Best Guitar Strings to Boost Your Performance

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 31, 2017
With a great variety of types, dimensions, and materials, which strings are best for your instrument? Which ones will match your favorite genre, playing technique, or even a skill level? Our experts bring you the 5 top sets of guitar strings for premium sound and top-notch performances. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
For
Materials
String Quantity
Diameter
Package Quantity
 
PROS

The strings are made by utilizing a wire drawing process and a special 'fusion twist' process for plain steels. These technologies provide 131% greater tuning stability compared to similar products.

CONS

All strings come in one pack and have to be untied.

OUR VERDICT

The incredible strength of these strings will suit even those players who employ aggressive guitar technique, which makes the NYXL string set one of the best solutions for heavy musicians.

detailed parameters
For

Electric guitar

Materials

Nickel-plated steel

String Quantity

6 strings

Diameter

E - 0.010
- 0.013
G - 0.017
D - 0.026
A - 0.036
E - 0.046
(available in other diameters)

Package Quantity

Package Quantity of 1
Package Quantity of 3
Collectors Tin

PROS

Strings with bronze wrap wire are covered with unique NanoWeb coating for extra durability. 

CONS

The strings may seem rough at first.

OUR VERDICT

This set of strings is ideal for recording sessions and live performances. Elixir acoustic strings produce a bright, saturated sound and ensure that nothing goes wrong while you are on stage.

detailed parameters
For

Acoustic guitar

Materials

Bronze

String Quantity

6 strings

Diameter

E - 0.012
B - 0.016
G - 0.024
D - 0.032
A - 0.042
E - 0.053
(available in other diameters)

Package Quantity

Package Quantity of 1

PROS

Smooth phosphor bronze wire allows for many hours of playing without finger fatigue.

CONS

Strings leave blueish-gray stains on fingers.

OUR VERDICT

Earthwood Phosphor Bronze strings create a warm, velvety sound and are ideal for lead playing.

detailed parameters
For

Acoustic guitar

Materials

Bronze

String Quantity

6 strings

Diameter

E - 0.012
B - 0.016
G - 0.024
D - 0.032
A - 0.044
E - 0.054
(available in other diameters)

Package Quantity

Package Quantity of 1
Package Quantity of 3

PROS

Top-quality materials for impeccable sound. RegularSlinky plain strings are made from high carbon steel round wire. The wound strings consist of high carbon steel hex core wrapped with nickel plated steel wire.

CONS

May take some time to stretch after putting them on your guitar.

OUR VERDICT

Universal strings for players who embrace multiple genres (funk, jazz, metal, rock, etc.).

detailed parameters
For

Electric guitar

Materials

Nickel-plated steel

String Quantity

6 strings

Diameter

E - 0.010
B - 0.013
G - 0.017
D - 0.026
A - 0.036
E - 0.046
(available in other diameters)

Package Quantity

Package Quantity of 1
Package Quantity of 3
Package Quantity of 6

PROS

Special ball end on each string to accommodate for any classical or acoustic guitar.

CONS

Some players may not like the slide noise for bass guitar strings.

OUR VERDICT

D'Addario Folk Nylon set provides a clear, captivating sound for classical and folk music pieces. Smooth to the touch, these strings are recommended for beginners.

detailed parameters
For

Acoustic guitar, Classical guitar

Materials

Nylon

String Quantity

6 strings

Diameter

E - 0.028
B - 0.032
G - 0.040
D - 0.031
A - 0.037
E - 0.045

Package Quantity

Package Quantity of 1

What are Guitar Strings?

It goes without saying the quality of the music sound stems mostly from a player’s skills. That being said, any experienced player knows that choosing the correct gear, up to a guitar pick, is vital for a clean, expressive, and unforgettable performance. And if you’re just gearing up your guitar, we’d recommend you to start with a high-quality set of guitar strings.

Since 1265 when the strings were first introduced, they’ve undergone a lot of changes. Back then, they were produced from gut and were installed in a set of four items. It was only after five centuries had passed that the number of strings on the instrument has grown from 4 to 6 and that guitars started to look like we know them today. At about the same time the manufacturers of guitar strings started to make them not only from gut but also from steel and nylon.

In our today’s review, we look at 5 best guitar string sets available today (made from different materials). If you are looking for best acoustic guitar strings or best electric guitar strings, or simply want to buy cheap guitar strings, go and check it out!

