The Real Secret Behind Coated Strings, and Why They Should Be a Thing of the Past
11 Dec. 2014

The Real Secret Behind Coated Strings, and Why They Should Be a Thing of the Past


Premium Cleartone Treated Guitar Strings have a predecessor: Coated Strings. Coated strings became popular in the 1990s due to their ability to make guitar strings last longer and stay cleaner than traditional strings. They achieve this by coating their strings with a chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), best known by its most popular brand, Teflon.® As many know, this is used in frying pans for its non-stick properties. These work great for cooking and are widely used today, but as many know, the PTFE coating has the potential to be toxic. According to cancer.org, “The major health effect linked with Teflon is the potential release of dangerous fumes from coated pans that are overheated. These fumes can cause flu-like symptoms in humans (a condition known as polymer fume fever) and can be fatal to birds.”[1] This is why one must be careful not to overheat a coated pan when cooking, or scratch the coating when scrubbing to avoid the risk of ingesting it upon using it again. Long term studies have not been conducted as to whether the coating is toxic to guitar players.

As coated strings rose in popularity, criticism surfaced as it was noticed by many that coated strings rip and flake after long periods of playing, altering the sound of the strings and diminishing the effectiveness of the coating.  In terms of effectiveness on guitar strings, other disadvantages have also come to light.

Coating flaking off of a coated bass set

On electric guitars, it’s known that coated strings create problems with magnetic pickups due to the magnetic field being negatively affected by the coating. The coating itself is not magnetic, so when it is applied between a magnetic pickup and a set of strings, it results in less magnetic draw from the electric guitar’s pickups and ultimately, less volume. It’s a similar concept as putting something non-magnetic between a refrigerator and a magnet. Coated strings simply do not work for electric guitars like traditional strings do. Also, the coating inhibits vibration of the strings, resulting in less brilliance, and less volume. Up until Cleartone invented the treated string, this was the guitar player’s only option for premium long-lasting strings.

Cleartone discovered a new proprietary technology that completely diminished the drawbacks of coated strings: Treatment. By treating the strings rather than coating them, the molecular composition of the strings themselves change to ensure much longer string life without altering the tone in any way. Also, since the strings are treated on a molecular level, unlike coated strings, they can be used just as effectively on electric guitars. Cleartone pioneered the treated string, and remain firmly planted on the cutting-edge of treatment technology to this day.

String changes are a time-consuming endeavour

Today, treated strings remain the most current innovation in string technology, leaving coated strings in the dust. Changing a set of strings can take upwards of 20 minutes each time, and as anyone can imagine, it would be nice not to have to do this every week, or before every gig. Cleartone invented a proprietary treatment process that  ensures the strings last 3-5x longer than traditional strings so for every 3-5x you change your strings, a Cleartone player changes them only once! Even if they last 3x longer, a guitarist playing on Cleartone Strings will have saved upwards of an entire hour! Time is precious when you’re touring, and I’m sure many could use an extra hour of sleep every now and then.

As someone who plays a really nice, expensive guitar, it’s time to start using a nice set of strings to match, and to bring out that guitar’s true potential. Give your guitar the treatment it deserves by switching to Cleartone Premium Treated Strings.

References:

1. Teflon and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2014, from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid–pfoa

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