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Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!

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GUEST,Texas Guest 21 Apr 07 - 01:56 AM
GUEST 21 Apr 07 - 02:09 AM
Declan 21 Apr 07 - 02:53 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Apr 07 - 03:06 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Apr 07 - 05:32 AM
catspaw49 21 Apr 07 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,wordy 21 Apr 07 - 06:46 AM
kendall 21 Apr 07 - 07:03 AM
pirandello 21 Apr 07 - 07:38 AM
Dave Hanson 21 Apr 07 - 07:44 AM
Leadfingers 21 Apr 07 - 08:26 AM
kendall 21 Apr 07 - 08:27 AM
mandotim 21 Apr 07 - 08:36 AM
Ned Ludd 21 Apr 07 - 09:48 AM
Larkin 21 Apr 07 - 10:02 AM
Declan 21 Apr 07 - 11:00 AM
kendall 21 Apr 07 - 01:27 PM
Strollin' Johnny 21 Apr 07 - 01:55 PM
Little Hawk 21 Apr 07 - 02:29 PM
Singing Referee 21 Apr 07 - 02:58 PM
Willie-O 21 Apr 07 - 03:07 PM
kendall 21 Apr 07 - 03:24 PM
George Papavgeris 21 Apr 07 - 04:05 PM
Richard Bridge 21 Apr 07 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Texas Guest 22 Apr 07 - 12:22 AM
pirandello 22 Apr 07 - 08:00 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Apr 07 - 11:29 AM
redsnapper 22 Apr 07 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 22 Apr 07 - 03:15 PM
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Subject: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 01:56 AM

Sorry folks, but I've just got to get this off of my chest - I'm so angry with these guys - they have a sub-standard product that just sells and sells and keeps on selling - I just don't get it.

I first used their "coated" strings a couple of years back on two of my stage guitars and "BAM!" I broke the G-string on each of them. With the first incident I had no choice but to change the entire set (to Martin SP 80/20) right there and dump the elixirs. I blew it off as maybe being my fault, but - I virtually never break strings.
Granted, I do a lot of strumming, very rhythmic with strong emphasis on "2" and "4," but I just don't break strings - except when I play elixirs.

I broke a second G-string on another guitar and then I got hot.
I kept the broken string (replaced it with a Martin SP 80/20) and sent it off to elixir with a angry letter of disappointment in their product. Well, they were not very kind. They basically told me that their product was outstanding, other guitarists around the globe who use their strings don't seem to have the problem and that I should review my playing style and have my guitar bridge checked for rough spots that were causing the string to catch and break. They also included one G-string in the envelope to replace the broken one I sent them. Not a set, mind you - a string! Bastards!

Well, I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I quit using elixir products until a retailer I trade with advised that some of his other customers were having the same problem but only with the
medium gauge strings and not with the light gauge - a curiosity, but
a consistent one accordng to him. So I tried a set of light gauge elixir strings and "BAM!" - the G-string broke. Never; never again, I swore.

Well, having dinner and some shop-talk with a well known folk singer/songwriter last month I commented on the tonal quality of his instrument and he mentioned that he uses elixir strings. Hmmmmmm.

Well, guess what I did? I thought that I might give them another chance, this time using the "nano-web" thinner coated version of their light gauge strings. What happened, you ask? BAM!
The G-string broke on the second day of play right in the middle of a one-hour gig. As it went, I was unprepared and had to finish the set with only five strings. Fortunately I am more singer than guitar player and I got through it.

As far as I'm concerned their product stinks and the way they treat their customers stinks. There is nothing wrong with my guitars and my playing intensity is certainly within "normal" limits and I HARDLY EVER break guitar strings; and, when I do break em' it's an E or B-string - NEVER a G-string! In fact, just thinking about it, the strings I've used for the last year or so are D'Addario (EJ16) medium and light gauge(depending on which guitar) and I cannot tell you the last time I broke one - E or B and NEVER a G!

I'M NOT USING ELIXIR STRINGS ANY MORE - DAMN IT! THEY STINK!
There, now I feel much better. So, how do you feel about elixir, or any other string, for that matter?


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 02:09 AM

I fitted a set recently after reading all the ballyhoo. I got an immediate reaction with my fingers. It was as if the coating was coming off a couple of the strings. Then the affected areas turned black, so even though the strings play OK they look like hell. I can't wait for them to wear out so I can go back to d'Addarios.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Declan
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 02:53 AM

I've been using Elixirs for quite a while now and have never broken one. There are several positives to them including the fact that they last considrably longer than other strings. (Obviously if they keep breaking on you, this isn't the case).

Similarly to what you mention above, I first became aware of Elixir strings when I noticed a particular guitar player was getting a really good tone off their instrument. When I asked him about it he put it down to the strings. I suspect it also had an awful lot to do with the guitar and the player, but the strings certainly help.

If you don't want to use Elixirs again that's your choice, but I, for one, am a satisfied customer.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 03:06 AM

I use them (when I can get them at a sensible price) in preference to all others. They sound good, with just a tad of "not quite too bright" tone that takes "B-honk" off, and they last me for ever and ever, which is good since I have guitar-acquisition-syndrome and otherwise if I change the strings on every guitar every month it is both expensive and time consuming. My camping guitar (a Morris) I play them all festival season and change them at the beginning of the next festival season. The 12-strings and the decent guitars they last about two to three months.

I play pretty hard, but I only ever broke one once (it was a "G") and the set had been on about 6 months.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 05:32 AM

I bought a Faith saturn guitar just before Xmas and it had fitted on it the d'addario answer to elixirs - coated strings. so if you want coated strings, there are other product choices.

personally I don't like them. I prefer to play the newness off the strings. but its a personal thing, I know several very experienced players who really like elixirs.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 05:44 AM

So Texas Guest, let me see if I get this right......What you seem to be saying is that you don't care for the Elixir strings. Is that correct or did I read something into your post that really isn't there?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 06:46 AM

I've used them for the last twelve months. No problems. But I pick rather than thrash.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: kendall
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 07:03 AM

I tried Elixr once. They were too "twangy" for me, right on the edge of rattling. They felt greasy and I didn't care for them at all. In fact, I cut them off and went back to D'Addario bronze medium. They suit me just fine.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: pirandello
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 07:38 AM

I have been using Elixir Nano lights for years and have never broken one; even with tuning and detuning into alternative tunings. I play bluegrass and fingerstyle so my attack varies considerably.
I agree that the Polywebs feel strange and I personally don't like the tone but the Nanos are great.
I can't use anything else; my skin chemistry destroys uncoated strings in hours.

I have heard about the breaking G string issue on other forums so it is a known problem; thankfully it hasn't affected me.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 07:44 AM

Methinks Texas Guest is the problem, not the strings.

eric


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 08:26 AM

You takes your pick and hits the strings !! I break Martin strings in
minutes , but D'Addarios last weeks ! Different playing styles seem to suit different strings , though Lord knows Why !!!


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: kendall
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 08:27 AM

eric, how can you say that when he is not the only one who has a problem with those strings?


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: mandotim
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 08:36 AM

I play in a session where most of the guitarists play Elixirs. I was reduced to buying six g strings at a time just to cope with the number of breakages. It's always the G that breaks, and it seems to be irrespective of playing style. Back to D'Addarios or Newtones for me.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 09:48 AM

Well in the interests of research, i've bought some. I'll let you know how I get on! Although I always think you should vote with your feet- If You don't like 'em don't buy 'em.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Larkin
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 10:02 AM

The new Dean Markleys can't remember the name but they have gold top strings - are fantastic. I too was breaking elixirs all ther time - then went on to the coated D'addarios which went dead after about 2 weeks . had the DM's on over a month and have played them hard - 3 irish sessions a week and a week- end in Glasgow playing 8 hours a day - they're still going strong !!!

Martin


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Declan
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 11:00 AM

The Dean Markley stings are called called Alchemy. Bit of a side reference to Elixir in the name. I'm using a set at the moment and they're fine. A bit cheaper than Elixir too.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: kendall
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 01:27 PM

What does anyone know about DARCO strings? They are always in the bargain bin for $3.00 a set.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 01:55 PM

Newtones for me. Nothing less will do.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 02:29 PM

I like Elixirs just fine. Have never broken one. I guess it all depends on your playing style. Maybe you should switch to some super-heavy titanium-wound strings or something. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Singing Referee
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 02:58 PM

I think it's just personal taste and playing style.

I use Elixir PB Nanowebs and have tried Martin SP+'s (on a Martin) and Newtones, but the Elixirs are best for me. Both the Martins and Newtomes are initially a bit brighter, but don't last anything like as long as the Elixirs. I quite like the feel of the coated strings. I play finger-style so don't bash it.

