Elixir Electric Guitar Strings Test

I tested this set of Elixir 10 – 46 gauge guitar strings for about 6 hours of playing time total. Elixir did not reveal to me the construction of the strings nor if they were coated or not.

Sound

Immediately after stringing up the guitar my first impression was that the strings sounded a bit dull. I decided to give the strings some time, and use them in a band situation. The strings performed fine in a band situation, but were not my favorite set of strings. I did like how easy it was to bend the strings, however. I’m guessing the strings were coated due to the dullness of the tone. The string tension across the set felt fairly balanced. If only the strings had a bit brighter tone they would have been a winner.

Summary

I enjoyed being a string tester for Elixir and filling out their two surveys (one after twenty minutes of playing time and the other when I decided to remove the strings). I let Elixir know I would be more than happy to test more strings and submit my opinions. We’ll see what happens in the future.

Keep pickin’

Stringjoy Custom Guitar Strings

I found out about Stringjoy guitar strings through Twitter. I decided to check out their web site, and thought it was a cool spin on selling guitar strings by being able to specify the gauges of strings you would like in your set rather selecting one of the predetermined sets other guitar string manufacturers put together for you. I decided to try a set that I have been putting together myself, which I learned from Sfarzo strings, but the Sfarzo strings kept breaking prematurely, between a Dean Markley 10-46 set with the .46 gauge string replaced with a .52 gauge Ernie Ball low “E” string. This string set works really great for Drop D tuning, and Standard tuning as well. The string gauges are .10 – .13 – .17 – .26 – .36 – .52 for the custom string set I specified, and the cost was $9.00 including shipping and the new customer 10% discount. What’s great is you can order just one set like this or ten.

I just strung my Les Paul Studio up with these strings yesterday, so I am in the initial testing phase with these strings, but so far my initial impression of the strings are positive. I will do a full review after I am finished testing the strings thoroughly.

Keep Pickin’!

Elixir String Tester

I have been selected to test a set of Elixir guitar strings. I’ll string these up and give them a thorough test drive. In an up coming review I will let you know what I think about the strings.

Keep Pickin’!

Sfarzo Alloy5109 Electric Guitar Strings

The Sfarzo Alloy5109 electric guitar strings I ordered came in the mail yesterday. If you like Ernie Ball Cobalt strings, give these a try. Your wallet will thank you.

 

Sfarzo Electric String Review

My buddies over at wattkins.com were talking about different string gauges and one of the guys brought up that I turned him onto Sfarzo strings a few months back and that he really likes them. The guys suggested I do a blog post on Sfarzo strings, so here we go…

I found out about Sfarzo strings through stringsandbeyond.com from one of their weekly emails that I receive. Sfarzo’s Alloy5109 strings caught my eye, and I decided to purchase several different sets of Sfarzo strings to see how they stack up against other strings I have used over the years. To be specific I was looking for electric guitar strings that would perform similarly to Ernie Ball Cobalts, but at a lower price point. I must say the Sfarzo Alloy5109 strings filled that niche for my guitar playing needs. I use the Alloy5109 strings exclusively on my Godin LG Signature guitar.

Here is a list of Sfarzo’s main line of electric guitar strings.

Signature Pro
SFT Screamers
Alloy5109
Nickelanium

I have tried all of these except the Nickelanium strings because Strings and Beyond does not carry them. If they had them I would have tried them for sure. At this point I purchase most of my guitar strings from Strings and Beyond. I’ll do blog post at a later date about why I like Strings and Beyond, and why they have retained my business.

Sfarzo also has a Boutique/Custom line of strings that I have not yet tried. Therefore I do not have an opinion at this time on those. I will probably try them out down the road. Sfarzo’s custom packaged strings with your own logo, picture, or band name interests me, and their pricing is quite competitive. I think this is a pretty darn cool option for self-promotion.

Sfarzo strings are available in a wide range of gauges and specialty sets for various tunings for 6 and 7 string guitars. Check out Sfarzo’s web site for more information.

Sfarzo also has this cool web page that is called “Everything You Wanted to Know About Guitar Strings”, which is quite informative.

I currently use 10 – 46 gauge strings on all of my guitars, except for my Les Paul Studio where I started using the Drop-D set that is a regular 10 – 46 set with the 46 gauge string swapped out for a 52 gauge low E string, which provides better string tension when playing in Drop-D tuning. I use Gibson and Godin electric guitars. I have strung up my Explorer, Les Paul Studio, and LG Signature (all of these guitars have tune-o-matic bridges) with several sets of Sfarzo strings over the past year and a half.

Here’s what I have found.

I really like how the Signature Pro and Alloy5109 strings sound. They produce a nice clear, fat, round tone that I really like. These are some of the best sounding electric guitar strings I have used for the price. The SFT Screamers sound on par with regular Ernie Ball Slinky, and Dean Markley Signature Series electric guitar strings. The Screamers are keeping good company there, since I use those other brands as well.

I have experienced some premature breakage issues with the wound Sfarzo strings on my two Gibson guitars. The wound E, A or D string would break after only a few hours of playing time. I never had a problem with the plain strings breaking in this timeframe. At first I thought it was the bridge saddles, which I tried to sand smooth to no avail. Yeah sure, I could change my saddles to Graph Tech saddles, which would probably cure the problem, but I did not have this problem with the Dean Markley Vintage and Signature Series strings I was using previously. I’m not sure if Sfarzo’s wound strings are wound differently, or if the type of metal in the wire used to wind around the core strand is not compatible with my Gibson tune-o-matics. Maybe the core strand is more brittle than Dean Markley or Ernie Ball’s core strands. I ended up switching back to Dean Markley Signature Series strings for my Explorer and Les Paul Studio. The wound string breakage problem does not exist with these strings. On the Les Paul Studio I swap out the 46 gauge low E string with a 52 gauge Ernie Ball Slinky string for drop D tuning to simulate the Drop-D SFT Screamer set I used to use from Sfarzo. A specific gauge set Dean Markley doesn’t sell, so I roll my own. I think Sfarzo’s Drop-D set is a great idea, and that every string manufacturer should make a similar Drop-D set. To be fair I must say your mileage may vary with your specific Gibson guitar, but this is what I experienced with my two Gibson electrics (1990 Explorer and 2003 Les Paul Studio).

The previous mentioned wound string breakage issue I do not have with my Godin LG Signature that sports a Schaller tune-o-matic bridge. I happily keep this guitar strung with a 10 – 46 gauge set of Alloy5109 strings. I have also used the Signature Pro strings on this guitar to great effect as well. Both sets have made this guitar sound quite nice. I do prefer the slightly higher output from the Alloy5109 strings for this guitar.

Sfarzo strings are definitely worth a try. Let your ears be your guide, and keep on pickin’.