#1
If you walk into a guitar shop asking for electric guitar string then you would see the many different brands of strings but will the string choice affect the tone much? Is there really much difference between and expensive one and a cheap one.

(edited)
I use the GHS fast fret oil to prolong my string's life but should I get new strings or can I just maintain it forever.
Last edited by wmthor at Nov 27, 2009,
#2
There is usually not a very profound difference between brands, except in a couple different cases (ie. Hex core strings vs round core), but between the gauges there are differences in tone that can definitely be heard. There's also differences in durability, like Elixir coated strings last about 4x as long for me than D'addario strings. For the most part, a more expensive string will pay off in the long run.
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#3
Among brands, the tone variances are subtle, albeit existant. The differences between gauges are far more noticeable.
Higher end strings tend to be more durable.

But, I mean, there's not really such a thing as expensive guitar strings. The most costly, in general, are acoustic Elixirs which are around 12-13$ a pack, and they last long enough to make up for the cost.
Money isn't really a worry when buying strings, they're all cheap enough, just try out a few brands and see which ones feel best to you.
#4
Quote by muse-ik
There is usually not a very profound difference between brands, except in a couple different cases (ie. Hex core strings vs round core), but between the gauges there are differences in tone that can definitely be heard. There's also differences in durability, like Elixir coated strings last about 4x as long for me than D'addario strings. For the most part, a more expensive string will pay off in the long run.


Yes, but buying 50 packs of D'addario's will pay off even more in the long run. I change strings once a month, but it's cheap and it works really good for me. Tone lasts long enough.
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#5
The difference has nothing to do with the price (Elixer = $12 a pack, sound like shit, GHS = $5.50 a pack, sound amazing), but the strings do make a difference. I'm sure many will disagree with my personal view on which strings are better, but yes.

IMO:
Dean Markely - sound like old GHS strings. I wouldn't mind that, except that after the DM's get old, they sound like GHS strings that needed to be changed three years ago

GHS - My personal favorite. Warm and rich. Don't last long though

Ernie Ball - My practice strings. Whenever I'm going for a long stretch without playing a gig or doing a professional recording, I use these or d'Addarios. Brighter tone than GHS's, but in some cases I guess that's a good thing.

d'Addario - My metal strings. When I'm in need of putting a guitar in B standard, I buy a light jazz set of these (12-52).

DR - Great for downtuned metal, but personally not my favorite. I use them sometimes, but usually not.

Keep in mind, there are many more than what I just listed. Try them all for yourself. Some strings do last longer than others, and because of how strings are made, some sound brighter than others, some sound darker, some seem to just be flat and blegh.
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#7
Lighter gauge strings are easier to bend, but in my opinion have a thinner tone. Heavier strings (and I'm assuming you're in standard for this statement) will give you a thicker tone. For standard, I play 10's. SRV used 11's, and his tone was much richer than mine. However, I can not for the life of me bend like he did, and since playability is of such importance to me, I stick with standard gauge strings (10's)
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#8
Quote by wmthor
So whats the difference between heavy and light gauge


Lighter: Easy to bend, sounds thin and bright.

Heavier: Harder to bend, richer and thicker tone, works for downtuning.

My favorite set of strings: D'addario XL light top/heavy bottom
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Last edited by BlisteringDDj at Nov 27, 2009,
#10
Quote by kumamilesbear
Lighter gauge strings are easier to bend, but in my opinion have a thinner tone. Heavier strings (and I'm assuming you're in standard for this statement) will give you a thicker tone. For standard, I play 10's. SRV used 11's, and his tone was much richer than mine. However, I can not for the life of me bend like he did, and since playability is of such importance to me, I stick with standard gauge strings (10's)


SRV used 11's on a bad day. On a good day he used 13's or even thicker. He has even used 16's...
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#11
Quote by BlisteringDDj
SRV used 11's on a bad day. On a good day he used 13's or even thicker. He has even used 16's...

