What strings do you use?

  • Since we have such a nice discussion about picks going at the moment I thought I would add a thread about strings as I have some things to share.
    For the first 8 years or so of my playing I only used Earnie Ball strings. Mostly the 10-52 because I do like to go drop D from time to time and I like the added tuning stability for rhythm playing because I'm quite the hard hitter.
    I changed to Elixier for 4 years after that because... I don't know. I had them on my new acoustic guitar out of the factory... And they sounded so much better than the Martin I put on the Taylor afterwards.
    So I changed to Elixier Nanoweb for the electric as well.
    Now that we recently play 1-2 shows every weekend I thought I'd try the Earnie Ball strings on electric again just to save some bucks.
    Sadly they didn't work for me that well. They felt not as polish or even raw in my hands compared to the Elixier strings.
    And after 2 gigs or around 8 hours of playing all the treble was just gone. I even looked into my EQ and everything but it had to be the strings.
    On the third gig (within 8 days of changing the strings) I broke 2 strings.
    Which usually never happens for me that fast.
    Maybe I have to change the Earnies more often. But I for myself am biting the bullet and paying the extra for the Elixier.

  • Have you tried the D'Addario NYXLs, MPB? They're pricey too and I wouldn't have mentioned them had you not shown that you're prepared to "bite the bullet".


    They apparently retain brightness very-well and last ages.


    Personally I used D'Addario XL110 and the equivalent for bass guitar as well... since the '80s, but a couple o' years ago switched to Slinky just to see what I was missing out on. Not that much, apparently. I was attracted by the price, but I found they slipped out from under my fingers more easily than the D'Addarios. May well switch back, even 'though they're twice the price (but still "cheap" compared to the NYs and other "prestige models").

  • I am using Newtone a small company making handwound strings in the UK ...I did use D’addario XL but am getting 3-4 gigs from a set as opposed to the 1-2 that I did get ....
    I’m using a 12-54 set tuned to Eb
    On Bass I use Elixir and for live acoustic I also use Elixir (but Newtone when recording as they sound nicer to me ..)
    I also use Newtone for my Baritone and Bass Vi
    Oh and erm ...aguilar ???? Fir my Uke :)

  • Elixir plain strings cause a lot more fretwear than regular tin plated strings - cause of the harder "anti-rust" treatment, I guess. That's why I avoid them.


    Fender nickel-plated sound the same as D'Addario XL (same factory?), but are cheaper. Also cheap and good (if you have many guitars) are Darco strings - I learnt about them from a statement of Gregor Hilden. All these are in the same ballpark soundwise.

  • Have you tried the D'Addario NYs, MPB? They're pricey too and I wouldn't have mentioned them had you not shown that you're prepared to "bite the bullet".


    They apparently retain brightness very-well and last ages.

    Guess I'll try those after I've gone through some of my strings that I ordered on Monday.
    200€ worth of strings. And it's not even that many packs...
    Good thing I got at least some decent paying gigs this year.


    Anyone tried both Elixier and the NYXL?



    Elixir plain strings cause a lot more fretwear than regular tin plated strings - cause of the harder "anti-rust" treatment, I guess. That's why I avoid them.

    I now have stainless steel frets on both of my electric guitars (having sold my Gibson this year as it just wasn't for me... Man I need a third electric again) I hope that this isn't as much of an issue for me.
    But yeah I had to get a refret on both of them so maybe the Elixier really do cause more fretwear.

  • I've tried Elixir for the first time and been playing for ages. A guy sold three packs of them becuase he ordered wrong string gauge and got them for the price of one. Well they're okey but I will buy Daddario as usual after the Elixirs are dead. So maybe about 30 years from now I will give NYXL a trie. :D

  • https://store.kaliummusic.com


    And I'm never going back. These guys are awesome. They first got some traction for making strings for baritone-scale or low tuned guitars, maintaining a string tension similar to a normally set up guitar in stock tuning. As opposed to say, D'Addario (who I used to like), who seem to look at their low tuned/long scale sets as a way to get rid of random unwanted inventory, cause they sure weren't selected for tension at a given pitch.


    Ok, enough rant. Kalium string sets are very customizable.they feel and sound great, and last for a long time.

    Disclaimer: When I post demo clips for profiles, there will be some minimal post-processing, unless stated otherwise. I normally double-track hard L/R, and add to the main buss a small amount of EQ and a limiter/comp set pretty light as well. Sometimes I get test profiles in advance of release, though 90% of my clips will be from packs I have purchased.

  • just arrived at a point to switch to Elixir... when I started playing (some 25 years ago) I used Ernie Ball... pretty ok so far, but my (cold) sweat especially during first gigs must have been very aggressive, so the surface of the plain strings rapidly moved from even and slippery to harsh and raspy, my fingers seemed to be glued to the strings and my very limited playing was dramatically hampered furthermore...
    I then tried Maxima Gold Strings for a while, but the sound wasn't what I was looking for, too tough and metallic.
    Next station were Thomastik Power Brights: from a sound point of view a precisionlanding to my ears, also they seemed to have pretty good durability - untill to the day, when we played on a black schist terrace and more than 30 degrees... again the very new plain strings turned out to be black, harsh and raspy.
    since a few days I use the Elixir strings and I must say, I love the sound and expecially the slippery feeling of both plain and wound strings, lets see how long they will last ;)
    that's my "string-story" so far ^^ ...

  • just arrived at a point to switch to Elixir... when I started playing (some 25 years ago) I used Ernie Ball... pretty ok so far, but my (cold) sweat especially during first gigs must have been very aggressive, so the surface of the plain strings rapidly moved from even and slippery to harsh and raspy, my fingers seemed to be glued to the strings and my very limited playing was dramatically hampered furthermore...
    I then tried Maxima Gold Strings for a while, but the sound wasn't what I was looking for, too tough and metallic.
    Next station were Thomastik Power Brights: from a sound point of view a precisionlanding to my ears, also they seemed to have pretty good durability - untill to the day, when we played on a black schist terrace and more than 30 degrees... again the very new plain strings turned out to be black, harsh and raspy.
    since a few days I use the Elixir strings and I must say, I love the sound and expecially the slippery feeling of both plain and wound strings, lets see how long they will last ;)
    that's my "string-story" so far ^^ ...

    my father is a bass player and so he does not use his guitars very often. On one guitar Elixir strings are used since years!! I think 3 years now (I put them on for him). They are still usable!


    BUT: As said, they DO cause a lot more fretwear. It was not that bad on Gibson guitars, but horrible on Fender frets. I am not afraid of fretwear, cause I know this is part of the game (and I do fretjobs and refrets myself). But plain strings of Elixir is too much pain for me ;)


    Of course a lot of players use those strings and love them (but they do not care or notice the increased fretwear).

  • ...BUT: As said, they DO cause a lot more fretwear. It was not that bad on Gibson guitars, but horrible on Fender frets. I am not afraid of fretwear, cause I know this is part of the game (and I do fretjobs and refrets myself). But plain strings of Elixir is too much pain for me ;)


    Of course a lot of players use those strings and love them (but they do not care or notice the increased fretwear).

    thanks for your warning ;) I already noticed your first statement on this item...
    when I take my guitar, then there is one target in my mind: having FUN :D . If the Elixir strings help me to get there I'm ready to pay the price ;)
    I'm looking foreward to which experience I will make on this ;)

  • Glad to see love for the Elixer Optiwebs.


    Every coated string before them was a compromise. I used nanowebs but they frayed over time and were a little dull compared to normal strings. I am 100% satisfied with the feel, sound and durability of the optiwebs.