I run two guitars. I use Elixir LMB's (.012 - .056) on the one I play mainly in drop D or DADGAD and have no problems with those except that sometimes either the 1st or 2nd breaks on retuning before I would otherwise change them. But they still last months.

My other guitar is tuned 3 semitones up and I use extra-lights (.010 - .047) on that. The wound 3rd (G) won't take the 3 semitone shift to A# so I use a plain 2nd of an old medium set instead. Having done that they last forever in drop D (drop F actually!) and I've had many people comment on the brightness of the sound from what is quite a cheap gutar (Aria AW130). But in the last couple of weeks I've been experimenting with DADGAD (3 up) on it, and that's been a nightmare. 1 and/or 2 (.010 and .014) break about every 3rd time I retune from DA to EB equivalent. So I thought I'd try lighter strings at a lower tension and bought some D'Addario .009 and .013's instead. It made no difference.

Whether that proves it's just how you use them, or whether I'm trying to do something impossible I'm not sure. But I like my Elixirs!


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Willie-O
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 03:07 PM

Elixirs for me. Lights only. No breakage problem whatsoever. Have not found any other guitar strings that suit me since I first tried them. I did try those Martin SP and found them very disappointing.
Due to my playing style, I find string squeakage very noticeable and aggravating now that I am an Elixir convert.

I like the original Polyweb but have Nanos on right now.

If you already don't like them, quit buying them then complaining that you hate them! Once bitten...

W-O


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: kendall
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 03:24 PM

I find that D'Addario strings last a long time if I use fast fret to clean the strings before putting the guitar away.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 04:05 PM

I swear by Elixir Nanoweb Extra Lights. Both my "working" 12-strings and my 6-string carry them. They last my ages (suits me, as I am a lazy bugger), and although they lose the first brightness quite early, they do not deteriorate to unacceptable levels, so I can make do for XX weeks (too ashamed to mention it).


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 05:26 PM

I use 10-47s on the 12-strings, 12-53s on the Martin, the Mugen, the Morris, and the fan-strutted Hagstrom J-45, but 12-56s on the two X-braced Hagstrom J-45s. I said I had GAS.

Nanowebs. The Polywebs are too dull, and I am about to try the new 80/20 Nanowebs.

Those Alchemies sound interesting though - it is a hell of a job getting the US dealers to send Elixirs to England, and if the customs catch them there is a hefty surcharge, whereas here the price of Elixirs is just stoopid.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 12:22 AM

Well thanks to all the positive contributions. It seems that there are some shared and different experiences expressed here - an exchange
of information, experiences and ideas - which is what Mudcat is all about. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: pirandello
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 08:00 AM

Richard, try buying your Elixirs mail order through Stringbusters. If I buy a box of ten sets I can save around £4.00 a set over shop prices; that's nearly £40.00 per box!


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 11:29 AM

Well my last lot from the USA cost £55.87 (inc shipping) for 7 sets (one being mandolin and another 12-string, which are a bit dearer - so call it 7 and a half sets) about £7.50 per set. Beat that! They are £10.40 per set if you buy ten sets at stringbusters (just been on the site) plus shipping which I don't know what stringbusters charge. Of course if the customs had caught me it would have been different...


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: redsnapper
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 12:07 PM

Never had a problem with them personally. These days though I tend to use Newtones which are good value, last well and which are wound on a round rather than hexagonal core so they tap less corroding moisture. On my jazz guitar I use Rohrbacher nickel-wound titanium strings. Having said all that I mostly play an electro-classical with nylon strings these days.

RS


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 03:15 PM

Texas guest, I tried Elixir polyweb and hated the plastic feel of them and the horrible tone. A friend gave me a set of the nanowebs, which I love. Never had a problem with them breaking myself, but if you go to this Strings Direct page you'll find many reviewers who have, like you, given up on them because they break.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: jiva
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 06:16 PM

Since discovering Elixirs around 4 years ago, we have used nothing else. Love the long-lasting bright sound after the initial 10 minute playing in.

6 strings: Taylor 810-LTD and Taylor 810 CE light gauge.
12 strings: Taylor 855 extra light.

All guitars at concert pitch, occasionally dropping the 6th (or 11 and 12th) to D. Mostly fingerpicking (no plectrums/picks).

Did try D'addario EXPs on the 810 LTD and took them off within 20 minutes - they sounded dead by comparison. Our favourite performer uses D'Addario EXPs and he's often asked how he gets such great tone/sound... so it's probably as much to do with the player as it is the strings.

In the end it's a matter of preference - you can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Best prices we have found are at www.stringsdirect.co.uk - we buy strings, capos, tuners etc from them.

jiva
www.jiva.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: number 6
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 08:30 PM

Elixirs are actually manufactured by D'addario. It's the Elixir coating on the D'addario strings.

biLL


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Bert
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 11:41 PM

Interesting, I bought a set once and they didn't sound any better than the Martin's that I had been using.

And strangely enough the G string broke after a week or two's use. Never bothered to pay the extra for them again.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 08:15 AM

That's what I've heard too biLL (number6). I've been using the nanowebs (standard and PB) on both my guitar and bouzouki for a few years now and expect to get breakages due to retuning in various ways. My guitar has a long scale and I use medium gauge so the tension is pretty high, though recently I have been tuning down a tone for CGCGCD/DGCFAD) (DADADE would be asking for trouble) and using a capo. Whenever I have an important gig to play, I always put on a new set and have never been let down, however during the lean patches, I've left strings on for a few months and still been happy with the tone. They are expensive but I think they are worth it.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,cmt49
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 08:30 AM

On both my Martin 00016 and my M. Suzuki, Elixir Nanowebs gave the sound equivalent of an 'upgrade'. Fantastic sound, longevity and lack of squeak. BUT the 3rds kept breaking. On the Martin, I changed from 12's to 11's and haven't broken a 3rd since. I tried Polywebs and hated them. A friend tried Nanowebs on his Gibson J200 and they didn't sound anything like mine, so maybe they suit some guitars and not others. To me, they are the best strings around, and have often drawn the same kind of ' wow! what strings do you use?' comments others have reported. But breaking 3rds ARE a problem, and Elixir need to address this.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: JedMarum
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 09:48 AM

I'm NOT an Elixer fan. I've used 'em, and probably will again in the hest of the sumemr. Nano-webs are OK sounding, but I hate the feel. I am not string breaker, ordinarliy - but occasionally. I do break more Elixers then others, and always at the bridge ... maybe they casue me to pick differently, maybe its the design of the string - I don't know.

I only used Elixers because I can destriy a set of ordinary strings in the first songs - during the hot weather. It must be my chemistry or somethig, but I am a string destroyer! I'd be changing my strings every night, and playing with dead strings half the time if I didn't use Elixers ... until I found Newtone (mentioned above by a few).

I was dubious when Rick Fielding turned me on to them a few years ago ... but I tried 'em for a while and he was right. They go on sounding great and they last! They feel like normal strings - not small, not slippery like the coated strings. I have become a true believer. Since they are not imported to the US in great numbers they tend to be hard to find and expensive - so I buy them on-line in bulk (a good deal anyway). I use 10 to 12 sets a year and sometimes put on Elixers, as I said during the worst of summer weather or when I'm waiting for a bulk shipment.

I've used Newtones for 5 or so years now. I broke my first this weekend at an outdoor festival in North Carolina. It was perfect string breaking conditions, old strings, hot humid weather, many twists up and down to accommodate various tunings ...

I would probably be playing Elixers if I hadn't discovered Newtones. I got used to their shortcomings - and if you shop wisely and buy in bulk you get a good price for them too. But I am glad I found Newtone (I use the Masterclass, medium guage).

Elixers have a dull sound. They are not bad, sounding, but not great. The Nanos sound better then the originals ... but that OK sound lasts for weeks - you get used to feel and if you can suffer the occasional string break, they are not a bad compromise.

... anyway, just a few thoughts on the subject.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 09:56 AM

Odd. I think the Newtones sound dull on the Hagstrom I tried them on.

Has anyone tried the Alchemy ones?


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: JedMarum
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 10:50 AM

Newtones have a full, round sound to me. They do not have the very very bright whispery qualities of the phosphor alloys - but I prefer that. I know the very bright sound is popular and I appreciate that, it's just not what I prefer.

Newtones sound great when I put them on, and they wear slowly. I can keep 'em on for two weeks, maybe three - and occasionally a little more, if I'm willing to compromise, or the weather is cool. They never go suddenly dead, and never completely dead. I pay a lot and even though I play two guitars, two or three weeks is a long life for me. I'm happy if I get that much out of them.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 11:00 AM

I tried two sets of their coated nylon strings a few years ago, and the G string in both sets was cut through by the guitars saddle as I fitted them. Wouldn't touch them with a bargepole!


