#1
Some weird s**t has appeared on the radar....

For example:

Dean Markley Blue Steel

The blurb:

'Dean Markley Steve Vai endorsed Blue Steel's proprietary Cryo-tech processing re-aligns and re-organizes the strings molecular structure into a more re-active configuration. This tighter molecular configuration gives you an electric string which is Super Brilliant, has a full tone, tight bottom end and extended life.'

Ernie Ball Cobalt

The blurb 2:

'Part of the Ernie Ball Cobalt Slinky Guitar Strings Series, the 2728 Cobalt 7-String Regular Slinky Electric Guitar Strings are engineered to maximize output and clarity, and are the latest innovation in string technology.

Seeking to provide guitarists and bassists with a new voice, Cobalt strings provide an extended dynamic range, incredible harmonic response, increased low end, and crisp, clear highs.

Cobalt provides a stronger magnetic relationship between pickups and strings than any other alloy previously available. Cobalt Slinkys are also soft and silky to the touch, making string bending a breeze.'
#2
I know a lot of people hate on the cobalts (greasiness, price, etc) but I love em. They make shredding real smooth for me. I feel they last longer too
#3
Regarding endorsements, I've seen Vai and other guitarists endorse both blue steel and cobalts. That really means nothing. I've used cobalts for about a year now. It's not a huge difference. A little higher output, but not incredibly noticeable. I found that they keep a brighter tone longer than regular ernies. I don't know much about blue steel. Anyone else???
#4
Cryo-nanoweb-carobonfiber…whatever. I’m going to just keep buying ten packs of D’Addario when they go on sale for $25.
#5
I think it comes down to what you personally believe is valuable. I'be been through a few brands and alloys over the last couple of years, and can't honestly say that i was particularly blown away by any of them. I went onto daddario balanced tension strings a few years ago, then they released the NYXL range, so i bought the strings individually to make up sets that were more balanced tension wise, then i bought the balanced tensions they later released in the NYXL range, realised the NYXL ranged ages as quickly as the normal range anyways (and broke more during restringing - the unwound G in those packs is quite brittle), so i went back to the standard balanced tension range. I now don't care, and buy the basic 10's daddario offer, and am just as happy as i was before - and spending less money. I will concede that i do buy the reinforced/soldered strings for my strat so the tremolo can suffer a little more abuse, and i use the pure nickel range on my telesonic to keep up the tension on the 24.75 inch scale length.

So i suppose i'm still mucking around with it. i don't know why i bothered typing all this. I guess the gist is, I and many others will have a period of change, and then realise that all you need is what you seemed to be using all along.
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#6
And you didn't even include D'Addario's NYXL which costs 4 times as much as regular strings thanks to some techno voodoo. They do get good reviews though.

I use Blue Steels on one of my guitars. They are very-well made and they do last considerably longer and wear uniformly. They feel a little different, and sound just a tad bit duller unamplified, in my view. But I do like changing strings and playing on fresh ones. So while they do last at least twice as long as regular strings and for that reason one could justify twice the price, once I'm done with the packs I have, I'll go back to using regular strings. And I'm not convinced DM make these strings themselves.

I do doubt though all these claims about fantastic sound.

So as always, it's something you've got to try for yourself and see if you like it. I'm pretty happy with regular GHS Boomers and Dunlops.
#7
I mostly use CSA's (Cheapest Strings Available), which, for me, have been GHS Boomers in bulk. And on the guitars I use the most, I change them often.

For a gig or something special, I'll toss on a set of the Blue Steels. They're slightly brighter and they *do* last longer.

YMMV.
#8
Quote by dthmtl3
And you didn't even include D'Addario's NYXL which costs 4 times as much as regular strings thanks to some techno voodoo. They do get good reviews though.

I use Blue Steels on one of my guitars. They are very-well made and they do last considerably longer and wear uniformly. They feel a little different, and sound just a tad bit duller unamplified, in my view. But I do like changing strings and playing on fresh ones. So while they do last at least twice as long as regular strings and for that reason one could justify twice the price, once I'm done with the packs I have, I'll go back to using regular strings. And I'm not convinced DM make these strings themselves.

I do doubt though all these claims about fantastic sound.

So as always, it's something you've got to try for yourself and see if you like it. I'm pretty happy with regular GHS Boomers and Dunlops.


