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silasklug

Guitar Strings

what kind guitar strings people use  

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I started using a company called newtone a few years ago. Mainly because they are local and priced well, but i was also hearing great things about the tone and string life so it was worth a punt.

http://www.newtonestrings.com/mechanics.htm

they offer as standard:

Hex cores - a bright punch sound which is expected from electric guitar strings

Round cores - extra warmth with a little less harshness, particularly usefull on naturally bright guitars. The Round coes also help reduce the tension of the wound strings.

Archtop - A Double wrap of Nickel over a Round core, warm and melow without the string squeal of single wrap strings.

Stainless steel - extra brightness you would expect from Stainless Steel.

Drop D - wound on Hexagonal cores, but featuring a thicker core on the 6th string to allow tuning down to D without loosing the definition of the note due to lack of tension.

plus many more selections for bass, acoustic and other instruments plus they will do custom sets made to order using any of the techniques above. I really like tehir bass strings made with hex core and a double wrap = the outer wrap is so fine they feel comfy like flatwounds but dont sound like mud

I think most string makers offer a choice of gauge and maybe material - but not much else

So what can affect the tone and feel of a string (not including guitar factors like magnetic pull and scale length etc..:

* core material

* core size

* core shape

* Outer wrap material

* outer wrap size

* outer wrap shape

* core to wrap ratio

* lasty but probably most importantly - age!

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Just in the interest of healthy debate, I think this is a lot like the debate over how wood affects tone. I wouldn't say that strings determine tone, but I would say they influence tone in the same way body wood does - that is to say, they provide a subtle influence that only matters to keen ears. My point is that some people will change out pickups over and over trying to get the right tone to pair with wood without ever giving thought to the strings they're using. And others (we see these all the time) ask crazy questions about sourcing "dolphin wood" or something because they're looking for an exact tone, or switch out a maple neck for a wenge neck because they want a warmer tone, when maybe they ought to just try some round core strings.

As for strings being simply warmer or brighter, I think there's some truth to that, but many people make the same argument about wood.

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but many people make the same argument about wood.

But you can't change wood with $5 and 15 minutes,can you?That is why "people spend so much time discussing wood and so little discussing strings"(paraphrase) :D

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I am sure you are right...I just have lost a little of my tone snobbery lately with the quality of the GFS stuff I have bought lately...and it isn't because everything sounds the same,it's because I made myself keep an open mind and instead of trying to reach an ultra specific tone I use the tone I get to shape what I play.

I mean,the V I just built has lower output pickups than I have ever used on a build before...and the tradeoff is that the lead tone is super sweet and silky...but the crunch is less...so you know,there is just more gray area in "tone" than what can really be discussed successfully.

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Yeah, I guess I'm thinking more about inexperienced builders on this one. I've developed preferences in strings, but I'm not quite the victim of marketing I once was.

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Maybe because strings are all made out of the same material and with only slight manufacturing differences.

Unless you use the DR Pure Blues strings I mentioned. They're wrapped in pure nickel. They really feel and sound better than about any strings I've used.

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Maybe because strings are all made out of the same material and with only slight manufacturing differences.

Unless you use the DR Pure Blues strings I mentioned. They're wrapped in pure nickel. They really feel and sound better than about any strings I've used.

Or the blue steels I use that are dipped in liquid nitrogen and last forever(almost) I always seem to find that strings have a 'sweet spot' in their life where they sound great, usually after they break in just a bit. Blue steels seem to stay at the 'sweet spot' for a long time.

I hear your though! most strings seem pretty similar however there are a few that stand out as different. I'll have to try those DR's!

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EB regular or power slinky

and Redhead Rocker 10s

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EB regular or power slinky

and Redhead Rocker 10s

redhead = Everly Electric Rockers 10-46 Hard to Find

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Boomers for my electrics and Martins on my acoustic. Why? Because for the last 20 something odd years, I've habitually walked into the shop and said Boomer 9s, Martin heavies, and 6 dunlop medium nylon picks. Sorta like my pre work ritual where I walk into the corner shop and say, cup of joe, pack of camels, and a lotto ticket.

Creature of habit.

If they're out of boomers, I'll pick up some EBs. If they are out of Martins, I wait until next time. That's all that's ever been on my only acoustic that I've had for 27 years. It's broken in with them.

