Other Equipment

Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze Strings - Opinions?


I bought some Ernie Ball 80/20 strings because they were the least expensive acoustic strings at GC that I could find. I went on the web to see reviews of these strings and found out they make an Aluminum Bronze set. Never heard of aluminum acoustic guitar strings so it got me curious.

Do you any of you use them or have experience with them? If so, what is your opinion of them and how are they compared to say 80/20 and Phosphor Bronze?



buy your strings on juststrings.com and you will never have to go in that irritating store again I've started using monel strings on my acoustic archtop, richer mids and smooth treble. I would like to try the alum bronze set and have thought perhaps its a new take on the monel alloy that was a standard before the whole nickel wrap string bling started.


80/20 are the most traditional string..it was what d'angelico used on his guitars..its 80% copper/ 20% zinc

the aluminum bronze is still that much copper, but with 5-10% aluminum added to what was the zinc side..mainly to help prevent corrosion

monel is really 2/3 pure nickel..again, it was thought to resist corrosion better than pure nickel..gibson was the big advocate in the 50's with mona steel strings..rotosounds been making monel strings since they started in the 60's..martin recently added them as did pyramid



WHo make EB strings these days?

– Billy Zoom

Don't know if there is a parent company but it says on the package they are made in the Cochella Valley and the temperature and I think it said low humidity or something makes it the ideal temperature conditions to make strings. True or false, not sure.


I've been using them on my Falcon Rancher for a while now and they are by far the best sounding strings for THIS guitar.The treble and mids come to life over other phosphor bronze strings I've tried but surprisingly they give more bass as well...sounds more lively and definitely louder.Here's a decent demo of Steve giving a difference on a 45.


Michael, thanks for the video. I wasn't aware of this video until you posted it. I get what Steve Stevens is saying about they sound like a recording right off the top of the guitar.

Tavo, yeah I normally order off of Just Strings and recently discovered Strings and Beyond which I like too but was a last minute need for strings so after Church yesterday I went off to GC down the street to get the least expensive acoustic strings I could get. Reason is, I have 13s on my acoustic and want to try 12s before I decide which to go with when I bring it in to be professionally set up.


Sure thing,they're fairly inexpensive and last just as long as other strings,well maybe aside from Elixir's so give them a whirl :)


hmm.. inner'esting. Gonna have to get me a set for my Dreadnought and pick up a bottle of that black nail polish :)


WHo make EB strings these days?

– Billy Zoom

You mean Ernie isn't winding them by hand? I'm shocked....



I believe Ernie Ball is one of the few true string manufacturers left in the USA today. They probably manufacture strings for other labels, as well


I don't play a lot of acoustic guitar but used to work in a store and restrung an awful lot of guitars. What I found was that it was really difficult to make a blanket statement that one kind of string was better than another. Some brands worked out better than others, for example we had a lot of issues with Thomastic Plectrum acoustic strings. Lots of those came back with tuning problems and they just didn't sound bright on any guitar!

But phosphor bronze would suit some Gibsons and Guilds whereas regular bronze worked out better on some Martins. But that was only when I played them. Other guys would produce radically different sounds from the same guitar as me so my findings were irrelevant to them.

I think it's really important to try a range of strings with each acoustic guitar. Even different gauges will respond differently with different guitars.

I also find that it's difficult to make blanket statements about electric strings, although tonally I find much less difference between brands, as long as the composition is the same. For me D'addario sound much Ernie Ball, for example - until I play them for more than 20 minutes at a gig. Then the D'addarios die but the EBs keep kicking. Why? I have not the slightest idea! And friends relate the exact opposite experience to me.

I had the luxury of a regular weekly gig with the same rig for years at a time to find this out. I was a big user of D'addario until I got sick of them dying after the first set in summer. A friend suggested I try EBs and sure enough they would last the night. It must be a personal chemistry thing. Another friend of mine would just have to open my guitar case and the strings would turn black and disintegrate.

Anyway, the clip of Steve Steve Steve made the new strings sound great. I think it's cool that Ernie Ball keep trying things.


JimmyR, very true, depends on the guitar. I have a 1962 AV Fender Jazzmaster and for the longest times put Thomastik flats on the guitar. It was good but as much as I like Thomastik there was something not quite right. I decided to try out Pyramids finally and the Pyramids did it for me. It filled in what the Thomastiks were missing. This was recently so I don't have to restring but in the future I will be putting only Pyramid on that guitar. Would Pyramid be better than Thomastik on other guitars I own? I don't know but would have to try.

For acoustics I love John Pearse. Not sure why or how different they are from others but I will install the Ernie Ball 80/20 and find out today.


