Ever wondered what that scrunchie or sock tied around the headstock of that guitar was doing?  Maybe it was a tie-dyed piece of fabric or foam?  Chances are, whatever the item, the musician in question is trying to remove unwanted overtones and sympathetic resonance (Sympathetic Vibrations).  What is a sympathetic vibration?  Well, without boring you too much, A sympathetic vibration is a vibration of the same frequency that is symmetric in time.  These can prove quite annoying to a musician focused on precision playing and tone.  In the past, tying something around the strings was the best possible way to mute these overtones, however, thankfully, for those of us that choose not to look like a hippie or someone carrying their high school girlfriend’s hair products with them everywhere, there are now, solutions.

Two of the top String muters on the market today are manufactured by Gruv Gear and Hufschmid Guitars.  Gruv Gear is a California-based company specializing in music accessories of all types, from moving carts, to gigbags, to backpacks and then some.  Hufschmid Guitars is a one-man show from the Alps in Switzerland, hand-making some of the most highly-regarded small batch boutique guitars on the planet, as well as a plethora of custom plectrums.  Today, we will take compare these two products.


The Gruv Gear FretWraps come in packages of three, and are available in four size, from Small (4-string bass/6 string guitar) up until Extra-Large (8-12 string Basses/Extended Range Guitars, etc).  Each can be had in an assortment of colors and prints, and will run you about $29.99 for the three-pack.  The Material is a sort of neoprene-like fabric that adjusts through a Plastic, rectangular piece to let you fine-tune the pressure and dampening of the strings.  One thing we noticed, while testing the Fretwraps, was that, over time, the plastic part could put tension on the weak stitching holding it to the muter itself, and would appear as if it might break eventually.  Problem?  Who knows, but you do have three of them if you are worried.  Despite this, the GruvGear FretWrap works exceptionally well, and shows why it is the industry standard.

At first glance, the Hufschmid “Hufmuter” seems absurdly large next to it’s competition.  It’s nearly twice as wide, nearly a full inch longer than the FretWrap (Size Small), has a Swiss Emblem Button (May or may not be on all of them?) and the rather large Huf logo on the front.  Before we go into depth here, let’s say that if you have never heard of Hufschmid Guitars or Plectrums, stop what you are doing, head on over to Google and have a look.  Patrick Hufschmid is an artisan running a single-man shop out of a converted Wine Cellar high in the Swiss Alps.  Having played/owned guitars and plectrums built by Hufschmid in the past, it’s important to add that Patrick is quite possibly the most OCD small luthier in the world.  Everything bears his logo, no detail is too small, and the finished product always shows it.  The Hufmuter will run you 40 Euros each, but before you start shaking your head, let’s look a little deeper.  The muter is made out of “extremely durable 100% polyester fabric made with 45% recycled content” and these things are TOUGH.  Double-Stitched and with a wide velcro strip to allow adjustment, the Huf doesn’t have a weak point on it.


In conclusion, both of these products do their job, so it will come down to personal preference, however this is our final consensus:



– Excellent job of muting sympathetic vibrations.
-Sturdy construction with no discernible weak points, this one will last.


– Price.

Gruv Gear FretWrap –


-Three to a pack

-Excellent job of muting sympathetic vibrations

-Cheaper construction with one weak point around adjustment piece.

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