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Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Justin226, Sep 21, 2021.
Have you ever tried top wrapping?
Or maybe a black sharpie?
Different guitars, different strings for all my current 3
Yamaha Revstar = NYXL 9.5-44
LTD EC-1000 = EB Cobalt 10-46
Charvel Pro Mod DK22 = Elixir Nanoweb 9-42
Me too. Probably don’t change strings as often as I should but they don’t seem to break. I really like the color coding and, where I am, they’re on a par with EB’s price-wise.
But that’s no reason to not like colour coding, just means it’s no advantage to you?
My version of $13 strings is to buy enough sets from webstrings.com to get the maximum price break, and $13 would get me 4 sets with some change left over for some picks.
D'Addario was the first string manufacturer to use corrosion-resistant packaging. They had the edge for a while, but now all the major brands use similar packaging -- strings are back to a level playing field.
At different times over the years I've used various brands of nickel plated round wounds long term; GHS, D'Addario, and Ernie Ball, first strings ranging from 0.009" to 0.012" and have found that strings are strings. I now use Ernie Ball for all my electrics. For a long time now, I've been using D'Addario on my acoustic guitars; phosphor bronze for flattops, silver-plated for my Gypsy Jazz guitar. But, I just discovered Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze acoustic strings, put a set on my Yamaha FS800, and I may never go back to phosphor bronze.
For me, using Ernie Ball is a no-brainer. I like the garish candy-color coding and the prominently-displayed string gauges on the front of the package. Why all manufacturers don't show the individual gauges on the front is mystery to me.
This may be the only rabbit hole deeper than a typical debate on tone and what impacts it.
A kind-of-on-point observation by me: I pay less actual dollars today for strings than I did in 1979. One of those things, like televisions, where it isn't just cheaper when adjusted for inflation, it is a cheaper dollar amount than it was 43 years ago.
For instance, in 1979, about the cheapest strings I could find (in a store, mind you--long before internet and I didn't mail order) was about $5.50 for a set of 9s. Today, I pay anywhere from $3 to $5, depending on how big of a hurry I'm in. Adjusted for inflation (according to the never-wrong internet), what I paid for strings in 1979, would be about $20 today. I bought my first color TV (on sale at a really good price) in 1984 and paid $319 for a 19-inch Sharp TV with remote. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $820 today and we all know I can go out and buy a far larger and better TV today for well under $200 real dollars.
Yeah, D'Addario makes its own, at least for some of its wire. http://www.daddariowireworks.com/history.html
Thomas (thomasnet.com) lists 1250 suppliers for wire in the U.S. Wire mills are all over the place. Many of them specialize in the common stuff (copper conductive wire, structural steel wire, spring steel a.k.a. music wire, steel wire rope) but they can run a lot of different metals through the same machinery.
Now, there are probably only a few suppliers for the weird specialty wires that only musical instrument strings use. Phosphor bronze, 80/20, monel, pure nickel. By the time you're talking monel wire tape (for flatwound strings) there may only be one or two sources.
I'm not the guy to be asking or offering advice.
I ordered a large supply of strings from Thomann due to local supply issues here a few months back.
Elixir optiweb for the strats 9-42's and on the Ibanez RG. 10-46's for all the gibsons.
Thomastik JS110's for the jazzmaster and Gretsch 6129 Jet, JS111's for the AS-120 and Chet Atkins.
Deusenberg's own strings for the Deusenberg TV Phonic (staggered gauge 10-50)
Rickenbackers own strings for the 360/12C63
LaBella Tapes on the bongo. (best improvement just swapping strings).
For me, the Elixir's are a no-brainer.
I like my Thomastik flats and have used them for years and prefer the brass trebles to the plain/tin ones.
I have also been known to swap the trebles for elixirs if they oxidize too quickly.
The Ric suffers from string tension issues if you use the pyramids custom set. Curt Mangan allegedly makes a set as well but I've never seen them anywhere.
Gave up on XL's and ernie ballsacks years ago - they just don't last here. and I may also add that the Thomastiks don't fare much better on the trebles, if the guitar is left out. If it goes back in the case they last a bloody good long time, but not so if I leave it out.
quite the salt-laden coastal environment here so add that to the equation as well as the sweaty fingers that already shortens string life and you can see why Elixirs are weapon of choice over the usual suspects.
Everyone has different needs, I wouldn't suggest for a minute that you use what I use. You're old enough to make up your own mind.
