GHS Boomers vs D'addario XL

5F6-A

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I was curious to see what the difference was between these two very popular sets of guitar strings for electric guitar, so I sacrificed two sets of strings on the altar of knowledge. Same guitar (60s style Strat) and very similar gauge (i.e. D'addarios 9-40 / GHS 10-38). I recorded a big fat E chord in open position (acoustically) with the same recorder and in the same position and I analysed the files using Audacity. These are the results:

GHS Boomers:

boomers graph.JPG


D'addario XL:

D'addario xl graph.JPG


Main difference is the big spike at 1K (D'addario). The GHS sound flatter and more balanced; almost scooped by comparison. Could this be why some folks love D'addarios and others can't stand them? I believe their NYXL sets have an even larger hump in roughly the same frequency. What do you think guys?!?
 

shark

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GHS Boomers on the LP Deluxe with the mini hummers. Mini hums are quiet clean pick ups. In fact the best sounding of them all that I have. Boomers perked it up just enough to get a small boost in the right spots and not stress the sweetness into simulated overdrive

D'Addario NYXL's on the R7 for a smoother richer sound to my ears.. I like them there with the 57 classic pups.

GHS Gilmour Blue with the EMG's and P 90's. A really scrappy string. You can just wiggle em off the board and they bounce back like a champ.

The ES Paul uses Thomastik Infeld jazz swing. Pricey but the ES Paul is a wicked mean little guitar with the MHS pups.

Stray cat stuff on the ES :)

One string cannot rule them all.

 

musicmaniac

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I've used them both and prefer the D'addarios since I change them often enough.
 

JohnnyN

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Between those I definitely prefer D'addario, for quality, feel and longlivety.
But i think you're are spot on with that mid hump.
I've tried a lot of different strings, but I always go back to Pyramid Nickel Classics as my first choice or the D'addario XLs as my second.
 

BKS

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GHS Boomers on the LP Deluxe with the mini hummers. Mini hums are quiet clean pick ups. In fact the best sounding of them all that I have. Boomers perked it up just enough to get a small boost in the right spots and not stress the sweetness into simulated overdrive

D'Addario NYXL's on the R7 for a smoother richer sound to my ears.. I like them there with the 57 classic pups.

GHS Gilmour Blue with the EMG's and P 90's. A really scrappy string. You can just wiggle em off the board and they bounce back like a champ.

The ES Paul uses Thomastik Infeld jazz swing. Pricey but the ES Paul is a wicked mean little guitar with the MHS pups.

Stray cat stuff on the ES :)

One string cannot rule them all.

So what is in the video? :dunno:
 

mdubya

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I use Pure Nickel.

Comparing 9-42 to 10-38 doesn't sound anything like a 1:1 comparison to me. Sorry.

Best string:

Gibson Vintage Reissue - Pure Nickel

I like D'Addario Pure Nickel, too, but they do not last as long as the Gibson VRIs.

I bought several sets of GHS Burnished Nickel and Nickel Rockers last time around. I like them. They hang well in comparison to the Gibsons and the D'Addarios.

I was a long time Slinky user. So I tried Pure Nickel Slinkys. They were awful.

What I like about the D'Addario and GHS sets is that I can buy individual extra strings. I wear out the big E, A, and D strings at different rates and plain strings don't wear out at all, so I stock up on E (x10), A (x20), and D (x30). Life is good. And it is even better with good strings.

FWIW - Gibson VRIs last the longest, by far. GHS last the next longest. D'Addarios are only average on longevity, but they play and sound sweet.
 

Skit

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I use Pure Nickel.

Comparing 9-42 to 10-38 doesn't sound anything like a 1:1 comparison to me. Sorry.
...
This I agree with.

D'Addario's for many decades now although I have some Erine Ball's on a tele tuned to open G using Keef's string gauges.
 

JMP

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In my experience, the DAddario strings I’ve used typically feel harsh under my fingers and have a bright tinny sound that I just cannot get along with. I prefer GHS Boomers myself. Experiment and find the strings you like.
 

jbash

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IMO/IME-

Boomers sound more lively, last longer, and def have more output. Disadvantage- cost more, not as easy to find as Dads and stiffer tension.

Dads (XL) play nicer for a little while then get really dead under the fingers. Tone is raw/dry and scratchy at first then turns to mellow mud. Advantage is price and availability.
 

mdubya

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Please tell me more.

The wound strings were soft as butter. I wore through them in less than a week. And they didn't have any special tone either. Nickel Plated (not Pure Nickel) Slinkys are better. The Gibson Vintage Reissues not only have a sweet top end to them, they wear for a very long time. D'Addarios have the sweet top end, too, but don't last as long as the Gibsons. GHS Pure Nickel offerings wear similar to the D'Addarios. YMMV.
 

jbash

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I like the sound of the R&R slinkys (pure nickel) on vintage style strats but not Gibsons- they are very flat sounding with humbuckers and marshally gain- may be great for bluesy clean fender amp tonality with a Les Paul, but that's not me.

But yeah, the wound strings flatten/notch out on the frets super fast- faster than some other pure nickel wounds.
 

mikekim

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Moved over to GHS Boomers on all my guitars a couple of years ago (from D'addarios )
never looked back
 
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Rozman62

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Using GHS Boomers for the last 15 years. No reason to use anything else here. I always get a 10 pack.
 
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Rocco Crocco

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I was using D'Addario's for a while but a couple years ago I kept running into problems with the winding at the ball end coming undone. I think it happened two or three times. Switched to Ernie Balls after that.
 

rich85

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I can’t get Boomers at a cheap price in Aus. The Boomers and Gibson Pure Nickel are easily the best sounding strings in my opinion and all the other big brands sound and feel the same to me.

I am in Brisbane where it is super humid so I tried the coated Daddario XT strings yesterday instead of Elixer Optiwebs. They feel a bit worse and sound a bit brighter than the Elixer.
 

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