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D'Addario NYXL1046

Rock'n'Roll, Baby!

One of the reasons for musicians to value D’Addario strings is that they satisfy the highest expectations. Innovative production processes make each new series of strings a huge step forward in every possible way.

If we compare the legendary D’Addario XL ProSteels EPS510 set with the new NYXL1046 set, we will find that NYXL is superior in all aspects. These electric guitar strings allow for better volume, presence, and produce rich, saturated sound with or without any special effects. Many players note their exceptional strength due to a reinvented wire drawing process and a revolutionary ‘fusion twist’ process for the plain steels. The unmatched tuning stability of these strings allows the instrument to stay in tune much longer. If you are a fan of aggressive guitar style, be sure to check out this amazing set by D’Addario.

Review of D'Addario NYXL1046 Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


D'Addario NYXL1046
D'Addario NYXL1046
 

Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings

Smooth to Fingers

The 80/20 Elixir set creates a bright, saturated sound typical for bronze strings. Due to their enhanced thickness, these strings sound louder and retain their tone much longer. Bronze-wrapped strings by Elixir are covered with NanoWeb coating to create premium sound and ensure durability. Many players change their strings once every 1-2 months, but the Elixir set has been reported to sustain its qualities much longer. On top of that, Elixir 80/20 are smooth to fingers, making for hours and hours of playing without fatigue. This acoustic string set is ideal for studio musicians and regular performers.

Review of Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings
Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings
 

Ernie Ball Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic String

Delightfully Clear Sound

Ernie Ball acoustic strings are perfect for creating a mellow, ringing sound. The phosphor-bronze alloy prevents quick oxidation, which may be caused by temperature, moisture or sweating. Earthwood strings allow you to experience a wide range of mid-frequencies and rich, velvety bass notes at the very first pick. They are smooth and gentle on fingers, which is what many acoustic musicians prefer. The set is ideal for lead players in search for a delightful, clear acoustic sound. Phosphor-bronze strings by Ernie Ball are played by Paul McCartney, John Mayer, Slash (ex Guns’n’Roses), Maroon 5 and many other touring musicians.

Review of Ernie Ball Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic String

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Ernie Ball Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic String
Ernie Ball Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic String
 

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Sets

Multi-Genre Touch

Regular Slinky 10-46 is one of the top selling Nickel Wound sets by Ernie Ball. These strings are fit for all playing styles, techniques, and levels (heavy riffs, arpeggios, virtuoso solos). They have been favored by many legendary artists, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai, The Rolling Stones, and AC/DC.

Regular Slinky strings create a bright, ringing sound. High carbon steel with good magnetic properties works great with pickup system, while nickel coating ensures a well-balanced output. Smooth to the touch, these strings reduce finger fatigue and fret wear.

This brand offers a wide range of string sets with multiple diameters, being the choice for multi-genre players and different guitar techniques.
Review of Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Sets

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Sets
Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Sets
 

D'Addario EJ32

Become a Folk Star

Steel strings can be used for classical or folk music, but they fail to convey the smooth and vivid sound peculiar to nylon. D'Addario Folk Nylon is one of the best options for these music genres. EJ32 classical guitar strings are made from top-quality materials: black nylon trebles and silver-wound basses. Each string has a special ball end to accommodate for any classical or acoustic guitar.

Nylon strings are also ideal for beginners. The first attempts at playing may cause very unpleasant sensations, even finger pain. Nylon is much smoother than steel, which means less pain and finger fatigue. After some time and practice, nylon strings may be swapped for a set of steels.

Review of D'Addario EJ32 Folk Nylon Guitar Strings

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


D'Addario EJ32
D'Addario EJ32
 

Sources:

1. Damian Fanelli How to Choose the Right Guitar Strings, Guitar World. January 25, 2017.
2. Laura B. Whitmore 10 Tips for Choosing the Right Acoustic Strings, Guitar World. May 25, 2015.
3. How to Choose Guitar Strings, wikiHow.
4. Ted Drozdowski Do the Right String: 10 Tips for Choosing Guitar Strings, Gibson. June 30, 2015.
5. How to Choose the Right Strings for Your Electric Guitar, the HUB. February 24, 2014.

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Publish Date: 2017-08-31 15:42:11