I did. They're fine. You can put them on a guitar and tune them and everything.
Furnder Turlurcurstur '72 Cursturm
A tuner
RAT!@#?1!
Oloctro Hormonox Doloxo Momory Mon
Fenders Deluxes Reverbs.
#9
I agree with dspellman. CSA. I usually use Ernie ball Slinky's probably because I have been using them for about as long as I can remember and every few months their 12 pack is on sale for about $35 and I buy a couple boxes. Last year I bought 40 sets of Musicians Friend generic brand strings because they were on a Stupid Deal sale. I had tried a set that a friend gave me and thought they were ok. On the Stupid Deal of the Day sale they were going for about $1.50 a set. They don't sound bad at all. I don't know who makes them for Musicians Friend but it's probably a factory that makes lots of other brands and since I change my strings often it's a bargain I can live with.
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#10
If you like the sound and have the disposable income to spend more than $10 on a pack of strings then go for it. The main reason these strings are expensive is because cobalt and stainless steel are significantly more expensive than nickel.

I just use D'Addario Nickel round wounds religiously. They're cheap, reliable and available at my local Sam Ash in any gauges I want if I run out of my bulk buys. Certainly not CSA but I use weird gauges anyway that don't go on sale often.
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#11
I've been a standard slinky and d'addario kind of guy, but the cobalts are my go to now, they just sound and feel perfect for me but YMMV.
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#12
No reason not to try something different. Strings are pretty cheap, compared to the other stuff you buy for guitars.
What's the worst that could happen? You don't like them and you're out a few bucks?
Who knows, you may find a new favorite string?
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#13
I usd coated strings for a while (Elixir). At first it seemed like a miracle - they last much longer. I hate changing strings so I was very motivated to use them.

However, after a while I began to notice that they simply don't have the same tone - it's an inferior tone for the styles I play. The coatings dull the strings and take away some of the initial mojo. On acoustic I'd go so far as to say that they sound actually quite worse than regular strings. The sound has an irritating quality to it. For recording or gigging I hate them, but for practicing they are useful.

I've never used Cobalts but I may give them a shot out of curiosity.
#14
It depends. I find strings and picks to be very important in tone. But newer isn't always better. And most of the descriptions are just marketing talk. It's just a bunch of buzzwords that guitarists like to hear. Most of them say they're giving you more of something. They're usually not lying but you have to ask yourself if you really want what they're selling or not. If you have a bright guitar and amp, you might not want stings that accentuate highs. You might want warmer strings with a softer attack. You might be happy with your current strings and not really notice it. Newer technology isn't better. It's just different. It's worth the price if you think they are. I use GHS Nickel Rockers which are pure nickel and rollerwound. They're old technology but they're still more expensive than standard strings. Anything other than the standard nickel-plated steel is going to cost a little more.
#16
I have used various standard brands (Ernie Balls, D'Addarios) and also the Cobalts and Elixirs.

Personally I found that the Cobalts sounded noticeably better immediately than the standard strings, however they deteriorated FAST. Like after a couple of weeks they would be basically the same as 1-2 month old regular Ernie Balls.

Given the increase in cost vs the lifespan it didn't make much sense to continue using them, so I tried Elixirs. I have found that they sound and feel very similar to the Cobalts, but they still sound and feel like this after between 3 and 4 months of being on the guitar. I have multiple guitars and I don't play each of them every day, so this is going to be part of the reason for the extra long life, so if you only have one guitar that you play for hours a day I'm sure the lifespan will be significantly less.
#17
I've tried those years ago but i really prefer D'Addario XL's over anything.They seem consistent and they have a nice feel.
#19
I haven't been blown away by any of them. It's going to depend a lot on what you care to spend, and how quickly you go through strings. I've never been blown away by a set of guitar strings, but they're also pretty cheap in the scheme of things so a few extra bucks to try something new doesn't bother me.

I switched to NYXLs because I like the sound better than the other popular strings, and they seem a tad more stable. I'm easy on strings, though, and I only have two electrics to restring. Someone who puts a fresh set on six separate instruments every month probably won't find it worth the extra cost.

The standard Ernie Ball and D'Addario offerings spoil us. It's remarkable how nice a $6 set of strings is. Most other stringed instruments aren't so lucky, the low end of strings for them are just garbage, and a really top notch set can run three figures.
#20
I've been a fan of Dean Markley Blue steel since they first came out. I've played the regular Dean Markley strings since the 70's, their acoustic strings sounded better and lasted longer than anything else I found. (I hated Martin strings) I tried every acoustic string I could find, playing for a living, and Dean Markley is what I used onstage every night. Played in Austin on the street for several years, the Dean Markleys were my choice, and I often changed strings 3 times a week. But if I didn't, they would last when nothing else would hold up to that kind of abuse. I tried Gibson, Fender, Martin, D'Addario (sucked), Ernie Ball, those were all I could find in the 80's. Dean Markley was what I always came back to. A couple of years ago I tried Elixirs, still went back to Dean Markley. Elixirs were too expensive and didn't play or sound that much better to make the cost worthwhile.

When Blue Steel first showed up in a music store here I tried them, been a fan ever since. A little brighter, last longer, little difference in playability, pretty much any .009 I put on will play ok. At that time they only made them for electric, I have Blue Steel on my acoustic now, they seem to be doing fine. As far as I know they just started making those recently, or maybe the stores I was going to didn't handle them.

