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DR Black Beauties - Worst Acoustic String Ever!

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  • DR Black Beauties - Worst Acoustic String Ever!

    Just ripped these off my new 2017 Custom Taylor 414ce. It came stock with Elixir lights and sounded awesome! I did my first string change after about 3 months to DR BB's and these strings not only sucked all of the awesome tone out of my guitar but the coating is so flaky (the black started coming off during the install) and the feel is so weird I had to take them off after two weeks. I figure two weeks of consistent playing is a fair time to give a chance and break in. I usually use John Pearse or DR Rare (love the Rare BTW) Elixir's are great too. Anybody out there that actually likes this string? Did I get a bad pack?

  • #2
    I'm a long time Elixer user but also like the DR Rares. They are hard to get where I live and hard to get all the different gauges that I need so I just stuck with PB Nanos - the sound is good and the life vs price is an acceptable compromize. I was recently give a set of DR's new Veritas strings to try out - initially I was very favorably impressed but I'm starting to have my doubts, My first reaction to the Veritas was that they were louder than Nano's (which makes no sense, they are the same gauge), sound is similar to a good quality PB string. However they have turned black in the area where my fingers push them down and after an hour of so of playing my finger tips are black. Oh well, I was hoping...

    Have not tried the Black Beauties - probably will just go back to Elixers.

    Before I forget, welcome to HCAG

    Comment


    • Grant Harding
      Grant Harding commented
      Editing a comment
      I haven't experienced the discoloration, for the record.

  • #3
    Thanks for the input and welcome Freeman. I will most likely end my string search and stick to John Pearse with an occasional Elixir or DR Rare (just for kicks!) From your description of the Veritas they don't sound very good. Maybe this is a case of "simple and straightforward is better". On the other hand I did try a set of DR Dragon Skins and liked them alot! Super bright but I liked the feel and could see where they could be a great application, probably wouldn't be my go to string though.

    Comment


    • Grant Harding
      Grant Harding commented
      Editing a comment
      I hated the dragon skins. Just goes to show how subjective it is.

  • #4
    Actually I liked the sound of the Veritas a lot, I just don't like strings that look old before their time and make my fingers black. They have been on a guitar for maybe a month now, still sound fine but look bad - I'll probably replace them just for the heck of it.

    Lots of people have strong opinions about coated strings - love 'em or hate 'em. A long long time ago I put a whole bunch of different strings on a couple of guitars (all the same gauge, different compositions and coatings), recorded them and posted clips here. We had an active discussion and after listening to the clips back to back I came to the conclusion that the Nano PB's were the right string for me, others of course came to other conclusions. My big problem with Elixers is that their price has steadily gone up - close to fifteen bucks at my local music store, But I'll probably just keep going back to them

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    • #5
      I really like the DR uncoated strings (Rare, Sunbeam, Veritas, Tite-fit), but their coating method is horrible. The coating feels a bit rubbery to me and knocks all of the nice overtones and treble out of the strings.

      The Veritas ones come with an extra set of the unwound strings which is cool. Plus they sound really good. But... they only sound great for a few hours (like all uncoated ones), so more of a studio option or a touring option with a guitar tech changing them every show.

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      • #6
        Looks like one man's trash is another man's treasure! The coating on the DR Black Beauties (to me) felt like the strings were resisting the pic or resisting my fingers. Like they were coated with sandpaper or grainy in a way. It is hard to explain because I have no other experience that is like that. When using say the Elixirs the pic glides on the strings. Maybe Grant is right and it is their coating method, I have had no problem with the Rares and from the first time I used them I knew I would like them. The whole reason for starting this thread was because I was so shocked by the Black Beauties and wondered if they are supposed to be like that. I have in the past not been a person that writes reviews but I think I am going to start. I sure have in the past appreciated reviews and thank everyone who has and who will comment.

        Comment


        • Grant Harding
          Grant Harding commented
          Editing a comment
          Your description fits my experience. Like they grip your fingers and the pick. I got that with Dragon Skins too, but that was years ago and they may have reformulated it.

          My style often involves a lot of sliding into and out of notes, so Elixirs are just right.

        • Grant Harding
          Grant Harding commented
          Editing a comment
          We all agree on this I thought,

        • Freeman Keller
          Freeman Keller commented
          Editing a comment
          Murky, please become part of this little community and post your thoughts and opinions. We may not always agree but that is how we learn.

          I'm almost tempted to buy a set just to see but that makes no sense, does it? Also, Grant, I remember trying Dragon Skins a long time ago and since I didn't switch, I must have not been impressed.

          Last comment about DR's - at one time their sizing was not the normal industry standard - as I recall their 12 - 54 were called "medium", that would be lights for almost everyone else. I don't know if that has changed, the Veritas were labeled lights and were 12 - 54.