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 11:22 AM

My guitar came with a set of Elixirs. I find them pretty good. I don't need a lot of treble anyway, and leave all strings on and they do last a long time (if you don't break them). I don't usually break strings all that often these days, but funnily enough, broke an Elixir D last week, on a week-old set. Grrrr!

I use Newtone as well - I think they're great. In fact I've been using them on and off since the 80s when they were called Albion. They've always been very smooth. These days I think they're in a different class to all other strings. Not so easy to get hold of, but worth it.

I also find D'Addario and Ernie Ball Earthwood perfectly OK, especially recently. In fact the only time I've had trouble with strings was with Gibson branded strings, a few years ago. I had three sets (which I bought at the same time) and they went dead really fast, and I lots of breakages. Probably a duff batch, but I've never bought any since.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Baz
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 11:34 AM

I find Elixirs sound too 'spangly' for my taste. I really like the sound of D'Addario's 'silk & steel' strings, they're lovely and mellow, but alas they're a bit on the light side as well. I think they only make them in .11's, which is too light for me in standard tuning, and certainly too light for dropped tunings and DADGAD etc.

I think I'll check out them Newtones though.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 02:46 PM

If Elixirs are coated D'Addarios, then why do Elixir G strings break more often than D'Addarios? What is the coating made of? Does the coating do something to weaken or corrode the string? Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 03:20 PM

....wow...sounds like an opportunity for a PHD thesis in string structure as relates to climate and body chemistry.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Gulliver
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 03:34 PM

I bought Elixir strings (custom) for my Lowden three times (in Dublin). The second and third time the G string broke when I was putting them on the guitar! I never broke a string before in my life when stringing a guitar, and it happened twice with Elixir. I mentioned this at the shop where I bought them and was told that the strings were actually made by D'Addario. I thought they sounded good (but then almost any strings sound good on the Lowden) but after a month or so of playing they began to look a bit ragged, so I went back to Martin.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 03:55 PM

It doesn't matter who makes the string for Elixer, D'Addario or other - the coating is part of the wrap ... they are NOT normal strings DIPPED in wrap. The strength characteristics will be different.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Slag
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 05:09 PM

I've always used D'Addarios but now you've got me thinking!! It's been a while since I've picked up the classical but it's due for a string change. I'll let you know my experience.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 06:05 PM

Newtones - the only strings I've come across that really do seem to make a difference. Tune easily, and hold the tuning, feel better and sound better.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Songster Bob
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 12:40 AM

I used to use Elixers, had one set that I changed out after 9 months just to see if the tone would be different with new strings (it was, but not a lot), and never broke a string. When I have broken strings in the past, I always look for sharp edges on the saddle or nut, or some other cause, before I start blaming the strings.

That said, I don't specify Elixers now. I've got a set of SIT (Stay In Tune) strings on my 0-18, and they're fine. Didn't sound too bright when new, like some strings do, and I'm using John Pearse strings on a couple of other guitars. I like them, too, for that "not so new but still good and last a long time) tone. In fact, I'm probably going to go with the Pearse strings unless a bonanza of Elixers falls in my lap or something. I don't get enough from the coated strings to make the extra expense necessary.

But the string-busters should check their instruments, in case there's a rough edge hiding somewhere -- even if only one brand of sring breaks, the other brands may be being weakened at the same spot, and that may affect the tone, tunability, or life expectancy, even if they don't break right away.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Gulliver
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 03:46 PM

What amazed me was that I didn't even get the chance to tighten the strings when putting them on the guitar--I just started to wind them around the thingamajig at the machine head when they broke. I've had the Lowden 20 years--never broke a string like that before.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 05:19 PM

That sort of breakage, Gulliver, is usually a sharp edge on the shaft of the machine head.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Spot
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 05:28 PM

Allo everybody...

                  I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Rohrbachers are the best....   beyond doubt... etc .. get the ones silsethesthequane ( or summat!!) coated - bloody wondefful!!

             regards to all.... Spot   :-)


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Songster Bob
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 08:56 PM

Stringing suggestion, no matter the brand:

Always make sure to have enough windings around the post when you reach "tight." Don't start with the string going straight through and only about one turn before you get the strings tightened. I always put my hand under the strings and spread my fingers upwards, to get some slack. Then I hold the string against the fingerboard whilst turning the peg, till there's a kink that will hold the string. Then I tighten to pitch.

I usually want two or three turns for the 5th & 6th strings, and at least four for the others. The reason you want to do this is that the place where the string kinks is automatically a weak spot. If there's no spare string wound around the peg, the tension is concentrated on this weakness, and pop! goes the weasel (as you pay out for another string). Enough windings spreads the tension around the peg, so the kink doesn't become a break-point.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 09:58 PM

I'm not familiar with the Newtones; I'll have to give them a try. I've been using John Pearse strings on my 6 string guitars and D'Addarios on the 12 and the banjo. I tried the Elixers and didn't break any, but also didn't particularly like the tone. I think they mesh well with some instruments, but apparently not mine. I felt they always just sounded like slightly, but not completely, dead strings. It could also be playing style - I'm a fingerstyle guitarist, and I use strings that work with my playing style.

Dan Schatz


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Beer
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 10:06 PM

Black Diamond Strings
Black Diamond Strings
Drinkin' 1 W. Harper
Playin' Black Diamond Strings
Black Diamond Strings
Are like white flour and grits
You play Black Diamond Strings
'Cause it's all you can get
                  "Guy Clarke"

Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Muttley
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 08:18 AM

If I may add a comment or two - and I am probably WAY out of my league as most (if not all) of you sound like professional (semi-professional) players. Those who know of me through the group know already of my 'disabled' status - ABI and having to relearn and all and then having to play in a more simplified manner - thus my guitars are all "standard tuned" -E-A-D-G-B-E-. I also play for schoolkids and friends as well as busking on occasion - I am a little afraid to take up the invitation to play at a local pub as I am still embarrassed at having to play from songbooks I have constructed to cater for my memory-loss disabilities, so I haven't gone there yet.

All my playing life I have used D'Addario strings - my old 3/4 Yamaha (Something 50) which has a gorgeous tone has D'Addario Nylons while my 'el cheapo' Samick 12-string has D'Addario Extra-Lights and my Fender Redondo - my 'everything guitar' - has always had D'Addario X-Lights - though I experimented on a couple of occasions with Lights and Mediums - I just liked the feel of the X-L's.

However, last time I changed my strings I asked about tonal quality - as I tend to respect music store folks experience. The chap suggested the Elixirs for their better tone/note-holding abilities and that they seemed to hold their 'true' for a lot longer.

Anyway, I got daring and paid the extra $$$ - given I paid about $15 - $20 for D'Addario's and was asked to shell out almost $40 for the Elixirs, I had to think about it(also being an 'Asperger' and considering changing things can very alien and threatening to my thinking - if someone I trust recommends highly, I'll consider it. Otherwise Hmmmmmmmmm!). I bit the bullet and paid the extra: I bought the Polyweb Light .012 - .053 and have been pretty happy thus far.

While I haven't noticed a markedly better sound from the guitar - I have noted that it does sound just that tad more mellow. However, the big bonus for me is that I they HAVE held their tone/note far betterand longer than the D'Addario's. They have not soured even a little bit - and by now I would have already had a second set of D'Addario's fitted (and probably looking at a third in the next few weeks) since having fitted the Elixirs.


Another bonus is the virtual absence of 'squinching' (string squeak - whatever) though this is dismaying as I liked hearing that because it means my hands and fingers are approaching "normal person" speed and not my usual slower more deliberate actions imposed by minimised brain-hand co-ordination.

Extra questions: I am buying a Maton later this year (my wife, God Bless her, is allowing me to do so) and I understand they come standard with Elixirs - does anyone know this for fact?

Also: I have noted that 'blackening' on the strings which GUEST (post No.2) mentioned, where I chord most. Was wondering whether that 'Fastfret' stuff that Kendall mentioned would help in cleaning them up - or should I just leave it?


As I said earlier - I bought the Polywebs. I think the Nanowebs were available - but even more expensive (and as a casual relieving teacher on not a huge income - maybe next time as I am impressed thus far). Are the Nano's better than the Poly's - or is it simply personal preference?

Great discussion

Muttley - PS - I'm In Australia


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Riverman
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:22 AM

I too swear by Elixirs and have never broken a single one in about 10 years of using them. They're not as bright right off as some others but they do stay brighter for longer and I change them pretty regularly. I use the nanoweb ones and they suit my guitar. I can honestly say that other string's I've tried have been a disappointment although I should try Newtones and those Rohr-thingies...


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Spot
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:29 AM

Riverman and all..