I put a set on my RainSong Jumbo and they do indeed sound a little louder, maybe not what Mr. Stevens experienced, but then, I don't have the black nail polish, nor the sunglasses. The tone is nice, not too bright, not too dark, the only thing close to a complaint I might have is they feel a little abrasive to my wussy, Elixr-accustomed fingertips. They look a little like old strings, too, even through they're brand new. Not a bad thing, just different.


I'll try them, I was really impressed by John Pearse's line and used them a lot for a couple of years, but now I'm back to D'Addario, which I buy in 10 packs on Ebay, I like the way they seal them in foil nowadays, so many times I've reached for a pack of strings and taken them out and they're corroded. These EB's sound great, and I actually have a couple of old LG's to test them on Pretty sure my Daughter has some black nail polish upstairs , maybe......nahh Thanks


Thanks guys for the latest reviews of the stings. You guys might be right maybe the sunglasses and black nail polish may be the difference in how they sound to you guys and Steve Stevens. One other thing might have to do with it and it might be the actual guitars he has it on vs. yours. Yours are fine guitars but his just is a different sounding guitar.


My acoustics all run on D'Addarrio Silk 'n' Steels. Just bought another box, 'cos I put the last set on my trusty old Fender FJ. Tried Elixers, found them hard and brittle sounding, tried Ernie Ball, but they simply had no staying power and needed changing quite often (when I was doing the Irish folk gigs, I was swapping strings monthly to keep them bright).

Sealed bags, coloured ends I can remember from month to month, and their sound won't dull off for about four months if you rub them down every time.

All good.


Kevin well I'm gonna have some Ernie Ball Everlast which are supposed to well, last for a long time. Same concept as Elixer but maybe better. I'll let you guys know how they sound and feel and then after some time I'll let you guys know if they last. I take it the Ernies you used were not the everlast but probably the Earthwound.


Could be. Don't honestly recall. It was a little over twenty years ago, and I went back to S'n'S pretty quick. At the time, the EB's were definitely less expensive in my area, but when found I had to change 'em out more often than the D'Addarios, the savings pretty much went away, and I went back to my old standbys.

Edit- My mind's been chugging away behind my eyes, Maybe they were "Slinkys"....? Acoustic phosphor bronze.. Yeh, Slinkys- that's what they were.


Funny enough I never knew Ernie Ball made acoustic strings. Always thought they were all electric until recently. I always recall the colorful packages of their strings. I think they had fluorescent green and fluorescent red/pinkish packages. I always saw them at Music Plus way back in the '80s when I started guitar. Never bought Ernie Ball ever but always noticed them.

Well Kevin, if my Everlast work out and last for a long time you might look into those but I haven't even had them on yet. Will soon. Then again I think they are about $15 a set or so, so they better last.


I've tried them. Didn't like the lighter low end or the general feel. I also hated the black stuff that leeched off into my fingertips. Aluminum? Biggest problem was that they took a week to bed in on each guitar that I tried them with.

The good news was that they caused me to try John Pearse Pure Nickels on my CFox acoustic which I really like. Smooth even sound like a really good archtop.


Received a three pack of the Aluminum Bronze the other day,(ordered them after seeing your post) I installed a set on my 1955 Gibson LG. They are perfect for this little Blues Monster, I really dig the Twangy Trebly high end, don't have any residue on my fingers....yet Thanks for the tip Bro


I was using the aluminum bronze strings on my 1952 L-4 acoustic archtop and it really brightened it up but lately I have been using the martin Monel strings and I like them better on the archtop. Now on my D-50 acoustic I went back to the John Pearce but I recently picked up a set of DR rare earth acoustic strings to try out. I am on the string club at Guitar Center, I pay $20.00 up front and get $5.00 off any set of strings each month for a year. It's a great way to try out different brands/types of strings. Thanks John


I just had some Ernie Ball Everlast .12s 80/20 put on. I had the guitar setup professionally because I never had that done in the 12 years I've owned the guitar. I brought it to a big guitar shop because they have a good tech with reasonable rates. It's on a Tokai Jumbo Acoustic, see picture. It's the aged natural color one, not the brownburst. Wish I had the brownburst still.

The strings sound good and they are coated but I think the regular Earthwound (non-coated) sound a bit better, but if these last a few months of regular play then the less sound is worth it.

By the way, two people wanted to buy the guitar, the tech said. The buyer for the store wanted to buy it but the tech had to tell the buyer that the customer won't want to sell it, and he's right. Then he said a customer wanted it. When I was leaving, the buyer was talking to me and said he never saw this Tokai model before.

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