Did not know that

But that is absolutely insane. I'm amazed Lennie didn't shatter.
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#12
I'm gonna follow kumamilesbear's way and I'm going to point out the strings in my opinion. Take note,however,that due to a limited variety I've played only a few.
Dean Markley strings,especially Blue Steel are awesome! I mean I played with a knife and it sounded awesome! Tho I don't believe they are that good for downtunning. Play standart with them and you're set Last a lot with a very bright tone which lasts for about 2 months playing about 3-4 hours a day.
GHS-Wonderful strings,warm and rich tone,don't know about how long they last because I played with them for just a month but they sure were amazing!
Ernie Ball-My favourite strings You should try the 12-56 pack if you're into going into the lower tunings (Drop B with these sounds amazing!). Awesome bright tone,tho they begin to lose tone if you play alot in a 2-month-period.
D'Addario- disappointing strings,they offer that warm and rich tone perfect for most types of music but definitely not for metal and definitely not for going on lower tunings with. They sound like sh1t even half a step down. They also don't last very long. Or I might have gotten a bad set. Tho I doubt that all three of 'em were bad luck...
To sum up: Wanna play metal? Want to play it on lower tunings? Ernie Ball!
Standart, awesome rock and heavy metal? Dean Markley.
Amazing tone for almost everything? GHS strings.

But you've got to try them all to get your personal point of view,which suit you the best etc.

Edit: Gauges matter a lot. Try playing in E Standart with 9 gauge and then with 10 gauge. You will notice THE DIFFERENCE! Thicker and louder tone,much harder to play tho. But it's worth it,if you do try it,you'll notice how in a week or two's time you'll be playing like a knife through butter with them
Last edited by Dopemgs at Nov 27, 2009,
#13
There is a difference in feel from brand to brand in my experience

For example the same set of D'addarios will feel much stiffer and tear my fingers up more then a set of Ernie balls. They just have a softer feel to me for some reason even though they are the same gauges.
#14
Don't go too heavy for your ability. 10 is the highest I would recommend for beginner or intermediate, and is what a good majority of pros use. SRV apparenty had to superglue his fingertips to his forearm and tear new skin layers on because heavy gauges tore it off
#15
ok umm glemnar i think thats not entirely true because i use 14-72s in standard and ive never had to do anything like that.

Plus SRV tuned half a step down from standard

and may i mind you i practice over three hours a day.

Now compare THAT bub. lol
Last edited by Deadlock Riff at Nov 28, 2009,
#16
I personally like Elixers, since they are basicly a GHS string with a coating on them to keep them lasting long, I can usually keep the tone of Elixers for about 3 months before it losses it. D'Addario stings are great acoustic strings, but for electric there alright. I have yet to try Ernie Ball strings, but I have a pack in my guitar case. Never get Cleartone strings, the worst strings I have ever bought, they sound so dull and lifeless its not even funny. DR stings sound really loose and flabby, dosent have any richness to them. Fender Nickle Plated are nice for standard and sound alright.

But Brand and type of string does affect the tone. Nickle plated strings tend to be more bright, steel wound tend to be more bassy, 80/20 bronze are more bright, phosper bronze is more medium, and straight up bronze is bassy. Guage also affects tone, thicker the strings, the clearer they sound.
#17
I must disagree that Elixers are just coated GHS strings. To me, not only do Elixer strings sound to bright, but they also feel like they're covered in oil. The only coated strings I would ever use are the d'Addario EXP strings because, unlike Elixers which are coated as a whole, d'Addario coats each separate wire in an EXP string before winding everything together, which helps to keep the natural tone in the strings.
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#19
Quote by Duv
No-one like RotoSound strings round here? I personally use D'addario 10s, and 12s on the hollowbodies, but i'm thinking of trying out some RotoSound British Steels (11s)

Yeah I like RotoSounds. Got a set on now, and am off out tomorrow to pick up some 12's or 13's. Good little strings. Pretty sturdy, nice tone, durable.
#20
Ernie Ball: Bright, yet balanced; somewhat short lived (3-4 weeks), reasonably versatile.
D'addario: fairly bright, fairly long lived for a non-coated string (approx 1.5 months); not good for downtuning, save for sets above 10-52.
GHS: very warm, good for downtuning, last a while (4-5 weeks).
Elixir: extremely long lived (4 months-1 year), slick, fairly bright.

