#1
Hey there,

I was thinking about getting some new strings for my guitar and as my screen name implies, haven't been playing very long. My local music store has a variety of strings, the cheapest being about 10$ going all the way up to the 20$ elixir strings. I keep hearing all these good things about the elixir strings. My question is what makes them so good and are they worth the extra 10$. Thanks in advance for any and all replies.
#2
I've never used them myself, but my friend uses them and I asked him basically the same question. He said that they are very much worth the money and that they last a really long time and still sound new. I dunno. That's just what he told me.
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#3
They have a different tone than plain strings, at least to me, so if you like them and you tend not to break strings, they're worth it; they'll last for a really long time. You should at least take the plunge once. You'll blow $20 on more meaningless things in your life.
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#4
I reckon they are i've strung up plenty of acoustics with them and they all felt great and sounded great and more importantly lasted quite a long time.
#5
I change normal strings on my acoustic each 2 month and I use the same Elixir set since christmas.
#6
dont waste your money at a shop. look up a youtube video to learn how to properly string it up and go to an online music store and buy a bulk pack of your prefered guage. local stores around my area charge 7 or 8 bucks for the ernie balls that i get for three bucks a piece when i buy a six pack. as far as the elixers go i dont like them. they just sound and feel a little different than i like. i think it just makes it better for a player that doesnt clean his strings or change them often enough. for what little cost it takes i feel its worth changing strings once a month or so (especially on acoustic guitars) to get the best sound and feel out of the instrument. i would stay away from coated strings and just clean and replace your strings as necessary. oh, and i would also advise you to play your guitar directly before and after the string change. once you hear the difference clean fresh strings make you will be suprised.
#7
The Elixirs tend to be a on the bright side and I have found they do last quite a while. I used the nano-webs on my ovation. Over the last year or two I've come to like different strings though- I use the DR phosphorus bronze- they give a more mellow, warm tone that I like a lot better and they're not as expensive.
#8
I play too hard and break strings a lot. I use cheap martin SP's, they have a good tone. Just don't last as long. I'm thinking of switching to Daddario's after I run out. seem a bit stronger.
#9
Elixirs are good if you like the tone. I don't, personally, but I know many people who swear by them. If you're looking into coated strings, I would suggest Cleartone EMPs over Elixirs any day.
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#10
I'd suggest d'Addario EXPs if you are looking at coated strings. Cleartone EMPs (as suggested by captivate above) are good strings also, but I prefer the tone of the d'Addario EXPs.

As for Elixirs, I think they are a huge ripoff. I don't particularly care for their uber bright tone and they break much, much easier than any other string I've ever tried. Not sure why they seem to break so easily, but experience speaks the loudest in my mind, and in my experience, Elixirs break really easily.

I used coated strings (d'Addario EXPs) for several years, and I have recently quit using them altogether. I eventually found that I really prefer the sound of just a good set of cheap Martins more than anything. Sure they have to be replaced more often, but I think they sound the best.
#11
personally i think strings don't matter that much to a beginner. if you're playing for an audience then it makes sense to spend a little more for better sound, but when you're just thrashing the strings to gain experience the only thing that matters is that you have strings for your guitar.
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#12
yes they are worth the buck
i can use elixir set for 3-4 months
but
i strongly recommend nanowebs
polywebs sound dead out of the box
nanowebs sound almost as bright as regular strings

d'addario EXPs dont last at all. i kill them in 3-4 days completely. for reference, i kill any uncoated strings in 1-2 days

i recommend phosphor bronze over usual 80/20 bronze, 6th and 5th strings sound a bit truer to me (80/20 bronze has tiny weird harmonics on those strings, phosphor doesnt)

go and try them
even if you dont really like these, no way you will feel like its a rip off

i swear by them. for me, they are best among 4-5 brands of coated and uncoated strings i tried

there is a reason why Taylors are strung with them from factory

personally i think strings don't matter that much to a beginner. if you're playing for an audience then it makes sense to spend a little more for better sound, but when you're just thrashing the strings to gain experience the only thing that matters is that you have strings for your guitar.

