Carl states the goal in his string selection: “Leo Fender’s original patent diagram shows the Stratocaster bridge floating, and he intended it to be played this way. Some of us more devoted Strat-style players have found a very musical end to this invention, by setting specific intervals for each string and using the bar to achieve melodic lines with the confidence of both knowing those intervals and a guaranteed return to pitch. These strings make that goal possible.”
The Helix string uses a precise elliptical shape for the winding wire. The shape then had to be paired with the correct winding process. The hyper-elliptical winding process results in an increased number of wraps along the length of the string. This increases the mass of the string, without changing its diameter or material. More mass makes a fuller tone; more windings give a smoother feel as well as a brighter, more resonant tone. Additional benefits of the hyper-elliptical windings are a relaxed feel and less unwanted noise. The strings last much longer without sacrificing tone and performance.
Carl explains the concept and methodology in greater detail: "My goal was a strong, solid bottom end that would also react to the back pickup and become twangy when needed. The integrity of a .037 A string seemed to beef up the bottom, and the smoother finish of the Helix winding assured a fast playing surface. Next I concentrated on the top three strings. I do a lot of 1st finger bends on the high E string, so to insure there was still flesh on that fingertip at the end of a gig, I went with a .009 for the high E. The B string is where I experimented the most, because my ultimate goal is a balanced bridge, where string tension on the top equals spring tension on the underside of the guitar. In the end, I found that by utilizing Dean Markley’s special Gold Series treble strings, the tension was a bit lighter than the same gauge in the usual tinned, plain strings—subtle, but just what was needed for perfect balance and feel. When the gauges are right the bridge is balanced, which guarantees tuning stability. And with the springs adjusted correctly I get a return to perfect pitch for each string.”
The Carl Verheyen signature set offers his choice of custom gauges:
• E String: .009
• B String: .012
• G String: .016
• D String: .026
• A String: .037
• E String: .046
Carl Verheyen is an accomplished guitarist with a multi-faceted career spanning 40 years. While considered a guitar virtuoso; he is also a producer, educator, arranger, vocalist, songwriter, session player and studio musician. His exceptional talent and expansive career brings numerous accolades from the music industry. He has been named “One of the Top 10 Guitar Players in the World” and “One of the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time”.
MSRP: $12.95 USD
About Dean Markley USA
Established in 1972, Dean Markley USA is recognized as an innovator and leader in the world of musical instrument strings. Over the years, the company has expanded its product line to include pickups and accessories. Celebrated by retailers for their sales performance and endorsed by an elite caliber of musicians, Dean Markley USA products are the smart choice.