Danbury, CT, November 30, 2007 – D’Addario & Company, Inc. and American Alloy Wire announced the creation of a joint venture to manufacture precision coated wires for winding D’Addario EXP technology strings. Introduced in 2000, D’Addario EXP strings are wound with wires coated with an ultra thin layer of urethane that protects the wound strings from oxidation. Oxidation has been proven to be the major cause loss of string tone over time.
Working closely together, American Alloy Wire and D’Addario have opened a new state-of-the-art wire drawing, annealing and coating production line. In an effort to constantly improve string performance the new company researched and commission new production equipment that draws the phosphor bronze and 80-20 bronze alloy wires down to their final dimensions, anneals the material back to proper winding temper and then applies multiple layers of an extremely fine urethane coating (2/10,000ths of an inch). The entire process is driven by a closed loop servo control system that constantly monitors the diameter of the wire before and after coating and adjusts the flow of coating onto the wires. The wires are cured in a 60 foot oven after each layer of coating is applied.
“The new material we are producing with this process is far more consistent and reliable than other technologies used before”, states Jim D’Addario C.E.O., of D’Addario. “We have even commissioned a special laser scanning system that is used to measure the coating thickness and concentricity from samples taken from each and every spool that comes off the line. This is a major breakthrough in the development of long lasting coated strings,” continues Jim D’Addario.
The plant became operational in August 2007. Once a complete transition of production has been made D’Addario will be stepping up its marketing for the EXP brand which already commands a 30% market share in the coated acoustic string market segment. “It is nearly impossible to tell the difference in tone between the improved EXP strings and a new un-coated acoustic string.”
Consumers will begin seeing sets with the new improved coated wires as early as first quarter of 2008.