                   Personally, I found Newtones good for a fortnight....   Rohrbachers - 2/3 months...   There's little else to be said!! :-)

                   Regards to all.....Spot


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:32 AM

In the US you should be paying between $11 and $16 for a set of Elixers. There are a few on-line shops where you can get good prices, even for one otwo sets. When you buy bulk you normally get very god prices.

Elixers sound pretty good new, especially the nano-webs and they sound almost the same throuhgout their life! If it were sound alone I'd use 'em all the time.

I have broken more Elixers then other strings ... but so many that that would deter me fromm using them either. As I said, I use them as a second choice - and for the very specific purpose of getting through the extreme hot/humid weather. I do not like the feel of Elixers - but I get used to it when I have to.

I think those folks using them for their longevity characteristics would also be happy with Newtones. Elixers you can buy at most guitar shops, except in the UK - Newtones you'll have to hunt for.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 12:44 PM

Muttley

The Polywebs have a thicker coating and feel waxy - it is this that gives a more mellow tone and less string squeek. The Nanowebs have a thinner coating and sound and feel close to normal (uncoated) strings but have the capacity to last much longer tonally, ie they keep their brightness for significantly longer.

Bob

Interesting post. I have always allowed a bit of excess (in line with your suggestion) when winding and always put a right angle bend in the string for going through the post. The strings that usually break at this point are the 2nd and 3rd which are under a lot of stress from altered tunings, but that is what I would expect. If any of the other strings go, it is usually at the saddle, though I do get breaks on the 2nd and 3rd here too.

If I gigged really often, I would use D'Addario and change them each time, Elixirs would be too expensive to do that. However, I don't gig more than about once every month (on average) so I use Elixirs for the longer lasting tone, but always change for a gig to minimise string breakage on stage.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: synbyn
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 12:50 PM

Tried Elixirs but went back to oft-changed D'Adds- I found the Elixirs seemed to be a bit slow to rebound- can't explain this, but they didn't seem to be where I expected them to be- especially fingerpicking. A bit like rubber bands. Had trouble with breakages, but that was the particular guitar's bridge, & a change has seen no problem.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 11:33 PM

first of all elixirs are not worth the money. second i have tryed alot and martins can't be beat. and another thing black diamonds are junk. elixir are not worth the money. i would like to try dean markely if they have a good bluegrass set. but give me bluegrass martin medium lights or marquis martin meds or bluegrass sps.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Gurney
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 12:16 AM

Maybe Elixirs are going through a bad patch. Years ago I bought 5 sets of Martin lights on a special offer, and I hated them. The ball ends tended to pull off when changing, and after about two hours they went through a 'dead' period, and never really came bright again. I've never bought any since, but reading this thread makes me think that those problems are past.
The one set of Elixirs that I've used were lovely to play, but too bright for my guitar and taste.


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Subject: RE: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 02:55 AM

"Stringing suggestion, no matter the brand:

Always make sure to have enough windings around the post when you reach "tight." Don't start with the string going straight through and only about one turn before you get the strings tightened. I always put my hand under the strings and spread my fingers upwards, to get some slack. Then I hold the string against the fingerboard whilst turning the peg, till there's a kink that will hold the string. Then I tighten to pitch.

I usually want two or three turns for the 5th & 6th strings, and at least four for the others. The reason you want to do this is that the place where the string kinks is automatically a weak spot. If there's no spare string wound around the peg, the tension is concentrated on this weakness, and pop! goes the weasel (as you pay out for another string). Enough windings spreads the tension around the peg, so the kink doesn't become a break-point.

Bob"

Here is a great vway to string consistently, locate your string in the bridge, pull it all the way bhrough the winding peg, then pull it back the distance of the first fret. That will give you the perfect amount of string to wind around the post, making sure thaty you lock the string by winding firstly above it then below it.

I think elixir nanoweb are the best strings on the market, they last for ages, they dont have that horid brassiness that most new strings have and they dont squeak as much when moving chords up the fretboard.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 04:18 AM

I also use Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze .012-.053 gauge on all my steel-strung guitars, and have done for many years. There was, I believe a bad patch in the firm's history - perhaps around 2 years ago and before that - when 3rds and sometimes 4ths broke regularly.

My opinion, and that of other guitarists I talked to at the time, was that the ratio between the inner core and the outer winding was wrong - inner too thin to support the outer winding. I took it up with Elixir (the European office in Germany), giving them evidence of the guitars I used, styles I played, etc. - together with some comments culled from around the web. I got a very efficient reply - and two free sets of strings - but naturally they wouldn't admit directly to any design flaw but promised to investigate.

I'm sure that my efforts on their own didn't amount to a hill of beans, but I do think that many other guitarists also contacted Elixir with their opinions. Certainly, in the last two years - no change in guitars or playing styles - I haven't broken a single Elixir string and I'm sure they've changed the spec.

They are the only strings that don't give way to the acid in my hands. Martin strings last me a day's playing and then their dull. I do prefer a very bright sound.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: reggie miles
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 04:51 AM

I need a high E string that can withstand high tension. I need to tune it 5 half steps high, to A, without breaking. Can anyone offer any brand recommendations?

I contacted Infield because their high E string, a .009, was the only one that has come close to lasting at that tension level, but even it broke rather quickly. I asked them if they made anything that was specifically designed for high tension. I was secretly hoping that they had some kind of super string alloy made for just that purpose but the R&D tech said no.

I wrote another string company that claimed that they hand made their own strings. However, apparently, while they might make their own strings, they don't seem interested in answering email inquiries about their strings.

Is there some string company out there that specializes specifically in strings meant to withstand extremely high tension without breaking? Or do I have to invent the thing myself?

Cuz, ya know what happened when I couldn't find an old used resophonic guitar, don't ya? I looked for about 20 years and finally I just made my own and now I've completed three.

I swear, if I can't find some string maker willing to provide me with what I need, I'm gonna start making my own strings and blow these slackers out of the water. Hey, how hard can it possibly be. I made a whole guitar out of junk that I found at garage sales. Making a high E string, that will suit my needs, has got to be a breeze by comparison.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: breezy
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:42 AM

Good luck reggie

I take it by 'steps' you mean frets, or semi-tones

3 steps is usually the limit sometimes 4 with 008 on top, but to get to 5 I think you will snap a few

In the mean time why not use a capo !! T in C

I used to tune up high but was also capoing 7th fret as my guitar - a hand made Brook - sounded so sweeeeet up there.

Re busted Gs , I guess its because of the heaviness or impact of the playing style t , may I suggest a small DA5 amplifier runs on C cell batts

as a piano student I learned to play with a light touch and a guitar is not a loud instrument. i play it with gentleness like I do my women, I'm not into 'rough'

I have used Elixir since whenever they emerged and abandoned all others inc Martin , d'add etc, I f-pick and use an amp, they last for years, I buy in bulk 10 sets at a time from strings direct. still got 9 sets !!

and playing in a session with accordions etc an amp would be useful !!


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Musket
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:51 AM

Sorry but I love them, cant get enough of them. Especially on the Rainsong OM10.

Mind you, cheap & cheerful Martins on the Yamaha APX6-12 and the Jim Harley give the same sound as when I use Elixir. But the Rainsong is wonderful as the take the bright edge off.

The technical details talk of certain harmonics being damped through the smooth outer profile of the strings. Mmmm. We all have a specialised subject and mine just happens to be mechanical vibration, even wrote my PhD thesis on the subject. Let's just leave it as "I would love to explore the reasoning and evidence for this to be a practical as opposed to theoretical advantage."

Talking of practical, they should for most of us last longer than most other strings and indeed they do. One good reason for considering them, despite the higher than average price.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: harmonic miner
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:55 AM

I found Elixirs good but expensive on the high street here at €20 or so per 6-string set. I do like to support the local retailer. Texas Guest may just have hit a bad batch? Happenned to me recently with a pack if 3 sets of Martins - all 3 of the high E's broke at the ball. And again, I never break strings. Retailer replaced them, no quibble (got a set of Elixirs and paid the extra cost!!)


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Fortunato
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 08:22 AM

I recently became enamored of Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze since they've held their tone longer that D'Addario Phosphor Bronze. The first hour of playing was too 'live' but they settled down to the best of phosphor bronze tone, suited for my Gallagher, and have maintained it. After several weeks the coating is fraying on the G string, but no loss of tone. Are they worth the price of 3 sets of D'Addario? Only if you've got a long period when changing strings would be inconvenient and you want to sustain your tone over several musical sets and gigs.

