Which strings are you using?

  • Used Dean Markley Lites .009-.042 for 30+ years. Since that is all I ever use I would not know any other brands to compare to.

    Recently, I tried Ernie Ball Slinkys and they were trash. Sound was meh and they were missing plating everywhere. YMMV.

  • I feel that behind the advertising facade, all brands of nickel-plated strings are more or less the same (except the coated ones, which I'm not a fan of) so I kind of support Ernie ball since the saga with Microsoft a while back. I use GHS on occasion as well. Although my 335 could benefit from a step up, I kind settled on .010-46 because I do many styles and don't like to have gauges size all over the place.

  • Going with recommendation, recently I restrung my strat with Elixir NanoWeb Super Light 9-42.

    They were supposed to be worth the price and sound even better when not plugged compared to "regular" strings.

    Well, doing the almighty E chord after restringing, they just sound as... electric strings.

    However already broke B and high E strings, while doing bends.

    So I bought spare Ernie Ball B and high E strings "just in case".

    All in all, still sound is in your fingers :) but also how you interpret it in your head :)

  • I’ve recently (for the last 18 months or so) been using bulk sets from juststrings.com. I’ve used EB’s, DR and GHS in the past.

    All-in cost (tax, shipping …everything accounted for) per set:


    I cannot tell a difference between these and the brand names. I A/B’d these against a set of Slinky’s and couldn’t hear (or feel) a difference. Except my wallet was heavier.

    12 strings per gauge, and you can pick whatever combination of sizes you want.

    I’m a fan.

    “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • It's not the arrow that makes the difference, it's the hunter that shoots it.

  • Used D'Addario Nickel Wound Regular Light Gauge 10/46 from 1990-2021, switched to D'Addario Nickel Wound Super Light Plus 9.5/44 last year. Used 9/42 GHS up to 1990 and needed to move back down but couldn't acclimate to the smaller gauge again, the 9.5/44 took about a month to get used to but it was a good transition from 10/46 for me at least.

  • Pure nickels are actually my favorite on electric guitar, but the slight improvement is not worth the money IMO. Started using D'Addario Nickel Wound Regular Light Gauge 10/46 in the 70s. Currently using them. Over time I started 'optimizing' gauges for guitars. 10s on solidbody Gibson scale. 9.5s on Strat, and 9s on Teles. Teles sound more like a Tele with lighter gauge strings IMO. Gibson 400 has flatwound 12s. Acoustics Martin SP Flexible Core 12s. Light gauge flats and rounds on different basses.

  • I’m one of those people who wear through strings in a couple of weeks. If I’m in a period where I only play my LP for an hour a day, they stay decent for two weeks tops in the summer, and maybe another week in the winter.

    I’ve always been using Slinky 9-42s and I do enjoy the sound of those. It’s what I’m used to. When I restringed the strat last Sunday I put on Elixirs instead. I’m sure they will hold up for longer but E-A-D strings sound dead from day one which sort of defeats the purpose.

    I haven’t played the strat for a while and I started thinking that maybe it needs new pickups. I also tried adding treble and prescence and reducing bass which usually means it’s time for new strings.

    I have high hopes for the cobalt strings I’ve purchased. They’re a lot pricier so hopefully they perform.

  • I swapped strings on my cheap acoustic to some low end phosphor bronze Dunlops and the thing sprang to life. Sounds 10x better than it ever has.

    I also noticed my favorite picks are Dunlop as well. So I am going Dunlop DEN0942 for while. Basic nickel plated steel. Working great so far.

  • I use Elixir strings too since many years. I don't know if it brings a better sound (they have many products (polyweb , nanoweb, optiweb following the sound you want to obtain)) but those strings really last longer than others !!! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

  • I use Elixir strings too since many years. I don't know if it brings a better sound (they have many products (polyweb , nanoweb, optiweb following the sound you want to obtain)) but those strings really last longer than others !!! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    actually I broke highe E string 2 days after restinging my strat with elixirs, I changed it to spare ernie ball string and it now sounds... 100% the same

  • I always preferred Cleartone EMP strings over Elixir, they feel and sound just like regular strings but really do last way longer,

    especially if you clean the strings before putting the guitar away (ghs Fast Fret for me).

    I've tried a set of the Cleartone EMP 9s and it seems they stay brighter, longer. I'd say that I was a convert if they weren't so expensive.

  • I keep coming back to DR Veritas (9's or 10's, depending on the guitar. They just sound and feel perfect for me. I like the feel of Elixirs, but I've stopped using them due to the lack of sizzle vs uncoated.

  • I use 11-49s on the guitars and 1 lap steel. The other lap is tuned to a drop C, so it has a mix of gauges. Chrome S flatwounds 12s sound great on the tricone as well. After recently trying 10s, I couldn't get used to them so it's back to 11s.

    After trying many strings over the years, what matters the most, my opinion only, is the gauge not the manufacturer so much. I do shy away from any coated strings Exilirs, etc. Your mileage may vary.

  • Its funny how used to your strings you get.....I switched my strings on my Gretsch from my standard Ernie Ball skinny top heavy bottoms to Optima Golds, which only come in a lighter gauge...and I'm finding it a bit harder to play as they are a bit too light.....