What strings do you use and why?

littlebadboy

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Not sure which section this should go...

I know there are a lot of strings threads here already, but the last was 2015. This time, I want to go deeper, like what brand, gauge, make, and etc do you use - and why?

For me, I like even tensions. All my guitars are drop D tuned. My choice of gauges also depends on the guitar's scale length. Thus, for 24.75" I use the regular 10's set, but I use a 56 gauge on the 6th string because of the drop D tune. For my 25.5" guitars, I use regular 9's but I use 46 gauge on the 6th. These gauge choices gives me an even tension from 1st to 6th string.

My brand choice is Ernie Ball. I usually buy the 7-string Regular Slinky set for my 24.75" guitars because it already has the 56. I save the included 46 for my 25.5" guitars when I buy a 9's set for it and just toss the included 42 intended for the 6th.

Why Ernie Ball? D'Addario sounds better but its tone deteriorates faster than Ernie Ball to my ears. Ernie Ball retains its tone for a long time. So, for economic reasons, I choose Ernie Ball. It's tone and feel is good enough for me.

I have a newly acquired PRS. It is a 25" scale. I am still in the process of finding out the best gauge, but right now 10's with 56 on the 6th just works out fine.

For quick switching from drop D to standard E tuning, which I rarely do anyway, I use a pitch-key.

367984


How about you?
 

Roxy13

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Like you I used to use 10s on the shorter scale guitars, but over the past year I've done some experiments with the hybrid set (light on the bottom and heavy on top) and even 9.5s. And I have decided to use 9s on everything from now on. I'm even considering trying 8s for winter when my arthritis is at it's worst.

I've used D'Addario for so long now that other brands sometimes feel weird to me. I use D'Addario on the mandolins as well, though one has no choice as it needs ball end strings and D'Addario is the only one who makes them. I've used Elixirs forever on my acoustics.
 

Guitpicky

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I'd drive down the middle of every road if I could so I'm fine with 10s. I tried the Optiwebs when they first came out and liked them a lot so been using them for the last couple years.

:)
 

Daniel.S

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Ernie ball 52-10’s and DR 56-10’s. Drop D and and Drop C.
I even use the 56-10 set on my 25.5 for a different feel.
Ernie balls are nice and cheap and sound great for what I’m doing.
The DR’s are the only ones I can find in those string gauges. They sound pretty good as well.
 

David Garner

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GHS Boomers, for the dumbest reason -- until last Saturday I had a PRS DGT that I used D'Addarios in, and my guitar tech couldn't figure out why it wouldn't stay in tune. Switched to Boomers and it solved the problem. So rather than buy special strings for that one guitar, I just bought Boomers for everything. Now that I've traded it for another LP, I will probably branch out and try more options. I put a set of Rotosounds on the new LP (because it was all I had) and they feel fantastic. I'll probably try D'Addario XLs again and maybe some Ernie Balls. I love the Boomers, so no harm, no foul if they don't work, but I want to try some new ones now that I don't have a finicky trem on one of my guitars.
 

David Garner

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For what it's worth, I don't think it was the strings per se -- I think that guitar probably had a burr in the trem somewhere or something that caused the D'Addario's windings to bind in the trem, and the Boomers didn't have that problem. He worked on the nut forever and never really got it right until he swapped the strings. I'd wager most PRS players would have zero issues using whatever strings they wanted. And I probably could have used something else, but when I found what worked I stuck with it.
 

anorton

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I’ve been using Regular Slinky Ernie Ball 10s for almost 40 years. I’ve tried other brands and other gauges, but I keep coming back to EB Regular Slinkys. They sound great, and I like the feel of them for standard tuning along with open G and E. Whenever I switch, I don’t notice any improvement in sound and the 10-46 just feels right. Doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying, though.
 

EndGame00

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EB 10-46 on LP's... I like my strings bright and tight....

Tried D'Addario 10-46.. it felt wierd as if it has too much slack and less tension for bending... They're duller sounding to my ears...
 

littlebadboy

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Tried D'Addario 10-46.. it felt wierd as if it has too much slack and less tension for bending... They're duller sounding to my ears...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed. I mean, when new fresh out of the case, they're great, but after a few days, it turns dull. The EBs are constantly nice longer tyan D'Ads
 

ACEit

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gibson VR 10 in almost all my short scale.

rotosound yellow 9 on the strat.
 

GreekPower

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Elixir 10-46 nanowebs on the les paul and 9-42 on my superstrats. Love the feeling of the coating
 

dspelman

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Mostly GHS Boomers (cheap, pretty good) that I buy in bulk when they go on sale. I change strings often, so cheaper is better. I use Dean Markley Cold (Blue?) Steels when I've got a gig.

I use 10's on most of my 24.75" guitars, 9's on the 25.5" guitars unless I'm running a Floyd.
I don't have issues with downtuning; I do most of that with Variax JTV 89F's, so the string tension never changes.
 

Lloyd_m

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I used to use 9-46 on my LPs (D'addarios I think).

Then I got my EBMM Valentine almost 2 years ago. It came with Ernie Ball 11-48, and I immediately loved the feel. Tried them on my LPs expecting them to be too much on the shorter scale... Didn't happen, and now I put EB 11-48 on All my guitars regardless of scale (standard tuning on all of them).
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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Just for fun I recently tried a set of Reverend Willy's 7-38s on the Lester. Expecting them to be a mere joke, they are actually a good set of strings that stay in tune well enough and plenty punchy sounding.

I would have thought thin strings would sound thin and weak - they do not. You can bend crazy with them, quite a bit of fun! If you have a heavy picking hand, these are probably not a great choice.

7-38s update below a few posts ... https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/what-strings-do-you-use-and-why.425442/page-2#post-9080175

This has me re-thinking my electric string choices. I can see going to 8s from the 9s I have settled on.

I'm using Ernie's 9-46 hybrid set on the StratoMutt right now. String bends are easy enough with the polished stainless steel frets and ebony board.

I have 5 sets of 9-46s waiting for their turn, so that is what I'll use for a while.

For my 6 string Martin, It is D'Addario Phosphor Bronze EJ17 13 - 56. My 12 string Martin gets Martin MSP7600 Phosphor Bronze 10-47s. Those are the sets that sound best to my ear.
 
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+Lefty

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I recently got a LP JR T DC and it was set up for me using Slinkies-10's. The twisted and wrapped portions of the strings going over the stop bar made it painful to rest my hand there. Some jagged wire. I just changed to Dunlop electric nickle 10's and for what it is worth-the problem of jagged wraps on the bar are not present with these Dunlop strings. I liked the way the Ball's sounded though. Both good.
 

Frozen Rat

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Nothing under 10s for me. I down-tune a lot and loose strings will tend to buzz a bit. Plus, anything under 10s just don't feel right. It's not just about tension for me—10s already having very little—rather also how they feel under my fingers when I slide, bend, pull off. If I pull-off on a treble E 9 gauge, I pull it too much and it can get "caught" on my finger too.

I stick to Gibson Vintage Masterbuilts. I should probably experiment with others but I'm not sure I'd really notice a difference. On my acoustic, each brand sounds different, noticeably. I haven't really noticed much of a sonic difference on electrics. It's probably there and I should probably experiment a bit more.
 

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