no

dead strings = no inspiration to play
whats the point of thrashing strings?
do you play only for audience or do you sometimes play for you own pleasure?
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#13
I use D'Addario's Phosphore Bronze, they're good strings for a decent price (they sell for about 10 bucks over here). Clear tone, quite strong (unless you want to bend 2 full tones or something like that), seeing as how I can atleast last about 2 months with a set. Very good strings for regular picking/strumming. Tone wise, they start out bright but they end up being more mellow. I don't particularly mind this, and it's also partly due to me not wiping my strings after playing all the time.
#14
i'm using the smallest gauge elixir nanoweb strings. personally, i like them. i've found them to be easier on the hand then some other brands. I can play/mess around for hours and my hands won't hurt as bad compared to the stock d'addario strings my guitar came with.
#15
MARTIN SP's FTW!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Elixirs are ok... I used them twice when i first bought my acoustic cuz i assumed the more expensive they are, the nicer they are. Then I started to play more and bought other strings. Martin SP's are BY FAR my favorite. Dont last as long, (maybe a month or a lil more) but they sure do sing. And they like 6 bucks where I live so no complaint there. Elixirs are worth trying at least once. If you do, get the nanowebs. They feel better to me.
#17
elixirs are cracking strings dont get me wrong, i used them for many years

but you cannot get better than newtones
#18

I've always used GHS, or D'addario, and never had a problem. Plus I break a string every two or three months, so buying expensive strings would be a waste.

Where do you live that strings are $10? At my local music shop, even Elixirs (which I've never actually used) are only about $12, and the ones I buy are $5-7.
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#19
Martin SPs are great, but I prefer the Eric Clapton Signature Martins. The balance is better on my Martin with those on.
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#20
Quote by Regensgeliebte
yes they are worth the buck
i can use elixir set for 3-4 months
but
i strongly recommend nanowebs
polywebs sound dead out of the box
nanowebs sound almost as bright as regular strings

d'addario EXPs dont last at all. i kill them in 3-4 days completely. for reference, i kill any uncoated strings in 1-2 days

i recommend phosphor bronze over usual 80/20 bronze, 6th and 5th strings sound a bit truer to me (80/20 bronze has tiny weird harmonics on those strings, phosphor doesnt)

go and try them
even if you dont really like these, no way you will feel like its a rip off

i swear by them. for me, they are best among 4-5 brands of coated and uncoated strings i tried

there is a reason why Taylors are strung with them from factory


no

dead strings = no inspiration to play
whats the point of thrashing strings?
do you play only for audience or do you sometimes play for you own pleasure?

There's also a reason Takamines, Breedloves, and Seagulls are strung with D'Addario EXPs from the factory. Money.

Seriously, string makers supply guitar makers with strings so that they can work on brand loyalty from the start.
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#21
nanowebs are absolutely worth the money.... they last at least twice as long.... the tone is good and they play fast...... the polywebs last forever but they dont have the same tone.... i looooove them... the only ones i have thought about trying the ernie ball coated ones recently tho
#22
Frames4ever
Quote by Frames4ever
I play too hard and break strings a lot. I use cheap martin SP's, they have a good tone. Just don't last as long. I'm thinking of switching to Daddario's after I run out. seem a bit stronger.
D'Addario's are stronger. Sound a little brighter than the Martins.
#23
If you're just starting, its worth it to try different strings and see which you like the best, so go ahead and try em. Personally I didn't like elixers because I thought the tone wasn't great compared to my usual D'Addario's, and they also just felt a little weird to my fingers, like they stuck to the elixers and I had a harder time with hand movement. But that's just my personal experience, and my hands sweat like crazy and emit some weird chemicals so I usually have different string experiences than others. But Id say it's worth it just to know if you like them or not.
#24
I use elixirs on everything all the time, to the point where I sometimes feel cheaper strings are the waste of money and elixirs are worth it. However it seems to me that beginners tend to, by some force of nature, break strings frequently even when they handle everything properly. So if you're affected by that force of nature, i'd recommend going with cheaper strings for a while until you feel like you want to make the switch to elixirs, if you even want to. I wouldn't buy from that shop though, you can get elixirs online for like $8, and generic regular strings for like $3.
#25
I heard that Polyweb is the way to go, appearently the "new" nanoweb ones are not nearly as long lasting. I can't testament to that, as i never tried nanoweb ones, i did try polyweb ones though, and i shit you not, i didn't change them for like a year, and they sounded brand new.

However, it is abit of a different feeling, due to the coating. Feels abit slippery i suppose, but you get used to it fast. Also, obviously, if you do alot of big sliding/scraping, they will NOT last as long, as it scratches off the coating.

