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All Strung Out on What Guitar Strings to Use?

Apr 19, 2008
How much difference is there in the specialized manufacturing techniques and materials used when each string manufacturing company claims that theirs is the best way to make strings? Check out these three brands out of about a thousand examples of available strings.

#1. Ernie Ball Slinky Acoustic Guitar Strings: feature patented coated Titanium RPS Technology that resists rust and grime for bright and powerful tone time after time.
Ernie Ball's titanium coated Slinky Acoustic strings are stronger and longer-lasting than traditional strings-either coated and uncoated strings. That's thanks in part to an exclusive protective coating on both the wrap wire and the plain strings as well as a patented winding of titanium wire around the lock twist of the ball end. Staying true to Ernie Ball's heritage of superb craftsmanship and sound quality, Slinky Acoustic Guitar Strings are made with the finest and freshest raw materials, resulting in a crisp ringing sound with pleasing overtones.
Enhancing the inherent string quality and freshness is Ernie Ball's new string packaging-the company's first new string packaging concept in more than 45 years. Produced and now hermetically sealed into their packages. Slinky Acoustic strings are exposed to minimal moisture and humidity from factory to retailer-insuring that all Ernie Ball strings are as fresh upon opening as they were the day they were made.

#2. Pure Blues electric guitar strings from DR Strings: are designed with pure nickel wrap wire, roundwound upon round cores. While this is a slow, expensive method of string making, it does produce a guitar string acclaimed for increased sustain, vintage tone, and great low tones for playing music from rhythm to lead. The extra step of winding pure nickel around a round core give Pure Blues strings a punch that players say they are surprised to get in a vintage electric guitar string. Sounds great on any guitar!
Tite-Fit round-wound nickel-plated electric guitar strings from DR are designed to be great all-around strings. They are available in a wide range of gauges. Based upon a round core, the construction techniques for DR Tite-Fit electrics are venerable. However, the core wire and wrap wire in DR's are the latest, most advanced, and expensive metals available. For flexibility, for tone, for long life; for rock, blues, heavy metal, jazz. Tite-Fits are an incredible all-around string.

Note: There is a growing body of evidence that nickel dust may be hazardous to your health. It really does not bother me since I use a nickel string.

#3. Martin Bronze acoustic guitar strings: are made from 80/20 composition alloy to give brilliance, clarity, and longevity of sound. The bronze winding is ideally suited for making strings that have deep, rich basses and clear, bright trebles.


Stronger, longer lasting, better sounding, better packaging what the xx!o?? So who am I to determine what strings are best for you? I can't and won't. Unless you bring your guitar closer to the phone so I can hear you, I am at a disadvantage.(Joke) This is confusing, isn't it?

Realistically, string choice becomes very personal at some point, for example, when you find the right strings. then you will have a brand to swear by.

Bass guitar players and electric guitar players have radically different ideas on strings, as do acoustic guitar players and electric guitar players. Everybody has an opinion.

Simply put, it is a real enigma when you consider the volume of options. Consider this also, what gauge of string suits you best? For example strings come in different gauges or thickness of wire. Some are quite heavy, like bridge support wire and some are very lite gauge for string bending sissies like me.

One of the best strategies for choosing a string is to buy several sets of brands and types and go to town. It is cheap, fun and a good way to improve your string changing skills. Real world experience tells us that at least on electric guitars, most strings lose their brightness after about 45 minutes to an hour of hard playing. It's true. none of them really last longer.
Bass players and acoustic strings last longer, depending on how much you play.

Incidentally, the three company's that were chosen to use for comparison purposes make some of the strings I use and consider to be the best. Don't take my word for it, buy some strings and have some fun.

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