Balls Vs. Bullets – Fender Guitar Strings
October 10, 2009 by Charlie
Guitar players have so many variables to pay attention to -pickups, amp settings, effects and so on- that string ends seem like a none issue. String gauges, okay. But string ends? Ball ends, bullet ends, what’s the difference?
The difference is simple: if you play a guitar with non-locking tremolo, you may want to consider Bullets. If you play a non-tremolo guitar or one with a locking tremolo (i.e. Floyd Rose double locking bridge), then Balls are fine–since you snip the balls off.
If you use ball-end guitar strings in your tremolo, the ball can move about in the ball cavity shaft. After riding the bar, the string may come to rest in a different position, and guess what? The guitar’s out of tune. Fender bullet-end strings are designed to fit snugly into the string shaft cavity of your tremolo unit. No slipping, which means the guitar stays in tune.
When fellow musicians describe your guitar playing, do they use words like “dive bomber” or “trem fiend”? Do you have to tune your guitar between every number? Does the fear of throwing your guitar out of tune actually inhibit the way you want to play the music you hear in your head?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then Fender has got the strings you need to stay in tune.
Fender Bullet Guitar Strings Fact
Fender Bullets are the only strings in the world designed specifically for Strats and guitars with similar type tremolos. And, the only place you can get them is from Fender. That’s right, the world’s foremost manufacturer of guitars and amplifiers was recently granted a US patent for their unique bullet-end guitar strings.
So what exactly are Fender Bullets?
The unique solid brass bullet-end shape fits securely into the sustain block of your Strat’s tremolo system, making it nearly impossible for the string end to shift or wiggle, even under the most severe trem stress. Bullets precision-machined radius helps prevent slipping when using the tremolo, which greatly enhances your guitar’s overall tuning stability. With regular strings, even the smallest shift in position can put your guitar hopelessly out of tune.
If you’re downright brutal with your trem, Fender Bullets can also last longer than regular strings. Using your tremolo is cool. We all know that. But changing the string’s pitch means the tension is also constantly changing, and this is very hard on strings. The Bullet end keeps the string in place and decreases the amount of movement, making it less likely to break. The bottom line is this; if you play a Strat, you need Bullets. They’re the only strings for Strats.
Fender Bullet Strings are available in Original Bullets–nickel (vintage tone); Super Bullets– nickel-plated steel (great tone and long life); and Stainless Bullets– stainless steel (bright tone and long life). And where can you purchase your Bullets?