I have encountered a problem whilst using standard D’Addario uncoated strings (EJ74/EJ67, etc.)… I don’t know if it’s just my sweaty hands or what, but I literally cannot get them to last much more than a day or two without them starting to rust and turn black. I find that I burn through the guitar strings (EJ17) even faster- put a brand new set on my guitar today and the low E literally went dead within 30 minutes of playing. So far, I have had great results with Elixir Nanowebs on guitar (the set that I just changed lasted me about two months, and I probably could’ve gotten a little more life out of them) but I don’t remember my mandolin set lasting very long. Maybe I’m just a freak about changing my strings; I don’t know. Anyway, I am interested in your guys’ thoughts on the D’Addario XT coated line… I did try them (and the EXP74s) a while ago but don’t remember how long they lasted vs. the Elixir Nanowebs with my string destroying hands. @BanjoBen @AdamAsh @Jake
I’ve used both DAddario ej74 regular uncoated & the exp74’s which are the coated ones & I’ve got very sweaty hands when playing for/in front of people… like every sunday @ church! I’ve not noticed any longer lifespan on the Daddario coated strings vs the uncoated. I have not tried the elixir nanowebs on my mando, but did play a tune on a friend’s with elixirs & doing slides was crazy smooth. Not sure how long they lasted though. The next strings I’m going to try will be nickel bronze Daddario mediums. It’ll be interesting to see how those last , & more importantly (to me) the tone of the sound they make… best of luck with your string destroying hands in the quest for your ultimate strings
Dang, mine always keeps that bright, jangly, new string tone for up to three or four days of at least an hour daily…
Ok guys, this is insane… I put a brand new set of EJ17s on my guitar last night, stuck the guitar in its case overnight without even touching the strings, got to church this morning, opened the case and all 4 wound strings were dead. I’m gonna try a set of Elixir Polywebs today and see how it goes…
I just don’t see how that’s possible. The primary reason strings go dead (at least to my knowledge) is the oils from our hands. If you didn’t touch them, they can’t be dead unless you have some super human body oil that killed them just stringing it up.
I have to wonder if you’re not having a nut or bridge problem. I’ve seen an improperly slotted nut or bridge cause strings to sound dead. Are the strings larger than what came on the guitar? Could it be that the slots are too small and they’re pinching the strings?
It could be a nut/saddle problem but that still doesn’t explain how the Elixirs that I used can last 2-3 months without sounding dead. Plus the guitar is still pretty new and came expertly set up by @Jake at the General Store. Maybe just a random fluke set of EJ17s, I don’t know. The two top unwound strings sound perfectly fine but the wound strings sound and feel kind of like an electric that’s not plugged in; you can hear the note but it’s very muted.
Are those strings the exact same gauge as the ones that lasted 2-3 months?
Yep, exact same gauge
Could just be a bad run of strings…it happens.
Maybe wait 6 mos or a year before you try another set of those.
Also agree. I’d be looking at them closely. I would also check the ball ends to ensure they are seated properly and are snug up against the bridgeplate. I’d be looking for all things mechanical. As you say, it could be bad strings, but unused strings don’t go bad overnight without being used.
If you do have chemistry that wears out strings quickly, I would try a set of the Martin coated strings. I have had good luck with those. I would also try a set of Monels (MTR13). Those last for a very long time for me. They are a different tone, but is one that I like. If you want the new string PB zippyness, it won’t be there with the Monels.
Yes! That’s an excellent recommendation.
Yeah, I probably set the ball ends wrong or something. The Elixirs I put on today sound pretty normal
All this talk about new strings makes me realize how much I need to change my strings, on all my instruments.
Do that, and then learn this catchy little tune
I think I just realized what I might have done wrong… Is it possible that over-kinking the strings at the ball end could cause problems?
It could be, If they are not seated properly it makes a noticeable difference.
The XTs are new enough that I haven’t gotten a lot of feedback on them yet. I have a set of the guitar strings on one of my guitars, and it seems to me that the Elixirs are likely going to outlast them. I play mandolin so little that I can’t give a lot of first hand experience there, but I know that in the past, Elixirs have far outlasted anything I’ve put on my guitars. It is true that I don’t play guitar nearly as much or as often as banjo, but I know that I have had a set of Elixirs last me close to a year on a guitar before and still not be that bad when I change them.
I’m not sure if that’s your problem or not. I don’t kink my strings at the ball end, though, before I install them. I just put the ball in and push it the rest of the way down with the bridge pin. Then, I attach at the tuner and let the tension take care of the rest.
Ok so now I really think I know what the problem is… I think I have been winding the strings with too much string wrapped around the tuning post. I’m fairly certain it’s not a bridge/saddle problem since the guitar sounds better when capoed. Thoughts? (Of course, maybe I’m just losing my mind)
2 to 3 wraps is usually enough. Not sure how more would cause strings to sound dead, but it definitely wouldn’t hurt to keep things in that zone. If you haven’t watched any of Ben’s string changing lessons, they’re well worth it. I learned a few things and I’d been changing strings for 30+ years before finding them.