I found this interesting as well, I am going to dig into it
Interestingly, I dug up on wayback machine this - which lists a Lot of guitar brands. Now, it does not specifically Say they make the wire for these brands, but it does use their trademarked logos, which I would think would be a legal issue if they did not -
D'Addario is listed, EB is listed. Multisource, maybe different sourced for strings? Get the core from one, the wrap from another?
There is so little information it is hard to say. Like I said, I had a guy who sells guitar strings (he does have someone wrap the wound ones to his spec) specifically say they were Mapes plain strings and the same as EB plain strings.
And then on the D'Addario site it says
"D'Addario Wire Works is a supplier to many industries including:MUSIC WIRE" so are a bunch of those brands out there D'Addario wire, so the same thing?
Lot's of string brands out there, we have now found 2 that specifically say they make "music wire". Any more? That would be interesting.
add: Ok, this is interesting -
Until recently, most of this wire was known as wrap wire. This is the wire that is wound around another wire to make strings used on electric guitars, acoustic guitars, electric bass guitars, pedal steel and other musical instruments. Most commonly this wire is nickel, nickel plated steel or stainless steel for electric guitars or brass, bronzes and copper alloys for acoustic guitars.
So, they are specifically talking about "wrap" wire.
They say -
Recently, Ken-tron Mfg., Inc. began supplying music string core wire.
So, they differentiate between wrap and core or plain wire.
LOL indeed. Possibly because the colors are printed, you know, verbally (e.g. "purple, red, brass," etc.) on the string package?
The core or plain wire is going to be music wire, a specific high carbon steel that is stretchy and strong (D'Addario claims NYXL is a different alloy). The wraps don't have to be music wire--the wrap contributes very little to tensile strength, it's there to provide weight (so the string will tune to pitch at a particular tension) and for its sonic contributions. IDK if anybody uses music wire for wraps but I suppose that's possible.
Mapes has owned various patents in the wire industry. While they certainly sold wire to various guitar string manufacturers, it's also possible that they licensed patents--and in either case they could require their name be displayed somewhere on the packaging.
D'Addario also makes strings sold under other names, under licensing agreements. That's been a thing in the guitar string industry for a long time. V.C. Squier used to make Fender's strings, Fender made Ernie Ball strings for a while. DARCO made strings for Martin, Gretsch, Guild, and D'Angelico--and these days Darco belongs to Martin although most of that business belongs to D'Addario.
When I looked into this last time around I went to several wire mill websites; every one of them that I looked at offered music wire and they'd be happy to sell you a spool (usually 2000 lbs) of whatever gauge you like. It seems to be a common thing. Most of them also offer plated wire.
How would top wrapping help? That'd make it worse on my guitar because there's no hole for the ball end on the opposite side of the tailpiece. Only small string holes.
On the other hand, the ball ends go completely into the tailpiece from the other side so I never see the ball ends on mine unless I'm purposely looking into those holes.
Edit: I even forgot this guitar had D'addario strings on it lol. I assumed they were EB's
Same here. Curt Mangan pure nickel round core. They feel so good under the fingers.
I really wanted to grab the set that came up in the Pay it Forward thread but I didn't really have anything to pay it forward with if I spoke up, so I didn't call dibs. I looked at em about 20 different times, though lol. I know you're not required to put something up if you call, dibs on something but I just, wouldn't have felt right. Ya know? After tomorrow I'll have 3 different pedals I don't really use plus some unknown pickups I forgot about.
I have a couple with neck geometry that works better for top-wrapping, but even on those, the wraps on the ball end of the string stick up, so I slip extra balls over the ends to take up the slack and pull the wraps back into the tailstop.
But I prefer to avoid top-wrapping, my Les Paul and Flying-V would buzz like a bee hive if I tried.
Black sharpie or a bit of paint then, if that colour coding is the only problem with D'Addarios.
Or CB91710 can use those Ernie Balls... if they're happy with them, who am i to say otherwise, really?
i do believe that Justin 226 (the OP) was specifically asking about the string life of D'Addario XTs
vs. Ernie Balls, though, with a side question as to whether or not that might justify the additional expense.
Of course, since the question was posted in Sidewinders, it makes sense that the conversation has veered
off into some other areas.
My apologies to the OP if i have contributed to that.
i'll just shut up and go practice now.
i tried a set of $12 snake oil brand full nickel in 8 - 38 many years ago and was the most string impressed ever.
they sounded great the minute i put them on and with wiping them down every time they lasted longer than any other string. felt great also.
i have no idea if the new version is any good.
since i buy 8's there are few deals. i have been getting the classic ernie ball rock and roll extra slinky pure nickel wrap sets on sale in 3 packs.