdown of V.C. Squire until the beginning of string production in Ensenada.

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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:53 pm
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Cute, the second one.


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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:15 am
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linnin/brother Dave:

Absolutely right that Black Diamond was a big competitor for Fender/Squire strings. In 1962 Black Diamonds were plentiful and common, as well as on my little Framus acoustic at the time. Then other competitors hit town. To BDs credit, they can still be found, but not as easily.

I'd be interested in knowing what gauges were stock for the relative Fenders according to year(s). Basically, when 9, 10, 11, 12 and if 13s were used . . . Even better, would be to know if the vintage replicas are using comparable strings. I realize that's a tall order, so I don't expect it to be filled; but, this Forum is full of surprises. :shock:

Great thread.

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Post subject: Re: History of Fender Brand Strings
Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:41 pm
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I think in mid 60s they came out of factory with 12 flatwound.


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