Now on the advice give above to wind a lot of string around the peg, I seriously disagree. I recommend no more than one inch beyond the necessary length of the string, otherwise there is a loss of tone, I believe there is too much resistance to the transfer of tone.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 08:38 AM

After nearly 50 years of playing I still hate changing strings which is why Elixir Nanoweb PBs are a godsend. I've been using them for several years (can't remember how long)and never has a duff set. They settle down quickly both in terms of tone and stretch and I've got them on each of my five acoustic guitars. And nobody's paid me to say this.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 08:44 AM

I'm surprised as I've always used nothing but Elixir strings, had no problem at all except one set off E-bay which were probably fake. I do know a guy though who buys Elixir from the same place as I do, breaks strings very regularly, reason being as I and most others see, he's strums 95 % in opwn chord tuning, and is incredubly rough on his strings, really lays n to them far too hard. As you said you do a lot of strumming, could you be doing the same? I'm probably tempting fate but I've never broken a string


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: MissouriMud
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 02:32 PM

I use Elixer Nano 80/20 on the guitars I use the most and enjoy the finger feel, tone and longevity. Three years ago I bought my old Gibson L-00 from a friend and very good player who was using these strings on it. He said the tone was great but said he had breakage issues (the D string not the G). I kept the same strings on it and sure enough a couple of days the the D string broke at the saddle.   I changed it out and two weeks later it broke again at the same spot.   I took the guitar to a luthier who proceeded to make a miniscule reshaping/smoothing of the saddle top edge and havent had a problem since.   None of the other guitars I use Elixirs on had that problem. Perhaps there is something about the strings that makes them a bit more susceptible to a rough edge or sharp bend compared to other strings. Probably may play style on that particular guitar contributed - I use it for old Time string band accompaniment (as did the prior owner) and really dig into the three bass strings.

In any event I'm very happy with the strings right now. I have sweaty fingers so the coating is very important to longevity. I also find that I can slide more easily, with better tone, less noise, and a lot less callous. In terms of general tone quality I definitely believe that certain guitars sound better with some stings than with others and another guitar or even the same guitar played differently may have a totally different reaction. They work well for me and my style on my L-00 and fingerpicked Martin 000-28NB; on my bluegrass flatpicking D-28 I'm less sure - but I havent found anything clearly better so far. So whatever works best, but as usual no right answer for everyone.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: reggie miles
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 02:44 PM

breezy,

At present, the high E string is regularly tuned four semi tones, or four frets, high of the E note that it is supposed to be, to Ab. My open tuning that I use is an open E form that's pushed up to open Ab. (Ab-Db-Ab-C-Db-Ab) I've been exploring this tuning for over 30 years. So, altering my tuning form is not something that I'd like to consider. I just want to alter the key that I'm offering it in.

What I'd like to do is to push that Ab tuning up just one more semi tone, or fret, to open A. (A-D-A-C#-D-A) That would mean the high E string would be tuned five semi tones, or frets, high from where it is meant to be tuned, to A.

Everything seems to work alright in Ab. The problem arises when I try to push the high E string up to A.

The string gauges that I use in Ab are generally as follows. (54/42/30/22p/15/11) It's a standard set of electric strings from Ernie Ball, (Beefy Slinky). The electric set offers me a little brighter sound than the average acoustic strings on my resophonic guitar.

The action is set low, not high, as on most square neck guitars. This makes it possible to also finger chord shapes in the first position, (nearest to the nut).

The guitar that I use is one of my own homemade resophonic guitars. It has a twelve fret square neck, (twelve frets to the body). I regularly travel to the twelfth fret with my slide.

If I used a capo on the first fret, I'd have to reach over the body to grab the 13th fret for that slide move. It becomes a bit awkward, because my guitar doesn't have a cutaway to reach that fret easily. That awkward move then negatively impacts the approach that I use to play a lot of my bottleneck slide arrangements.

I suppose that I could just alter my playing approach and that I might eventually get used to that 13th fret reach but there's another reason why I don't use a capo. The reason why a capo won't work, in this instance, is that no one makes a capo for a square neck guitar that has the action set low and that has such high tension on the strings.

Most every capo is meant for a round neck guitar with low string tension. Those capos that are meant for a square neck guitars are only made for those who play with the action set high. My particular exploration of playing bottleneck slide with a square neck guitar that has the action set low makes my efforts rather unconventional. My interest in pushing the limits of string tension to very near the breaking point makes me a pioneer in that area of acoustic exploration, or perhaps a rebel. In a world of sameness, I've always aspired to be something different.

Do you see what I'm facing here? It's the entire streamlining of the industry. It's musical gentrification. It leaves little room for innovation, unless the innovator is also an inventor.

I guess, that since I did make a whole guitar, maybe making a custom capo wouldn't be any huge deal... maybe. I might even be able to make another guitar, one with a cutaway, so that I could more easily reach that 13th fret and beyond. I simply thought that it might be easier to just find a string maker that was creating what I needed.

I find it easier to start with the most simple and direct approach to meet one's needs first. Then, if that doesn't work, one can always move on to more elaborate designs and concepts to a particular end.

I understand why those making capos are only making the type and style that they are creating. Like those who make strings and guitars, the majority of makers, of most musical things, aren't interested in catering to the needs of the few but rather fulfilling the needs of the vast majority of players. Their largest profit margin lies with serving players who are happy to never think outside the box in terms of their playing approach.

It's a challenge to find those, in the industry, that are truly interested in innovation, for innovation's sake. Profit is what drives most research and development. So, if a company feels as though they can create something that will secure huge profits, that's where they will invest their energy and money. Business is all about making a profit.

If a business has a product that's not selling well, instead of making their product better, most will spend gobs of cash on researching and developing new ways of advertising their product. That's probably why I continue to see the never ending alterations of musical instrument string packaging and advertising as opposed to new string design and development.

I'm probably not going to find any string maker that is pushing the envelop of technology in this direction. Developing a string made from an alloy that is resistant to breaking under high tension is not of interest to string makers. Developing a string that is less likely to break would mean that they'd sell fewer strings. Selling fewer strings is bad for profitability/business. They aren't going to invest in technology that negatively impacts their profit margins.

Maybe I'm asking the wrong question. Perhaps, I should be asking if there are any Catters whose area of expertise extends to high tension steel alloy wire that can be used for creating a string that would be far less prone to breakage while under extreme tension loads? Surely, there are other applications for such a product, beyond my limited interest. Any suggestions about where I could look to discover such a product already being produced, marketed and used in industries other than music?


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 03:33 PM

Been using Nanowebs on my 6, 12 and mandolin. Like any guitar strings the length of 'serviceable brightness' varies from set to set. Had a set on my 6 string that lasted for well over a year. The next set lasted about a month. :-( Should'e never changed them. Mandolin and 12 strings vary according to amount of use.

The main difference I hear is that I used to kill a set of strings every night I gigged. Now I get alot more time out of each set. Especially, when playing plugged in as there's a 'false' brightness that comes w/using a transducer/Joe Mills mic combo. One simply rolls off the treble a bit to get a solid acoustic sound.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 03:44 PM

I have several friends who swear by Elixir but as someone above mentioned, they feel greasy to me, as though I were not quite in touch with the sound. Rather like the difference between walkng in heavy socks versus barefoot. And in Juneau they cost $16 instead of my usual $12. I used two sets in a row but have not bought any since. I like Martin SP or Marquis lights.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Brian May
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 04:17 PM

All 3 of my Martins have Elixirs on and I love them.

They last for yonks and do exactly what it says on the can.

My only criticism is they are expensive, but since they last SOo long, they make up for the cost.

However, if I broke two in a row, then I'd be pretty pissed and would rant too.

But you did ask . . .


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: alex s
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 04:20 PM

Great strings, love em on my 6s and 12
Nothing else comes close


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: beeliner
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 07:50 PM

I've converted several autoharps to D/A diatonics, and I put the bass A at the bottom, below the G, so that it is convenient to the thumb.

The Elixir Polyweb .068 is the sweetest sounding bass A that I have encountered. Pure ambrosia. Stripping down the windings at both ends is a little more difficult because of the coating, but well worth the effort.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 05:42 AM

Out of interest - what is the tuning where you tune the top E string up to A?


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: beeliner
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 07:17 AM

I'm not sure what you mean. The tuning I use is:

AGBC#DE F#GAABC C#DDEEF# GG#AABC C#DDEEF# GG#AABD.

This includes two 'cheater' strings, the C's, which are muted by the block bars but available, mainly for the D7 chord, in the 3/4 chromatic option.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: breezy
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 07:18 AM

Dear Reggae M

To push an .011 up to A sharp would make it very tense so I would think. Using 008 up to G was about the limit that I found, though I did go to G sharp . But they would break after a while. Anything higher was precarious ! 007s just snapped.

Yes a cut-away I can recommend.

