Tuesday, 9 January 2018

String choice update

There are so many strings to choose from. So many manufacturers, string types from those manufacturers, tensions, materials, it's enough to do your head in. And that's just nylon strings! And if you only change strings a handful of times a year, and don't take notes, you'll soon forget what you liked and what you didn't like.

I've talked about strings before, several years back I locked in D'Addario as my manufacturer of choice. Across the board they make a bright sound for a reasonable length of time and are well priced. I have tried medium (standard) and hard tension, and settled on standard tension. Sometimes standard tension is too floppy, but not as much as sometimes hard tension is too stiff.  Standard tension is the best compromise for me.

Finally now I have run through all the different material variants and arrived at a verdict. The EXP45 set.  Well, not quite, I prefer the trebles from the EJ45TT set and the basses from the EXP45 set.  But that is too hard to deal with, so I am sticking to the EXP45 set out of the box, the trebles are okay. But I've taken to only changing the trebles every second set change.  Trebles hold their tone for a lot longer than wound basses, but take so much longer to bed in.

So, why the EXP?  Bottom line is I want long life.  New strings on nylon take too long to stretch in, and the very act of changing strings takes time, so I want to change as infrequent as possible. Yeah, I'm lazy. But the tone has to be to a minimum level - once they sound too dull, they have to go (only beginners will only change strings when they break!)

The EXP is that best compromise; it has the brightness in the basses that lasts the longest. All the D'Addario strings have a nice brightness to them, varying levels, but the EXPs last longest (given that you wipe down the strings after any long sweaty workout, which I always do.)

Done. Finished. End of story.

...except now that I know I prefer coated/medium tension/brightish strings, I should look across all the manufacturers to see what their range is in that space. Argh! But that sounds like a good time to start a new poll! :-)

Below is my findings summary:

EJ45 Pro Arte Standards, $6USD(2018).
  Good comfortable string, they will sound a bit dead after 4 weeks of 
  my normal playing regime.

EJ49 Pro Arte black trebles, $7USD(2018).
  Same as standard with black trebles, no difference. Only for looks.

EJ45TT Pro Arte Dynacore, $11USD(2018).
  The dynacore basses sound good, an improvement over standard. The
  "titanium" nylon trebles are also an improvement over the standard brightness
  but same thickness as standard.

EXP45 Pro Arte Coated, $10USD(2018).
  Basses are the same as the EJ45TT but coated and they do actually hold
  their tone quite a bit longer. Trebles are standard.

EJ45FF Pro Arte Carbon, $13USD(2018).
  The basses are the same as the EJ45TTs, the trebles are super bright
  and quite thin.

No comments:

Post a Comment