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> Guitar Strings, What's The Difference?
Qenzoz
post Dec 5 2012, 05:54 PM
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'Ello!

So I just ordered some new strings yesterday, some Ernie Ball cobalt strings, wanted to try those out, but honestly I have to say, I have no idea what the difference is between strings & when I look on Ernie Balls website there are:

Cobalt,
Coated Titanium RPS,
Nickel Wound (Which I usually bought that green pack 10-46, everyone seems to use them, not sure if it is because they're great or just because they're really cheap compared to a lot other strings),
Reinforced (RPS) - tried these, since Paul Gilbert used them laugh.gif but I couldn't really feel any difference between these and the Nickel Wound, but maybe because I hadn't been playing for very long at that time.
Pure Nickel, saw on some guitar tech site that these apparently are really great strings to improve your guitar sound/tone.
Stainless Steel

And probably more, and then there are also a ton of different brands, but for me it just seems that EVERYONE are using Ernie Ball tongue.gif

But I was just wondering if anyone here knows what the difference are between these different types of strings & what your favorite type is & what brand you prefer? smile.gif

Cheers & rock on!

Tobias


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Vas Paul Standar...
post Dec 5 2012, 05:58 PM
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Did you play those cobalts yet? You will realise from the first moment how different they feel , Slash plays cobalts 11-48.
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 5 2012, 07:53 PM
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I have a set of the cobalts but have not strung them up yet. Let us know what you think! I use SUPER SLINKy 9 strings from Ernie Ball personally. I've tried about every gauge/mix and nearly every manufacturer, and for me the super slinky strings always seem the easiest to bend/vibrato/pinch harmonic, etc. I"ve tried other 9 sets and none of them felt as good IMHO. But strings are like shoes, different pairs for differnt folks smile.gif Some folks HATE slinky strings. Just like some folks hate 9 gauge sets. But that's life in the big city eh?

Todd

quote name='Qenzoz' date='Dec 5 2012, 11:54 AM' post='620725']
'Ello!

So I just ordered some new strings yesterday, some Ernie Ball cobalt strings, wanted to try those out, but honestly I have to say, I have no idea what the difference is between strings & when I look on Ernie Balls website there are:

Cobalt,
Coated Titanium RPS,
Nickel Wound (Which I usually bought that green pack 10-46, everyone seems to use them, not sure if it is because they're great or just because they're really cheap compared to a lot other strings),
Reinforced (RPS) - tried these, since Paul Gilbert used them laugh.gif but I couldn't really feel any difference between these and the Nickel Wound, but maybe because I hadn't been playing for very long at that time.
Pure Nickel, saw on some guitar tech site that these apparently are really great strings to improve your guitar sound/tone.
Stainless Steel

And probably more, and then there are also a ton of different brands, but for me it just seems that EVERYONE are using Ernie Ball tongue.gif

But I was just wondering if anyone here knows what the difference are between these different types of strings & what your favorite type is & what brand you prefer? smile.gif

Cheers & rock on!

Tobias
[/quote]


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DeGroot
post Dec 5 2012, 08:03 PM
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That is a cool idea to try out a bunch of different styles of strings. I use the Fender Bullets .009 just because the bullet string head holds a better tuning stability with Fender vintage tremolos.

You might find a different tone with the Titanium plated string just cause of a different alloy. I'm curious to know if you hear a difference? I think the biggest factor for sound and feel is in what string gauge you use.

I also read that the pure nickel strings have a softer tone and lower output than the nickel plated. I've never tried this myself but would be also curious for some feedback on this.



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AK Rich
post Dec 7 2012, 07:22 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Dec 5 2012, 09:53 AM) *
I have a set of the cobalts but have not strung them up yet. Let us know what you think! I use SUPER SLINKy 9 strings from Ernie Ball personally. I've tried about every gauge/mix and nearly every manufacturer, and for me the super slinky strings always seem the easiest to bend/vibrato/pinch harmonic, etc. I"ve tried other 9 sets and none of them felt as good IMHO. But strings are like shoes, different pairs for differnt folks smile.gif Some folks HATE slinky strings. Just like some folks hate 9 gauge sets. But that's life in the big city eh?

Todd

quote name='Qenzoz' date='Dec 5 2012, 11:54 AM' post='620725']
'Ello!

