Any extended life strings worth a try?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by iim7v7im7, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. iim7v7im7

    iim7v7im7 Member

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    Hi,

    I have a Martin M-38 that I have played with D'Addario EJ16 phosphor bronze strings for 20 years. It is not that I am unhappy with what I have been playing. It is just that it is time to place an order for some strings and I thought that I would experiment with both some extended life strings and some different types or either 80/20 or 92/8 strings. I would like to stay in a light guage (0.012s)and not go up to mediums (been there).

    I mostly play kind of a crab claw styled jazz chord melody and some blues tunes, some my fingers and a flat pick. On my jazz guitar, I play Thomastik-Infled Bebops and Swings (0.013s) and on my hollowbody, and I prefer pure nickel strings (0.010s) on my semi-hollow body and solid body. So there are so many strings available today.

    I was thinking of giving some extended life strings a try. Some folks love them, others say they sound bad and you get string dandruff and that you are better off changing out a less expensive string more often.


    Popular Extended Life Strings:
    • Martin Lifespan 80/20s and Phosphor Bronze
    • D'Addario EXP 80/20s and Phosphor Bronze
    • Elixir Nanoweb 80/20s and Phosphor Bronze
    • Elixir Polyweb 80/20s
    • Others?
    Popular Regular Strings:
    • John Pierce 80/20s and Phosphor Bronze
    • Others?
    Thanks,

    Bob
     
  2. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    Bob, I used those same strings that you've been using, for decades. Switched to DR Rare's and liked them, but they changed after 5 years or so...

    I tried a number of the "coated" strings, and finally settled on the Elixir Nanoweb 80-20 set for my Mark Angus Concert Jumbo, maple w/spruce. I didn't like the brashness of the Phospher Bronze Elixirs, even tho' I had used PB in the D'Addario and DR sets. The 80-20's are a bit strange sounding for the first few hours, but settle in to a lovely tone that lasts a LONG time... I had a set on my 6 string for nearly 7 months or so, and I'm picky about how my acoustic guitar sounds, as it's my main instrument.

    August, last year, I got a new acoustic 6 string, a Goodall Grand Concert (redwood top w/ mahogany) and James strung it with Elixir PB Nanoweb strings; the guitar seems to like them a lot, so I've stayed with them; I just changed the strings, after 6 months... MOSTLY because I was ashamed to have them on there that long! Not the way they sounded...

    I have Elixir Electric strings on my ES-345 and Taylor T-5, 11's... but I still use uncoated 13's or 14's on my ES-175, flatwound or Chromes; I like that "doinky", no sustain tone from that jazz box!

    For a guy who's been playing ( and re-stringing!) guitar for over 1/2 a century, Elixirs are a GODSEND! If you like the tone, they just stay there for the longest time... and that's a real treat, in my book.

    I don't perform as much as I used to, but I still play all the time... check them out, I think you'll like 'em! The PB's will probably work great on a rosewood guitar...

    play on......................................>
     
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  3. jamesie

    jamesie Member

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    for me yes

    i use it for the cole clark FL2AC - from the elixiers i prefer the phosphor-bronze (16052 / 12 - 53) - the 80/20 sounds to much like western to me - now i had tried black diamond N600LB (12 - 53) and they are pretty good but they last not as long than the elixiers
     
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  4. AcousticDude

    AcousticDude Member

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    On a whim, I tried the EXP 16s instead of the regular EJ16's you have on now and I think they're great. Recently I got a few sets of Martin's Lifespan SP coated strings. I like them on my Martins but not my Taylor 410CE. The EXPs really work well on the larger bodied Taylor. I gave up on Elixers years ago because of excessive string breakage (G & D strings) and how weird the coating would just peal off. The EXPs have a lot of life and tone. I'm still evaluating the Lifespans...so far so good, especially for fingerstyle.
     
  5. mrpinter

    mrpinter Supporting Member

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    Bob, if you like the Thomastik-Infelds on your jazz guitar, have you considered their acoustic strings? Their Spectrum Bronze sets would be closest to others' 80/20s. In my experience they've lasted longer than the "average" sets out there, and to my ears have a great sound.

