D'addario strings: Recent quality problems?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by GearHeadFred, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. RhytmEarl

    RhytmEarl Member

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    This exact thing just happened to me last night when I was restringing my ES-335. It has a Bigsby and I put a bend at the ball end of the string to help keep the string in place while I tighten it up. Just to be clear it's NOT a kink or a corner but a smooth curve.

    The ball end fell out of the high E string when I bent it. I figured it was me but reading this post and thread has got me wondering.

    Other than that one issue I've been using D'Addario strings for years. When I'm gigging (which is quite often lately) I change them weekly so I've been buying in bulk too.

    For me DA strings are the best compromise between price and quality I've found.
     
  2. stratotastic

    stratotastic Member

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    Interesting thing here is that I recently switched to D'Addarios because Ernie Ball (which I had used for 20+ years) high E's actually started unwinding at the ball end on me. This happened from two packs in a row. Maybe both EB and D'Addario are getting wire from the same supplier, and the wire is somehow more "slippery" or something, coming unwound easier.
     
  3. Bobby D

    Bobby D Member

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    i still love my DR's. :agree


    used to be with D'Addario back in the 80s, they were my first endorsement! but once Don Dawson left, the company basically sent us a form letter and told us all to take a hike :mob

    i still use them sometimes if i am out of DR's and need to buy some strings at a local store or something. haven't noticed any of the problems others are experiencing....
     
  4. Ben Jam'n

    Ben Jam'n Member

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    I go through 10-15 sets of Daddario 10-46 a month...and they've changed completely in the last couple months. I use them mostly with Floyd's so I cut the ball ends off..but they sound totally different than they used to. Bummed.
     
  5. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    I've been using D'Addario strings exclusively since 1974. In that time I think maybe a total of 3 strings have been bad, and they gladly replaced them, fast.

    I especially liked that the boss took the time to address the concerns that some have had.
     
  6. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Guy's, I'm going to have to eat a little crow here. :beer

    I just put a new set of D'Addario EXL10's on my Tornado for a gig tomorrow. Started jamming and noticed how out of tune some chords were. Checked the open string tuning, was spot on. Played some more, still horrible intonation.

    WELL, it was the brand new A string. I took note... it was flat at every fret, noticeably at about the 5th fret, progressively getting worse up the neck and a full 23 cents flat at the 12th fret. What in the heck? This is something I've never experienced before.

    I put an old A string from an incomplete set that was probably a year old. *PERFECTLY* intonated. Now that is iron clad proof something is wrong here. Going to email D'Addario with the batch #, saved the string and the plastic bag.
     
  7. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    First I have to say that its really great to see Jim posting here & addressing this stuff...

    Second... yeah, I've had some issues with D'Addario strings myself. Haven't really noticed intonation but snapping at the ball end was consistent enough that I gave up and started buying strings from other makers to see what was out there.

    The first experience with this was back in 2005... I bought a box of .10s for a week long tracking session in a remote region & to my horror, broke 6 or 7 plain strings on the first day! Some of them lasted minutes... others an hour at the most.

    It seemed sorta isolated but last year I had more problems... even posted a thread about it on the Seymour Duncan forum & nobody believed me. So the next time it happened I took this picture! IIRC this string broke on a strat while stretching, before I even played it!

    I know its not a guitar issue, because it happened across a bunch of different instruments. Most all of these strings again, lasted mere minutes and often snapped while stretching! I pull up lightly at the 10th fret a couple times. Sometimes they'd break on the first tug. Always plain strings too. Never wound.

    But packs of DR... Dean Markleys... EB's... no issues. So IMO its not my guitars, its the stings which always pop in the same place. Right at the ball wrap, or the ball falls out.

    Honestly, it was the last straw for me with D'Ads. I'm not a big fan of the all-in-one packaging but the darker ball ends annoyed me since I'm often changing strings in low light, and with the breakage it was enough to make me investigate other brands.

    FWIW - I bought most of the "bad" boxes at Guitar Center... I'd hope they aren't selling counterfeit strings!!!


    [​IMG]
     
  8. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Yeah, that's why I said I had to "eat crow". Cause I didn't believe some of the posters here stating they had specific intonation problems with their D'Addario strings. I just didn't see how it was physically possible... now I know it is. I'm serious; I was completely baffled. So much so, I ran out to tell my wife (who was wrapping presents) what I was experiencing.

    I'm not simply going to blame D'Addario and run from their product. But I'm going to pay more attention. And I'm going to let them know. They seem really nice and concerned about keeping customers happy. They truly could have gotten some bad materials. Letting them know the batch # could help them fix the problem. As much as I change strings, this is the worse problem I've experienced.
     
