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What brand of strings do you use? And why?

HesNot

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,176
I've always liked Keef's answer to that question. "The "shiny ones."
I have been pretty loyal to Ernie Ball. Since I have come to favor a wound 3rd on my LP and 335, I am using D'Addario because they are the only manufacturer or a wound 3rd set that works for me.
Strat & Tele still get Ernie Balls.
For years since I got my Epi Sheraton in 1982 I used a wound third on it ... I was 14 so I had no idea what I was doing but I liked the feel and thought it made a difference - then just stuck with them (GHS Boomers almost exclusively) ... but admit over the past 10 years I've abandoned that and gone back to standard 10's... it is one reason the other guitar player in my band makes fun of me for not bending notes - if he'd learned to play on a 335 style guitar with what I think must have been 11's or more likely 12's he wouldn't bend either! ;)

Anyway - I've used Ernie Ball and D'addarios mostly on teles and everything else over the years. I don't notice a huge difference between the standard sets - I did try Cobalts and thought I could hear a difference in tone but then got worried a little about fret wear ...

These days I do favor NYXL D'addarios as they seem to last longer and I have somewhat corrosive sweat. But regular XLs or Slinkys are fine I just have to change them more it seems .... at some point I'll give the new D'addario coated strings a try.
 

GregCT

Member
Messages
25
Regular D'Addario XL 10-46. They last pretty long. I like the NYXL a little better but they're not worth the premium. You can't go wrong with Ernie Ball, I just find they loose their "newness" quicker though.
 

ElMasMalo

Member
Messages
21
Fender all nickel Original Bullets on my Strats (10-46 on my American Pro and 9-42 on my American Standard)

The "bullet" ends work nicely inside the trem blocks and don't fight you when it's time for a string change.

On my SG "Special" HP and O'Hagan Nighthawk 22, Ernie Ball Slinky Nickel wound (10-46 and 9-42, respectively)
 

Rayzaa

Member
Messages
1,553
D'arrdario or Ernie Ball. It's just what I grab so I been using both.

No preference and wouldn't mind trying others but those two are cheap enough.
 

Chuck Stoat

Member
Messages
97
D'Addario -XL110 on Les Paul and XL110W on Stratocaster and Telecaster (because I'm quirky).

Because at a certain point I realised no matter what strings I was using the "best" ones were relatively fresh. So whatever made that easiest and most importantly cheapest was the way to go. You can get D'addario everywhere, often as cheap as $3.95 a set for the XL110s and maybe $5.95 for the set with the wound 3rd string.

This could be achieved with Ernie Ball's, GHS, etc. I think I went with D'Addario initially because it seemed a little easier to find wound 3rd sets (also maybe they are just a little more likely to be on promo).
 

Loudguitar

Member
Messages
406
Erinie Ball 9-42 pinks. Forever. I have tried lots of others, but always come back and now I'll never switch again. Nothing sounds better than a fresh set of pinks.
 

gitdude

Member
Messages
59
Always looking for the edge. Cobalt Ernie Balls. Elixir Nanoweb. Curt Mangan 10.5-48's. Have to say after years of NOT using EB's, the Cobalt's are a great string, rivaling the Elixirs.
 

jimgear

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
79
For years it was a price point for me. Playing out requires, for my ears, frequent string changes. I like them all really. My duo partner uses Martin Lifespan, D'addario and Vernier Ball on her Martin with a Fishman Aura. I'm going with Elixr nanoweb, as recommened by Tom Anderson, on my Tom Anderson Crowdster, I us, as recommend by National, John Pears 2700, on my Reso-Lectric. I still have a ton of single strins as I'm always looking for that right feel and sound on the top and bottom. Drop D etc... I see Curt Mangan s mentioned here. I'm gonna give those a try. I also have a Matins Acoustic and and a vintage Dobro brand resonator. The Dobro is a Frankenstein setup for strings. I'm getting better at "the listener doesn't give a damn about your strings. Just play" :)
 

TeleBlues

Member
Messages
154
I’ve been using Ernie Balls for many years, but think it’s time to switch things up. I am curious to know others preferences and the reasoning behind your choices!
Eons ago I used Ernie Ball strings, but switched to D’Addario’s on both acoustic and electric guitars some 40 years ago or longer. Consistent quality.
 

musiclab

Member
Messages
110
D'Addarrio XL110, since 1976. They're a local company for me which I like supporting. And their strings sound great.
 

brfarley

Member
Messages
3
Curt Mangan strings are fantastic. I also love that they are made <1 hour from me. I like supporting the home town team, might make me biased.
 

crazyboutguitars

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
644
D'Addario, because they care about balanced tension

pronounced duh-dairy-oh
Thanks. I’ve heard it pronounced Dee-uh-dairy-o, but I’m too lazy and life is too short to say it that way.
I use duh-dairy-o (D’Addario) standard 9s cause I buy them in bulk for cheap, they sound good consistently, and they’re easy to bend.
 

javierj

Member
Messages
660
I have tried several strings so far and the ones I like the most for my electrics are D'Addario NYXL. They have the perfect amount of brightness and they feel good in tension. They have great clarity without being too bright. I think they have great intonation and tuning stability.
 

Pinecliff

Member
Messages
16
I’ve been using Ernie Balls for many years, but think it’s time to switch things up. I am curious to know others preferences and the reasoning behind your choices!
Elixirs. I used GHS and D’Addario for many years till I discovered Elixirs. Had a student who would destroy a set of strings in a single week between lessons with the body chemistry of his hands, never seen anything like it! I figured we’d try them and they actually withstood whatever he had going on there… so I started using them on all of my guitars and I never went back. I can have an instrument I haven’t played for six months, open the case pick it up and play it like I had put it in there yesterday. With the price of strings the way they are and having too many guitars it just made sense to me and I have no issue with the feel or the sound at all, they feel and sound great to me. I use either 10’s, 11’s or 12’s depending on the instrument. While they seem expensive, long term they’re actually cheaper for me…since I used to change strings at least every 2-3 weeks. Now it’s up to 2 months on my #1, longer on everything else. I’ll do DR or D’Addario coated strings if I can’t get Elixirs.
 

Rorer714

Member
Messages
44
I’ve been using Ernie Balls for many years, but think it’s time to switch things up. I am curious to know others preferences and the reasoning behind your choices!
for everyday use I've been buying Musicians Friend brand. they're fairly cheap ($2.59 now; used to be $1.99) and made by a major string manufacturer (so they said). though I'm loath to buy anything related to GC (MF is an offshoot), they're hard to pass up at that price. they have acoustic and bass sets as well.
 
Last edited:
Messages
69
Curt Mangan Stainless Steel. He allows you to order custom gauge sets, and I have a uniform tension set that I’ve custom tailored for myself.
No other string maker will allow you to do that: create your own “signature set” with exactly the gauges you want made out of exactly the material you want. The. Best.
 




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