    And my ears and fingers may be different, but I've started using Thomastik George Benson nickel round wounds (12 - 53, similar to the Jazz Bebops) on my flat top acoustic. I like the nice bright sound and the feel of the evenly tensioned set string to string - makes for a very playable set of strings. I'm still on the first set after a month or two and they still sound like new.
     
  6. wilblee

    wilblee Hack sans shame Gold Supporting Member

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    The coated strings that I've tried and liked the are the D'Addario EXP line. I've tried the Elixir (poly and nano), Lifespan, Cleartone and one other whose name escapes me at the moment. The EXP's sound, to me, more like an uncoated string than the other offerings.
     
  7. tylerfreak

    tylerfreak Member

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    I discovered this stuff called "Finger Ease"...its an aerosol spray that you lightly spray on your regular strings. Has both greatly improved the longevity of my strings, kept them from getting all cruddy/oxodized and has kept me from jumpin to coated strings. It helps your guitar play nice and fast too. Give it a whirl.
     
  8. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Curt Mangan also makes coated strings. I haven't tried them.

    On a side note, anyone know of companies that make a .065 or .070 coated string? I've got a fanned 7 string acoustic coming soon-ish and I seem to be limited to D'Addario EXP phosphor strings, which may or may not be a bad thing, but options are always good.
     
  9. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I use Elixir nanowebs, I like them.
     
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  10. Forgotten

    Forgotten Member

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    I can't comment on light strings, but right now I have some titanium coated slinky strings on my acoustic, and they can take a fair amount of abuse. At first I didn't like the sound, but I got used to it. I think they would last pretty long normally, but they get beat up when playing slide. The guy at the store praised the elixir's, I'll probably give them a shot next time.
     
  11. mistafeeze

    mistafeeze Member

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    My luthier highly recommends (and I follow) D'Addario Phospher Bronze strings. The reason why is because they are the least susceptible to intonation issues as the string gets worn and stretches.

    He says that when he restrings and sets guitars up with other branded strings (some worse than others) he's had customers come back and complain that intonation was off, but clearly this was set at the time. He attributes this to other branded and types of strings not being as consistent as the D'Add P.B.

    For what it's worth...enjoy!
     
  12. royd

    royd Member

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    Wyres has a 65, 70, and an 80 available

    I like their coated phosphor bronze a lot
     
  13. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Bit pricy, but I can give them a shot if the D'Addarios don't work out. A little surprised I can't find a low B in a coated 80/20.
     
  14. royd

    royd Member

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    I would guess they'd be willing to put together a custom set for you that wasn't so out of line

    (sorry for hijacking the thread)
     
  15. s2y

    s2y Member

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    To be honest, I mostly played 80/20 because that's all I had played. I'll give the phosphor D'Addario strings a try and kinda go from there. The big thing could be fine tuning the strings. Once that's done, I'll gladly buy a case or two worth of sets.
     
  16. strumbringer

    strumbringer Supporting Member

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    Phosphor bronze Elixir Nanowebs sound really good on my guitars (and to my ears, with my fingers, etc. etc.) I tried D'Addario EXPs and Cleartones about 5 years ago and didn't like them, but once I found Elixirs worked, I haven't tried anything else.
     
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  17. Loop-Master

    Loop-Master Member

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    Elixir Nanowebs are my favorite
     
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  18. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    I like the Martin SP+ 80/20 but I'm not sure if they make them anymore.

    Are the Lifespans their replacement?
     
  19. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Love the Elixir Nanos on my Crowdster, but on my "real acoustic" I use the Polys. They take the edge off the sound in a way I just love on that guitar. (I also prefer 80/20, but their Phosphor is good.)

    I've also tried the Cleartones and loved them almost as much.

    Try just one set, locally, and see what you think.
     
  20. kram21

    kram21 Member

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    elixir 80/20 as well as elixir phos-bronze
     
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