But I'm back to basics now, had me flirtations with all that but , my Brook tamar is till tuned 3 semis higher in case I want to use it but the bottom string is a .045 playing G.    5th .035 C etc
so if anything there is less tension on the guitar

I always thought that there was nothing to choose between bare steel 'top' strings, are they not all made of the same material? Surplus fuse wire? Enlighten me please oh ye of great knowledge of guitar strings


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 07:36 AM

Reggie, have you considered searching out a shorter scale-length guitar on which a .09 or .10 gauge string can be tuned up to an A note?


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: harmonic miner
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 05:42 PM

008 or 009 is often used for the high G on a 12-string. Never broken one yet but I don't do any string bending on the 12.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: reggie miles
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 06:54 PM

breezy, I'm only trying to push that high 'E' string to 'A' not 'A#'. .008s snap, as do .009s, too lightweight for the tension, I guess. .010. or heavier strings snap because they're too heavy to withstand the tension level. I found a .0095 that seemed to hold for a while but it too eventually snapped.

Bee-dubya-ell, the guitar that I'm using is my own homemade resophonic, with a 12 frets to the body, square neck and a modified tail piece, which is shorter than most. This means that that the string itself is stretched farther than on a pin type bridge and even farther than most tail piece type guitars. My scale length is almost exactly 25".

What I'm wondering is, if strings companies today are merely using, what they have been using for the plain high 'E' strings, simply because no one has ever decided to experiment further into the modern high tension alloys available and the possibilities that they present for better tone and a longer lasting string. Again, I certainly understand why a string company might shy away from making a products that works better and lasts longer, because of the implications that it can have to its bottom line.

Like my 20 year search for a sweet old resophonic guitar that left me empty handed and ultimately forced me to make my own, I can see that this string desire might be moving me toward the same path, of making my own high 'E' strings. I'm certain that the steel alloys available today offer far better properties than those being presently used by every string maker that I've tried. All of those high 'E' strings seem to wear, rust and break far too frequently.

I think that the market is ripe for a new idea, a super string. One that sheds the past precepts of "good enough" and embraces the brave new world of technological advances. A string that is as resilient as it is resistant to wear and able to do more and be more than be just "good enough".

What do you think?


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Fossil
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM

Another satisfied customer... have used Elixirs nano lights ever since a music-shop guy in Melbourne, Australia recommended them about three years ago. I put them on my Tanglewood, then later on (for unrelated reasons) bought a ColeClark FL2AC which came with them as standard. Both are 6-strings and are kept in standard, concert-pitch tunings. I occasionally use drop D and open tunings, retuning on the fly, and the strings seem to cope with this just fine.

Never had a breakage, strings always sound nice and mellow and while dullness can creep in, this happens over a period of months (and my guitars get well used). Previously I used Martins and string sound quality seemed to go off much more quickly.

I used to keep my Sigma 12 on Martins, but at the last re-string changed it to Elixirs.

Also agree with posts above that Elixirs (and, I suppose other brands of coated strings) reduce squeaks when changing chords, which is always good.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,999
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 08:30 PM

I seldom break strings, but the last one I did break was--you guessed it--an Elixir G.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: olddude
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 09:48 PM

I hate the strings myself, tried them twice i break them by just looking at them .... I know it is all personal taste but I won't use them again


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 10:13 PM

They play extra clean... They do hold their tuning after the first stretch...

They don't slide and I'm a slide player so to me...

...yeah, the do stink!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Musket
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 09:30 AM

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Along with any and all other advantages, Elixir strings don't squeal as much when sliding up and down the neck. The Martins I put on yesterday, (ran out of Elixirs) squeak like hell. Gonna have to change them before next Wednesday when I need to use the guitar next.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Jay in Philly
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 05:32 AM

There is a cabal of string manufacturers whose members are so scared of Elixir strings that they infest guitar forums and make absurd claims about how Elixirs either break, or cause your fingers to break out in an allergic reaction.

These ridiculous assertions are, of course, hogwash.

Elixirs are better than uncoated strings. It's not even a contest.

Don't let guerilla marketing techniques put you off trying these state of the art strings. I'll never go back to uncoated strings.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 06:43 AM

Horses for course Jay. I tried Elixirs and hated them too. I have also tried lots of other makes. used to like La Bella silk and steel, but I'm now another Newtone convert. I love 'em, and so does my guitar!


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Fortunato
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 06:51 AM

Elixir nano phospher bronze are superior in every way, period.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 Sep 11 - 07:19 AM

Newtone RULEZZ PERIOD!!!!

(Not really,as John says, it is horses for courses but they suit me and my instruments)


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Virginia person
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 09:23 AM

Ok, I've been having the same problem with elixir G's .

Last nite I broke one playing a very importan job, replaced it out of a new pack, and it broke on the NEXT SONG.

Yes, I've had the bridge and nut checked for burrs, there are none. I love the tone, and them being made in USA, but I cannot afford to keep using them.

As for you a-holes who criticized the original poster as if it's his fault it isn't. It is an inferior product or so many wouldn't take the time to post about it and search it on the internet. If you are playing in your house or a once in a while coffee house gig I'm sure you love them. If you are really playing you'd better be making big $ if you want to afford to keep them on your box.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: alex s
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 11:36 AM

Guest Virginia person - you are wrong as well as rude.

They are great strings and I and many many others use them PROFESSIONALLY with no problem at all. I use light/medium and they do gig after gig without a hitch.

You need to rethink your playing technique.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 12:03 PM

I use whatever strings the store has that are the cheapest. If you're a good musician, it doesn't matter what strings you use, you sound good regardless. If you're a shitty guitar player, it doesn't matter what strings you use, you sound shitty regardless.

As far as the string themselves go, there are only a few string-makers in the business. They make all the strings and then various guitar manufacturers buy them up wholesale and put their own names on them and then peddle them off to you retail.

I'll bet most of the guitarists on this thread who hate a certain brand of string and love another would be shocked to learn that they are the exact same strings made by the same company.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 01:37 PM

I've been using Elixir Nanoweb phosphor-bronze mediums on my Lowden O10 for a year now, gigging, rehearsing and sessioning 5-6 times a month on average. I like them a lot. They last a long time (I'm on my third set), don't break, and have no discernible odor.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 01:57 PM

it doesn't matter what strings you use

Oh, it does matter, it certainly does, and here's why:

Different strings have different tonal characteristics (and, sure, if two so-called "different" makes have the same characteristics, they may well come from the same factory). I can't use Martin Phosphor Bronze strings. One day's playing and they're done for - dead, dulled - done for by the acid from my fingers. On the same guitar, Martin strings (for example) sound different from D'Addario, which sound different from Elixir, and so on. A "good" sound or a "bad" sound is in the ears and preferences of the player. Some players prefer a slightly dull sound - others prefer a bright, clean twang. I incline to the latter. So - different makes DO make a difference in sound.

As I've posted earlier in this thread, there was a period, around 3 years ago when the Elixir bronze Nanoweb 3rds - and sometimes 4ths - broke far more than was acceptable. I actually wrote to Elixir about it, giving chapter and verse about the problem, and receiving a long reply saying that they took the comments seriously and were investigating. Since then, I've done three things - I've started to use a lighter pick, altered the angle of pick attack on the strings, and changed from basic bronze to phosphor bronze.

Now, whether these things have worked or not, or whether Elixir have changed the production methods, I can't say. All I know is that I haven't broken a string in around 3 years, and a set lasts me about 4-5 weeks of regular gigs. When the string coating starts to fray above the sound hole and there's dulling in the hard-worked areas, then I change them. I still prefer them to any other make for my acoustic guitars. I've also started to use coated Elixir steels for my archtop, and they sound very good.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 02:27 PM

It's all in your mind, son.

They're just the same strings made by the same company. You've tricked yourself into believing there's a real difference but there isn't. You just think there is supposed to be.

Nobody else hears the difference--only you. You could buy the cheapest strings out there and no one will hear any difference. They only thing they know is whether you suck or not and, often, many of them don't even know that.

My advice is to buy the cheapest strings--they sound the same, they last as long, you save money, and no one else cares a rabbit's turd what strings you're playing on.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: alex s
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 02:35 PM

I'm definitely with Will on this one.
Perhaps some of us have better hearing than others.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 03:18 PM

Yes, Elixir's are awful. The go dead in minutes and they break much more readily than most other strings!

That said, I bought a second hand Santa Cruz nearly two years ago which had a set of light gauge Nanowebs and they're still on it - the same set! None of them has broken, I've not been particularly gentle with them and they still sound fine. I've decided to change them several times but on picking up the guitar found that the ones on it are still fine.

I definitely can't say this about any other strings I've ever used and I've tried and, trust me, I have several guitars and I've tried quite a few types of string over the last 40 years.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 03:59 PM

You see? Half the people here love the Elixirs and the other half loath them. Now what more proof do you need that it's all in your head?

