Stop taking guitar strings for granted! Nikos Arvantis opens the book on the wildly varied world of guitar strings, the cheapest, fastest way to change your tone and improve an instrument’s playability.
Round or hexagonal core? Flatwounds or roundwounds? Maybe a hybrid of both? Nickel, steel, high-carbon, coated, or nickel-plated strings? Looking for biting T-style leads or mellow darker jazz box sounds? Using various D’Addario .010-gauge sets, a Strat and a Fender Deluxe, Nikos displays how they sound. Check out the tone of high-carbon steel-core pure nickel wrap wire, high-carbon steel-core stainless steel flattened ribbon wire, high-carbon steel-core stainless steel wrap wire, NY steel-core nickel-plated wrap wire, NY steel-core phosphor-bronze wrap with a XS coating, pure-nickel roundwounds, extra-light chromes, bright toned half-wounds, NYXLs, nickel-plated roundwounds, light-gauge pure nickels, regular-light-gauge half-wounds, XS nickel-plated steels, pure nickel regular lights, half-wound regular lights, and regular nickel-plated steels. Nikos says, “Using different strings with the exact same setup will absolutely alter your tone, but the biggest and most noticeable difference will be how the guitar feels in your hands. At the end of day, selection of strings is a matter of personal taste and your decisions should be made after trying as many as you can to see what helps you express yourself better. Also, remember that many experienced players have changed their strings and gauges throughout their life, so keep in mind that what your ear finds pleasing will evolve over years of musical experiences. The most important thing to remember is that you should ultimately trust your hands and ears to make the choice that is best for you.”