Kemp Strings can now be bought from this online shop. Just click on the Shop tab.
Yes. I can design strings for any guitar or similar instrument but prices and time scales depend on the number of requests received for particular instruments. Email for custom string set enquiries. If you don’t use a tremolo arm then any Kemp Strings set would be a great choice. This will give close to equal sensitivity to conventional pitch bends and outperforming industry standard strings in terms of feel and consistency of tone across the strings.
Yes. The feature that will be of greatest use to the majority of players is that Kemp Strings have unprecidented matching of sensitivity for conventional pitch bends. You don’t need a tremolo arm to appreciate the benefits of Kemp Strings.
Kemp Strings have been designed through research carried out at the University of St Andrews, UK as published in Jonathan Kemp's peer-reviewed article in the PLOS ONE journal. Kemp Strings are carefully designed to balance the engineering strains of the strings so that applying the same force to the strings produces the same pitch change.
No. Other strings may have balanced tensions until you bend them, but only Kemp Strings will give matched pitch intervals when you apply the same force in bending them.
Make sure you clean and lubricate the nut and areas at the bridge/saddles that the strings touch. Then tune up, do a full pull up and release on the tremolo arm and retune, then do another full pull up and release on the tremolo arm and retune and keep repeating this process until the the tuning is stable (no retuning necessary after full pull up and release). If you do a big pitch dive and release on the bar the pitch may be off afterwards, but don’t retune, just pull up on the bar and release and your tuning will reset nicely. The above is assuming you are using the instrument with the bridge floating. If you have your trem set up so that it is flush with the body (so the bar can’t be raised) then repeatedly tune after a dive bomb until the tuning is stable. If you do a big conventional string bend then the tuning may be off afterwards, in which case press the tremolo arm down and release to reset the tuning. Here’s my video demonstrating all this:
Trem chord tuning is very sensitive the distance of stretchable string behind the nut and saddle heights. Increasing the height of the saddles above the tremolo mounting screws increases the pitch change for a given tremolo arm movement (and lowering has the opposite effect). Standard Strats® have a neck radius of 9.5 inches. I have set up my strings on my Strat® to have a radius of 10 inches when measured with a GW Understring Radius Gauge. The top of the low E string on my set of 9s is 5mm above the top of one tremolo mounting screw while the top of the high E string is 4.5mm above the top of the other tremolo mounting screw. Larger neck radius values can be accomodated EITHER by raising the tremolo bridge screws very slightly and lowering all the saddles very slightly OR decreasing the neck angle and lowering all the saddles very slightly. Smaller radius values can be accomodated by increasing the neck angle very slightly and raising all the saddles very slightly to compensate. The distances of stretchable string behind the nut must match the instrument that the strings have been optimised for in order to get the best for in-tune trem chords. Any changes to tremolo mounting screws and neck angle should be carried out by an experienced guitar technician. Please do email questions including requests for sets designed for extreme radius values to
Yes. Setting the saddles positions for correct intonation in standard tuning after installing Kemp Strings means the low E, A, D and G strings will be close to equal. This is actually a proof that the strings are very close to being exactly equal in terms of sensitivity to player control. This feature is also happens to be handy for vintage Telecaster (uncompensated) bridge designs that have pairs of strings on three saddles.
You want to use the strings optimised for Strat® if the distance of strechable string behind the conventional nut for the low E, A, D and G strings fans as on standard Strat®. Original Floyd Rose® bridges have a radius of 12 inches with the (removable) factory shim in place and this is compatible with Kemp Strings optimised for Strat® if a standard nut is in place.
You can use Kemp Strings in different tunings but the trem chords will be optimal for only one tuning as demonstrated here:

Strings optimised for standard tuning and strings optimised for Drop D tuning are given as options when buying all currently available Kemp Strings sets. Standard tuning Kemp Strings also work very well for D standard (DGCFAD) and P4 tuning (EADGCF) in terms trem chords as the lowest pitch four strings are in fourths. Drop D optimised Kemp Strings are also good for tunings with the same relative tuning for the bottom four strings such as Drop C and DADGAD). Please email if you would like enquire about availability of strings for specific tunings.
Yes. The feature that will be of greatest use to the majority of players is that Kemp Strings have unprecidented matching of sensitivity for conventional pitch bends (and this isn’t nearly as sensitive to individual instruments as the trem chords aspect). This means Kemp Strings will still give you the best consistency of feel and tone across the strings.
The design principle behind Kemp Strings allows the sensitivity of wound strings to be adjusted by altering core to winding diameter ratios. Wound strings are thus designed to match the sensitivity of the lowest pitch unwound string. This means parallel movement on the four lowest pitch strings (low E, A, D and unwound G) can be achieved in standard tuning. Dr Jonathan Kemp's research has demonstrated that the gauge of an unwound string makes very little difference to the sensitivity of that string to a given distance of tremolo arm movement, hence it is not physically possible to achieve parallel movement for different unwound steel strings without significant alterations in hardware. When moving the bar through three semitones on the G, the B string will go through almost two semitones and the high E string through just over one semitone. When moving the bar through two semitones on the B string goes through just over one semitone. The latter case is particularly useful in musical context as demonstrated here:

Kemp Strings have approximately equal tension on low E, A, D and unwound G strings and a very slightly lower tension on the unwound B string in order to compensate for the lower sensitivity of B strings in terms of length changes. This means Kemp Strings achieve equal sensitivity across five strings in standard tuning when measuring the force applied for achieving a conventional bend through a given pitch interval.

Strat® is a registered trademark of Fender Musical Instrument Corporation (FMIC) which is not affiliated with Kemp Strings.
Floyd Rose® is a registered trademark of Floyd Rose Marketing, Inc., which is not affiliated with Kemp Strings.