The world’s largest maker of musical instrument strings, D’Addario & Company, unveiled its latest innovation—the NYXL electric guitar string—with a tour of its new factory in Farmingdale and a special concert at Guitar Center in Carle Place featuring virtuoso performances by Vernon Reid, Robben Ford, Oz Noy, Earl Slick, Alex Skolnick and Guthrie Trapp.
The May 1st product launch started earlier in the day with a close-up look at D’Addario’s new carbon steel wire mill, which it had relocated from Massachusetts to Farmingdale with assistance from New York State’s Empire State Development Corporation, Suffolk County and Babylon Town. Along with the factory expansion came 30 new jobs to Long Island. On hand for the tour were Empire State Development’s president and chief executive officer, Kenneth Adams, and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
“The name of these strings, NYXL, is also an important distinction for us,” said James D’Addario, chief executive officer and chairman of D’Addario & Company, which has been making strings for hundreds of years. “Our new steel wire has been formulated, created, crafted and perfected here in the Empire State. We are proud of our New York legacy, and even prouder that all or our strings originate at our Long Island home.”
He said the Farmingdale facility produces 700,000 strings a day, employs more than 1,000 employees worldwide (800 in New York), and distributes its products—which also include Evans Drumheads, Promark Drumsticks and D’Addario Woodwinds—in 120 countries.
Much of rock and roll owes its distinctive sound over the years to D’Addario’s electric guitar strings.
“The original formula, originating in the 1950s, used pure nickel, creating a characteristically mellow sound,” explained D’Addario. “In the early Sixties, my father, John D’Addario Sr., introduced a brighter sounding, second-generation nickel-plated steel string, which became the industry standard for the next five decades.”
The new NYXL electric guitar stings have been re-engineered from the ball-end up, the company claims, to provide an unprecedented level of pitch stability and tensile strength. With 6 percent more magnetic permeability for higher output than other brands, NYXL electric guitar strings offer “more punch, crunch and bite.”
“This is the strongest set of electric guitar strings ever made,” D’Addario said. “Arriving here wasn’t easy. Our engineers traveled many paths, starting with the selection of new high-carbon steel alloys, completely re-imagining the wire drawing process, and revolutionizing the corrosion-resistant tin coating application.”
Later in the day about 60 people, some wearing the tell-tale NYXL T-shirts, gathered at the back of the Guitar Center to hear the new strings be put through their paces by the talented fingers of some top rock guitarists.