Sunday, January 24, 2010


Okay, so I have my guitars, now what about strings?

The Duo-Sonic is running Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom strings (#2215), 10-13-18-30-42-52. It's a short-scale (24" vs. 25.5") electric guitar so straight 10's would be ultra-slinky and impossible to fret cleanly, the slightest pressure would send them way out of tune, and you'd really want to run 12's on the guitar. which would get you basically the bottom three strings. On the other hand, I wanted something slinky that I could easily squirm out of tune to get a sort of wavering psychedelic sound -- if I want a "straight" sound, well, that's why my acoustic guitar exists ;). This set of strings does what I want it to do right now, though I've thought about just putting straight 12's on there -- with the short scale, that would work about like putting 10's on a regular-scale Fender.

The Yamaha 335 acoustic was running Yamaha 12's when I got it. This is a size which is easy to fret on this guitar (easy for an acoustic, anyhow), stays in tune, gets reasonable volume. They sounded okay but were really messy, turning my fretting fingers black. I decided to put some coated strings both to get longer life and cleaner fingers, so I put some D'Addario EXP11 80/20's on there. Big mistake. The low strings are very chunky/rough-feeling and noisy when you move around, they don't have a good "feel" to them at all, and the sound is sort of muffled, the guitar doesn't have as much of a "ring" to it as with the Yamaha strings. And to top it all off, I paid close to $10 for this set of mediocre strings. So I'm not happy. If you have some good acoustic guitar strings that you like, drop me a line in comments...

-- Badtux the Guitar Penguin


  1. Lush Rimbaud24/1/10 4:02 PM

    I use Elixir acoustic lights on my Taylor 514CE. They feel good to me and don't cause a lot of finger noise. In fact, I use Elixirs on all my electric guitars as well. In my opinion, coated strings are a great innovation.

  2. The Elixirs are definitely next on my list. I'm just disappointed sorely with the D'Addario's, I used their acoustic lites (the uncoated ones) for years because I liked how they sounded with my old guitar, it's a shame they screwed up the coated version.

  3. I echo your thoughts on the D'Addario's. I was using the Elixirs and got talked into trying the coated D'Addario's. Cheaper than Elixirs but don't feel good and wasn't that impressed with the sound. I'm back to the Elixirs on my accoustic but haven't tried the electrics yet.


Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.