My personal favorites are D'addario for standard, GHS for downtuning, elixir for acoustic.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#21
On your edit: you cannot maintain a string forever. String oil only keeps it in better tone for longer.Not only will it sound awful but it's not hygienic. Do you know how much dead skin the skins contain only after a week usage? Even if you wipe 'em. A LOT! It builds up and you lose a lot of tone and it kinda sucks X_X They even start to smell funny,you know,the way the dead skin rots and you get a bad smell if you don't shower often. The dead skin which is rubbed off from your body rots on you and you smell like shit. Same applies to the strings. Tho they ARE NOT TO BE SHOWERED EVERY DAY! Neither the guitar...
#22
i normally use earnie ball regular slinkies, i like them alot more then GHS. d'adario are good to but i find they dont last to long. im trying elixers right now there not to expensive only a few bucks more then the slinkys. there pretty good, they feel and look like brand new even tho its been 3 months now!...
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#23
D'Addarios are awesome; they have a great, bright sound and the wound strings (EAD) are the most comfortable strings I have played on. Much better than Elixers and Ernie Balls in my opinion.
#24
Quote by Dopemgs

D'Addario- disappointing strings,they offer that warm and rich tone perfect for most types of music but definitely not for metal



what strings did you play? to say a set of strings cant be used for metal is kinda ridiculous. as long as you use a heavy enough set for whatever tuning you use you'll be straight. i play c standard on my V and SG and use d'addario ej22 jazz bright strings. .13-.56. sound great and are in no way not good for metal.
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#25
Keep in mind that for some people, a certain brand will last long and sound great, but for other people they'll last about 2 weeks and sound like utter shit (Ernie Ball, in my case).
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

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#26
Quote by Crohny
what strings did you play? to say a set of strings cant be used for metal is kinda ridiculous. as long as you use a heavy enough set for whatever tuning you use you'll be straight. i play c standard on my V and SG and use d'addario ej22 jazz bright strings. .13-.56. sound great and are in no way not good for metal.

I'm saying "in my opinion". I used 12-54 strings and played in Drop B. It was disgusting. I tuned up to D and it was still awful. I had used 10 gauge D'Addario strings as well,tuned to Drop C and Drop D. It was dull. But as I said I don't like them for metal because I like having a bright tone when playing and I'm afraid d'Addario's don't carry that force which I love to use(abuse). But that's just my personal opinion really.
#27
Quote by Dopemgs
I'm saying "in my opinion". I used 12-54 strings and played in Drop B. It was disgusting. I tuned up to D and it was still awful. I had used 10 gauge D'Addario strings as well,tuned to Drop C and Drop D. It was dull. But as I said I don't like them for metal because I like having a bright tone when playing and I'm afraid d'Addario's don't carry that force which I love to use(abuse). But that's just my personal opinion really.



obviously it'd be disgusting. thats such a light gauge for that tuning. i use .13-/.56 for c standard. anything lighter and it's floppy and doesnt sound that great. im sure if you bumped up the string gauges you'd be surprised. also you're playing the strings at a looser tension than they are designed for. unless the strings say they are made for lower tunings obviously they wont sound bright. i guess you kind of over looked that whole part.

also, same goes for the drop tunings you mentioned. for drp D they should be fine, but for drop thats still going to be pretty loose. i know it's all opinion, but it seems like you're just shooting into the dark with the size of strings you get and expect them to work to their full potential.
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Last edited by Crohny at Nov 28, 2009,
#28
nah the pressure was fine and btw 12-56 work wonders in Drop B But really those 12-54 by d'Addarios were evil >.< Even the lighter gauge was kinda awful really. I tried it even in E Standart but it sounded too boring. Believe me,I know what I'm saying,it ain't just "shooting into the dark"
#30
Quote by natehimself
light strings are for pussys go heavy. i got some .60's on my gibson vixen.



i'll be buying a new guitar to set up for A standard with .70 for my low A.


Quote by Dopemgs
nah the pressure was fine and btw 12-56 work wonders in Drop B But really those 12-54 by d'Addarios were evil >.< Even the lighter gauge was kinda awful really. I tried it even in E Standart but it sounded too boring. Believe me,I know what I'm saying,it ain't just "shooting into the dark"


whatever you like man. .12-.56 are too slack for me in B standard. sounds terrible. I wouldn't play anything smaller than .60 for my low B in that tuning.
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Quote by PeteTLT
Will preamp tubes turn black and melt slightly undernormal conditions and still work?
Last edited by Crohny at Nov 28, 2009,