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Gibson Strings?


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Having just bought a new 2014 Les Paul Traditional I was very surprised to find a leaflet in the case telling me that the guitar is equipped with Cleartone strings. I would have assumed that it came with Gibson strings and I'd never heard of Cleartone and the leaflet says Cleartone are owned by Phil Everly (Phil died in Januery 2014 and the guitar checklist is dated December 2014). The strings seem very good and I was wondering if Gibson had started fitting coated strings ala Taylor's policy so the have good strings when they are in the shop.


Looking at the dates, it did make me wonder, because in December 2014, I'd have thought Gibson would have been producing the 2015 models?




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I've tried the Cleartones and liked them very much. Then I tried Gibson's Vintage Reissue strings and later the Signature strings. They both deliver richer sound. But the best sound I'm getting out of my 2014 Traditional are with the D'Addario NYXL 11s. On my 2013 Standard I've now got some Everly 11s and I've never heard a better sound from this guitar.


So, while Cleartones deliver a nice sound and last a long time, my order of preference is Everly, D'Addario NYXL, and Gibson Signature. I will also add that going from 9s and 10s to 11s also enhanced the sound I was looking for.


Again, IMHO. Your results my vary.

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Until this; I had no idea new Gibsons didn't come with Gibson strings; just thought they were Brite Wires or something. Wasn't a fan of whatever they were; don't like the feel of coated. Used Gibson Pure Vintage for a while, but now D'Addario Pure Nickel or Nickel wound for me!

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I did use Cleartone 10's for a few months.

They did sound good to me, and last pretty long.

But something didn't feel right, and now I'm using D'addario again.

When I tried Elixirs some fifteen years ago I experienced that polymer-coated strings feel different. I think this is the non-metal feeling as such, and in particular the slippery grip along with sweat. It may help in minimizing slide noise, but I found it a bit unhandy for bendings.


Coated strings can be a huge advantage for people with very aggressive sweat like a bandmate of mine corroding uncaoted strings to hell within ten minutes. However, the static clicks and pops problem due to their electric isolation is very adverse to the sonic outcome. Using wireless systems solves the problem.



I wonder does Gibson actually make their own strings?

If not, it would be interessting to know.

I don't know if this is still the case, but I think Gibson had their strings made by D'Addario.


I'm unsure if coated strings are completely made by their brands, or if they are supplied and just get the coatings there. Perhaps it is all contract manufacturing - who knows?

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