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Old 09-11-2013, 02:22 PM   #1
West Riding
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Which Guitar Strings?

Hi all,
I've just bought a Fender electro acoustic and I am wondering which are the best strings to put on it. I will try and set the guitar up myself but I am not very experienced so i may just end up taking it to a guitar shop to be done professionally.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:19 PM   #2
KG6_Steven
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That's a pretty subjective question, TS. You're liable to get a different answer from everyone who responds. The best strings are the ones you like.

So, I'll give you my 2 cents... Personally, I prefer Elixir Nanowebs on my acoustics. They last a lot longer than phosphor bronze strings and will maintain tone better. Of course, you're going to find guys who don't like Elixir strings. You'll have to decide for yourself. To me, they're pricey, but worth it.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:32 PM   #3
West Riding
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Sorry I could of given a better description. I have just bought an electro acoustic for the first time. I am a complete beginner, but I know the guitar will most likely need setting up and the strings replacing. I don't really know anything about strings, I just want some good suggestions for a good set of strings. Some that will suit my beginner status but also be very good quality both in sound and material.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:00 PM   #4
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Fender ships AE guitars (*) with their proprietary brand of coated brass, (80/20 alloy) strings. These are rather bright, as per Fender's typical tonal philosophy.

At least my "Sonoran" came with them.

You have to decide what kind of sound you'd like to get from the guitar. That should guide your choice of string.

Brass (80/20), are quite bright, whereas "phosphor bronze" are a bit warmer. (This holds true pretty much regardless of string brand).

In addition to "Elixir" brand coated strings, D'Addario has a coated version in ther "EXP" line of strings. These are quite popular as well.

Here's a guide to acoustic setup: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/...up_page_01.html The guide is very thorough. It's best to familiarize yourself with the process before you try it yourself. Be honest, and ask yourself if you have the tools and skills, to follow through with the task.

Keep in mind that strings only last so long, no matter whose name is on the package. A lot of them come from the same factories and are simply re-branded.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 09-11-2013 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
West Riding
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Fender ships AE guitars (*) with their proprietary brand of coated brass, (80/20 alloy) strings. These are rather bright, as per Fender's typical tonal philosophy.

At least my "Sonoran" came with them.

You have to decide what kind of sound you'd like to get from the guitar. That should guide your choice of string.

Brass (80/20), are quite bright, whereas "phosphor bronze" are a bit warmer. (This holds true pretty much regardless of string brand).

In addition to "Elixir" brand coated strings, D'Addario has a coated version in ther "EXP" line of strings. These are quite popular as well.

Here's a guide to acoustic setup: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/...up_page_01.html The guide is very thorough. It's best to familiarize yourself with the process before you try it yourself. Be honest, and ask yourself if you have the tools and skills, to follow through with the task.

Keep in mind that strings only last so long, no matter whose name is on the package. A lot of them come from the same factories and are simply re-branded.


Thanks for the info. The problem really is that all the music shops in my city have closed down. I remember there used to be at least 5, now theres none, so I have to buy online stopping me from speaking to a shop assistant who can give advice etc.
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by West Riding
Thanks for the info. The problem really is that all the music shops in my city have closed down. I remember there used to be at least 5, now theres none, so I have to buy online stopping me from speaking to a shop assistant who can give advice etc.
A music store only goes so far in guiding your string choice. Stores have sales people, sales people have preferences, sales people have biases, and probably very different guitars than you do.

My point being, There's a lot of "you" variables in the equation, your guitar, your ears, your location of play, your expectations.

The two main brands are Elixir and D'Addario. After that, you make your choice of gauge and composition against the current performance of the guitar. I have an Ibanez with a laminated top. Instead of the phosphor bronze it shipped with, I string it with 80/20 brass, to liven it up a bit. My Fender was way too forward with the brass strings it shipped with, so I went to PB.

After you know the basic cause and effect relationships, that will guide your actions. Keep in mind that even with knowledge, there is still going to be a trial and error process.

All of us have to go through it. It's an integral part of learning to play...

BTW, temperature and relative humidity have a fairly profound effect on a guitar's sound, as does ambient noise. (I know I didn't have to make things harder, but it's in my nature to do so. Forgive me).
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
there is still going to be a trial and error process.

All of us have to go through it. It's an integral part of learning to play...


Great Advice!

I teach a high school guitar class, and use D'Addario phosphor bronze on the those. They are inexpensive and have a nice warm sound.

However, for my personal guitar, I prefer to shell out a little extra cash and use Elixirs Nanoweb PB. Great sound and excellent string life.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #8
West Riding
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You make it all sound very complicated, but I suppose it will come with experience and time. I think I will try the D'Addario's to start off with. Thanks for the advice guys.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:49 PM   #9
West Riding
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I went with Martin strings in the end, I'm happy with them as well, in few years when I have more experience I will know how to choose my preferred string.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:35 PM   #10
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yeah, it does seem complicated but it really isn't. the sound nuances are very small in general but some are much more different than the herd. the 2 most common strings are the Elixir nanowebs and D'addarion EXP's. usually in the lighter, easier to play string gauges. for a really good comparison in sound on youtube, look up music villa. they have a great comparison on string gauges and the effect on guitars. they use one brand in 4 different gauges on the same guitar. i personally could barely discern the differences while others claimed to notice that some sounded like truck horns vs honda civic car horns( uppity music snobs i think). i usually just stick with lights and mediums on my guitars.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #11
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My vote for Elixir as well. They just seem to last a bit longer than others.
As for gauge, I would start with lights and see how you like them.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:36 AM   #12
ItsMtnDrew
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You'll probably end up changing your mind. I bought a Martin (GPCPA5K) and right away put .11 gauge martin PB strings on it and they rusted quickly and started to shred my fingers. I've been playing, predominately, acoustic guitar almost everyday for 6 years, so my fingers have the callus build up to handle it. However, yours may not. Start elixir polyweb .11 and branch off from there. I'd say try a new type of string every month. Don't just switch between brands! Manipulate the different gauges and metals to get what sound fits you and the guitar. That's what I did over the years and I've grown to enjoy a bright tone from .10 bronze strings on my deep, warm sounding Martin. That gauge makes it very playable, but you can't kill it with a heavier pick.
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