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APEX "Hyper-Ellipticals" Series Electric Guitar Strings

Tightwire to the top!

 

 

by Chris Loeffler

 

 

"Apex” means the ultimate conclusion to a summit, be it physical or metaphorical, so it takes a bit of brass to make that the brand under which you will create and sell gear, especially in a market as crowded as guitar strings. How well does Apex hope to stand up to their name? An owner who has been responsible for over 30 years of string innovations for major manufacturers is certainly a compelling answer. Jeff Landtroop used his decades of playing and design experience to develop a new type of string that began with sound engineers and ended with professionals who lived and breathed their instruments; a string whose tension and manufacturing optimized what he viewed as the quitisessential stringed instrument experience.

 

Harmony Central received both “Traditional” and “Hyper-Elliptical”  strings for acoustic (12s) and electric (10s) evaluation. All string sets are shipped in sealed packages to prevent pre-installation corrosion or oxidation.

 

What You Need to Know

 

While all four sets were tested, the hyper-ellipticals electric set were chosen for reporting back as they all fell into a similar value-proposition under review. By that, I mean the Traditional electric and acoustic strings measured favorably against my standard testing strings (the differences, such as a slightly more robust low end and slightly more sizzle in the highs) and the Hyper-Ellipticals tested the same tonally but with more memory retention and general longevity before dulling.

 

The Apex Hyper-Ellipticals electric guitar strings exhibited noticeable sustain and tuning retention in both the standard Fender Strat (straight Vintage Noiseless single coils) and Gibson Les Paul Futura (Burstbucker and Sidewinder P90) they were installed on as compared to the control group EHX standard electrics, Ernie Ball Paradigms, and D’Addario NYXLs. While the strings held their tension and returned to unfretted tuning during excessive string bending, they stayed soft and pliable to touch. It is a subtle distinction, but there is a consistent ease to the initial give during a string bend and the resulting “settling in” to the destination note that is noticeably easier.

 

Both clean and overdriven amp settings revealed a balanced, full-frequency response (at least so far as two guitars that have already been setup prior to restringing can detail), and while the undeniable joy of a new set strings played a big part in my perception of their brilliance, the length of time they extended that physical and sonic experience wasn’t something I would say holds true to most strings I’ve played, especially at this price point.

 

 

Limitations

 

While the strings themselves are worthy of any stringed instrument, the Apex web presence leaves something to be desired. In over a decade of reviewing musical gear, I’ve never called out a manufacturer for their marketing, but the lack of explanation of technical differentiation and big-box retailer distribution means that the only way to get an idea of whether or not Apex strings are ideal is to take the (admittedly inexpensive) plunge and buy direct.

 

Conclusion

 

There wasn’t a single set of acoustic orelectric guitar strings I reviewed from Apex that didn’t hold their own against their peers; even those with higher MAP. Without vigorous testing (dozens of identical sets of strings under carefully controlled stress and frequency tests) it’s hard to make a statement about how all the “new tech” compares in terms or durability, but my review time extended beyond when I typically swap strings without the degradation in tuning stability or feel in bends I expected to experience. If you aren’t happy with what your current strings are doing for you, a set of Apex Hyper-Ellipticals may be what you’re looking for. I liked them enough that I didn’t swap them on my review guitars after the review period.  -HC-

 

Resources

 

Apex Hyper-Ellipticals Electric Guitar Strings ($9.99 MSRP, $6.99 MAP) 

 

                                      

____________________________________________ 

 

Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer. 

 

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