Guitar Strings Comparison - Latest Updates & Review 2020

Guest Post By Leo NGuyen

When have you changed your guitar strings last? Just like everything else, guitar strings can grow old gracefully as well, and as they grow old your guitar starts feeling it even before you do. Our guide to Guitar strings comparison along with the latest updates and reviews of 2020 will tell you all about the guitar strings.

Guitar strings (classic, acoustic or electric) and even guitar picks easily accumulate build-up debris such as dirt, dust, dead skin, etc... Some of it you may see to your necked eyes but not everything. This affects the tone, and your guitar will start sounding lifeless. To avoid this, you will need to clean your hands before you start playing your guitar and also clean (wipe) your guitar strings after every use. Additionally, humidity or heat may also result in dull tones. As a matter of fact, you will need to consider changing the strings more often than you may think.

Different Guitar Strings and Materials (Most Common)

Heavy Electric Guitar Chords: 

  • Harder to play
  • Output more volume
  • Preferred for low tuning

ex: Electric guitar

Light Electric Guitar Chords:

  • Easier to play
  • Produce less volume
  • Causes fret buzzing
  • Bending notes is easy

ex: Acoustic guitar

Elecrtic Guitars for Jazz, Metal, Rock, Blues, Pop, etc..

  • Nickel-Plated Steel –Most popular option. A good combination of brightness and warmth.
  • Pure Nickel – Warmer than nickel-plated steel and gives a classic old-school vintage sound.
  • Stainless Steel – Most resistant to corrosion, least prone to finger squeaks, and has a good combination of both brightness and sustain.

*Other less-common metals for electric strings include titanium, cobalt, chrome and copper.

Acoustic Guitars for Folk, Country, Bluegrass, Pop, Jazz, Blues, etc...

  • 80/20 Bronze (Bronze or Brass) – Most popular option. 80% copper & 20% zinc. Has a bright, clean sound, but can lose some of its brilliance after only a few hours of play as the metal corrodes quickly.

  • Phosphor Bronze – Similar to 80/20 bronze, but with phosphor added to prevent oxidation and increase the lifespan of the strings. But they could be a bit less bright in comparison.

  • Silk and Steel (Compound strings) – A gentler and mellower sound due to the greater flexibility and lower string tension. This is a “Hybrid” between traditional metal strings and nylon strings of a classic guitar.

Classical Guitars for Country and Classic Styles Incorporated with Jazz, Impressionism, Romanticism, etc...

  • Gut (cat-gut) - Not that look, please! Cat-gut doesn’t literally mean cats. They are made from the intestines of sheep and other farm animals. Well, I understand the feeling... However, this was back in the 1940s and earlier, today Gut strings are not so common. Phew..!
  • Nylon - Replaced gut as it was cheaper and mass production was easier. Clear Nylon is most popular for its brightness and clarity.
  • Silver-Plated Copper (silver strings) – Use wrapped around the Nylon core of the bass strings and has a warm and rich tone.
  • 80/20 Bronze (gold strings) – Preferred over silver-plated copper due to its brightness and projection.

Pause :||

Have you heard of Elixir Strings Technology? It’s the new concept of “coated strings” by covering their strings in a micro-thin polymer coating. The coating works as a barrier to protect the metal. 

  • Strings last several times longer than uncoated strings (the lifespan may surpass at least 2 sets of regular strings)
  • Smoother feel, with less squeaking
  • Strings don’t buzz when the finger is taking off



TOP 1 - Elixir 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, NANOWEB Coating

  • Longevity 
  • Less coated in comparing to Polyweb, traditional uncoated feel to the fingers sustained
  • Very clear and resonant



Top 02 - Martin MSP4100 SP Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • Medium/Light gauge 
  • Very warm and raw tone
  • Sounds incredible

Note: Less durability




TOP 01 - D'Addario EXL110-10P Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

  • Best-selling string manufacturers in the business. 
  • Bright and warm tones with excellent intonation
  • Long-lasting




TOP 2 - Elixir Strings 16542 Electric Guitar Strings

  • Hold their tone longer than any other string
  • Feels smooth and easy to play (best for beginners)
  • Long-lasting


We recommend the beginner players to go for the popular strings as the more experience you gain by the time, you will for sure find out which strings work best for your requirements. 


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