best acoustic strings for the money??

im sure this gets asked all the time, with no real definate answer!
but i have a 12 strring and one string is broken so need to get a set. its fitted with d-arddario, sounds fine, but have nothing to compare it with. just looking for opinions on what the best make of strings are for the money.

I don’t play 12 string, but I use Elixer strings on both my electric and acoustic guitars.

I can’t imagine using anything else.

I use GHS Bright Bronze LIghts :)

I like the Elixer’s as well, especially for bass. They are more expensive, but they last 2-3 times as long as regualr strings (unless you break one), so they are well worth the extra money.




Yep. Last for ages. Keeps that “zing”

Decades ago I tried a number of different strings and the clear best were the ones labeled “Martin Strings” (not phosphor bronze or any of the other special versions). Partly that’s just my opinion – I think phosphor bronze strings sound too tinny on most guitars, all but fairly dull guitars. However, for playing certain styles on stage, phosphor bronze helps cut through the mix and sound good in a mike.

I recently tried a few brands, and found that the difference in sound between brands wasn’t nearly as dramatic as before. (That or I can’t hear well enough any more.) Right now I’m playing Elixer Nanowebs, and I really do love the tone I’m getting. However, the strings are getting a bit fuzzy near the sound hole. Playing with a pick I don’t notice it, but when fingerpicking I can sometimes feel it (when resting fingers, not when actually playing.)

I also tried the coated version of strings from D’Addario, and they sounded good and lasted quite a long time.

Both types sounded as good to me as the Martins I’ve been using for over 20 years on the same guitar. Either the Elixers sound even better, or I’m just at the top of the “tone curve” right now.

I used to use Martin SP (the black back with red SP on it). They lasted the longest (both in terms of sounding bright and not corroding - I have pretty corrosive sweat) but now I use Pure Tone strings. The normal bronze ones.
The Pure Tones don’t last as long as the Martins but are 1/3 the price so even changing strings more often works out cheaper.

They sound just as good when new. I always try to put a new set on before recording and then play for a half hour or hour to play them in and then record.



I just bought buncha strings ( have buncha guitars for me and the kids) and I have to agree with Jeff for inexpensive acoustic strings for acoustics that Martins are the way to go. Mediums always make my guitar sound good, no matter which one.

For electric, I’ve been hooked on elixir, and I will pay the premium for my son and me so that we have good sounding strings…long lasting, anti rust.

It’s worth it, come on, how often do you change it?


Well, I musta jinxed myself because just after I posted above, I was playing my Martin on stage and broke the G string, with a relatively new set of Elixers. I’ll give 'em another try, but if they’re not up to tuning up and down quite a bit then they just won’t work out for me. (I play a few alternate tunings like open D & DADGAD in addition to standard.)

I didn’t have a spare set of strings, so I ended the set with an a-capella rendition of “Mercedes Benz” and got a bigger response from that than all the rest. So, things worked out OK after all. :)

Quote (chiller @ July 16 2005,14:35)

It’s worth it, come on, how often do you change it?

If my strings have been on for more than 1-2 weeks they will be pretty dead as my sweat seems to corrode strings pretty quickly (regardless of what strings I use).
So if I’m going to record or play live and my strings have been on more than 2 weeks I’ll change them
1. So they sound better and
2. To reduce the chance of breakage. Especially on electric where I’m using 10’s. Acoustic isn’t as muh chance of breakage with 12’s after only a couple of weeks, but you really notice the dead strings on acoustic more sound wise.


Rich, with coated strings they should last 3 to 4 times longer, maybe more. That’s the whole point, to avoid oxidation by finger grease and air.

I put a set of D’Addario extra light XP’s (the coated ones) on a 12 string Ovation, and they were pretty nice. My daughter mainly plays that guitar though.

I use D’Addario XP’s, either light or custom light, on my acoustics. I have tried the Martin coated strings, and they were nice too.

On my electrics, I am of two minds. I have used Elixer nanowebs, but it seems to me that the unwound strings corrode just as fast as uncoated Slinkies or D’Addarios. Coated or uncoated, it seems I have to change them every three weeks, or even sooner if I play more. The Elixers cost about twice as much, so I am not sure it is worth it just to keep the wound strings a little cleaner a little longer. The other thing is that coated or uncoated, after a while the strings get nicked by the frets. No coating can protect against that.

Having said all that, string quality is better than ever. It is pretty hard to go wrong with strings these days. It probably makes more difference what gauge strings you choose than the brand. And if you go heavier or lighter than what you have now (on a 12-string going lighter is often desireable) you probably want to have someone look at the truss rod adjustment.


Dunno, I hesitantly got a set of Nanowebs in February for my acoustic and they are still going strong. I don’t play as much as some of you guitar fiends, but just in the corrosion department, a set of 80/20s or phospher would have gone black and dull on me by now. The Elixers keep very very well and sound swell to boot.

Taylor use Elixir strings on all new guitars

(Had trouble logging in this morning. Had to delete all the cookies and files in my browser cache to get it… just in case there is a general board problem and someone reads this…)

another vote for elixir, yes they do get a bit fuzzy around the soundhole (I do a lot of fingerpicking - maybe that contributes to it), but they still play well and last forever.