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Cheap strings

New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Ive just had to get a set of strings at short notice and the only shop open was extortionate :( :( £7.65 for a set of regular slinkys. but it was open on a sunday
Instead of the slinkys i bought the shops own branded ones as i only needed the top 3 I had put D'addarios 26,36,46 on it yesterday and its only a cheapie guitar that im selling so i thought it would be ok
The problem is there is a huge difference in volume and sustain on the 3 cheap strings, at first i thought i had rewired a pickup in badly but the more i think about it its gotta be these cheapo strings.

Has anyone been tight enough to try really cheap strings before? If so were your findings the same or different to mine.

I would love to know.

Cheers, Martin.

Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1885

I tend to use the cheapest available strings, and thus have had several different brands.
I don't notice much variance between brands. (could be my ears, or laid back attitude..)

I do notice a vast difference between new stings and ones with a few miles on them.
Perhaps that's what you are noticing?

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep

Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2418

I can't speak much to electric guitar strings, but I CAN speak to the various classical strings.

Cheapo strings (like D'Addario for Classical) don't have near as much sustain as say Savarez or La Bella Pro Series (those strings run $13-15). The Savarez is my string of choice for the slightly boomier basses, and how it rings out.

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Member Moderator
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5366

I haven't changed electric guitar string manufacturer since the early 1980s (Rotosound ought to be sending me some loyalty freebies by now) so I'm a bit like Joe in being out of touch with different makes of steel string. "Own Brand" strings will always be made to less exacting standards than the big names, which is how the shop can keep the price down. If you're going to put own brand strings on your axe, always change the whole set so they all sound equally suspect.

+1 on D'Addario for classical. Although a lot of top flight players use them, I find they sound about as good as a piece of damp knicker elastic. Augustin Regal strings at £6.10 per set on my teaching guitars and stage backup (Admira guitars) and Hannabach 815 Silver Specials (Medium Tension) at £9.20 on my Alhambra 4P. Likewise for classicals, you get what you pay for when you buy the cheapo sets of strings.

A :-)

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Honorable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 554

I used GHS electric strings exclusively until I got a bad string about 20 years ago. Switched to D'Addario & have had no complaints. Recently I bought a batch of Darco strings -- Martin's cut-rate brand. They seem just fine.

Cheap strings let you change strings more often. I'm with Kent -- fresh strings (any brand) make a huge difference. (I also use fairly heavy gauges -- .012s -- and I suspect fat strings are generally more stable from package to package.)

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492

I've only not cared for two brands of string for electric. Fender Bullets and the GFS brand from Guitar Fetish.

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Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3711

I use pretty much one brand but mostly for consistancy. There are many brands I like. I buy D'Addario's from Musicians Friend. If you buy a 10 pack you can get the price down around $3.00 per pack. So, cheap as well as brand name in my book.

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Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849

I dont think its so much the cheapness of the strings, but the fact that you have 3 new strings, on with three old strings, and two diferent brands...

Ive had great luck with DR strings. Good price, long lasting and sound good to my ears.

Paul B

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1744

I dont think its so much the cheapness of the strings, but the fact that you have 3 new strings, on with three old strings, and two diferent brands...


"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."

Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 180

My theory has always been: Find a brand you really like, and buy them in bulk when they go on sale. :D Online stores frequently have sales, or at least free freight deals, and you can generally buy a 10-pack for much less than buying 10 individual packages.

On this side of the pond, is running a deal right now on Ernie Ball strings where you buy 10 and get 2 free, all for $40 with free shipping. About $3.35, or £2.13 per set of strings. These are the sorts of deals you want to keep an eye out for. :)