Manufacturer of exceptional strings and accessories for Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass
Super-Sensitive is in perfect harmony with your artistic needs. At the heart of our commitment to quality is a dedication to understanding the unique needs of musicians. It’s how the first Red Label string was made back in 1930, and why it’s still the leading educational student string today. Through collaboration between manufacturing, musicians and educators, we’ve continued to innovate the industry with the highest-quality violin, cello, bass, and viola strings and accessories.
The proud history of Super-Sensitive has always been collaboration between manufacturing and musicians. From its beginning in 1930, founder Ed Wackerle knew that in order for his company to be a success, he would have to gain the acceptance of musicians. Mr. Wackerle started what is known today as our Endorser Panel; this panel included Igor Patiagorsky, Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman and Frank Sindelar (owner of a luthier music store in Chicago) to name a few.
He started the company out of frustration with the quality of strings being offered. In connection with many musicians, he developed a stainless steel string known as the Red Label brand. It is still the flagship of our company today. The Red Label brand is the string of choice by many educators for beginner and intermediate players.
In 1967, John and his father Vincent Cavanaugh bought the Chicago-based company to continue its traditions. Their mission has remained the same: to manufacture bowed instrument strings of the highest quality with the finest materials. After moving the company to Sarasota, Florida in 1972, John set up a Research and Development Department. His research started with the Old Fiddler Line which became the favorite string among Country Western and Bluegrass musicians. Use of new, exotic metals and experiments with a multi-stranded core gave way to the Pinnacle line of violin, viola, cello and bass strings.
Later, a complete line of accessories was developed to include rosins and polishes. Many products came from John's research and some from the acquisition of other companies. Additional accessories such as the Bowmaster, Tone Shaper, Stoppin, and Spector Mute were the ideas of musicians who came to Super-Sensitive for manufacturing and distribution.
As synthetic materials came along, the string industry could address the age-old problems of gut strings and their susceptibility to climatic changes. For Super-Sensitive, their answer was the development of the Sensicore line. This new synthetic composite (nylon) material gave the musician the pure sound of a gut string with the durability of a multi-stranded string. The Sensicore line rounded out the company’s lines of strings that range from the beginner to the intermediate to the professional musician.
In 1997, Jim Cavanaugh, the son of John and Ellen Cavanaugh, joined the company as Vice-President of Operations. He has brought about a multitude of capital improvements and the most advanced computerized machinery. In 2008 he was appointed President and John was named Chairman. They have expanded the Artist Endorser Panel to include Educational Consultants. Supporting music in our schools has been a long tradition for the company and is a significant part of its strategic planning. Through collaboration between manufacturing, musicians, and educators, Super-Sensitive continues to be a leader in string making.