SIT Silencer compression wound acoustic strings

SIT Silencers 80/20 brass semi-flat strings

a mini-review

These are available in four common guages (10-48, 11-50, 12-52, 13-56) plus a 12-string set (10-46). The manufacturer's website blurb runs as follows:

The world's newest and most techinically advanced acoustic string. The Silencer process of "Inverse String Winding" compresses the outermost part of the cover wrap while leaving the internal portion of the string intact. This design - exclusive to S.I.T. - produces a silky feel minimizing finger and fret noise, but explodes with a round wound sound!

Well, it's no sillier than most marketing blurbs, and that makes (at last count) 409 different string sets which are the world's "most technically advanced", plus this set which we are told is "techinically advanced". Fair enough. 

I'd been working my way through a whole stack of different strings this past year or so, why not give these things a try? I ordered a set of lights from an online dealer in the USA. They are 80/20 brass and the lights set runs 12 16 25 32 42 52 - all standard sizes except for the low E string which is a fraction lighter than most at 52 instead of 53 or 54. I fitted them to a Maton SRS60C, a dreadnought with a cedar top, Queensland Maple back and sides, and Indian Rosewood fretboard. 

For my own reference I keep a string journal. In it I wrote this: 

Supposed to be "compression wound" and semi-flat surfaced for noise-free fretting. Initial impression was that they were rather odd strings: some of the deadness flatwounds have, plus some of the extra brightness of brass. Despite a fairly smooth feel, and a liberal application of Fast Fret, they squeal more than a bit.

That was the first day. I didn't like them, they weren't nearly as smooth as a coated string, and not even as smooth as some uncoated strings. (They replaced a set of monel Martin Retros which were lovely and slinky.)

And the sound was ... "odd" is the only word I can find for it. I never much like the sound of very fresh strings, but these were worse than most. I considered taking them off and throwing them away. 

But the next day they sounded quite different, and have ever since. These are really rather nice: warm and medium-bright with good feel. They never did live up to their "Silencer" name, they squeak about as much as the average string, or maybe just slightly less. And they aren't so very smooth under the fingers. On a smoothness scale of 1 (smooth) to 10 (rough), give them 4, and for squeaking under the fingers, 5 or 6 out of a possible worst of 10. 

I ended up keeping them on for quite a while. They last well for an uncoated  brass string - I got six or seven weeks, which is a long time for 80/20s, especially so as I used that guitar a bit more usual because it played nicely with the Silencers on it. They have a very pleasing feel under the fingers (there is a tactile rasp there but it is gentle), and the sound is all its own: clearly brass rather than phosphor bronze but less of the shrillness roundwound brass is noted for. I think of them as lying somewhere between a typical phosphor bronze sound and a typical brass sound, but closer to brass. 

I ended up getting quite fond of them, and now that they have been replaced with something else I miss them. I'll probably buy them again. Oh, and they are not expensive; about $6.00 or $6.50 US, which is very reasonable.

Forget the "silent" PR claim, it isn't true. But if you want a string with more zing than phosphor bronze but find 80/20 brass is a little bit too much of a good thing, these are worth a try. 
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  • moremore Frets: 230
    edited February 2021
    Thanks for the review. I don't understand the inverse  string winding process. You could just wind the string normally   and turn it round ?  Also the worlds newest , the strings have been  available for about for about 5 years , so they might need to drop that quote . Having Said that , I have used SIT strings with no complaints . They are not that popular , so you can always find them at a discounted price  .    
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  • TanninTannin Frets: 5554
    An update: I grew quite fond of these as over time, and was a bit sad to remove them when the time came. I replaced the Silencers with something very plain vanilla: Ernie Ball Earthwood phosphor bronze, which were fine but not bright enough for my style. After that a set of Fender brass mediums, which sounded good but felt surprisingly heavy and were too much like hard work. (Is this guitar extra sensitive to string gauge? I quite often put mediums on the Cole Clark and they feel fine.)

    Anyway, after that, I was tired of experimenting and just wanted something that suited this guitar, sounded nice, and played well. It says something for the Silencers that they seemed like the obvious choice - and now that they are on again I see that they were a good choice. I don't think it's sounded better.

    I have two other sets of of brass 12s on order to try, Martin and Darco. I've used both before on another guitar and they were excellent. It will be interesting to see how they compare tested back-to-back against the SITs.

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