At one time Dean Markley was dropped by the music store in north Louisiana where I was, they said they got a dozen sets rusted in the package. That seems to have been fixed. When that happened, I had to switch to GHS Curt Mangham acoustic strings on the recommendation of a friend who owned a guitar shop, liked those pretty well too.

The only others I've tried are the new Helix X strings, haven't used them enough to have a definite opinion. At first glance, I don't notice much difference. Can't say beyond that.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Nov 19, 2015,
#21
i refuse to pay more than $4 for a pack of stings. i would rather spend half as much and string twice as often, yea it takes five minutes, but i haven't ever gotten double the life out of an expensive string.

however, my hands don't sweat and my strings last forever (d'addario nickel blues .11"s).
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#22
I think a fair point made by many on here is that at the end of the day, these newer string types aren't even that expensive - never any harm in trying them.
#23
i guy's guitar i work on at my church goes through elixir .11's every week. his hands sweat like crazy though.

i keep trying to get him to switch, because i don't think any string could last shorter, but he is insistent on elixir. $11 instead of the $3 strings most of the other guys use.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#24
Quote by jpnyc
Cryo-nanoweb-carobonfiber…whatever. I’m going to just keep buying ten packs of D’Addario when they go on sale for $25.


where do you find that at? are there .11's at that price? i can't get s 10 pack of .11's for under $32 (shipped).
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#25
I forgot to mention I get strings from Sweetwater.com, half the price of the only local music store. That's one thing I miss about north Louisiana, I was getting their store brand strings less than 3 bucks a pack. Not sure who made them but for that price I could change strings every gig and not worry about it.

http://www.sweetwater.com
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#26
Quote by Roc8995
The standard Ernie Ball and D'Addario offerings spoil us. It's remarkable how nice a $6 set of strings is. Most other stringed instruments aren't so lucky, the low end of strings for them are just garbage, and a really top notch set can run three figures.

I guess they've gotta be cheap considering what we put them through

I stick to whatever D'Addario's standard sets are called. I tried Elixirs, and I tried NYXL, and somewhat fancied there might be a difference, but neither did anything special for me, especially relative to the cost.
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#27
Here's my 20 cents (inflation): i've tried many of these strings as well as the cheapo's. For me uncoated strings tend to rust very fast, so a lot of the talk about particular strings holding a good tone for a longer time don't apply in my situation. For about one and a half hours of play a day a set of Ernie balls or D'addario regs will last me about two weeks before being almost completely black on the 12th to 15th frets on the higher strings, with blackened bits here and there on others.

For NYXL it's kind of a funny thing. I bought two brand-new packs of them and both lasted me about a month and sounded good the whole time. They didn't sound really better than regular daddarios but the feeling of them was a little different and stiffer. Now I bought 4 sample packs on Amazon and these ones suck. They rust in 1 to 2 weeks and are very stiff. Maybe are old strings . I've been using elixirs recently. The 11 gauge on my guitar with EMG pickups sound great. On my Ibanez with evolution pick ups they seem a little weak with 9 gauge, but with nine gauge on my strat they sound almost exactly the same as the nyxl's.

I have a feeling that output has a strong relation to string tones. Emg's have weak magnets and the single coils in my strat are lower than evo's, and I don't hear much difference with them, but with evo's I do. Anyways for me coated strings have a big advantage in lasting a long time. If a player does not care about this feature then buying expensive strings for only tonal purposes may be a waste of money especially with lower output pick ups
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#28
Getting a regular pack of strings is unrealistic for a person like me.
Once I touch strings for one day, the newness is gone by tomorrow.
After a few more days, they're completely dead.

They rust to hell and back after a few days. Plain strings are rusted brown/black and feel like shit sliding up and down the fretboard.

With the acid power of my sweat, it's just not good if I want good tone consistently, so I've been buying Polywebs for all my guitars the past few years now.

The tone lasts as long as 5 months, there's 0 sign of rust or wear on any of the strings, and they're shiny and smooth for a long time. Signs of rust show up only after like, 5 months when I finally start tearing off the plating on the plain strings.
Coating lasts a long time and doesn't shred very easy for me.

I actually break strings faster than the tone will die, usually.

12 bucks every 4-5 months is waaay cheaper than 4 bucks every 3 days.
Just not for me.


The only regular guitar strings that don't rust REALLY fast are d'addarios, but they still show rust even after one day.


I'd love to try the colbalts and other strings if the alloys don't fry in my sweat as fast as normal strings do, can anyone speak for me about that?
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Last edited by Clay-man at Nov 24, 2015,
#30
I am one of the rare species who likes his strings old and well broken in. New strings just sound too bright for me. Therefore I buy the cheapest strings I can get.