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bigtim

Your favorite name brand guitar strings, what do you use and why?

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Hello all how are you? Sorry this is a little long winded. I started this thread to see how many of you guys switch name brand strings if any or at all. For the past 25 years I have always used Ernie Ball Super Slinky guitar strings on my guitars. I tried a few Fender strings and some other brands in the past like GHS Boomers, Black Diamonds, D'Addario, Gibson and I was always convinced that the Super Slinky strings sounded the absolute best to me. Well I had this extra set of strings in my parts drawer by Addams and they were 9 guage that someone gave to me for the heck of it and I never paid attention to them until I saw them right before I listed my explorer. I sold my Gibson Explorer and told the guy I would throw on a set of new strings for him too, but I was not going to give a new set of my precious "Slinkys" to this guy so, I opted for the next best thing, put that "ODD BALL" set on the explorer and get rid of that "NO GOOD" set of strings that I "Personally knew" would never sound better than the Slinkys I always "CHERISHED". The Slinkys that were on the Explorer were a recent set and had only been on the guitar for about 1 month. I put those Addams on and I could not believe how much better it made the Explorer sound. So now I am second guessing and trying to figure out and try another brand possibly and really see if there is a difference in Nickle wrapped strings. So maybe it was because when I was a kid that learning how to play I thought because Jimi Hendrix used Ernie Ball strings that I thought I need to use them too. Do any of you guys just go buy random name brand strings and try them on your favorite axe to see if it enhances your sound or are most of you players like me and never lift an eye toward another brand? Tim

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I played Regular Slinkys for years, until I got tired of them and started noticing my dislikes about them as I was coming down the road as a player (the train will be running until the day they put me in the big hole) and becoming more picky. So I tried D'Addarios but I discovered that I do not like their characteristically bright tone and the fact that they do not stretch well and don't stay in tune very good (well, at least in my experience). I have recently started using Dunlop strings and I LOVE them so far. They stay in tune, and they sound pretty amazing. The only downfall is that they aren't as readily available as other brands but that makes me stand out in my community (everybody around MT uses D'Addarios, GHS, Ernie Ball, Elixer, or DR.). I highly recommend them.

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I played Regular Slinkys for years, until I got tired of them and started noticing my dislikes about them as I was coming down the road as a player (the train will be running until the day they put me in the big hole) and becoming more picky. So I tried D'Addarios but I discovered that I do not like their characteristically bright tone and the fact that they do not stretch well and don't stay in tune very good (well, at least in my experience). I have recently started using Dunlop strings and I LOVE them so far. They stay in tune, and they sound pretty amazing. The only downfall is that they aren't as readily available as other brands but that makes me stand out in my community (everybody around MT uses D'Addarios, GHS, Ernie Ball, Elixer, or DR.). I highly recommend them.

 

Now this is kind of what I was hoping would pop up here. A reason why you switched brands. I will check these out. I am a guy that thinks just because it is an expensive set of strings does not mean they are the best. Thank you very much for your input. Anyone else want to chime in with your thoughts please feel free to pour your guts out!!!! Tim

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I started out using flatwound strings when I was just starting on electric guitar because I mistekenly thought that if they were smoother they would be easier to bend-what a maroon-then I switched to Fender 150SLs: 8-38s and when D'Addarios came out in that guage I switched to them and have been using them ever since.I recently bought some Ernie Ball super slinky 8-38s just to see what they're like.I find that the D'Addarios are more flexible and easy to bend than any others I've used and where I play a lot of Hendrix covers I need a string that can allow extreme bending and vibrato arm use (and misuse in the case of Hendrix covers)without going out of tune.I am going to try the EBs with the next string change on my upside down Strat.

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I started out using flatwound strings when I was just starting on electric guitar because I mistekenly thought that if they were smoother they would be easier to bend-what a maroon-then I switched to Fender 150SLs: 8-38s and when D'Addarios came out in that guage I switched to them and have been using them ever since.I recently bought some Ernie Ball super slinky 8-38s just to see what their like.I find that the D'Addarios are more flexible and easy to bend than any others I've used and where I play a lot of Hendrix covers I need a string that can allow extreme bending and vibrato arm use (and misuse in the case of Hendrix covers)without going out of tune.I am going to try the EBs with the next string change on my upside down Strat.

