Why You Should Try Pure Nickel Strings

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by gmacdonnell, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. garybaldy

    garybaldy Senior Member

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    Thanks for the reply.That is my understanding aswell.
    I wonder if those that maybe are not aware of this , think their top 3 strings are better sounding thinking they are solid nickel.:hmm:
     
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  2. 970harris

    970harris Senior Member

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    That's a great point / question. In effect, we get awfully wrapped up discussing the impact of the material on tone, feel, and durability, when we really are talking about 1/2 the strings on the guitar.

    That being said, I am very partial to the feel of the plain steel (top 3) strings in a set of the DR Pure Blues...
     
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  3. peterp

    peterp Senior Member

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    After reading this thread I started using TI Blues Sliders on LP's and TI Jazz Swing (flatwounds) on the ES-137 for jazz. I've been happy with them, but had one negative experience. After traveling for 2 weeks, I came back and all of the guitars with TI strings had a corroded feel on the strings. The guitars were left on stands as they normally are, so I was really shocked that they had a very rough feel and I couldn't really get them clean and had to replace the strings. The Jazz Swings are particularly pricey, so I wasn't that happy about this. I guess I should have wiped down the strings before leaving, but still surprised to see them degrade from nonuse. I've never noticed this issue before, so it seems like the TI's are more prone to this, but I can't be sure of that.

    I am going to try Pyramids on the LPs. I just went through the thread again and it seems the consensus leans towards the Pyramids being better for rock, so I want to try them out.

    One advantage of the TI's that I haven't seen mentioned on this thread is that they seal the end of the wound strings with some kind of fabric which (in addition to looking pretty cool) I assume it also sharply reduces the chance of the wrapped wire slipping on the round core. I'm going to give the Pyramids a try and will report back after having used TI's on multiple guitars for the last year and a half.
     
  4. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    I have been using pure nickel wound strings for some time now. But I am having trouble finding these strings with a round core on the wrapped strings. The ones with a hex core just don't sound right. The only affordable ones I can find with round core are DR Pure Blues. They sound great, but one in every few packs I get has a D string that won't intonate.

    Another gentleman on this board recommended I try Ernie Ball Cobalts. I was skeptical, as I thought they were for really hard, harsh rock and not the more mellow tone I use. I also thought they would be stiff strings that would be harder to fret. Surprise! Just a little more cranking down on the guitar tone gave me what I wanted, and they are very easy strings to play with a soft feel.
     
  5. roadhog96

    roadhog96 Senior Member

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    Use the Pyramid Classics. They cost more initially but they last longer so in the long run if you change them less often your spending less on strings. Buy them from Toneman, he has the best prices.
     
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  6. Mitchapalooza

    Mitchapalooza Member

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    I switched to the DR pure blues 10 gauge a few months ago. Ive never looked back.
     
  7. Bristol Posse

    Bristol Posse Senior Member

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    Pyramid strings are also pretty reasonable at strings and beyond as in fact are pretty much all of the strings they offer. cheapest place I've found for the Pyramid Classics
     
  8. 970harris

    970harris Senior Member

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    I tried the Pyramid Classics and didn't find them to be more durable than less expensive options.

    After reading a thread started by another forum member, I recently tried the "Classic Ernie Ball Rock n Roll" strings.

    So far, so good. The bottom 3 are pure nickel wrapped on hex, not round cores, mind you, but they feel as supple to me as the DR Pure Blues (inlcuding the top 3 plain steel strings, which I've always liked in the Pure Blues sets). And I haven't run into any random intonation issues with them.

    Nice warm tone, great feel, and you can find 'em for about $4.50 a set if you look hard enough.
     
  9. peterp

    peterp Senior Member

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    Agreed, just ordered 4 sets of Pyramids Classics from them, free shipping for orders over $30 and super-fast shipping (I ordered them the day before yesterday afternoon and received them today). Haven't tried the strings yet.
     
  10. Classic 59

    Classic 59 Member

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    How does the GHS Burnished Nickel strings compare to the Pyramid Nickel Classics? I have never tried the GHS Strings.
     
  11. HOT-BRIT

    HOT-BRIT V.I.P. Member

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    they are the cats meow!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. tazzboy

    tazzboy V.I.P. Member

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    Burnished Nickle is really good however they are Hex Core not Round Core like DR, Pyramids and others.
     
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  13. 1981 LPC

    1981 LPC Senior Member

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    Since I tried a set of Dr. Pure Blues, I never went back to the modern hex-core string I had been using for 15+ years. Very comfortable feel and a nice warm tone. Last a long time. Affordable too.
     
  14. BulldogXTRM

    BulldogXTRM Senior Member

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    Okay, so I've always been an Ernie Ball fan and used to use the regular power slinky's until the cobalt's came out and I found that I got better articulation from each string when playing cords and I got a little more output when I need it. I liked the feel of them as well. The other strings I use is Dunlop Heavy Core because I play some drop tuning.

