#1
I normally use D'Addario or Ernie Ball strings but recently a person told me since I live in a city with a sea I should use elixir as they have a long life.
I checked on to the prices and it seems like i can get 3 sets of ernies or d'addario that I use for the price of 1 set of elixir. what do you guys say?
I'm wondering if anybody uses elixir strings, what if you use it for a long period will the tone be same like it was when those strings were new?
and how often should someone change strings 2months, 3months or more?
#2
Elixirs last longer but if you're ever the type of person to snap strings then don't bother (because whats the use of strings that last longer if you're going to snap them anyway). For the price I don't think they are worth it because to my ears they sound a little thinner and too zingy, and they stay sounding zingy for a year or more (on the wound strings). After a while the coating starts to peel off and you will see fibres of the webbing on your strings.

They also feel different to normal strings, some people comment on them feeling slimey. Personally I don't mind them, they are pretty decent and I've put a few sets on my guitar in the past, for the price though they just arent worth it and ultimately a fresh set of D'addario strings sound better.


How often to change strings? It depends, some people have acid dripping from their hands and leave the guitar in rough humid conditions, strings don't like this. When I was touring I would change strings every 1-2 weeks, nowadays I change them every 3-6 months depending on the guitar, some may stay on longer.

But with me they last well and don't rust or get dirty, I keep them in good conditions and my hands don't sweat when I play, at all (though when I was just starting this wasn't the case). So it all depends on the person and the environment the guitar is kept in.
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 8, 2013,
#3
I live two streets away from a beach and use Ernie Balls. They last me months and retain shine for a good part of that time.

The secret? Wash your hands before every practice. Wipe the strings down after you're finished. Keep the guitar in its case when not in use through the week.

Everytime.
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#4
I used D'addario XLs for years (remember the cow sticker?) and have no complaints about them. Recently my buddy who owns a music store asked me to try out some Ernie Ball cobalts. I had heard about cobalts and wanted to try them anyway, and since he gave them to me for free I figured what the hell. I sweat a lot on stage. When I say a lot, I mean BUCKETS. Anyone who knows about playing live knows what I'm talking about. Anyway, I fell in love with them. I don't snap strings often, but when I do it's usually at the worst possible time. I put the cobalts through the wringer and haven't snapped one yet. They're bright sounding, shiny, and seem to last damn near forever. Just my opinion.
#5
i was one block off of the gulf, never had any problems around home or anything. i guess i really didn't play outside that close to the gulf, but never had a problem.
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#6
How do you know if you need new guitar strings?

For Acoustic and Electric guitars
Couple of questions to answer:

1) Have you had the same strings on for over 2 months?
2) Are your strings rusty?
3) Are your strings rough?
4) Do your strings sound dull?
5) Had a string break recently?

If you answered yes to any of the above, its probably time to replace your strings.

Because of moisture on your fingers and in the atmosphere, strings corrode and rust over time and their ablility to vibrate diminishes. This not only causes the sound to dull but even worse, the feel of the strings becomes rough and will hurt or even damage your fingers.

Strings can also become brittle from too much vibration, just think of how a paper clip snaps if you twist it too much, the same happens to strings - especially if you use a lot of different tunings.

If you play a lot, say for 2 hours a day every day, then you should look at changing your guitar strings every month.
If you play less, but still strum most days, the max you should leave them on the guitar would be 2 months.

Strings are quite cheap, about £5 for a set of 6.

There is an alternative to changing your strings this often. You can buy coated strings. These last longer due to a coating on the strings that prevent dirt build up and corrosion. Coated guitar strings tend to last 3 to 5 times longer than normal strings, so you can leave them on for longer. These still need to be changed though. At least every 6 months these should be changed as they are also prone to breaking because of the vibrations of the string as explained earlier using the paper clip analogy.
Coated strings do cost more, about £12 for a set of 6, but last longer, so can work out more cost effective.

Ernie Ball Coated Strings have titanium reinforcement to make them stronger and less prone to break.

For Bass Guitars, the strings are much more substantial and tend to last longer and hold their tone. Change bass strings at least once a year.

For Classical Guitars with nylon based strings, again because of the way they are made, they don't rust, so last longer. They do age though, so do need replacing. When they age they tend to stretch and become hard to keep in tune. If you don't want to wait till this starts happening, you should look at changing them every 3 to 4 months.

So to summarise:
Change your Electric / Acoustic uncoated strings at least every 2 months.
Change your coated Electric / Acoustic strings at least every 6 months.
Change your Bass guitar strings at least once a year.
Change your Classical guitar strings at least every 4 months.

Details of guitar strings can be found at the Guitarbitz Guitar Strings page.
http://www.guitarbitz.com/when-to-change-guitar-strings-i44
#7
Ive started trying daddrio XLs. Though were unbelievingly bright as new, but after 3 months or so, yes they are dull. Though ive heared them last four times the normal on their tutorials. Any suggestions on them?
#8
Quote by siddiq4321
Ive started trying daddrio XLs. Though were unbelievingly bright as new, but after 3 months or so, yes they are dull. Though ive heared them last four times the normal on their tutorials. Any suggestions on them?


As I said in an earlier post, I used D'Addadrio XLs for years and don't have a problem with them. They are great strings, but I had the same thing going on with them. When I was a kid it wasn't a big deal for me to play rusty or dull strings because I wasn't really doing anything important. Played a few small shows as a teenager but nothing major. Now, even though I still love the strings, I play on stage often and I sweat a lot. This is a serious problem for the XLs because I was breaking a lot of string or changing strings after every show. I started using cobalts and I love them.
#9
i prefer dunlop heavy core 10-48 for standard/drop d. i like that i can buy 6 packs for $24.
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#10
Don from D'Addario Strings here - our EXP series of strings (both for acoustics and electrics) are coated to extend their playing life. If you're a heavy sweater, so to speak - like myself, these can't help a great deal. They're all i use - .012-.056 on acoustic / .010-.046 on electric.
Don Dawson
Marketing Specialist
D'Addario / Planet Waves