So I just ordered some new strings yesterday, some Ernie Ball cobalt strings, wanted to try those out, but honestly I have to say, I have no idea what the difference is between strings & when I look on Ernie Balls website there are:

Cobalt,
Coated Titanium RPS,
Nickel Wound (Which I usually bought that green pack 10-46, everyone seems to use them, not sure if it is because they're great or just because they're really cheap compared to a lot other strings),
Reinforced (RPS) - tried these, since Paul Gilbert used them laugh.gif but I couldn't really feel any difference between these and the Nickel Wound, but maybe because I hadn't been playing for very long at that time.
Pure Nickel, saw on some guitar tech site that these apparently are really great strings to improve your guitar sound/tone.
Stainless Steel

And probably more, and then there are also a ton of different brands, but for me it just seems that EVERYONE are using Ernie Ball tongue.gif

But I was just wondering if anyone here knows what the difference are between these different types of strings & what your favorite type is & what brand you prefer? smile.gif

Cheers & rock on!

Tobias

+1 I have been using Super Slinkys for many years, if it ain't broke don't fix it I guess. smile.gif
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ConnorGilks
post Dec 8 2012, 03:16 AM
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I don't know about certain types... people say that some strings are brighter or darker or louder etc. and personally I never noticed a difference (not that I ever looked for any intentionally). Here's what I do know for sure though, the biggest factors are clarity and tightness (when using thicker strings for the lower notes) and tone in certain circumstances. For example, pick scrapes are very different when done on 10-52's instead of 9-42's. I find thicker strings also give more of that "organic string noise" that I really enjoy, especially using low-medium gain.

Dunno if that helps you at all, but that's what I know!


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Qenzoz
post Dec 12 2012, 12:13 AM
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Okay so I've set my guitar up with my new strings, so far I don't really feel any difference, but I noticed something not sure if it is the due to the strings, gauge or maybe just that I am tuned in drop c instead of drop d, but harmonics seems to be a bit harder to achieve.
But I'll maybe try and clean up some of my other guitars with the other strings (nickel wound) and also when I get a recording done of the drop c I'll try and just use the exact some sound specs as the drop d ones and just hear if the tone is different smile.gif, try and compare the recordings, etc.

But they seem to sound great and they're really easy to play on, fingers just glides through them, but that maybe that's also 'cause they're brand new biggrin.gif


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derper
post Dec 12 2012, 02:14 AM
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QUOTE (AK Rich @ Dec 6 2012, 10:22 PM) *
+1 I have been using Super Slinkys for many years, if it ain't broke don't fix it I guess. smile.gif



I am so sorry to say that, I "disagree".....only because, I used to "agree". But then, I tried several diff strings. I came to LOVE the tone (for ME) of DR strings (purple box) compression wound strings. AMAZING tone!

Also, the reason I stuck with Slinky's was because they broke less (back, years ago when I chose to stick with slinky's) and also because "if it ain't broke..."


But after looking around, I found that despite Clapton/Page/Beck's choice, I preferred DR's.

I encourage all, to challenge their "pick" and try other strings, if possible.


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unclemeat
post Jan 7 2013, 04:06 PM
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Hey all, this is my first post here - I don't like to do the "Look at me I'm new!" threads, so I figured I'd just say hello in here.

If you're talking about the same basic materials (leaving coated, stainless, etc out of it) the biggest different I notice is feel. A lot of companies will vary up the sizing, making heavier strings on the top, lighter on the bottom, vice-versa, etc. Beyond that, I like to know how a set of strings is going to react. IE - I've used D'Addarios for so long that I know how much I need to stretch them, I know how long it will take before they have a worn-in sound, I know I won't have to adjust my bridge because there isn't like one string of a different size in the set that I wasn't expecting.

I always use the D'Addario EXL115W's... they are 11's with a wound G. I like how they feel. Having 4 wound strings is nice for a lot of what I play and getting chords that don't get way overpowering on the high notes. And other sets with a wound 3rd string seem to have really funky low E strings, like 52's.
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Todd Simpson
post Jan 8 2013, 03:27 AM
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welcome to the forums and GMC officially then smile.gif Great post! The differences can seem really subtle on the ears and in some cases, the fingers, when talking about 9 gauge sets from various vendors for example. There is an element of Trial and Error involved, much in the same way a player eventually finds the guitars/amps etc. that seem to work well and often given their style of play.

So, in the end, experiment! Try several brands/sizes/vendors. One or more will click.

Todd

QUOTE (unclemeat @ Jan 7 2013, 10:06 AM) *
Hey all, this is my first post here - I don't like to do the "Look at me I'm new!" threads, so I figured I'd just say hello in here.

