"Unce... tice... fee tines a mady!!"
I use D'adario EJ26 11's. I love the tone on any of my acoustics and they can be bought in packs of ten on the internet so they become very inexpensive. I tryed just about evry thing I could find and have come back to these. The EXP's are good also but because i rotate guitars I can get usually 2 months or more out of a set using a string conditioner after every play time so they last almost as long as the exp's. The EXP's you don't have to worry about string conditioner but i find they begine to get dead sounding about the same amount of time the regulars start getting dead or corrossion starts, so not much of a difference for me plus i think the uncoated strings sound a bit livelier.
I did use the same in 10's for awhile but the 11's just have afuller sound and better low end and didn't take too much getting used to.
Likewise, I love them. Like you, I have tried others - some much more expensive - but have come back to them. I like the fact that they settle in very quickly and although they have a lovely ring to them they don't actually have that 'new string' sound that can sound quite tinny when first put on.
Changing the subject slightly....................does anyone know if old strings can be put to good use. I bin mine, but always think 'Surely something can be done with these' ..............I could make a piece of jewellry, a sculpture, recycle them? Mind you, it is very rare that I change a set of strings without one of the ends poking me in the finger and making it bleed.
The inevitable bloody finger sydrome, I get that alot also.
As for use of old strings, I use them to clean out water lines on our swamp coolers and to clean out faucit screens. My wife makes jewlery but I never thought to ask if she could use them, I guess I'll ask and maybe that will be a good way to recycle old strings.
10 pack at musicians friend is the way to go! EJ26s
That's the way I buy them unless I can find them for less on E-Bay which I do sometimes but only from good dealers.
My favorite strings for the past 20 years or so have been John Pearse 80/20 Bronze. Light gauge on my small bodied acoustics (grand concerts) and mediums on my big acoustics (dreadnoughts).
To my ears I hear this:
80/20 Bronze = mellower sound
Phosphor Bronze = brighter sound, though they last a little longer than the 80/20s
Coated Strings = sound a month old on day one: dull & flubby. I just never could warm up to them.
The D'Addario strings are nice too...I find the hex core makes them a little stiffer & brighter. They seem to feel like the next set up in gauge because of it. Another nice set is the Martin SP (not the coated XPs). I know a few studio cats who only use the Martin SPs on their acoustics for recording sessions.
Of course, everyone is different & every guitar responds differently to strings, so I recommend experimenting. Get a different set with each string change and make notes on what you do & don't like over the first few days of each new set. Then, after a few string changes go back and see what appeals to you and what didn't.
Steven, you explained that just the way I hear them, although I like the brighter sound.
I totally agree on the coated strings!!!
I have 2 acoustic dreadnaughts - a 30 year old Greeta and a 4 year old Rogue with a built in transducer. I use brass bridgepins. The Greeta has a passive Dimarzio transducer (the disc type) permanantly mounded inside under the bridge.
For years I used Guild Phosphor bronze lights on the Greeta and they sounded great. Tried others on occasion but always came back. Then about 7-8 years ago either the instrument changed (aged enough) or Guild changed their strings enough that I went looking. I now use Martin SP lights. THe XPs aren't bad, on my instruments (esp the Rogue) they do not sound a month old. The SPs stay in tune longer. (I strum hard)
As I play mostly bass now, I still have not fully settled on the right strings for the Rogue as I have not played it as much as I did the Greeta at 4 years old.
I also have a Montana travel guitar that came with steel strings but playing around with it, I stettled on Doyle Dykes GHS Classical (nylon strings with a wound G string) IT just sounds better with the nylon strings and the high tension works well for that short scale. I use it for quick practicing and song writing and leading worship in a home group setting.
As Steve said, every instrument is different (even the exact same model) and every person playes and hears differently. What works for me may or may not work for anyone else.
Yeah, I'm using Martin SP's... very nice.
For me, coated strings sound more like a week old on day one. But I like strings that have broken in. Nothing is more irritating to me than brand new strings with all that metallic sound and it takes at least a week or two for that to go away. But even so, I find that even EXP (coated) need breaking in as they are way too snappy and zippy out of the package.
I feel that way about heavier strings, but not so much the lighter ones.