What strings for long life?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Footsore, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    I've been using Elixir since 2009. Oh man, what a difference.
     
  2. Jack Frost

    Jack Frost Strat-O-Master

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    I put a set of NYXL 8s on my strat, and they've been on for months. Love them! I hate the slippery feeling of brand new strings.
     
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  3. Chubbles

    Chubbles Strat-Talker

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    I use pure nickels too. We should form a pure nickel club. I use Ernie Balls.

    I wish my stores carried 8s. I'd love to try them. I hate buying strings online.
     
  4. RoyC

    RoyC Strat-O-Master

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    I use D'Addario X 09 - 42

    Cleaning the strings after every use helps them last longer.

    Eddie Cochrans Gretsch has had the same strings on since 1960, wonder what he used. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
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  5. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have tried their strings. I found them to be garbage. They died an early death for me. They sounded dull quickly., but the treble strings didn’t turn black, they just sounded like other strings that did when I was a teenager.
     
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  6. stratmatt777

    stratmatt777 Strat-Talker

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    What brand have you found to be best?
    It occurs to me that I don't change strings THAT regularly (although I just did last week)... I remember being blown away with how much I liked the DRs when I switched (12+ years ago).
     
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  7. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yeah sorry, I left that part out. Especially don’t buy their nylon strings either. The three best brands I’ve tried were D’Addario as they last a long time, especially with a Floyd Rose, but I gave up on them when they started going to putting the strings in a single plastic baggie. Ernie Ball, and Curt Mangan.

    Right now I’m using Ernie Ball Cobalts on my Les Paul. EB also makes a set called Paradigm that the guaranty you that they will last for 90 days, and not break. But their return policy hoops to jump through are just too much for me. You have to save your receipt and the packaging, and mail that to them. Total PITA, so I don’t bother with them.

    I also use, and these tend to last the longest on a guitar that spends a lot of time in the case, Ernie Ball Classic Rock-n-Roll Strings. I’ve had the same set on my Dean V that doesn’t get played very often, since I got it and that was back in the end of September or the beginning of October. They start out kind of zingy, and then mellow out after a few days, and they just stay that way.

    Also whenever I break a string, and the set has been on less than a month, EB sends me a new set of strings. This has happened to me three times since I joined this forum. They sent me a whole new set. Just got to call their customer service. Hang on to the wrapper in case they break or slip at the ball end because there is a code inside the wrapper that can help them figure out what batch they are from, etc.

    Curt Mangan are great strings, if you can find them. My local mom and pop carries them, and also Strings by Mail has them. They last like D’Addarios on a Floyd and they are really slinky feeling. They tend to maintain a nice bright tone for a long time on a guitar that gets played everyday.

    This is just my experience with these strings. On guitars that I play a lot, I change the strings about every three weeks or so.

    The reason I don’t use the D’Addarios any more is that it gets to be quite a mess dealing with having to uncoil the strings all six at once and then they are hard to keep track of. With the Mangans and the EB’s, each string has a nice envelope for each string, and that works out real nice if you have to rob a string or don’t use the full set.
     
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  8. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-Talker

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    I get months out of regular D'Addario EXLs.
    I use 9-46 on shortscale and 10-46 on starts.
    A lot depends on your body chemistry and ambient humidity.
    My strings never tarnish or go black, my buddy burns a set to gooey black cheesewire in about 2 days..
     
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  9. Red Bread

    Red Bread Strat-Talker

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    So your looking for a string for guitars that dont get alot if use?

    id say any quality strings will work and theyd last longer if you just keep them clean
    Wiping them down with a microfiber cloth semi regular would do more then the brand name
    Hit them with FastFret once in awhile
    Dirt and wear are what kill strings
    Personally id use Erinyes and keep them in a case and wipe them down once in a while

    Everyone will have a different string preference but were not talking playability or tone
     
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  10. 57Strat777

    57Strat777 Strat-O-Master

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    I don't have a problem with strings tarnishing because I wipe the strings off with mineral oil when I finish playing. Also washing your hands before playing helps to prevent strings from tarnishing/rusting.

    What wears out strings is pressing the string against the fret. After a while, the strings get a micro bend and/or a flat spot above each of the frets that are played the most. These micro bends and/or flat spots cause the string to go out of pitch and it messes up the harmonics. IMO no coating on the string can alleviate these micro bends and/or flat spots from developing. The harder you press on the frets, the quicker it happens. I practice 4-6 hours a day and a set will last me about 3-4 weeks. If I was recording with this guitar, I would replace the strings about every 2 weeks.

