What Brand and Gauge Strings Do You Use?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Alligatorbling, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. DB Chuckster

    DB Chuckster Member

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    I like Gibson Pure Nickel and EB Power Slinky the same on my electrics. Have used one or the other for years.
    Acoustic strings are a different story. In the past couple of years I have tried EB Earthwoods, EB aluminum bronze, Gibson Masterbilts. Ended up breaking strings with all of them. Got a set of Elixirs I like a lot but they are expensive. Now I’m onto John Pearse 80/20’s. So far so good with that old school acoustic sound.
     
  2. NewDayHappy

    NewDayHappy Senior Member

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    I just put D'Addario Phosphor Bronze 13 gauge strings on my Martin, I like these much better than the Ernie Balls I was using. My Martin is a pretty warm guitar, one of the warmest acoustics I've ever played and the brightness of the D'Addario really brightens it up and gives my guitar a more crisp and articulate sounding instrument. The warmness of the Ernie Ball strings I was using plus the warmness of my Martin just sounded too mushy. I noticed the D'Addarios last longer too. I'm not dogging EB, i think they would balance out a strat or tele very well, would also put them on a Taylor as well. Different tools for the job, it's all conjecture really, just my humble opinion.
     
  3. Microdot

    Microdot Junior Member

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    D'Addario NY XL Nickle Wound 09-42. I played 11's for years since I also play acoustic it seemed like a natural transition when switching to electric. Then came arthritis and cramping in my left hand so I switched to 10's and eventually 9's. The cramping went away but I still find 9's a little on the light side. Thinking about changing to 09.5-44.
     
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  4. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    I have used the Ernie Ball Super Slinky's about as long as I have been playing. I pretty much only use 9s these days because of arthritis developing in my hands. I will use Hybrid sets on my short scale guitars - forget what they are....the set with the fatter low strings with regular 9s for the skinny strings.....
     
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  5. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    You will get used to the 9's, I am pretty sure.
     
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  6. Pappy58

    Pappy58 Senior Member

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    DR Pure Blues 10-46
     
  7. BadPenguin

    BadPenguin Senior Member

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    Personally wouldn't use EB on an enemy's guitar. I have been using D'Addarios 10's for almost 30 years, with the occasional foray with the Thomastiks. When I need a flatwound, again, the D'Addarios come into play.
     
  8. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    I believe in D'Addario 10-46. Ernie Ball & Fender are fine. I've gone to 9-42 since arthritis hit me. I was watching a "Live at Darryl's House" jam session on cable and Billy Gibbons was guest guitarist. He told this story: When he and B.B. King were doing a show one night, B.B. suggested that they trade guitars, and play each other's. B.B. used really light strings and Gibbon's guitar had real heavy gauge. B.B. asked, "why are you workin' so hard playin' these strings?". Gibbons answered, "aren't they better for tone?". B.B. said "I've been playin' light strings all my life and done fine". Reverend Billy said that he has played light strings ever since. He laughed and said that he even plays 8's when he can get them. Playing light strings, I simply adjust my overdrive and other settings to compensate. (they bend so well).
     
  9. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    I got some Reverend Willy's Mexican Lottery 7-38 strings recently, and they're a lot of fun. Try them, especially if you have arthritis or other issues. They're 7-9-11-20-30-38. Super light. Bends are incredible.
     
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  10. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    You gotta be kidding. I gotta google this. I love to bend. Blues. <i checked..you're right!> I'm gonna try some. I wonder how high from you can bend a 7 @ the 12th fret E to..... ? That's a great tip on strings.
     
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  11. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    If I remember right, I think I could bend it up to A#. I tested it with a tuner, but I've forgotten because I never need to bend THAT far! :laugh2:
     
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  12. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    A#. Wow. Bending to A could be useful. I really thought that you might have been joking about those. They are like a caricature. I used to play with this little Blues bender and he bought La Bella in the day. They supplied 2 E & 2 B strings with each set. He needed 'em. He was a Bloomfield/Clapton/Santana/Kings/ wailer. Very talented. Sight reading when he was like 10. Italian musical family. They yelled a lot. I loved them. They taught me.
     
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  13. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    I have good luck with Ernie Balls. They stretch quick but last long. I change 'em as soon as they start to lose their timbre. I play with my thumb instead of a pick. I hammer things out and am hard on strings. Gotta squeeze out what I can. I like 12 packs are on sale. I got a dozen of old Dean Marklays some years back. That was unusual.
     
  14. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    I was shocked when I found these strings. I almost didn't buy them figuring they would sound bad or break easily, but they have a nice sound, they feel nice, they're great for bends, and I haven't broken any yet. I highly recommend giving them a try. If you want to stick with Ernie Ball, they now make an 8-38 set in the Slinky line. They're called Extra Slinky.
     
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  15. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    I bought a set of E.B. 8-38's once Purple wrap package then. I'm gonna try a set. I don't care if they wear out quick. I just figured out how to tie my strings on the posts! No lie. After 50 years.....I finally learn that.
     
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  16. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    Ernie Ball had some pure nickel 8-38's I tried once. They were nice, but broke easily. The new ones are the same as all the other Slinky sets. I've got two sets to try out some time.
     
  17. tonemonster58

    tonemonster58 Senior Member

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    Ernie Ball Cobalt Skinny top Heavy bottom 10-52 THE Best for tone an longevity.
     
  18. Liquid State

    Liquid State Premium Member

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    Curt Mangan 9.5 - 44 : pure nickel and nickel wrapped

    I have found I really like this "in between" size. I play a lot of blues and the 10's make bending work and 9's are just too light/thin. Great strings and a very useful compromise in gauge.
     
  19. Paranoia

    Paranoia Junior Member

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    When I first started, Ernie Ball was the go. I tried a few different variants, and moved up from 9s to 11s. I used cobalt strings for a little while too, but found that I didn't like their power and brightness - not to mention the scratches they left on my frets!

    I moved on to DR Pure Blues, and that's where I stayed. They're not cheap strings, but I found they lasted a lot longer for me than the EBs did, so in a sense they end up being better value for money. I'm sure they lose their 'edge' just like every other kind of string, but as nickel is mellower to begin with, the difference between fresh on and worn in isn't as stark as it is with, say, steel strings.

    I ended up going back from 11s down to 9s. I'd be keen to try one of those 8 sets you guys mentioned a few posts above though, just to see what it'd be like...
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  20. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    When I discovered how much I liked the Gibson Vintage ReIssue Pure Nickels, I tried EB Pure Nickels (less expensive). The EB's did not last long at all. I burned right through them (wore through the wraps on the wound strings like soft butter). The Gibsons and D'Addarios last at least twice as long as nickel plated EB Slinkys (which I used for 25 years previously).
     

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