Gear Review: The String Stretcha

As guitarists we've all done it. It's a right of passage. Changing the strings on your guitar. After fighting with unruly wires for a few minutes, you are often left with a guitar that seems not to stay in tune for the first week of use or so. You stretched your guitar strings when you put them on, so why the tuning instability? The answer: you didn't use the String Stretcha. Read on and find out how this tool is going to revolutionize your guitar string changes. You might even miss how frustrating they used to be.

I was skeptical about the String Stretcha when I first read about it online. That being said, I'm also a huge gear nerd and I was intrigued. What is the promise of the String Stretcha? In their own words, here is what the California company has to say about it on their website:

"When you stretch your strings using the conventional method of pulling on random areas of the string with your fingers, it causes an uneven stretch. Even using the "thumb and fingers" method is problematic because it hurts and takes at least 45 minutes. STRETCHA saves timea nd agony; taking only 5 minutes, pain-free, sliding up and down the strings evenly giving each string a proper stretch and allowing your guitar to be perfectly tuned instantly. This results in a better sounding guitar, as the strings will ring precisely and consistently with each strumm."
Sounds appealing doesn't it? A 5 minute stretch of the strings done with this contraption and then you've got tuning stability. I decided that I was willing to try it. After all, the endorsing artists and techs listed on their site are quite impressive, and while I don't buy into most endorsement testimonials, this is a device that only true guitar lovers would invest their time and energy into. I was so intrigued that I actually bought the product with the explicit intention of reviewing it. 
I changed two sets of guitar strings and used the String Stretcha for each. The instructions are very easy to follow, and the design of the actual tool is very intuitive so it's difficult to mess up. For those of you that have your doubts about the simplicity of the device and the process, you can check out the company's video below, or directly on YouTube. The process was exactly as they described it and I felt giddy as I stretched my strings, dreaming of a perfectly tuned guitar that would maintain that tuning song after song as I played Madison Square Garden. (Hey, it's my dream after all!)
The result? After the prescribed stretch, I tuned my guitar and all I have to say is - WOW! It works! It really, really works! I have to say that this is one of the most revolutionary yet simple devices I have ever used, and not just around guitars. I can't see myself ever doing a string change without one again. To say that I highly recommend this product is an understatement. It is well worth the $14.50 price tag, and it comes with a free sticker. EVERYONE loves stickers right? They ship to Canada and the US without any issues, and I got mine (I'm in Canada) about a week after I ordered it, which means they ship pretty much the same day they receive your order.
We often spend a ton of money on gear in the hopes of sounding better as musicians, and we sometimes neglect what seems to be the simplest part of our tone. A properly stretched guitar string will indeed stay in tune a lot better, and it will also make your guitar more reliable and predictable when you approach some crazy bends or finger-tapping. I can't say enough about the individuals and company that took the time to develop something so useful to guitar players and their techs. I'm sure that this tool is on the workbench of many of the world's most renowned guitar techs, and if it's not, it certainly should be. A+ for the String Stretcha.