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Electric guitarists: what strings do you use??


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Looks like Dean Markley has stopped producing the Blue Steel strings. I used them for 20+ years. Loved em because they maintained their springiness much longer than other makes, but they weren’t overly springy. Does anybody know if they’re making the same thing but under a different name? 

What make for you use? How would you describe the sound?

I go on stage for the first time in a year next weekend. Gotta restring and be ready. (BTW, I use gauge 10-46.)

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Been using GHS Boomers for seems like forever. They sound balanced, feel good to me and last a very long time. 9s on 25.5 scale and 10s on 24.75.

Ok Boomers.  That seems to be most popular here. I will trek to GC tomorrow.    Thanks!

I like GHS better, too 

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Been using GHS Boomers for seems like forever. They sound balanced, feel good to me and last a very long time. 9s on 25.5 scale and 10s on 24.75.

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Aren’t guitar strings like new tubes for the most part? Like very few companies producing for multiple brands? Pink Slinky’s here most of the time. But like most things, I have a stash of strings here as if they cure Coronavirus, so I have several brands of electric, acoustic and bass strings. Not much difference between brands IMO. Pink Slinky’s are just cheap. 

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1 minute ago, harrycox1 said:

D'Addario XL. They are cheap enough to change often.

I remember in the 80s(I have new sets, they aren’t the same) D’Addario started using a nylon core. Not to get into too many details, but I remember getting an entire case of those as a Christmas present, that’s pretty sweet. I was around 13-14(87-88) and already a gigging musician. SNAP! Every night! I like them now, but man was that horrible in the age of the Floyd Rose. Instant unplayable guitar.

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D'addario 10s on my main guitar. 11s on my backup which I never play. I guess those are a holdover from when I convinced myself tone was in string width. Should probably switch em back at this point. Who am I trying to impress? :D

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D’Addario XL

9’s on Fenders

10’s on Gibsons

11’s on my Fender Mustang

I have a big box of various brands and gauges I acquired over time also   
 

Guitar strings are so cheap. My last mixed set of cello strings cost about $275.00.  😱

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Red Ant said:

Been using GHS Boomers for seems like forever. They sound balanced, feel good to me and last a very long time. 9s on 25.5 scale and 10s on 24.75.

I too used blues for years. They actually started going bad a while back. Kept getting wounds that would not intonate properly.  Went through all the brands and came to GHS boomers for their feel, sound(kept brightness) and longevity. My second choice is D'addarios. Third is Balls. The Balls lose it fast and the wounds feel more like saw blades. That is my personal findings.

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Posted (edited)

GHS Boomers (10-46) for a long time. As far as strings, I've never been one to experiment with them, so, the "if it ain't broke" adage works for strings. Wish I could maintain that standard for guitars, amps, effects.....

(Elixir Polyweb  or Nanoweb 10/53 for acoustic. They maintain their brightness for a longer time...imo)

Another question would be...what do you do to maintain them, after playing? I actually use 3 in 1 oil to clean & wipe them down, every time I  play. Been doing that for many years  without any harm to the guitar necks.

Edited by stratosaurus
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Posted (edited)

Ernie Ball slinky series. I usually split sets and make custom gauges. 10s with heavier bottoms usually. Wound G on the odd occasion.

I tend to dig in and play hard, so 9s are never gonna work for me. And I love the spank of EBs on a strat. Yes, they wear out quick, but stay in tune forever. If I was gigging, I'd change strings every show anyway.

Don't get me started on coated strings. They sound awful to my ears - overly bright with absolutely no playing response.

That's when I was still playing 🙄

Edited by gubu
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12 hours ago, Vito Corleone said:

I use the ones made out of metal with the little balls on the end.   Lowest number is “9”.    Whichever are the cheapest.  :) 

I play lots of different instruments, but my primary "go to" guitar is a Yamaha classical with something like seven digits in its model number.  It's got a cedar top and rosewood back and sides.  Nylon string dimensions are way different, but I can warn anyone in earshot: don't buy ball-end nylon strings.  They pop their balls off at inappropriate times.  That guitar is electric in that it has a bridge pickup and a small condenser microphone in the body. 

My other two well-used guitars are a Martin 000-18 and an Ovation Celebrity.  They share a set of strings.  I buy a twelve string set of Martin strings and split it between the two, with the Martin getting the regular gauge set and the Ovation getting the rest, which puts it in Nashville tuning.  They both start around 10, with the Nashville tuned one having an octave higher tuning on G,D,A and E.  You've heard one of these filling in the background, and could have thought there was a twelve string involved.  Yeah, I'm kinda cheap sometimes but it's cheaper that way.

IIRC, I have d'Addario nines on my Strat, which doesn't get much play anymore.

I wonder if strings are like tires, and they can deteriorate with little actual mileage.

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40 minutes ago, thankyou said:

I play lots of different instruments, but my primary "go to" guitar is a Yamaha classical with something like seven digits in its model number.  It's got a cedar top and rosewood back and sides.  Nylon string dimensions are way different, but I can warn anyone in earshot: don't buy ball-end nylon strings.  They pop their balls off at inappropriate times.  That guitar is electric in that it has a bridge pickup and a small condenser microphone in the body. 