Just what i need bonzoboy, a upside down lefty strat

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So far it's Elixer 9s on the Stratocaster, Black Diamond 10s on the Telecaster (I tried 9s but wasn't in love with the tone and light touch I had to use), Gibson Brite Wires 10s on the Epiphone Les Paul, Elixer Nanoweb 12s on the Yamaha FG... I haven't really found what strings are perfect to my ears for my Schecter or Samick but I'm a firm believer in certain strings make certain guitars really pop. I had a lot of luck with Ernie Ball coated electric strings as well but for some reason I find them hard to find these days.

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Pyramid Nickel Classics & Thomastik-Insfeld Blues Sliders

 

These are round core strings that have better tone than anything else I've tried, last 2 or 3 times longer before dying, and bend easier than hex core.

 

I've also tried DR Pure Blues round cores, but they're cheaply made in comparison, they sometimes mess up my intonation, and I don't like their feel.

 

Initially, I thought Pyramid strings were too expensive ... but I've discovered that I spend less now because they last so long.

 

Would be interesting to have another thread about LEAST favorite strings.

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I play D'Addario 11s with a wound third on my hollow and semi-hollow guitars. I like the wound third, and they are the only brand that anyone carries that has it. I've tried D'Addario Chrome flatwound 11s on my ES-335, but hated them. I'm getting ready to try Thomastik-Infeld Swing flatwound 11s on the 335.

 

I experimented with several brands of 10s on my solid bodies. I like the Elixers, but I tried a set of D'Addario EXP nickel plated steel strings, and they sound brighter to me than the Elixers, so that's the brand I use on all my solid bodies now. I've also put them on my SH550.

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I wouldn't mind trying some Dean Markley's or DRs. But the Dunlops are amazing and I can see why Zakk, Kerry, Doug Aldrich, Rev. Horton Heat, and Rev. Willy G use them.

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Every time I get a new acoustic guitar, I have to figure out the right string's for the wood and design for that particular guitar. Most every time the regular 80/20 light's (12-54) Marquis Martin's are the right pick, I can't stand Phosphorous Bronze, there just to mid-range heavy and my current guitar has no Rosewood so that brings out the mid's and highs even more. I can't get used to the funny sound of coated string's but I found that the Fender Dura Tones are usable if I was in a pinch.

 

For electric guitar's I've always liked D'Addario's they are the best for me, Ernie Ball Slinky's would be next best 10's or 11's.

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Daddario jazz lights (.12-.52) on electric

Martin phosphor bronze, got .13 now but i might move up to .14 i also tune to eb standard or open g to compensate for tension

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Electric guitars (most of them) - D'Addario 11s because they stay in tune and are better than average for length of use.

Acoustic - Elixers 11s or 12s

Hollow body jazz guitars - Thomastik Infield 12s

SRV strat - GHS Bright flats 13s (tuned down 1/2 step)

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I started using huge strings when I was young because it proved I was a tone expert and a badass. [cool] Mostly 12s and 13s. A few years ago I switched to 11's because my hands started hurting. Last year I played my buddies Parker Fly with 9's and was blown away buy how easy it was to play things I never was able to before.

 

 

 

In an effort to see if it was the strings or the guitar I switched the strings on my SG to Super Slinkys. I will say that playability was about 50/50 guitar and strings. The SG with 9's was not as easy to play as the Parker but a LOT better than with the 11's on it. Bends, slids, double stops all sound better with 9's. Since then I have been swapping the strings on all my Gibsons to 9's. If a guy can't play his guitar who cares what his tone sounds like? [thumbup]

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For my electrics, like most folks I guess, I played a plethora of string brands and settled on D'Addario for their tone and longevity. I went from XL 120s to XL110s because I could more easily get my sound with them.

 

I've only restrung the bass once, and at the recomendation of certain folks here, I used Elixers. They sound great, feel like silk and seem to last forever, if you don't mind the little streamy things that come off from pickwear. Yes, I pick my bass, and I use HotLicks® copper picks to do it. [flapper]

 

I use Martin strings on my acoustics. My daughter got me some strings for Christmas one year, and amongst them were some Martin acoustic strings. I put them on my JB Player, which had a nice deep tone and played well for rhythm, but wasn't a real bendy/ lead instrument. Putting Martins on it was like lowering the action! It was an amazing transformance for what was a nice guitar into an excellent one. So I buy Martin when I can for my acoustics.

 

Hope this helps!

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