Strings - what do you use and why?

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by lcw, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. lcw

    lcw Active Member

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    So I just recently picked up a second SG and it has D'Addario 10-46's on it. I'm finding I'm kind of liking them - seems easier to play with the lighter gauge low strings. On my first SG, I have been using Ernie Ball 10-52's (aka 'Skinny Top/Bottom Heavy') strings, thinking they were awesome for some of the high gain and metal stuff I like playing. But now having played a bit with the 10-46's, I may switch... Sounds as good (a bit less bassy), but easier to play. Although if I 'convert' my black SG to a dropped tuned setup, keeping the 10-52's might make more sense.

    So curious what you guys use, on what, for what kind of music and why.

    PS - the guitar tech at my local shop is a big fan of D'Addarios saying they've always been consistent and reliable. He says he's seen much more inconsistency and breaking strings with Ernie's. Random bad luck, or truth?
     
  2. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Member

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    D'Addario, either 11-50 or 12-52, with wound thirds. I like the feel of heavier strings, but hate the sound of heavier plain thirds. The 12s come with a .024 wound G. The 11s generally don't, so I buy a single .022 wound string and swap it in. I did try 13-56, but that's when I started feeling like I was playing cables, not strings......:D
     
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  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Active Member

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    .

    Big brands I'll use D'Addario. My favorite player guitars will get a set of Curt Mangan Fusion Matched strings.
    I was just at the store at lunch today picking up a few sets.

    .
     
  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Dirt cheap Ernie Ball Super Slinky 9-42's. I like a light touch on all my guitars. The tone I might miss, I can find by tweaking knobs or fingers.
     
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  5. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

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    I use 10's on E Standard because I like the feel; not too soft, not too stiff.
    I buy D'Addarios 'cos they're the cheapest ones I can source locally (and I kinda like the coloured ball-ends too)

    Unless you get into boutique or speciality strings (coatings, windings, flatwounds, alloys, etc...) most regular (nickel plated steel) strings feel abolutely the same to me.
     
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  6. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    I've used Ernie Ball 9s forever, mostly bc they used to come with a cool sticker. I'm gradually shifting to 10s though.
     
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  7. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    I've always tended to use 10-46 on everything but Strats, where I prefer 9-42. But I've recently got into 9-46, (which is what Gibson use on SGs these days), and I'm trying them on more & more of my guitars.

    Nearly always use Rotosounds; last well, don't blacken my fingers like some brands, and come with a spare high 'e' in the pack. (Not that I break strings often - but it's a nice touch).
     
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  8. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    D'Addario balanced tension 10's. I like the feel.
     
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  9. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    Have been using Ernie Ball Slinkys (10-46) since I started playing electric guitar in 1988. For slide I use Power Slinkys (11-48). I see no reason to change. Every now and then I try something different, but I keep coming back to Ernie Ball. I got hold of a few sets of Throbak pure nickel strings a while back. The sound was nice, but the ball kept slipping off the high E. I've played some Rotosound .10-.46 lately because my local store was out of the Ernie Balls. Nothing wrong with them at all. I guess the main reason I've stuck to the Ernie Ball strings is they sound good and are relatively cheap.
     
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  10. lcw

    lcw Active Member

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    How do the "balanced" versions different from the regular ones? I saw those at the shop... they were just $1 more per pack.
     
  11. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    That's like me. I've tried many different brands over the years but always come back to EBs.
     
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  12. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    I use GHS Boomer 10-46s. Love the tone and the feel.
     
  13. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Well-Known Member

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    10 - 46's, I'm not brand partial.
    Ernie Ball Regular Slinky's, D'Addario EXL110, or Curt Mangan Fusion Matched.
    Whatever's handy & in stock. I usually buy 6 or so packs at a time.
     
  14. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Well-Known Member

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    The regular D'Addario EXL110's are gauged 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 46.
    The balanced tension EXL110BT are 10, 13.5, 17, 25, 34, 46.
    I feel no difference between them.
     
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  15. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    Elixir 12s on my acoustic. Coated strings may not be as bright as uncoated..... initially, but they sure do stay consistent for way longer. On my electrics I've been using 10s regardless Fender or Gibson style guitar. As yet I haven't found a favorite brand.
     
  16. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    It might be so subtle it's in my head, but I just like them better than than the regular 10's. They just feel "right" to me.

    That said, there's a much more consistent and flatter tension profile on the regular D'Addario 9's that I wouldn't bother with the Balanced 9's
     
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  17. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    I think the only strings I stay away from are the ones made by guitar companies, like Gibsons or Fenders. Uggh
     
  18. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Member

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    I've tried both, myself, and never managed to stick with either.
     
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  19. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    I used to use Gibson Vintage Reissues 9's back in the day. They closed down the Elgin plant and outsourced the strings. After that they weren't the same. Now I use ThrōBak Pure Nickel Hex Core.
     
  20. lcw

    lcw Active Member

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    What about NY XL 10's vs EXL-110's? Worth the extra, or just bling... ?
     

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