I remember reading an interview with one of Jimi Hendrix's roadies who said before each show Jimi would request a certain device box be brought out and plugged in. The roadie would bring it out. Jimi hated it, it sounds like shit, you know better than to bring me something this shitty sounding. So the roadie would bring another. Jimi hated it. This one sounds even worse than the first one, are you losing your hearing or you mind?? Get with the program and find me the right box! After 5 or 6 changes, the roadie decided that rather than go through all 30 boxes, he'd just bring out the first one that Jimi hated so much and plug it in. Viola! Jimi loved it. "You should have brought this own out the first time!" he'd say. Of course, the roadie never told Jimi the truth because it became SOP for him and made life on the road much easier.

I'll guarantee, I could do that with anybody here. I'll string your guitars and let you guess what strings they are and what strings they are not. 90% of you will get it wrong. The other 10% made lucky guesses.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 04:11 PM

Josepp, after playing all kinds of guitars with all kinds of strings for over 45 years, I can assure you that I can certainly tell the difference between different strings in both feel, sound, tone and longevity - and I don't care what the brand name is. If you can't tell such differences, then your hearing is defective.

Furthermore, why spend £5 on a set that lasts me a day when I can spend £10 on a set that lasts me a month? Where's the sense in that?

And I don't give a rat's arse what anyone else says, either on Mudcat or anywhere else, about any brand of strings. I buy the strings that I know suit my ear, and I care not a jot whether they suit anyone else. They happen to be Elixir.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 04:13 PM

I found Elixers to be difficult when I first started using them. I just didn't like the feel. They sounded good but not great. Then I discovered the nanoweb version of Elxiers. I still wish I could use Newtone Masterclass strings year round ... but I live in very hot and frequently wet climate. So for most of the year I HAVE to use coated strings.

I make my living performing and I play many hours each week. I string my two guitars with Elxiers most of the year. I have done so for 12 years. I do so because they do NOT break much and they sound good for a long time.

Using uncoated strings I can a week of life, maybe two - but with Elixers I can get 6 or even 8 weeks. There is no contest for me. Elixers are the best choice.

I do try others from time to time, but Elixers are the best I've found , all things considered.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 04:53 PM

/// I buy the strings that I know suit my ear, and I care not a jot whether they suit anyone else.////

Nobody else will care. The only time the strings matter is when they're wearing out and sounding clunky. As long as they have life in them, they sound the same as any other strings with life in them.

They're strings. A string is a string. You pluck it and it vibrates. As long as it is not brittle from from wear and can vibrate reasonably well, it sounds like every other string in that same condition.

I think what it is with many people is that there is an undeniable difference in the way a newly-installed string sounds as opposed to one that's broken in. I've even read about guitarists who change their strings every few days because they have to have that very bright, crisp sound of a new string. But that quality is very fleeting, it's not the normal sound of the string. It's like popping a new piece of chewing gun in your mouth every five minutes because the flavor fades away. Waste of gum but the gum manufacturer thanks you. If anything, they'll make the flavor even more intense and more fleeting to keep you using up more gum faster and therefore buying more gum faster and increasing their profit margins.

But brand new strings after a week of stready playing sound the same no matter what brand they are. It's silly to argue it. It's like someone saying, "My gum still has more flavor in it after an hour of chewing than the other brands." No, it doesn't.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 05:49 PM

If it's not a mechanical problem then maybe it's playing style... Some folks play hard and others don't...

But like I said a couple three years ago, I don't use these strings because they just don't slide well...

B~


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Brian May
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 07:08 PM

Amazing how some of us feel the need to insist that only their view is valid.

It is sufficient to respect the exercising of personal choice.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Zen
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 08:24 PM

But brand new strings after a week of stready playing sound the same no matter what brand they are. It's silly to argue it. It's like someone saying, "My gum still has more flavor in it after an hour of chewing than the other brands." No, it doesn't.

Having been playing nearly every day on a variety of instruments for around 50 years, and having used pretty well every brand of string known to man or beast in that time, I beg to differ.

I have my own personal favourite brand for my own reasons but it isn't worth saying what it is as others will have their favourite brands for their own reasons. As for Elixirs, I think they're a decent string.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 08:33 PM

////If it's not a mechanical problem then maybe it's playing style... Some folks play hard and others don't...////

I used to play with a guitarist who broke electric guitar strings all the time. When I watched him playing lead runs, I noticed that he cocked his pick and would play with the edge of it--kind of dig it into the string for volume. I told him that he was effectively sawing his strings apart and that's why they were breaking. I really didn't know this for certain but that's what it seemed to me was happening. That turned out to be the problem because he trained himself to use the flat of the pick and the problem went away. He never had the problem when he strummed because he used the flat while strumming but he cocked the pick when playing leads. He never would have noticed what he was doing if I hadn't pointed it out.

So there's all kinds of things that people do that wreak havoc on their strings and they probably don't know it and blame it on the strings.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Bert
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 09:09 PM

I tried Elixirs once and they started looking ratty after a couple of days. Then the G broke. I didn't notice much difference in sound because I have some serious hearing loss (of course not enough to stop me singing).

But reading this thread, I wonder if the coating makes the G too thick for a standard nut slot?


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Brian May
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 02:08 AM

I have 5 guitars in total - all acoustic.

I generally play everyday. I cannot remember when I last broke a string - of ANY manufacture. I had a Newtone unravel once about 5 years ago.

So the assertion it's mechanical or style of play seems reasonable. In the 70 s I used to break strings as tuning was more haphazard ( for me) and I was playing a 12 string so went through octave G strings quicker than a fox through the hen house.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 09:18 AM

I once opened my clasical guitar case and the small E was broken. I had barely played this brand new set of strings and the E broke while the guitar was in the case. Sometimes they are just defective. But this is unusual. I generally don't change strings on a guitar more than one every two or three years. I alternate between my many guitars so no one gets used more than the others and I usually play only with my bare fingers and only use picks on occasion which is much easier on the strings. And it doesn't matter which strings I use--they last.

But generally if you're breaking the same string over and over and over again, you have to ask yourself, "Could it be me?" It's hard to believe anybody could go through 6 G-strings in a set and still blame it on the strings. If this is happening to you, OBVIOUSLY, you're doing something wrong. Have another person watch you play and offer pointers. Yes, even YOU might actually be doing something wrong, Mr. I've-been-playing-for-75-years-24-7-and-know-what-I'm-doing.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: JedMarum
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 09:33 AM

Elixers feel a little bit different, especially when you first start using them. It is possible you are playing a little different, whether consciously or not.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Musket
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 12:07 PM

I love my Elixirs.

Especially since buying and playing a Rainsong. They have a very loud bass, and the Elixirs damp it down a wee bit without muffling. Many other strings sound metallic with this particular guitar, although to be fair, I am not quite so wedded to them for my other guitars.

I don't know about stinking. I have a decent sense of smell, and they smell just like any other string to me.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 03:19 PM

I've used Elixirs for several years now, and am sticking with them. They're particularly good for staying fresh at festival gigs in hot summers, where sweaty fingers can kill ordinary strings in half an hour. I must admit that I probably keep them on for longer than I ought (i.e. sometimes beyond the point when the coating begins to fray), but I've never had problems with breakages - occasionally I lose the A or D on dance gigs where I'm hitting them very hard with a heavy plectrum, but that's down to me, not the strings.

I must say I foundnd Guest josepp's last posting gratuitously offensive to someone who actually does know what he's talking about.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Chris Newman
Date: 27 Feb 12 - 02:18 PM

I played a guitar with Polywebs a few years ago and really didn't like the feel or the sound. However, a year or so ago I tried the Phosphor Bronze Nanowebs and I was hooked. My main guitar is a Collings and I'm now on my second set - since last April! The only reason I changed them in October was that I was concerned they might break due to old age - they still sounded ok after 6 months. (I put the old set on another guitar and they're still fine.)

I think they're terrific. More expensive perhaps, but absolutely worth the money as changing strings has always been on of my unfavourite things!


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Feb 12 - 02:32 PM

Exactly my experience, Chris - I never got on with Polywebs, but the Nanowebs are excellent, and the Phosphor Bronze Nanowebs are perfect for the guitar I use at sessions and for accompaniments to other musicians. I buy them in multiple packs for discount.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Brian May
Date: 27 Feb 12 - 06:09 PM

Yes, if you can afford to, you can save a lot of money by buying in packs of ten - but not for my 12 string as that's just too much in one go.

Love 'em, they stink really nice . . .


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: JedMarum
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 12:08 AM

Exactly my experience, Chris Newman.