If you're talking about the same basic materials (leaving coated, stainless, etc out of it) the biggest different I notice is feel. A lot of companies will vary up the sizing, making heavier strings on the top, lighter on the bottom, vice-versa, etc. Beyond that, I like to know how a set of strings is going to react. IE - I've used D'Addarios for so long that I know how much I need to stretch them, I know how long it will take before they have a worn-in sound, I know I won't have to adjust my bridge because there isn't like one string of a different size in the set that I wasn't expecting.

I always use the D'Addario EXL115W's... they are 11's with a wound G. I like how they feel. Having 4 wound strings is nice for a lot of what I play and getting chords that don't get way overpowering on the high notes. And other sets with a wound 3rd string seem to have really funky low E strings, like 52's.



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klasaine
post Jan 8 2013, 03:47 AM
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As expressed above the differences are subtle ... but they're there. Especially if you 1) drastically change your gauge - like from .9s to .11s or 2) you try a set of 'flat-wounds'.

Some alloys 'may' last longer. Some IMO sound brighter for a couple of hours and then sound like anything else. The coated strings do last longer (but I don't dig the sound or feel of them - that's just me).

On my electrics I like these ... http://www.ghsstrings.com/strings/electric...-nickel-rockers
I think they feel a little different than normal round wound strings due to the fact that they are slightly sanded/polished. They are also slightly darker tone wise than a standard round wound set.

*Now Classical guitar strings - nylon strings, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
The dif between say D'Addario or GHS and say Savarez and Augustine (Blue) is like friggin' night and day.

**Bass players say there's huge differences with bass strings too.



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casinostrat
post Jan 8 2013, 05:24 AM
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Normally I use Ernie Ball regular slinky. They are moderately priced and good strings. Recently I had a chance to play a Taylor Accoustic with Elixir Strings and it was quite interesting. When I first started to play the strings felt rather slick, but the more I played the more comfortable I got with them. I was wondering if the coating they have really does make them last longer than other strings?


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 9 2013, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE (casinostrat @ Jan 8 2013, 04:24 AM) *
Normally I use Ernie Ball regular slinky. They are moderately priced and good strings. Recently I had a chance to play a Taylor Accoustic with Elixir Strings and it was quite interesting. When I first started to play the strings felt rather slick, but the more I played the more comfortable I got with them. I was wondering if the coating they have really does make them last longer than other strings?


It sure does! I only use Elixir coated strings on all my guitars - they are actually cheaper on the long run. At the rate I am eating strings away, I would have to replace a pack each month on at least two guitars. With Elixir, I replace the strings every 2-3 months smile.gif


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Mudbone
post Jan 9 2013, 01:49 PM
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The biggest difference I noticed about the Ernie Ball Cobalts is the fact that they didn't corrode or rust, for six months. They sounded nice, but I can't say if they're any nicer than regular strings.

Also, nickle plated strings will cause less fret wear than pure steel strings, simply because nickel is a softer metal. If you don't do much bending in your playing, you could consider using steel strings for their brightness.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 9 2013, 10:15 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Jan 9 2013, 12:49 PM) *
The biggest difference I noticed about the Ernie Ball Cobalts is the fact that they didn't corrode or rust, for six months. They sounded nice, but I can't say if they're any nicer than regular strings.

Also, nickle plated strings will cause less fret wear than pure steel strings, simply because nickel is a softer metal. If you don't do much bending in your playing, you could consider using steel strings for their brightness.


Wow... 6 months? If they stay bright for at least half that time, I might consider a change smile.gif Thanks for the tip mate smile.gif


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Mudbone
post Jan 9 2013, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jan 9 2013, 05:15 PM) *
Wow... 6 months? If they stay bright for at least half that time, I might consider a change smile.gif Thanks for the tip mate smile.gif


By the end of the six months, they did lose brightness. Because the decay of brightness was really gradual, I really didn't notice it, so I can't really say when they became warmer sounding. I actually like my strings to be very bright. I changed them because I started to have intonation and buzzing issues. Give them a try, I want to know if my experience was unique or not biggrin.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 10 2013, 09:56 AM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Jan 9 2013, 10:12 PM) *
By the end of the six months, they did lose brightness. Because the decay of brightness was really gradual, I really didn't notice it, so I can't really say when they became warmer sounding. I actually like my strings to be very bright. I changed them because I started to have intonation and buzzing issues. Give them a try, I want to know if my experience was unique or not biggrin.gif


Will do! Thanks again mate smile.gif


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