This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)
Knobloch is a string manufacturer that originated in Germany and is currently producing in Catalonia, Spain. Although they are not widely available in Japan, they are popular all over the world, and Leo Brouwer is a favorite user. I would like to review the limited edition Knobloch strings that were released to commemorate Leo Browell’s 80th birthday.
The following article summarizes the string reviews/thoughts/information articles on this blog:.
A string manufacturer started by a guitarist and guitar maker
Knobloch is a string company started by a guitarist and guitar maker, and has a worldwide following. For more information, please click here.
Unfortunately, availability is low in Japan, but it is possible to import it easily through Strings by Mail or other means.
A limited edition model to commemorate Leo Brouwer’s 80th birthday
The string I’m reviewing is a commemorative model for composer and guitarist Leo Brouwer’s 80th birthday.
This string, named as “Leo Brouwer”, has following characteristics:
- Bass strings: LB BASS, a different winding alloy to Actives Double Silver
- Treble strings: called AT NYLON, which combines the sweetness of nylon with the brilliance of carbon strings
Sounds so nice.
Both of these strings are specially made for this purpose, so you can say this string is made with a lot of care.
Luxury package, reasonable string distinction method
The string package looks like this:
Leo Brouwer’s face and left hand are in the background, with the logo and other details in gold.
It’s a solid package and is probably one of the most luxurious classical guitar strings available.
On the reverse side, it is written that this string was made to celebrate Leo Brouwer’s 80th birthday and a tribute to Knobloch by Leo Brouwer.
When you open the seal, you will find an explanation about the strings.
As mentioned, the bass is LB BASS and the treble is AT NYLON.
It also shows that the second and fifth strings are marked at the ends.
All six strings are in a single airtight package.
I suppose this is why the second and fifth strings are colored to distinguish them.
Each company has its own way of distinguishing the strings: D’Addario has a sticker with the string number on it, while La Bella has a dice-shaped piece of plastic with the string number on it.
Some manufacturers, like Aquila, put it all in one package and don’t give you anything for it.
I think Knobloch made the reasonable decision that if you know the 2nd and 5th strings, you can tell the rest by the thickness.
In the photo above, you will notice that the treble strings are purple. This somehow makes me think that they are what we call titanium strings. That would explain the sweetness of nylon and the shine of carbon.
But what does “AT” stand for anyway?
Another thing that was unique was that one end of the bass string was looped with metal wire.
The loop is made of nylon core wire in Augustine case, but it is rare that the loop is made of wound wire.
Does Knobloch want me to use this to attach it on the bridge side?
On the 6 and 5 strings, these loops were too big to fit in the peg holes, so I had to cut them off as shown in the picture.
PS: I asked Knobloch and they said that this loop is something that can be done in manufacturing and should not be used to attach the strings to the bridge.
Bright sound on both treble and bass strings
My impression of the sound when I actually put it on is that it produces a bright sound on both the treble and bass strings.
I wondered how complex and bizarre the sound would be, since the strings are named after Leo Brouwer, a composer of crunchy contemporary music, but they sounded very bright and easy to listen to.
The sound is cloudless and loud, making it a pleasure to play.
It may not be as good in terms of sound dignity, but I guess that’s not the concept.
I just put it on, but the bass strings stabilize fast.
The tension is a little strong because it is a medium high tension.
Pricey but good strings
These Leo Brouwer strings are available at Strings by Mail for $22.99 per set.
At 2,622 Japanese yen, it is a high-end string.
In the same price range would be the Hanabach Silver 200.
However, the sound is good and the quality is good because of the cost.
The drawback is that they are not readily available in Japan, but if you love Leo Brouwer or are looking for strings with a bright sound, you should definitely give them a try.