Ninety-year-old instrument string and accessory manufacturer
Cavanaugh Company, parent of Super-Sensitive Musical String Co., Black Diamond Strings, National Picks, and other fine brands, has spent decades producing compelling solutions for musicians of all levels. This year the family owned and operated company is approaching the holiday shopping season with two exciting new products.
Black Diamond Jimi Hendrix guitar strings are available in three different packages, each representing one of the legend’s iconic performances: the Monterey Pop Festival, Royal Albert Hall, and Woodstock. As a result of Black Diamond’s partnership with the Jimi Hendrix Foundation’s Music For Life Program, each set comes with a retro collectible sticker, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the organization.
Black Diamond’s precisely wound and tensioned strings are distinguished by a core that is drawn into the high-carbon hexagonal wire, then wound with nickel-plated steel for electric guitars and phosphor bronze and silver-plated for acoustics. Unique in the marketplace, Black Diamond Jimi Hendrix strings lend themselves to the aggressive playing style and inventive rhythm work pioneered by the revolutionary guitarist.
For the bowed strings crowd, Super-Sensitive Musical Strings Co. has introduced the Red Label Pearl line. According to Executive Vice President Susan Cavanaugh, Red Label Pearl strings were designed for students who have progressed beyond the company’s well-known Red Label strings, which for more than 85 years have been the starter string brand parents, students, and teachers have trusted the most. Possessing a synthetic core that sounds brilliant yet broad and full, Red Label Pearl was created for teachers wanting a warmer sounding instrument and orchestra. Super-Sensitive’s polishing technology creates a high polish that reduces overtones without making the string “slippery” and difficult for the bow to grab, a feature that’s especially helpful to less developed players. Red Label Pearl’s nylon core is anchored with copper eyelets to increase the dynamics of the tone, and its strategically selected materials and precision winding produce an audibly balanced set that plays accurate intervals and produces lustrous harmonics.
The Cavanaugh Company’s long history informs every aspect of its product development, quality control, and customer service. Founded in Chicago in 1930, Super-Sensitive Musical String Co. was acquired by Vince and John Cavanaugh in 1967 and has been run by three generations of the Cavanaugh family ever since.
In the early ’70s, Super-Sensitive developed its Sensicore line with a synthetic material called Perlon that offered the flexibility of a gut string along with the durability of a multi-strand string. With the addition of Sensicore, which is still a strong seller, Super-Sensitive could serve players at every level, from beginner and intermediate students to professional musicians.
While its focus was always on bowed instrument strings, Super-Sensitive also introduced a line of rosins and polishes, including Clarity, a hypo-allergenic rosin. Over the years Super-Sensitive’s line of accessories has expanded to include teaching aids, mutes, and care kits.
In 1997, with Vince’s son John and his wife Ellen at the helm, their son Jim signed on as vice president of operations. Within three years Jim Cavanaugh implemented a wide range of capital improvements that included building a 25,000-square-foot state-of-the-art production facility and installing advanced computerized production machinery and inventory control system. Throughout that same period Jim’s wife Susan began raising the company’s profile in the string industry.
In 2001 Cavanaugh Company acquired the Black Diamond string brand, which dates back to the 1890s, along with the National Picks brand, and began manufacturing their respective products in its Sarasota factory. The Black Diamond line includes high-quality strings for acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, ukulele, violin, and bass.
Over the past decade, Cavanaugh Company has implemented significant changes, all targeting increased sales growth, a greater selection of products, and improved service to its distributor, dealer, and end-user customers. In recent years, says Susan, “sales have grown due to a resurgence in school music programs and the market’s growing awareness of our impeccable attention to detail.”
“Additions to our product range like our Red Label Pearl and Black Diamond Jimi Hendrix strings have raised Super-Sensitive and Black Diamond to a whole new level,” adds Jim Cavanaugh. “As a company we are extremely excited for what 2017 holds.”
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