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Why No-one’s Talking About Fake Guitar Strings

Are your guitar strings fake?! And how would you know?

I’ll begin by getting some of the popular search terms out of the way: counterfeit, faux, fake, knock-off, illegal, dodgy, moody, ahhh there are so many.

Pseudo-strings have become a significant issue of late and so it’s time we addressed the topic head on; and let’s face it, no one wants to mention phoney strings because it looks bad, and it searches terribly well! All of the big manufacturers suffer this so let’s talk about it.

It’s probably always been a thing, but it’s become a bigger problem more recently as faux-factories get smarter and more efficient. The unavoidable truth is that as the genuine market has to increase prices - with costs for assets like skilled labour, research & development, marketing, and high-quality raw materials - the consumer’s pocket inevitably gets shallower, thus cheaper alternatives look more attractive.

Knock-off strings not only sound bad, they’re awfully detrimental to your playing, harmful to the planet, and the lives of people forced to work in those industries. Moreover, as the composition can’t be guaranteed, if you’re sensitive to nickel or have allergies to unregulated chemicals used in manufacturing you could cause yourself significant harm.


Red flags. How to spot counterfeit strings.

Packaging. Counterfeit packaging will often look dull compared to the real article; it may have fuzzy, pixelated images, and the text may be in multiple languages and read incoherently.

Strings. The strings themselves quite often feel greasy or oily, and they may be dull in colour. Check the windings, and anchor points for inconsistency.

How do they sound and feel? Almost always fake strings will not stay in tune or intonate properly. They’re often made with poor quality or even incompatible materials which will just sound wrong. They may even snap straight away!

Where did you buy them? The big names in the music industry would never risk their reputation by selling counterfeit strings, but that’s not to say you can’t trust small, independent stores. Always shop with companies that know their products and their customers. You can often find a list of reputable dealers on the the brand’s/manufacturer’s websites.

And lastly - should go without saying - if the price is too good, honestly it probably is; so tread carefully.


One final word.

The truth is, you may buy a moody set of strings and never know, and if that suits you then OK but it’s not a market that we will ever condone.

We’ve been selling guitar strings online since the late ‘90s by securing official, traceable supply chains from the worlds leading brands. We have worked hard from day one to achieve status as the UK’s premier strings dealer by providing only the best, authentic products to our customers.

When shopping with Strings Direct you can absolutely, 100% sure that what you're receiving is the real deal; and that's our promise to you.  If you ever have any issues we're always here to help.

Thank you,
Strings Direct

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