But erh. Yea, i like them. I should probably use them again!
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#26
I'd say they're worth it for sure just for the fact that they last longer. Unless you don't mind changing your guitar strings on a constant basis. The cheaper brands were always pretty well dead and rusted after only 2 or 3 weeks for me, I haven't had this issue after switching to elixirs. I don't buy too much into the "tone" thing. The sound comes from your playing. No guitar string is going to make you a better guitarist.
#27
Yes I would say they are worth every penny. I have a been using them for 15 yrs and can't live without them now, every other brand just sounds and feels wierd. I can sometimes get 3 months out of one set. Back in the day i would have to swap out Ernie balls every other week. Check amazon as there is usually a three for the price of two deals on.
#28
This is anecro but

They last long, yes. On the other hand, I use harmonics a lot, and found it much harder to get decent sounding ones with them. They sound flat and I couldn't access 4th/9th fret harmonics without considerable frustration.
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#29
I honestly think theyre good, but not for the reasons people might think. I actually like their buttery feel and tone, but to me they were just too brittle, would always break within a month, and if you do last more than a month the coating on them shed like a snake in heat.

I've been using D'addario EXPs for a while now, and I'd vouch for them any day. Nice balanced tone, cheaper than elixirs, last longer in my experience and don't shed nearly as hard. The way I see it, elixirs are great if you play your guitar once a month or less, the rate at which they break compared to their price to me is a deal breaker.
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Last edited by Jimjambanx at Aug 15, 2016,
#30
Elixrs last a long time, I've been using them on all my guitars for years. Like every brand/type of string they have their own sound. Some people like them some don't; just like everything else. That said, I've been playing for over 20 years and I can attest that elixr's do last a long time
#31
Quote by Jimjambanx
...[ ]...I've been using D'addario EXPs for a while now, and I'd vouch for them any day. Nice balanced tone, cheaper than elixirs, last longer in my experience and don't shed nearly as hard. The way I see it, elixirs are great if you play your guitar once a month or less, the rate at which they break compared to their price to me is a deal breaker.
OK, keep in mind I have experience with only 1 set of Elixirs, and they came with my Taylor 150e 12 string. (Two years later, they're still on there, but I haven't played it all that much. I did break the G-3 octave string (.008), but I always replace them with .009 anyway.

Quote by Jimjambanx
I've been using D'addario EXPs for a while now, and I'd vouch for them any day. Nice balanced tone, cheaper than elixirs, last longer in my experience and don't shed nearly as hard. The way I see it, elixirs are great if you play your guitar once a month or less, the rate at which they break compared to their price to me is a deal breaker.
I would swear, the D'Addario EXP's which any of my guitars shipped with, lasted way longer that their same brand replacements.

The "coating" or "treatment" whatever we're going to call it, doesn't really hang in there all that long. I judge that as soon as your cleaning rag starts showing black copper corrosion traces, you're through the coating. The phosphor bronze strings seem to dull rapidly, but I'm willing to admit I'm working with very old ears.

Also, I haven't found anything better. I'm hoping the Martin SP's I have will be brighter, but I haven't tried them yet.
#32
Elixrs are good, but as was said they tend to sound a little too bright for my taste
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#33
I personally like Dunlop strings lately. My Epiphone Les Paul came with a set of 9's that feel really good to me. Nice and slinky although they are not advertised as such.
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#34
Quote by Captaincranky

The "coating" or "treatment" whatever we're going to call it, doesn't really hang in there all that long. I judge that as soon as your cleaning rag starts showing black copper corrosion traces, you're through the coating. The phosphor bronze strings seem to dull rapidly, but I'm willing to admit I'm working with very old ears.


The whole point of coated strings is that youre not supposed to wipe them down, sweat and dirt don't get into the strings so it really doesn't matter if you clean them, and all you're doing is wiping off the coating, which kills them quicker.
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#35
Quote by Jimjambanx
The whole point of coated strings is that youre not supposed to wipe them down, sweat and dirt don't get into the strings so it really doesn't matter if you clean them, and all you're doing is wiping off the coating, which kills them quicker.
Not even if you play right after doing a brake job on your car?

Just kidding. Thanks for the heads up.
#36
I believe in wiping down strings regularly to prevent corrosion and promote their longevity. I'm not perfect, I forget to wipe them down occasionally. In addition to a basic overall wipe down I like to "pinch" each string one at a time wiping from nut to bridge ( I'm sure my dirty mind isn't the only one that found that statement amusing). I have some Dunlop string cleaner that I use maybe once a month, it's alright-take it or leave it-I got it for free. And once I learned a restringing technique that works for me has vastly improved the overall longevity on any brand of strings I've been using over the years.
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