Mapes strings in 1950

jfgesquire

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This may be repetitive for at least some if not most of you, but searching for answers myself I did not find this information on TDPRI, and certainly not all in one place. I may be wrong and my Google-fu may be slipping, though.

I came across this page, purporting to be from a 1950 Fender catalog, which shows Mapes branded strings being sold by Fender.

EDB862AE-3CBB-4D10-9E6C-EAC5EB483A8F.jpeg

I think it may be a reasonable assumption that these are the OEM Esquire, Broadcaster, Nocaster strings.

Further searches indicate that these strings used hex core wire, were likely a Monel alloy, and were round wound, ground and polished. (Similar to modern D’Addario half rounds?) This is from a Mapes Hawaiian set, but all indications are that the composition is the same for the Spanish set.

A5F3A667-12B2-4FDC-9EBA-95A29B4202D0.jpeg

Then online there is a gap until a 1955 catalog.

36225C07-D1B3-4B7B-B630-0D005ECF3A2C.jpeg

The #10 strings are likely the same, but now are in Fender branded packaging.

By the 1957 catalog, Fender indicates that their strings are now “New” pure nickel. Are these made by Squier? If so, where did Squier buy their wire? Was the core still Mapes hex core wire?

1F2606AF-03DC-4827-AF7B-48385246F06C.jpeg

By the 1960’s the ground polished strings were no longer the #10 set, but they were still the style that was on all factory full scale Fender guitars. Still ground and polished, but called “Smooth Round Wound”, but now pure nickel and not an alloy.

DE59DBA0-FE3F-4B83-A235-257AC40890F0.jpeg

The #10 set is still labeled for “Spanish Guitar” and is pure nickel. It is most likely just plain Round Wound. It is NOT the Flat Wound set (Mastersound #50), and it is NOT the Smooth Round Wound set #1500. Check out the gauges!

DE74C65D-89C1-4A4A-B6B3-A15C662493E5.jpeg

Just thought I’d share and let facts or opinions go from there.
 

Bob Womack

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I grew up a fairly short distance away from Mapes in East Tennessee. As I recall, I only once, in a little cowboy guitar store, ever saw a package of Mapes Strings. I had no idea that the largest manufacturer of guitar strings in the U.S. was so close to me. What an irony.

Bob
 

mngr_ys-irb

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>Alloy wrap
>Hex core
>Groudwound

Please forgive me if I have replied on an old post. I want to share my thoughts here on this thread.

D'Addario Half Rounds come close, but it uses a different metal alloy, which is stainless steel. Martin makes Monel strings, with hex cores in them. That is, the Martin Retros. They come in as roundwound, and that means I would have to grind them with abrasives.

If my research on vintage guitar strings fails, my last resort would be to buy Pyramid Gold flatwounds. Those were the strings allegedly used by the Beatles during the early 1960s.
 




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