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nickel vs. nickel-wrapped strings


ry1633
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hi all,

 

I've been playing for over 30 years and always used some kind of nickel-wrapped steel strings on my electrics. I've never considered pure nickel strings before but am thinking of it now. How are pure nickel strings different/better than nickel-wrapped steel? Better tone, longer life? My two electrics have fairly different woods and pickups. Just wondering if I should make the switch or not? Pure nickel strings aren't too much more expensive. Currently I use Ernie Ball 10-46 nickel-wrapped Slinkys (lime green pkg). -Ry

 

 

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You might like them allot. The main item is the strings wear less on the frets.

 

Tone wise some say the wrapped strings sound warmer/darker sounding. The unwrapped are plain steel so those three strings don't change much to the strings you use now. Its just the wrapped strings that are different.

 

I think they sound fairly bright when new. They darken in tone a little as they age but not that much. The results will vary depending on your pickups but what I notice is slightly less output and clearer rounded tones on my guitars. I especially like them on my Semi Hollow body guitars. They will gain up nicely. You just need to crank the gain a little more.

 

The drawbacks are, the strings notch at the frets quickly if you bend strings allot. The nickel also begins to stink as they tarnish. Acids from the hands tends to accelerate this so keeping the strings clean is a little more important.

 

Other then that, I don't usually find them that much more expensive. The gauges I use are maybe a half dollar more for the pure nickel in the brands I buy. It just depends on what's on sale at the time. Ernie Balls Pure nickel are very well balanced. D'Addario, GHS, Safarzo, and SIT also make well balanced sets. You may find them a little stiffer then what you're used to in the beginning but you get used to it quickly.

 

I don't recommend Fender pure nickel. I've had a couple of left over sets setting on my shelf for a year now. I wont even put them on a guitar because I cant intonate them. I don't know what happened to Fender over the years. They used to make great strings. They moved manufacturing to Japan for awhile and they were still OK. When they switched manufacturing to Mexico their guitar string quality went right down the tubes. The strings are so terribly flat they cant be intonated even with the saddles adjusted to extreme maximums. I'm thinking its either the raw materials they use or a quality control problem. Its too bad because I used to use the bullets all the time.

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thanks. I use FingerEase the silcon spray a lot to wipe my strings and neck down especially in summer gigs. Will that stuff help with pure nickel strings? I do have kinda acidic sweat so maybe I'd have to be more careful.

 

My two electrics are both Strats but are quite different.

 

1. G&L Legacy Special - swamp ash body, maple/rosewood neck, G&L blade humbuckers in neck and middle, Dimarzio Fast Track 2 in bridge

 

2. Warmoth/Fender "Frankenstein strat": Warmoth mahogany body, Fender '57 reissue maple neck, Dimarzio HS3 in neck, Dimarzio Heavy Blues 2 in middle, Dimarzio FRED hb in bridge.

 

 

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d'addario pure nickel 10-45 are my standard strings for everything,

I always used nickel wrapped until one day I accidentally picked up a pack of pure nickels and fell in love .

Strings aren't very expensive ,give it a try

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I don't think Finger ease uses silicone or anything harmful to a guitar. If it was its the worst thing you can use on a fretboard. Silicone penetrates wood and can never be removed. It causes issues with frets popping out and drying the wood out.

 

Keeping strings dry prevents tarnish. You can also use a combination of 50/50% alcohol and WD40. The alcohol cleans the strings and the WD40 prevents moisture penetration. Don't get the alcohol on the guitar body. If the body is lacquer it will eat holes in the finish. You can apply WD40 to the strings before installing them too. Just be sure to let it dry first. WD40 was originally made for the military as a rust/tarnish inhibitor, not as lubricant as many seem to think.

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