      • #7
        I've used DR Rares but it's been a while. I used to put them on guitars I set up for friends but I can't find them any more so I switched to D'Addario's. I'm currently playing Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze and I like them well enough.
        Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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        • #8
          DR sells direct, so you can just order from their website.

          I have to admit that I've just gone back to Elixir Nano PB as my main strings, for the extra life, great tone, and slinky feel.

          Comment


          • #9
            I would totally be unbiased if anyone would like to try the Black Beauties! Would love to hear first hand opinions. I found a review on YouTube and a few from MF and GC and they were seriously split. I look at reviews (usually) before I buy. One of the main reasons I purchased them is simply because they are all black. At the time I owned a very nice Breedlove Black Magic Concert I liked alot and thought the all black would "look cool!". As it turns out I sold that guitar before it needed a string change. I guess another reason for the DR's was the string gauge itself. I really liked the thicker bottom at 54 but always wondered why they didn't go 13 on the high E and then a 17 on the B string. I was playing with string gauges on an older Alvarez Dreadnought because the top end sounded a bit bright. Thought a thicker string might darken it up. Anyway, one of the most successful experiments I made was with a set of Elixir Nano lights, I ordered single E and B strings at 13 and 17 and added them to the light set. Elixir Doesn't make a 54 E or I would have gotten that too. Would that have been a medium set? Sounded really good on the Alvarez. Maybe some of these differences are guitar specific too. I know Taylor recommends Elixir lights for my guitar. It does sound better with the 53 at the low E.
            Last edited by MurkyWaters; 01-31-2018, 09:03 AM.

            Comment


            • #10
              Taylor and Elixir teamed up to produce a set like you describe. They're excellent:

              http://m.juststrings.com/elx-16182.html

              Comment


              • MurkyWaters
                MurkyWaters commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks Grant! I ordered them! I have my go to John Pearse (a new set) but the HD lights will be my next string change.

              • Grant Harding
                Grant Harding commented
                Editing a comment
                Nice. Remember that Elixirs usually sound so so when you put them on, then sort of "open up" at about 10 - 20 minutes of playing.

            • #11
              In an ideal world each guitar would get a set of strings perfectly matched to it - gauge, composition, coating (or not). I live in a very imperfect world and have somewhere around a dozen guitars - I have to make some compromises. The LP and L5 clones are easy - D'Addario 10's for the first and those really expensive cool flatwounds Thomastiks for the latter.

              I have found that with a set of lights and a set of mediums and a few singles I can make up the gauges I need for every other guitar, including the normal 6 strings, three different 12 strings (including one tuned to C or C#, three resonators (in a variety of tunings), the Weissie (ditto), and on old guitar that I keep in open C (it too needs funky gauges). As long as I'm happy with everything having Phosphor Bronze (I am) and I can tolerate the light coating on the Nano, that makes my string compromises pretty simple. Yes, they are expensive but they last a long time so right or wrong, thats what I've settled on.

              Other people's milage should and will vary.

              Comment


              • #12
                I changed steel strings so often that the minor differences between like-gauges did not make such a difference to me that I just had to seek the grail-wire for sound. D'Addario EJ16s went on and off in 2-3 weeks and were good at keeping brilliance in the mix on a cedar top. Up to that epiphany, I'd made a searcher's effort for "best" strings only to find them all dead at 2-3 weeks. Metallurgy is the mother of string failure and physics is her partner. You can't argue with either and dressing strings up in little tubes isn't going to change that.
                Last edited by Idunno; 02-03-2018, 12:42 PM.
                - The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H.L. Mencken

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                • #13
                  I just set up my brother's Yamaha LL6 and put Elixir Nano PB 12-53 strings on it. When they settled in I did a back and forth with my LL6 with DR Veritas strings that have about 15 hours of playing on them and mine sounded significantly better in every way. When we've previously compared them (both with Elixir) they sounded very similar even though mine is years old and his is a 1-year-old.

                  The Veritas are really surprising - any other uncoated string would have been totally dead by now. Think I'm going to order some for my AE.

                  Comment


                • #14
                  I'm anxious to receive my new Elixir HDs in the mail tomorrow. Until they go dead I will enjoy the awesome tone of the John Pearse PB's. I may try the Veritas down the road, I read some about them and their claims sound interesting for sure. Thanks to everyone for all the input! I am on to Electric dreams now! I sold an American Deluxe Strat last night and am on the hunt for a 62 reissue Tele. Hobbies supporting more hobbies! Play on everyone!

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                  • #15
                    I haven't tried the coated DRs but I never had good luck with their regular strings - they went dead on me too fast, but then again I have pretty caustic sweat. Coated strings have been a lifesaver for me. I usually use Elixir Nanowebs on my acoustic guitars.
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