    An easy way to see how worn your strings are is to grab the high E string, at the body/neck junction, between your thumb and first finger and then slide toward the nut as you squeeze the string between your thumb and first finger. As you put more hours on the strings, you'll start to feel tiny bends in the strings above the frets that you play the most. When I feel those little bends all the way up the neck on the high E, I know for sure the set needs replacing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
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  11. GoldenEagle0308

    GoldenEagle0308 Strat-O-Master

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    Elixir for sure. They are more expensive than regular strings, but they'll last a very long time.
     
  12. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    D'addario NYXL...FTW, But that's Also Personal Choice Buy a few Types try em Out and See which you prefer Its What I did And I liked the D'addario's Best Close 2nd Elixir Polywebs ~ same Price
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
  13. davidKOS

    davidKOS unavailable Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Strings last a long time with me.

    Why? because I always wipe the string off after use - including sliding the cloth between the strings and the fingerboard.

    Also, like fezz says, put the instrument in the case when not in use.

    Mostly I need to change strings when the windings start going bad, they last that long for me.

    Particularly the wound strings on my classical, which get changed about 3x more often than the trebles.
     
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  14. Soul31

    Soul31 Strat-Talker

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    IF you REALLY want strings that last a long time go with flatwounds. They sound dark yes, but they have a nice easy feel to play and since there's no windings to collect moisture, skin, and gunk they don't get dirty or rust. I play flats on my Gibson L-50 and I change them maybe once a year or more unless I break one. At times I've gone multiple years with the same set.

    Granted thats an acoustic guitar, but I'm about to put a set on one of my Strats for a different sound/feel from my others. I'm just waiting to swap out my bridge first, I don't want to put them on then have to change them right away lol.

    A couple notable flats players I know of off hand are Jimmie Vaughan and Mark Speer of Khruangbin.
     
  15. Cold Shot

    Cold Shot Strat-Talker

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    The set of regular .10 Slinky's on my Strat are 3 years old. They've lost their chime, obviously, but they're still playable.

    Play 'em 'til you pop 'em.
     
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  16. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    I've gotten 2 years out of a set of stringjoys, didn't do anything special but they were 11s. The plain strings were fine until they weren't, the whole length started feeling rough and rusty all at once.

    I've also gotten 2 years or more out of D'Addario classical strings, though I did re tie the smallest wound string after it broke at the bridge.

    Bass strings last forever anyway.

    I put elixers on an acoustic I keep at Mom's house, that guitar only gets 4-5 hours play per year. I wasn't keen on their sound at first and I think they're a little rusty now. I'm not sure whether it's been 3 years or 4.


    If your strings get rusty in just a few weeks, they're not compatible with your body chemistry.

    If they break after a few weeks, it's either the body chemistry or your playing style could benefit from heavier strings.

    If you are replacing them because they don't sound new anymore, that might be something else, I'm the wrong guy to answer.
     
  17. davidKOS

    davidKOS unavailable Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yes, they last a long time and sound dark.

    Somehow, except for one Beatle bass and anything played with a bow, I just do not like the sound nor feel of flatwounds. Particularly on a guitar. I tried one more time last year with a jazz box, strung them w/ flats, and removed them after a few gigs. Back to roundwounds!

    Some of my favorite players love them, including folks I respect a lot.

    I just cannot enjoy them at all on 6 string guitar...or mandolin, for that matter.
     
  18. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Strat-Talker

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    When I only had a couple of guitars to keep up Elixers and the old Fender XL's were the main strings I used. With the herd I play now I just buy bulk packs of EB super slinky's, wipe them and guitar down after each use and put the guitar back in a case. Elixers are good but it if you play a lot of guitars they can get costly. Good luck.
     
  19. Agtronic

    Agtronic Strat-Talker

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    I could NOT imagine wiping down strings after every playing session. I often play my guitar 2-3 times in one day... I often have to put it down because I was supposed to be vacuuming the basement when I see a text on my phone "I hear you ding-a-linging down there" or "that doesn't sound like vacuuming" ...

    But in all seriousness, strings don't go bad if they're sitting there idle. I have guitars I rarely play and when I do take them out sometimes I surprised that the strings feel brand new. I've been playing many years and only really noticed this lately. I always thought it was time that killed them (oxidation) but I restrung an electric for my sister in law once and a year later picked up the guitar when I was over and was surprised that it felt like it had brand new strings. That guitar didn't get played, and the strings kept the new feeling.

    For the guitars that I do play, the "new string zing" lasts maybe 3-5 days. After that they sound good for about a month, maybe two. Then they just sound dull to me.
     
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  20. tinkertoy

    tinkertoy Strat-Talker

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    I've tried just about all brands and types over the years and have found nothing better for storing guitars than elixirs. I've had guitars sitting unused for close to a year with no issues. I'd get 2 or 3 before regular strings sounded dead.

    I spent 15 years with nanos and recently switched to optiwebs.

    Also, I have NEVER broken a string while playing.
     
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