I tried quite a few brands . Many when we still had local shops who offered a suggestion I'd try a set. I use D'Addario EJ-16 simply because they make the strings Seagull uses. I used Martin plain bronze and DR and others. I don't hear much if any difference between brands of the same type and gauge of string< I notice how long they last.
It went from local shops before the internet to string and beyond then the complete horror of Guitar center and Sam Ash who don't offer much here plus getting my ears blown out with some amp cranked to 10. Last sets I got on Amazon same price no shipping cost and no driving in this insane Los Angeles mad house.
Not much difference in the plain strings and I don't hear much if any difference in brands same type and gauge. I know Tommy Emmanuel states guitars get used to strings , Maybe i just don't see a guitar changing or getting used to strings , perhaps his high end guitars do. I only hear the diff between old and new strings.
I'll try a few other brands I got 2 sets of EJ-16's and three sets of EJ11 12-53 80/20 bronze which were $11 for 3 sets it's only $9 less than EJ-16's just for some extra sets.
TonyKgull, those Polywebs will be ready for a change in the early 2020s, LOL!
ladyssolo, I think I saw a D'Add factory tour video on YouTube, but haven't watched it (not sure if it's the same one or not). I prefer hex core strings, since I had some issues with round core strings unraveling, if you don't crimp them or cut them before they're at full tension. D'Add and GHS are all hex core, but DR are a mix, so you have to be careful (DR Rare are hex, but Sunbeams are round).
Speaking of Elixers and how slippery they are. My newest Alvarez's EXPs are finally worn and needing a change and I'm putting the beloved (or dreaded! Ha ha!) POLYwebs on her. Since this one is my main stage guitar for church I'm actually going to be leaving it there from now on cuz dragging all my gear around constantly is getting tired real fast.
So, she should be good for a year, maybe more, depending on how many times I play this year (played 50 times last year, but not with just that guitar).
We'll see though. As I've learned, "nothing stays the same in life except for the fact that things always change." So who knows, Elixers could become better or worse for all I know. lol.
Hi Tony...just curious...do you prefer polywebs over the nanowebs? I've used Elixer nanowebs for many years now...many folks feel the thicker coated polywebs are too slick feeling & don't have as good a tone as the nanowebs due to the thicker coating. Have you ever compared them directly on the same guitar?
You have me curious now...I may try a set of polywebs again...used them on some of my guitars awhile back, but switched after thinking the nanowebs sounded a bit better. As far as feel, I actually prefer the polywebs...I don't mind the slicker feeling & the thicker coating is easier on my fingers...I have small hands & even though I have fairly decent calluses, un-coated or light coated strings take their toll on my fingers, so it may be worth a bit of sacrifice in tone to be a bit more comfortable.
"The difference between our coating "flavors" lies in the tone and feel. Elixir Strings with NANOWEB Coating sound and feel more like traditional, uncoated strings. They are bright and lively, and the coating is so thin that you can barely tell it's there. Elixir Strings with POLYWEB Coating have a warm, "played-in" tone. While our POLYWEB and NANOWEB Coatings differ in tone and feel, both offer a smooth feel, reduce finger squeak, and deliver extended tone life."
Not fair, not really a "new member", lol...had a ton of posts on the old forum, but they are all in cyberspace heaven now!
The Elixer quote you posted is true, except I wouldn't call the Polywebs a "played in" sound, I would call it a slightly warmer sound. Because of that trait, I put them on my brighter guitars so that they have a wee bit of that "Martin" hint to them. lol.
Ya, the Polywebs are slicker feeling. This part really depends on the player as to whether that's a good thing or not. For me, it's kind of neutral. Only one slight pro and con. The pro being I can slide to stuff much easier when doing lead and it is a bit easier on my fingers. The con is, well, I slide a bit easier on them. LOL. That doesn't affect me anymore though as it was only ever a minor issue on guitars I had that were thinner than 1.75" nut width on the neck or Seagull's 1.8" neck. Just one of the many reasons the 1.75" neck is my "Goldilocks" neck. I don't have any guitars like that anymore, but even if I did, it wasn't enough of an issue that I wouldn't use the Ploywebs.
The Nanowebs I put on my Alvarez MDA66CESHB ASW hog dread. It's already got that warmer sound cuz it's all mahogany and it's a dread so it doesn't really have to be warmed up or mellowed out any. And yes, I agree the Nanowebs feel so natural it really is hard to tell they're coated when playing them.
Have I ever compared them directly on the same guitar? To be fair, no. I've had both on the same guitar, yes; but I've never had 2 guitars exactly the same at the same time where I could compare them directly, side by side.
But, I've used them for so long, and on so many guitars, that I can tell the difference a little bit, just enough to know what kind of guitar I want to put either on.
1 last thing, I have found that the Polywebs last the longest; or at least they hold the record for having lasted the longest. My Cole Clark which I played a lot actually came with Elixer Polywebs and I got a full 2 years out of them. Even when I changed them, they did not sound dead, dead, but they were "getting" dull and they looked like hell. LOL. Never got 2 years out of another set of anything since though.
Hope that helps. Just my experience with them. YMMV.
===================================== One Alvarez in the hand is worth two Taylors and a Martin in the guitar store!
This has turned into a great post. Lots of useful info. I am an Elixir Nano man myself, and enjoy a bit of slickness as it helps with barre chording and as TonyKgull mentioned, it helps with sliding up and down the fretboard when using the same chord shapes. It also helps reduce that "scrapey sound", which can make some people cringe (my wife HATES it!).
I've never tried polywebs, and may do so one day. Also never tried the Daddario EXP's but have heard they are great. Had Ernie Balls, GHS, Thomastik and Dean Markleys on acpustics before, all of which were either lacklustre or wore put too quickly. Had Martin strings on which were great in tone, but didnt last as long as the Elixirs.
I have Ernie Balls on my electric now and they sound really good!