  9. killermeteor

    killermeteor Member

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    Man, it is awesome to see that I am not alone in this! I was begining to think that I was the only one who cared about this kind of stuff. For the last couple of years, I have taken to numerous lengthy late night, after gig rants about my hatred of D'Addario strings. Of the many bands I'm in, nearly all of the other guitarist use D'Addario's (in one of those bands it was the practice to buy community bulk strings & when it was the other guy's turn, he bought D'Addario's). I rant, I rave and they all think I'm crazy. Which of course, may be true, but I stand by my experiences with these strings.
    My guitar repair guy always strings up my guitars with D'Addario's after repairs and set-ups (I think he does this on purpose, just to screw with me), and then with in minuets, I snap 'em like petrified toothpicks . Maybe it's just my body chemistry- maybe I secrete some kinda D'Addario destroying oils from my finger tips.
    And the colour coded balls- oh man do I hate those! I found that the colours either fade or chip or something. It's stressful enough changing strings during an all too brief set break in a dimly lit club without having to ask 50 different people, "what colour does this look like to you?"
    I need an a flashlight, an abacus, and a dwarf just to slap an B string on. Remember the good 'ol days when each string had its own little paper house with nice big numbers printed on 'em?
     
  10. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Bare in mind though, I'm not saying a "hate" their strings. But killermeteor, what strings do work for you. How well do they intonate?
     
  11. killermeteor

    killermeteor Member

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    Hate? Well I suppose that I'm given to hyperbole.
    I use different strings for different guitars and I tend to leave 'em on until I start breaking them or they start to dematerialize (again with the hyperbole). For me it seems that GHS Boomers last forever no matter what guitar I put them on, but sound better on some guitars than others.
    I really like good 'ol Ernie Ball Slinkys on my Tele- they just feel perfect on that guitar. Martin SP on my acoustics- I can eat a bucket of chicken and and go have at it without washing my hands with no worries at all.
    I've tried a host of fancy, higher priced strings- some of which I liked, some of which I didn't, none of which I like enough to pay extra for.
    I don't much cotton to the coated strings.
    As far as intonation issues, it's just gonna happen over time, but I haven't noticed any dramatic differences between strings- including D'Addario's (but in their case, it may just be because I snap 'em so quickly).
     
  12. tattoedsailor

    tattoedsailor Member

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    I've had the exact same problem. Lately I've been using Markley '73.
     
  13. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I'm also a D'Addario user since the 70's - I use 10's on pretty much everything except archtops and slides and I can count on one hand the number of times I've had a string break on me, and I go months of daily playing without changing them.

    One thing I have noticed recently is an inconsistency in feel, and when I was telling a guitar tech friend about this he took a micrometer to several 10 sets and we found out several of them were actually mislabeled 11 sets.
     
  14. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I regularly incorporate a flashlight, an abacus and a dwarf into my live shows and that way if you need them for something behind the scenes - viola! - there they are!
     
  15. MERCYFULFATE

    MERCYFULFATE Member

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    another X Daddario user here for 20 + years. i now use DR strings.
     
  16. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    D'Addario user here. The only strings Ive used on my electrics for the last 20 years or something like that.

    I find all of the broken string comments very funny. Ive played with guitarist who broke strings. Mostly the high E or maybe the B string.

    You know how many strings Ive broken in the last 20 years? Well, Im sure I broke a few but the number is so small that I cannot even remember when I broke a string last.

    Im not saying that strings dont break but Im also sure that there are several things that can cause a string to break and it doesnt involve the string quality.
     
  17. lanny

    lanny Member

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    I've been using D'Addario 11/49's for nearly 25 years without problems..until recently. String breakage where/when it never appeared before. Ugh.
     
  18. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Member

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    My guess is that the counterfeit issue Jim referred to is a real one, and is likely responsible for at least some of the breakages people here are refering to.

    I have at least 4 "shop packs" (25 sets ea.) in my shop at any given moment, and have been lucky thus far.
     
  19. 85db

    85db Member

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    My 25/pcs "shop packs" that came from MF and Gutiar Center sound terrible. They're not the D'Addario's I knew. I don't know if they have the string breakage issue because I can't make myself play them long enough. I put on an old set from 5 years back and it sounds the way it should.
     
  20. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Been using D"Addario's since the early 70's with great effect and problems almost non existent.

    The only string I have broken in maybe the last 15 years has been on a set of Martin acoustic strings.


    Recently in the last few months I have even started using them on my Les Pauls whereas before it was on one of my 335's and Fenders.
    I really like the XL110's on the LP's even better than the Gibson Vintage Reissues (also now made by D'Addario).
    I still use the Vintage Reissues but only on one Strat and the Historic 335- works best for those two.

    I have not tried the brass plated cores yet as I still have a fainly good supply of the tin plated cores.
    ($145. a set to beat the competition!) Not really, I'm keeping them.
     

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