    Well, today I needed to grab a couple of sets of strings to replenish my supply and I decided to try the DR Pure Blues, so I bought two packs. My first impression is wow, it does make a difference on using nickel vs. nickel plated. After adjusting the truss rod and adjusting the bridge for the difference in string tension between the Dunlop Heavy Core's and the Pure Blues is that I'm getting a lot better string seperation.

    I'm going to play the Pure Blues for a while and see how they hold up and I'll report back, according to everyone that's chimed in they last a while. We'll see how good they withstand my heavy pick hand.
     
  15. Brocko

    Brocko Senior Member

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    I must say i'm quite surprised at the length and breadth of this post!

    Changes is string material seems to me like one of the most obvious (and cheap) ways to change your tone and it is not a hidden secret (d'addario for instance put a scale on the back of their strings indicating which ones sit where in the bright/mellow spectrum.)

    Before spending out a ton on new fancy caps and pickups, it's always worth changing string type to see if that gives a favourable result.
     
  16. 1981 LPC

    1981 LPC Senior Member

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    Yesterday I tried a set of Pyramid Nickel Classics I had laying around. Compared to the Dr. Pure Blues I´m used to, the Pyramids sounded thin and metallic. Nasty. What´s worse, the E and G string were buzzing, even after adjusting the truss rod and bridge height :mad:. I started disliking my guitar and thought to myself ´this is nuts´.

    I undid the adjustments and grabbed a new set of Dr. Pure Blues. Ahhhhh.... lovely.
     
  17. BulldogXTRM

    BulldogXTRM Senior Member

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    Well I said I'd report back and I can say that it would depend on the music I was playing on whether I would use the Pure Blues regularly or not. I did find them to be good but I didn't like the fact that my bass strings lost some volume. I ended up having to adjust my pickup with bass side raised a bit higher to get what I was used to.

    Over all it seemed that the Pure Blues had more low end response which was not a bad thing at all, but they didn't seem to have the power as my EB Power Slinky's and Cobalt Slinky's.

    They did however have more sustain. But I would compare the sustain to GHS Boomers. These are also a go to of mine and have been for a long time. So there is definitely something to the roundwound vs. hex core for sustain. I don't think I'll be sticking with the DR Pure Blues. Just like everything else, tone is subjective and these weren't for me.
     
  18. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Bulldog:

    I think my experience with PBs has been about the same as yours. I found them to have a more mellow tone than the EB strings you mention, good for my attempts at jazz and such. The EBs are probably better for types of rock. Also, I had a recurring problem with sets of PBs in that the D string would not intonate. So I too have pretty much switched back to EBs -- Cobalts this time. I find that they have the presence, and when I want a jazz tone I can get it with my guitar and amp tone controls.Of most importance, I have encountered no defective strings with the Cobalts.
     
  19. RickMcCarthy

    RickMcCarthy Junior Member

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    Epic thread! After reading and getting turned on to Pyramid Nickel Classics, I went and gave them a shot (was previously using EB Power Slinky and Classic Power Slinky .11-.48's). I strung up with Pyramids of the same gauge (R455) and the difference was immediate, and not in just the wound strings. The plain strings seem to have a more silky smooth feel... perhaps this could be due to the premium German steel and silvered plating as opposed to Swedish steel and tin plating on other brands. The wound strings felt smooth and almost polished and in both the wound and the plains there was a slightly reduced string tension, making bends feel as though they took less effort. It would be interesting to see a scientific study on the difference in vibration patterns between hex core and round cores as I strongly suspect that the round cores not only tune to lessor tension but sound "better." To me, these are the true "slinkies."

    While the difference in feel was substantial, the tone was not as dull as some user's comments prepared me for. To me they sound like my Power Slinkys sounded after they lost their initial luster 2-3 days in, which is a blessing as I always felt that brand new strings of any brand usually sounded too bright (I'm usually playing rock on a Gibson V with Manlius T-Tops through a '71 spec JMP50 clone into a greenback loaded 1960 cab). Durability will now the factor to watch... it's hot and humid here in New England and I sweat a lot so I wipe the strings down with alcohol on a clean polishing cloth after each session. We'll see how they last.

    In closing, if these strings last only twice as long as the EB's (4-6 weeks of consistent sound and feel would do it for me) then I'm hooked. The Pyramid Nickel Classics have such a "premium" sound and feel to them that at $10-11 per set they really are worth the extra money, IMO.
     
  20. RickMcCarthy

    RickMcCarthy Junior Member

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    Just an update on this old and quite nearly aborted thread: Tonight marked the end (exactly) of week 11 since I put Pyramid R455's on my Gibson V and I just popped a high "E" string. I play hard and bend wide with lots of vibrato and I'm amazed that the strings lasted as long. Shame too since the strings sounded every bit as good as they did the day that I put them on. I kid you not. Simply amazing strings.

    I ordered 6 sets from Elderly and I think that I'm gonna go order a dozen more... just in case of the zombie apocalypse or sumthin'. :shock: :laugh2:
     

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