Any of you pickers familiar with Elixir acoustic guitar strings? I heard they last a lot longer than regular strings. (Good thing cause the price is pretty high.) Also what is the difference between nanoweb and polyweb? Any info. is appreciated. Thanks!
My husband's a pro guitarist who needs to change his strings before every performance or he's guaranteed to break one.... electric or acoustic. He plays really hard and is not using a light gauge either.
He was given a set of Elixer to check them out, and he's a big fan. They lasted a comparatively long time for him.
i leave my guitar next to the couch.(takaimine) and living in a humid state,(florida that is..)and i like d'addario's med guage. i buy bulk from musician's friend. and change em' when they're just getting rusty, as i prefer that old sound to a bright new string sound. usually every 2-3 weeks.i've tried elixer's , but couldn't get em' cheap enough( in bulk) to off-set the difference that i heard in the sound.. good thread.. barn.
I use them too on an inexpensive Yamaha and they do sound great and last a little longer.
From what I have read, their coatings coat in between the coils as well as on the surface, to keep dirt from building up in those gaps thus muting the string. The polyweb coating is thicker than the nanoweb one, (same chemical as I unerstand it). So the nanoweb gives a brighter sound as of the non coated brands of similar quality because there is less of a coating to mute the string.
BUT, knowing wound piano bass strings, which have a much wider gap in between the coils to get lots more dirt in there, it still takes years to hear a decline. So with the very tiny gaps of guitar strings, I'm not sure how much dirt and corrosion can actually get there to affect the tone as much as the coils themselves simply loosening up which "greatly" affects the sound of any wound strings. Piano strings, which are much thicker and stronger, and still loosen up with time, makes me think it's the coils of a much thinner and weaker guitar string not staying exactly as made with just a week of steady playing or maybe just the tension alone that makes for decreased tone and not for a lack of coating. UNLESS the coating acts as a glue to hold the coils tighter longer, and is the real reason they may stay brighter longer. If that's the case, don't bother with the cleaning unless you're a clean freak! Ha!
Look to the tightness of the coils. The tighter, the brighter! I twist old, very dirty piano bass strings, and when I do they come alive like a new string. These can be 80 year old strings!!! Just takes one turn in the direction of the wrap,,,one and half or even two for the very elderly! (80 or more years old). Once I went the wrong way as my eyes played tricks on me after I forgot which way they go, (you try tuning a piano then think!), and the sound was so dead and tubby that the owner of the piano who heard me try to tune it up thought I was a hack! I quickly redid the process and said "presto,,,,like magic, brought back from the dead"! Good thing he had a sense of humor. This was on his Steinway Grand! Really. Of all the times.....that's when it happens.
[This message has been edited by dhsongs (edited 01-20-2006).]
I DO like the Elixer strings. I was introduced to them when I bought my Taylor acoustic guitar... they came on her & I have used them ever since. The Elixer strings DO last longer than other strings and sound awesome. I don't agree that the awesome sound lasts for many months... at least not in my case. You can actually see the coating flake from the strings as they are wearing & I find when they are dead.... they are DEAD! I think the awesome sound is worth the extra $$$. On the other hand..... I just got a new Martin guitar which came with medium Martin Marquis strings.... forgot how full those strings sound... And thats my opinion to throw into the mix. Joanne
I've used both Elixer and EXP and while the Elixers do sound great I've had considerable trouble with breaking the G string. I have about 20 sets of Elixers that are incomplete because I have robbed from another set to get a new g when it breaks. I've never had that problem with EXP and I think they sound great and last longer. But it really boils down to which strings feel better to the player.
If they always break near the saddle, you might need a little repair work on the bridge.
I like Elixers on many levels. For one, I used the word Elixer in the first real song I wrote. That right there endears me to them. I did ask the guy at the music store why I should buy two sets if they last so long, he didn't answer me, just shook his head.
I like them, but I rarely use them, I get SIT's at cost through an endorsement deal. They cost me less than one fifth of a set of Elixers. They're not coated, but I imagine some clear nail polish or maybe some polyurethane ought to do the trick, or maybe wrapping them with duct tape (oughtta last long then, huh?)
As for sound, I've never worried a lot about how strings sound, heck my guitar doesn't sound that good to begin with so why worry? That's why God made eq.
However, if someone from the Elixer Corp. wants to follow the lead of the Kyser Capo Corp.(makers of the WORLD's BEST CAPO) and give free stuff to pros, I might endorse them no matter how they sound and if they're free, who cares how long they last?
All the Best, Mike
P.S. John's right about the wrap loosening up. That's why unwound strings last longer than wounds. A buddy of mine used to stretch out old strings then snap them back against the fretboard to tighten the wrap and "knock the dirt off." That may tighten the wrap, but for clean strings, wash your hands before playing.
------------------ You have to practice improvisation. -Art Tatum
[This message has been edited by Mike Dunbar (edited 01-20-2006).]
You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash
I used to use Elixirs, but switched to DR Extra Life strings about a year ago. I like them a million times better. They last longer and, have a coating on all of the strings. Including 1st. and 2nd.. Elixirs always squeak at some point. Or at least that is my experience. I keep four different guitars in my basement studio. Not exactly great climate conditions. Regardless of the guitar. martin, ovation, alvarez...they are always in tune, and the strings always bright and ready to go. Never had a minutes problem with DR's.
Heck, after this sterling review, maybe they will give me an endorsement deal. (hehehe!)
If my memory serves me correctly, polys are coated and then wound. The nanos are wound then coated.
I can't stand Elixirs and will never have them on one of my guitars again. I never liked the sound/tone of the guitar with those strings and they didn't last any longer than the DR Strings Rare Phosphor Bronze strings I normally used then and still use now. If I were to use a coated string I would use d'Adarrio, DR or Black Diamond coated strings. All of them sounded better to me than the Elixir strings. I don't use them either because they don't last any longer for me than the DRs I use now so...
To have any wound string sound brighter, even when new, or old, loosen up the tuning an octave, or whatever it takes to get the brass piece out of the hole and twist the string in the direction of the winding one or two turns, making sure in the beginning of the process that you take that end out without having it unturn in your hand or tool. Same thing for putting it back. This will tighten the coils, and is a practice used for installing new piano bass strings, (as well as what I mentioned earlier for older strings), and worked for me doing it on my guitar. You'll spend half the money every year and have a richer sound all the while.
I have heard them referred to as the "teflon strings", due to the fact that your finger dirt doesn't stick to them like other strings. This may be why they sound brighter for longer. I've been using them for about 2 years now. I'm a fan!
Thanks for the responses. I always get an education here. The strings do have a nice sound and hold their tune well. I always noticed that there is a much less of a squeak than the other brands as many of you said. (I always kind of liked that squeak though.) Isn't there also a spray that can be used on strings to eliminate the squeak anyway? I heard a rumor once that it was a can of that stuff that blew up in Ricky Nelson's plane before he crashed.