Other Equipment

Coated Strings?


I’ve been pretty routine and stubbornly set in my ways when it comes to strings. Every time a sales guy pitches something different when I make a string purchase, I don’t give it a second thought. Just give me my standard phosphor bronze and I’ll be on my way dagnabbit! I just purchased a new Taylor acoustic this week, and have learned it comes stock with a set of Elixir coated with nanoweb. A coworker was astonished that I haven’t even given coated strings a try. Yes, the price point is more expensive, but apparently they are more durable. I actively gig with a number of electrics and acoustics, so obviously the next step would simply to give them a try.

Do we have a thread on this subject that I have missed, or if not I’d love thoughts…?


In my experience, coated Elixir acoustic strings are indeed much more durable than other strings I've tried.

Elixir nanoweb/polyweb-coated electric strings, on the other hand, don't seem have extended lifespans at all. At least not that I can tell, anyhow. I really like the way they feel, though, so I tend to put polywebs on most of my electrics.



I like the Elixir Acoustic strings a lot. Been using Nano the last 5 years or so, started with the Poly back early on...used on 2 of my acoustics. For some reason I didn't like the Nano back then, maybe it was improved upon....and at some point the Poly Phosphor Bronze was DQ'd.

The D'Add coated EXP Acoustic strings are used on 3 others. Those I have always liked.

None for Electric, though...


I used to use D'Addario EXP strings on all of my electrics. I'm slowly switching over to D'Addario NYXLs.

While not as bright initially as the old XLs, EXPs do stay cleaner, clearer and more present for a longer period of time than the XLs. The NYXLs are much like the EXPs but also seem a bit slinkier for bending. D'Addario say the NYXLs should be louder through the pickups, but I'm not necessarily hearing that.


I have a bunch of guitars and I find the coated Elixirs useful (no rust after being in storage). I've also gotten used to the silky feel.

MF has an occasional sale on the Elixirs. A while back I bought a bunch of 11's at $8.50.

Note: If you go to GC, show them that MF is selling them for $5 less per set and they'll match the MF price. Same with Dunlop strap buttons. It's crazy!


I like the Elixirs on my one acoustic. Was introduced to them since they come std. on Alvarez guitars. They definitely last much longer, but also have a less bright tone. On a second acoustic (a Jumbo) I never cared for them so continue to use bronze phosphorus. Lately I rarely pick up an acoustic and I've never tried them on an electric due to the loss of brightness I'd experienced with the acoustic.


I don't like the feel of Elixirs and I think they affect the string vibration. I've converted several people to D'Addario EXP acoustic strings. Many were hard core Elixir users.


All these other comments are very good. If you were to try both, the EXP probably would be preferred.

My "take anywhere, no worries" guitar gets Elixir Nano 80/20 as I rarely change strings on it. Its purpose in the herd is to be available for anything. I'll change the plains out if what I'm doing matters.

The old, gigantic, Epi Emperor just sounds really nice with Elixir Nano Phosphor Bronze tuned a whole step flat, and the D/4th wrap can make the distance from the Frequensator tailpiece to the Tuning Peg.

Few Bronze wound brands can do that...

I switch back and forth with T-I Jazz Swing on this one...but it was made before flats would have been in the market so those Elixirs are a nice option.


If it's a guitar I'm going to play seldom, I'll put coaties on it. While they never sound quite as bright when new (and that's sometimes a good thing), they degrade at a much slower rate, so it's more likely the guitar will still have acceptable strings when I get it out.

If it's one of the most-played guitars, I'm unlikely to go with coated strings.


Not all coated strings are the same. Somebody bought me 4 sets of Elixirs & 4 sets of Curt Mangan coated acoustic strings for Christmas, 2014. I play 3 - 4 four hour acoustic gigs outdoors in high heat, humidity and salt content (on the beach) each week. I wipe my strings down REALLY good after each gig. I can get a month (16 gigs, or more) out of a set of Elixirs before the 5th & 6th strings sound dead. I couldn't make it thru the 2nd gig with the Curt Mangans. I wrote them a letter. I got a call on my cell from ... Curt Mangan. We had a nice long conversation. He's a super guy and I respect him as a businessman for personally calling a complainer, but still ... his strings don't work for me. I gave the last 2 sets away. Elixirs only for me.


My luthier is high on cleartone haven't tried any yet anybody here tried them?


All the thoughts and opinions are very interesting. I haven’t had much time to give my new acoustic any real playing time until last night. I was able to have a little impromptu acoustic jam with a couple of buddies. I did notice a little more “slickness” when playing that I didn’t notice before, but nothing that I won’t grow accustom to the more I play it. The possibility as Proteus says, “degrade at a much slower rate” is pretty appealing to me. Apparently Taylor had a joint venture with Elixir and created a hybrid mix specifically for Taylor guitars out of the factory.

“The result is a unique set, named HD Light, that blends Elixir light- and medium-gauge strings with a custom .025 gauge third string (a standard light-gauge G string is a .024; the medium is a .026). The specific gauging is: .013, .017, .025, .032, .042, .053.” Here’s the link: http://www.elixirstrings.co...

I just purchased a second set of the HD light’s, so combined with the stock strings from the factory, I’ll have a good test run in the coming weeks and months.


D'Addarios user here for a longtime. Tried Elixirs out of curiosity. Loved it. Reverted back to D'As, removed it ASAP I got hold of Elixirs. I prefer the Polywebs if possible. It tames the highs in a good way to my ears.


haven't played any coated strings yet that I like the feel and sound of.


I use Elixir Nanoweb 80/20 on all my acoustics (mainly my go-to dreadnought). Love the sound and string life longevity.


I tried Elixirs when they first came out. I like them when they are fresh, but I thought they when they went bad, they went really bad. I'm back to the basic Martin Bronze.


I get a lot of mileage and tone out of the Elixyr nanowebs. Tried the polyweb and the coating started to come off where the pick strikes the strings but the sound held up. I've had both acoustic and electric Elixyr strings and I don't feel the need to change any time soon.


I guess first impressions are real, I bought a set maybe 5 yrs ago and put them on one of my acoustics. I couldn't tell much difference in tone but in feel. I liked them right up to the start of the fuzzing...that was it for me. I understand that they have pretty much solved that issue, but like I said, first impressions....


I have never tried coated strings before. Have I really missed anything?


I'd like to say "Yes."

But no.


I like Elixirs on acoustics, but sway all day to Curt Mangans on electrics.


Right now, Sweetwater has a "sale" on Elixir strings...they call it 3 for 2 sale...it works out to about $9 per set.

I use Elixir on my Taylor also tried some new DR coated strings....I couldn't tell a difference but then, I am not that discerning.


My only experience with coated strings is with acoustics. On all of my wooden acoustics they sound dead right out of the package but I have a carbon Rainsong that is "over the top" bright with non coated strings and so it gets coated.

The strings do last an impressively long time on that guitar.


I use Elixir Nanoweb 80/20 on all my Alvarez jumbo acoustic and Ernie Ball titanium on my electrics.

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