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Used to use Boomers on my bass (for about 15 years). I now use D'Addario's. Bought them when I couldn't get Boomers and really liked the tones. I use Martin's on my acoustics and have switched to D'Addarios for my 6 stringers as well.

I would love to say 5 bucks and 15 minutes to get a new set of strings (the price might work for my 6 stringers) but bass strings cost me about 20-25 bucks for round wounds and about 40 bucks a set for flatwounds for my fretless. A new shop just opened 5 minutes away but prior to that I was driving a minimum of 35 minutes to the nearest shop.

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I only really use D'Addario 10's. I haven't really experimented with any other strings, it's just a habit I suppose. I like the D'addarios and as the old saying goes if it's not broke don't fix it! They last forever as well. I had Ernie Ball's at one stage years ago but found they'd break too easy.

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I use D'Addario and have for years since I thought I'd splash the cash on a whim to see if they were better than Ernie Balls... I did not regret it. Never had one snap unless I've done alot of tuning up and down and they were old. Tried Dean Markley too, probably second to D'Addario for me personally.

I've used almost everything from 9's to custom gauges (12, 16, 22w, 34, 44, 70.) and never been disappointed like I was when I got a new set of the Ernie Balls and immediately during tuning had the high E snap... That happened way too often!

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Same here, D'Addarios. I use EXP120 9s on my guitars, EXP17 13 sets on my big Washburn acoustic, EXP26 11 sets on the little one. Basses are ProSteels, usually EPS170-5SL. I've tried a few others but had too many disappointments, such as dead strings out of the pack. Only ever had one dead B from a D'Addario set, and they shipped me out a new set when I queried. Stellar.

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Necrothread :blink:

D'Addario EXL110s for sixers and EXL110-7 for the sevens here. As a young and impressionable whippersnapper I used to use Dean Markley Blue Steels only for the fact that Steve Vai was an endorsee of them :rolleyes: Switched to D'Addarios after I realised that I couldn't tell the difference between them and the Blue Steels, and they cost 2/3 of the price.

Bought three sets of Ernie Ball Slinkys for an eight string I made a few years ago, only because I needed some sets with the low F# included. Complete rubbish. All the plain strings came out of the packs with rust spots up and down each string. Not an unusual complaint about EB strings I've since been led to believe.

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Same here for Blue Steels, except for the Vai connection. I used those for a few years and became disappointed in the lifetime and price tag. Ernie Balls have never impressed me, however I've not had too many rusty and dead out of the gate. Climate? Definitely a case for the sealed packets that D'Addario use. It makes perfect sense.

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Don't know, although the old fashioned unsealed paper envelopes that Ernie Ball use in their packs will more than likely contribute to the problem. I'd much rather have the sealed plastic wrapper that D'Addario use any day. At least that way it won't matter that the strings have been sitting on the shelf for an unknown period of time before I buy them, because in the plastic bag moisture has no chance of getting to the strings and causing premature rusting.

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On 2017-5-28 at 11:32 PM, curtisa said:

Necrothread :blink:

My bad, didn't realise how old this thread was... :blush Still interesting to see peoples opinions though lol.

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Yeah this is indeed an old thread.  Necrothread away we go...

After many years trying the gamut of different brands and lines within the brands I have returned to D'addario XL's  Just the regular plain Jane type.  Not because of any perceived tonal variation they give, but the fact that they are the only ones that withstand the way I play leads.  I use the tremolo bar heavily as a good portion of my technique and XL's seem to be the only brand/line that will not die out quickly, nor break like others do.  Once they are properly stretched out and locked down, they just work.  I can tell when they are starting to go south as one of the wound strings will start to go flat after every song until said string breaks at the top of the locking block of the saddle.  I will get anywhere from 4-6 weeks a set.  With strings now going for over $6/pack on up,  this works out financially for me.

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Still D'Addario all the way. I move to set of 13s on my Washburn acoustic and wow, does that get LOUD. For about a week.

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I've noticed lately that a lot of guitar strings these days have an annoying sympathetic vibration on the A string, so I ended up chucking all my cheap GFS, Ernie Ball, etc and went back to Dean Markely vintage 9s. Much better.

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