I struggled with the feel of the Polywebs but the Nanowebs feel and sound much better. I've never gone more then a couple of months with them. Maybe I could, but I worry about their age - so I change them about every six or seven weeks now on my primary guitar. The longer I go the more likely I'll break a string. I can put a new string on quickly and tell a story while I'm doing, but I'd rather not break them on-stage.

By the way Chris didn't we meet in Dallas a few years ago? Where we were both playing the North Texas Irish Festival?


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 04:54 AM

Forgot to say, Chris - very much looking forward to hearing you bashing the Elixirs at the Hawth in Crawley on April 12th.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Singing Referee
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 06:35 AM

I've used Elixir for years now. Like others I didn't like Polywebs, but I use Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze all the time now. I've used all the standard sets from extra light through medium as I've experimented with differnt tunings and pitch. I sometimes tune up 3 semitones using exra lights with with a replacement plain third as the wound just won't take the higher pitch.

I should say that I'm almost exclusively a finger picker so I should be easy on the strings, but the only time they break on me is after I've been switching between tunings. If you leave them alone, just keep them in tune, they are indestructable, but if you continualy raise and lower (or vice versa) the pitch to alter tunings the repetition of relaxing and tightening the tension in the string is bound to induce metal fatigue, so eventually they breaks. The only ones which ever break are the 1st and 3rd, as they are the finest and therefore most susceptible. The wound third actually has the finest core, so that's why it's always the easiest to break.

They sound great and last for months!


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 09:07 AM

I've had mixed results. I break strings very rarely, but using Elixirs I've had several G strings break when they were still new, and one D string. This was several years ago, and they may well have sorted this out since then.
Some people have corrosive body chemistry, and their strings get in a right state. If my friend uses conventional strings, they last him about three weeks. After four weeks they look like they've been on for 20 years. For people like him, coated strings are a boon. I don't have that problem myself so coated strings I can take or leave.
I think elixirs are perfectly OK, once you get used to the feel of them, (so long as the Gs aren't breaking) but I still think Newtones are the best, in terms of sound, feel, and durability. Also, they are made relatively locally to me, about 25 miles away, which is something I like.
Newtone don't do coated strings, I don't think; but for me they last just as long, if not longer, than elixirs, and they also do a double -wrapped set that reduces squeaking.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: JedMarum
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 01:22 PM

I love the Newtones too ... and use them for the winter months, when I can. The last two years I bought a year's worth of Elixers, so I've stayed with them year round but I love the Newtone Masterclass strings. They last OK for me, except in the very hot summers.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,Phil B
Date: 28 Feb 12 - 02:49 PM

With the greatest of respect, I must comment on this one. as far as I'm concerned, there are no 'good' strings anywhere on the planet. There are in my experience only 'less bad' ones. I have embraced the elixir thing simply because they are utterly consistent. They sound a little dull when they go on but maintain their tone for a long time. I'm pretty sure that I fall into the corrosive body chemistry category as regards conventional strings. Whatever happens here happens within the first half of a show with the finest phosphor bronze strings. They are simply stuffed and dead as a (whatever). They can occasionally be revived by a vigorous rub with something like a chamois leather cloth which creates great friction and presumably melts the sweat/body detritus out of the windings enough to give a further 10 minutes of life but otherwise thats it for me. The elixirs were a revelation. I can make a set last three or four shows after which the coating starts to fall apart at the picking end. Also have had zero success with any of the other Elixir alternatives. They simply don't work at all for me.

I'm afraid if anyone is breaking strings regularly, its simply to do with set up or the way they play. I can be heavy handed sometimes but always maintain my set ups well. I've broken one guitar string onstage in the last 5 years.

Will admit to putting on a new phosphor bronze set to record with but same things apply. They're dead in 20 minutes!
Don't ya just hate it?


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Fortunato
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 05:20 AM

After many years of using D'Aquisto Nickel plated strings on my Gallagher DW and D'Addario Phosphor Bronze on my Gibson J-45 I have moved entirely to Elixir Phosphor Bronze Nano strings on these and Susette's Gibson L-48 and my '31 Supertone.
    Perhaps there have been improvements in the tone and feel over the years, this being 2012, I don't know. But I get those 'best three days' one associates with Phosphor Bronze and Nickel plated with the Elixir and many more days of nearly equal tone. I find the texture and feel of the strings to be superior also.   
    In fact, on our guitars there is a noticeable increase in warmth and depth, even more so on the Gallagher, and less so on the Supertone which is all birch and a less responsive tone wood, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: banjoman
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 06:11 AM

I remember playing with Cathedral Strings many years ago - Remember them - and how they broke regularly. I have been using Adama strings since I bought the Ovation in 1983 and despite cries to the contrary have never had any problems. When I bought the Taylor about a year ago it came fitted with Elixirs and I have since tried them on all my guitars with no problems. Its really a matter of personal preference at the end of the day.
PS I havn't broken a string since the Cathedral days and thats over 50 years, but I do change strings regularly


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 06:15 AM

Cathedral Strings - now that takes me back!


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Silas
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 06:21 AM

Picato Ultra lights - used to use those on a Eko Ranger in the seventies - round pegs and square holes?


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: alex s
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 06:54 AM

Mohawk strings - made from grade 1 knicker elastic.
Guaranteed to break on every gig or your money back.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: banjoman
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 06:22 AM

It must be sods law or my Taylor heard me talking about strings. I just got it out of the case and broke the top string while tuning. How are the mighty fallen.
I found a label from Cathedral srtings amongst my junk. Interesting they were made by the Cathedral Music and Tennis string company. I think they got them mixed up from time to time


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,shayleen
Date: 04 Jun 13 - 07:15 PM

Try la bella strings :-)


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,shayleen
Date: 04 Jun 13 - 07:33 PM

Try la bella strings :-)


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Mooh
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 10:41 AM

I'm not a fan of coated strings, especially Elixir brand, which have an odd tone to my ears. There's something in the midrange of the wound strings that I can't quite put my finger on (I know, lousy pun). The only time I use coated strings is for extremely humid conditions during outside gigs, and then I use only D'Addario EXPs. I've tried the DR coated strings, they come in pretty colours, on a student loaner guitar, and though they're better sounding than the Elixirs, I'm still not a fan. Otherwise all I use is D'Addario phosphor bronze on acoustics and XL on electric.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: GUEST,David W
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 11:16 AM

To each their own, but while I don't dislike Elixir strings I didn't think they were worth paying more for. I've settled on Martin's FX strings for my old six and twelve string guitars (Simon & Patrick and Seagull respectively) and I like how loud they sound while still managing to be pretty flexible to my fingers.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 01:58 PM

I can kill a set of uncoated strings - Martin Phosphor Bronze, for example - in a day. Elixir Nanowebs last me for weeks and suit my guitars perfectly. If I divide the price of the strings by the number of uncoated sets I would have to put on in their place - no contest.

I've had a set of Elixir .012 electric steel Nanowebs on my jazz guitar for over a year now - about due for a change - and they're still clean and in tune.

No more to be said, as far as I'm concerned.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: olddude
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 03:07 PM

Be honest with you, I break Elixir faster then I do dishes when I wash them.   I stopped buying them. The Martin's light bronze I never break. I tend to pluck hard for some reason when I finger pick .. I think it depends on how you play


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: cooperman
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 04:36 AM

I think D'Addario strings do sound brighter on my acoustic guitars when they are new but I have to use copious amounts of fast fret to keep them sounding good. I use nothing but Elixirs on my electric guitars, they last much longer. I once thought Elixirs were prone to breakage but I changed the saddles (on a tuneomatic bridge) and that cured it. There are so many factors can affect string breakage.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 10:51 AM

I'm not very particular about what strings I use on most of my guitars, but I insist on Elixir Polywebs on my Santa Cruz OM. It's my go-to guitar for playing swing, where string squeak is more of a problem than with the other styles I play. I've tried other strings on it and promptly gone back to Elixirs.

No, Elixirs aren't as bright as uncoated strings, but I don't necessarily want a lot of brightness for what I play on that particular guitar. Mellow and squeak-free works best.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: SunrayFC
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 07:49 PM

These strings are superb.


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Subject: RE: Guitar Strings: Elixir rant - THEY STINK!
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 10:13 PM

For reasons too complicated to go into now, I've been using a small travel guitar (but surprisingly full and rich sounding, considering the size of its soundbox). Rather than the usual 25 1/2" string length, it's 24 1/2".

I should say that it's a classic, so I use nylon strings.

For several years now, I've been using D'Addario EXP 44 Coated, Extra-Hard Tension strings (to compensate for the shorter scale length), and they've proven to be bright-sounding and durable. They last a long time, and I've never had one break on me.

Don Firth


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