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Which acoustic guitar strings do you use?

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  • Which acoustic guitar strings do you use?

    I am still learning about what is best for my guitar and in which settings. I was curious if some of you that use acoustic guitars in worship, and especially if you lead with an acoustic, which guitar strings you use and why. I am getting ready to buy a pair or two for mine, and in the past it was just "buy some strings." But I know there is a difference. So if you guys could respond and give some advise.

    The strings I am looking to get are: Elixir 11-52 (not sure if I need the polyweb or nanoweb)

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I used Elixirs once and didn't like them too much. But that's more preference and the guitar than a condemnation of the string. I've had two different acoustics, and had to use different strings on each of them to get the tone I wanted.

    Currently I use D'addario EXP 17s. (13-56) Coated phosphor-bronze. They last a long time and sound great on my full-sized guitar.

    My other guitar was smaller and thinner wood, so I used EXP 12s which are 80/20s and sound a little brighter. Elixirs sounded pretty good on that guitar, and lasted forever.

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    • #3
      I MUST use Elixers because I seriously think I am a descendent of of "Alien" and I secrete acid out of my hands and eat through every other type of guitar sting I might get 1 or 2 good uses out any other strings before they start feeling dead. Elixers I get at least 7 or 8. I use .11 Polywebs because they have extra coating and I personally like the smoothness of them. Hope you like them

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      • #4
        I've been happy with my D'Addario EXP12s (80/20 bronze, medium gauge). They're a bit pricey but last a long time. I tried the EXP phosphors, some Martins and a few other brands but settled on these several years ago and haven't had a reason to switch. The EXP coating is the same idea as the Elixirs, but the D'Addarios sound better.

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        • #5
          The correct anser: The absolute best strings for any acoustic guitar is the strings that were put on when you last had it professionally setup by a luthier. That's strings gauge and intonation and tension are what will work best.

          That said you can always get another setup. And many strings are similar if you stay in the same gauge. I would love to like elixirs but don't, as said earlier it's a personal thing, nothing wrong with the strings. I play Martin 10s. My guitar is a little dark, I like dark, but I use 80/20 to give a little brightness.
          I need pictures of your drummer in his booth/cage/room http://drummersbehindglass.com

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          • #6
            True word, Travis!

            I use the D'Addario EXP 12's on my A/E. I clean my strings a lot, and the fretboard as well. I wish they stayed "brighter" longer, but...they don't.

            Ah well.

            Smitty
            Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!

            www.davidsproblem.wordpress.com

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            • #7
              I have a Martin DCME set up with Medium guage strings for a fuller sound, and personally, after trying a few kinds of strings, have been using Elixir Polyweb for about 6 years. I love the extra coating which gives smooth playing and a nice tone that I like... a lot. While the strings could last several weeks (depending on how often I'm playing), there's nothing like putting a new set of strings on and getting a rich and smooth tone (that usually lasts for a few play-times). My preference...

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              • #8
                D'Addario EJ17.

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                • #9
                  I just use the 'plain ol' D'Addario Acoustic bronze 12's. Have been for 15 years. I never really saw the need for expensive coated strings. I have learned to keep string noise down and don't really excrete acid from my fingers, so strings last a bit for me.

                  I tried Elixirs and hated them. Plus the G's always seemed to break. Last time my guitar got worked on, the luthier put them on and I took them off and threw them away, unused.

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                  • #10
                    I just read the last post about Elixirs vs D'adarrios, and I use them both. Elixirs are great strings on my Alvarez. But the D'adarrios sound really good on my friends acoustic. not sure what he plays. So it comes down to eachguitars tonal quality and players preference. My suggestion is always buy different brands and try them out. They only cost 6 to 15 dollars so it shouldnt break the bank.
                    I ahve even mixed strings before....

                    OnceFarOff-My G breaks too so I sometimes pput the G, B n E strings on from the D addarios and use the elixirs n the top because the elixirssound better on my guitar on the low ends.
                    Try different things and have fun!
                    I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.

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                    • #11
                      strings

                      I am an Elixr 12's snob.. I had my J-45 set up with them and will only play this brand. I played GHS when I was on the road and they only seemed to last 1 show and a sound check.

                      travisvwright pretty much nailed it, though...

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                      • #12
                        I am not fussy about the make of strings or picks. I don't use coated strings because they sound dead when they are new and they are expensive. I don't have a problem with breaking strings so what ever is available at the time will do. Right now I have D'Addario phosfer on my 12 string and Martin 80/20 bronze on my 6 string. Life goes on.

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                        • #13
                          My experience...

                          Originally posted by Once Far Off View Post
                          I tried Elixirs and hated them. Plus the G's always seemed to break. Last time my guitar got worked on, the luthier put them on and I took them off and threw them away, unused.
                          I have posted on forums about this problem with Elixirs and it is a well known issue they have had from the beginning.

                          My experience: I started learning guitar about 12 years ago and immediately began using Elixirs. I really liked the bright sound and it helped me hear the notes better, which was helpful as a beginner. This was back when all they had was 80/20 "polyweb" coating and just introduced the nanoweb strings. Once I was a good enough guitarist to start leading worship, I noticed that the g string would break in the middle of worship, which was disastrous when I when the band needed to follow me.

                          So, I tried using DAdarrio EXP11's. I really didn't like these because although they were the same as the Elixirs on paper, they had some issues I really didn't like. They didn't break but they were not as smooth and they lost the brilliance almost immediately.

                          Next I tried EXP16's. It was difficult at first because EXP16's are Phosphor Bronze, which are much more mellow and tame than the brightness of the 80/20. But, they kept the tone for a long time and didn't break. Still squeaky, but no disasters on stage.

                          I had been using the EXP16's for about 6 years and then decided to try Elixirs again. Almost immediately I was turned off by what seemed to me as harsh treble, whether it was the Phosphor bronze or the 80/20. Quite frankly, the smoothness of the strings just didn't matter to me anymore. I found that even with my sweaty hands, I didn't need the elixirs. Oh yeah, and the Elixirs still broke.

                          So, I have a Martin Custom and a Taylor 314ce and both sound great with EXP16's and have never broken a string after having about 7 strings break from Elixir. Hope this helps.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Smitty View Post
                            True word, Travis!

                            I use the D'Addario EXP 12's on my A/E. I clean my strings a lot, and the fretboard as well. I wish they stayed "brighter" longer, but...they don't.

                            Ah well.

                            Smitty

                            I haven't heard anyone at my church say "I think your strings have lost their brightness". I think this is only noticed by the musician.

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