For a musician who loves their banjo and loves practicing and playing, enjoys the nuances of technique and the magic of the emotional communication in playing music in general, it’s kind of a romantic disappointment to think of banjo strings as “music wire.” On the positive side, music wire, by definition does have alloy parameters that define the general properties of strings. Music wire is tough, hard, and resilient with great tensile strength. Each manufacturer of strings chooses music wire alloys to create a certain tone, or to reduce the cost of string manufacturing or to increase life, volume, and other sound or performance related goals.
Nickel silver alloy is the most common metal used for fret wire for banjos, guitars and mandolins. It is a good material because it conforms to fingerboards well and resists skin acids, oils, and tarnish well. For most players, it is durable and lasts a long time.