My other two well-used guitars are a Martin 000-18 and an Ovation Celebrity.  They share a set of strings.  I buy a twelve string set of Martin strings and split it between the two, with the Martin getting the regular gauge set and the Ovation getting the rest, which puts it in Nashville tuning.  They both start around 10, with the Nashville tuned one having an octave higher tuning on G,D,A and E.  You've heard one of these filling in the background, and could have thought there was a twelve string involved.  Yeah, I'm kinda cheap sometimes but it's cheaper that way.

IIRC, I have d'Addario nines on my Strat, which doesn't get much play anymore.

I wonder if strings are like tires, and they can deteriorate with little actual mileage.

I have a Yamaha G60A which I use Savarez strings on (silver wrapped bass strings with a wound G).

I played cornet in the Jr High school band (there was no guitar, so I had to pick another instrument). I traded it back a couple years later in high school to Weiss Music for the Yamaha. Same woods as your guitar.

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3 minutes ago, Tom Hicks said:

I have a Yamaha G60A which I use Savarez strings on (silver wrapped bass strings with a wound G).

I played cornet in the Jr High school band (there was no guitar, so I had to pick another instrument). I traded it back a couple years later in high school to Weiss Music for the Yamaha. Same woods as your guitar.

Nice playing.  A few years ago, I was at an estate auction, and there was a Conn cornet on one of the tables.  The case was an older style and a little beat up.  I didn't really need another horn , but when I picked it up and ran the valves, it became immediately more attractive.  I decided that I would go at least fifty bucks on it.  I got it for half that.  Back home, I Googled the serial number and it came back 1958.  Not only that, but three and a half years ago, the little horn became a godsend, as I wouldn't show up at jams blowing a horn with the word "trump" in its name.  I leave it on top of my receiver, as that warms it up.  A warm horn is easier to play, and you don't have nearly the volume of saliva to drain from the spit valves.  A cold horn precipitates more moisture than a warm one.  Besides, happiness is a warm horn.

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1 hour ago, gubu said:

Ernie Ball slinky series. I usually split sets and make custom gauges. 10s with heavier bottoms usually. Wound G on the odd occasion.

I tend to dig in and play hard, so 9s are never gonna work for me. And I love the spank of EBs on a strat. Yes, they wear out quick, but stay in tune forever. If I was gigging, I'd change strings every show anyway.

Don't get me started on coated strings. They sound awful to my ears - overly bright with absolutely no playing response.

That's when I was still playing 🙄

Check out the Paradigm series from EB. Some of the sets are like a split set. Skinny top heavy bottom sets are 10-52 for 6 string. 10-62 for 7 string.

For reference, their standard 11s are 11-48.

I played 11s in E for years because I wanted those chunky low strings. Now I can get thicker low strings and easier high bends without killing myself on that unwound G, and without having to split a set myself.

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3 minutes ago, thankyou said:

Nice playing.  A few years ago, I was at an estate auction, and there was a Conn cornet on one of the tables.  The case was an older style and a little beat up.  I didn't really need another horn , but when I picked it up and ran the valves, it became immediately more attractive.  I decided that I would go at least fifty bucks on it.  I got it for half that.  Back home, I Googled the serial number and it came back 1958.  Not only that, but three and a half years ago, the little horn became a godsend, as I wouldn't show up at jams blowing a horn with the word "trump" in its name.  I leave it on top of my receiver, as that warms it up.  A warm horn is easier to play, and you don't have nearly the volume of saliva to drain from the spit valves.  A cold horn precipitates more moisture than a warm one.  Besides, happiness is a warm horn.

My stepdad played trumpet in college in various jazz bands for extra cash up in Eerie PA. He gave me his King Professional trumpet from the 50s. After some years I had my horn repairman friend Miles Faherty replate it and presented it back to him. When my little brother's oldest son started playing in school bands, he got it.

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6 hours ago, stratosaurus said:

Another question would be...what do you do to maintain them, after playing? 

Nothing whatsoever. Apparently my sweat isn't corrosive, as a set of strings will last me for a year of daily playing. 

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8 hours ago, stratosaurus said:

 

Another question would be...what do you do to maintain them, after playing? I actually use 3 in 1 oil to clean & wipe them down, every time I  play. Been doing that for many years  without any harm to the guitar necks.

I keep a 3x3" piece of cloth in each case and wipe each string and be sure the board is dry before it goes in the case. My strings can last a long time. My sweat is not the corrosive kind luckily. 

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6 hours ago, gubu said:

Ernie Ball slinky series. I usually split sets and make custom gauges. 10s with heavier bottoms usually. . . .

 

5 hours ago, willhaven said:

. . . Skinny top heavy bottom sets are 10-52 for 6 string. . . .

Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom 10-52 are my electric string of choice as well. Just regular Ernie Ball strings, nothing fancy. As for how they sound, when I play they sound like crap. ;)

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