Other Equipment

Pure Nickel strings


Strange and twangy? Walter, you're playing my song. Guess I'll try 'em out soon. Thanks.


I put a set of EPN115's on the 6120. The difference is not as dramatic as with the Tokai but it does sound more 1950's.


The nickel, of course, is only on the wound strings. The high e, b and unwound g are steel as usual. I bought many sets of Gretsch Chet Atkins strings when they were on sale. They are packed with a plain and a wound g, I always use the wound one.


I've stopped using the Fenders for now because I get too annoyed by the color coded brass balls and no labeling.


Okay this is an ancient thread but what the heck

I bought some D'addario Pickel (pure nickel) strings recently because I wanted to try a set with slightly lighter of wound strings and the D'addario EPN21s have 51 41 31 23 a bit lighter than my usual 12-54s . I wasn't searching for the Pickel sound. Research said that Pickel strings basically sound like regular strings that have lost their crispness.

I put a set for the first time on my 58 club. It was basically the first set of the size of strings I like put on it (when purchased, it had light 10s) I was assuming it was the trestle bracing that made me have to jack up all the wound strings and drop the plains (B and E) ..but maybe it's the Pickels! On my other (non-trestle or post etc) gretschs I usually have to lower the bottom 3 strings significantIy, as well as the b of course. I like crisp bottom end strings and enjoy a new set of strings on any of my Gretschs. Not previously being aware of Pickel strings I'd never used them. Is it typical of them to be less present on the wound strings? Maybe they're not for me I find the difference between the B and G despite adjustment to be quite dramatic.


I'm not familiar with the "Pickel" imprint, but I've used pure nickel strings of various makes. I wouldn't say they sound quite like "regular" strings which have lost their crispness, but they are a bit warmer and not as strident in the top end.

Given those differences (which apply evenly across the set, in my experience), I don't find any unusual string-to-string variations in their response.


Ah. No wonder my search came up empty.

Strange things have been happening to me in the domain of Named Things Which May or May Not Be Things Already.

I thought I'd come up with an evocative color name for the proposed 5422-12 string, Deep Mermaid Aquamarine. Ric12 then posted a graphic of a mermaid named Aquamarine. I did a search and found there was a teen movie of that name 10 years ago, with a mermaid named...Aquamarine.

I thanked Bob for tipping me off to it; he said he'd made up the graphic, and didn't even know of the movie!

So - was it a real movie, or did the internet make it for me when I did a search? Do we know there aren't Pickel strings? I never put anything past reality. It's weirder than we expect.


I was going to write 'Pickle' but I wanted to keep it in the realm of Nickel


Methinx you may perhaps benefit from a nap, friend Protoplasm.


To me pure nickel regardless of the brand are the way to go. Nickel plated steel don't seem to have the feel or sound I like.


Interesting, and despite my age, I'd never been aware of Pickel strings! I'd been blissfully happy about my guitar sound the entire time! Thanks for the insight


Found an old set of Snake Oils in my string drawer last week and popped them on my 6120. Sounds like it's in tune with the world again.

Why is it that the things I like always become "discontinued?"


Is it typical of them to be less present on the wound strings?

Yes. They're less magnetic than nickel plated steel strings,so it's logical you need to re-adjust your pickups. I made the switch to pure nickel strings about seven years ago, and it's all I use now.


Like Neilda mentions: The nickel is only on the wound strings.
I like the idea of having warmer sounding strings, specially on my Teles and (Dyna)Gretsches. But I would want the unwound strings to sound warmer too. That would be the main reason for me to use Nickel. And as I understand, it's not like that.

My solution is to leave the strings on my guitars for a long time because to me they sound nice and warm when they're a bit older. I'm lucky to have dry hands so my strings last long.
I put Mangan pure nickel 11s on my 60 Tele and they are ok but I feel they sing a bit less than the EB 10-52 that I am used to. But the EB 10s are too thin sounding for that Tele. I do feel that guitar would be perfect with warmer and fuller sounding strings. I have been trying to figure out what to do for a while now. Anyone have suggestions for strings to use?


Dan, Pyramid pure nickel 11's. All I use these days, on the Guillds as well as the teles. If you like it a little brighter, try the Pyramid Monel wound rounds. Those are halfway between the pure nickels and nickel plated steels.


Thanks Walter, I'll try them! I'll go with the pure nickels. Teles have enough brightness for me already....


Another loyal Pyramid user here, Walter, although I buy T.I. when I need a set of flats. Great, long-lasting strings.


Dunlop all nickel is better than D'Addario and so are GHS Nickel Rockers. Big Core Nickel Rockers are even better than either of those. Fender Original 150s also have a better tone than D'Addario, but feel a little stiffer. (Yes, I know they make the Fenders, but they don't make them the same)


I'm a fan of D-R Pure Blues, pure nickel strings from a company co-owned by Mark Dronge formerly of Guild.


After reading this thread I just got around to putting some pure nickels on my Tele. D'Addarios were the only ones in stock at my local place. They are fascinating. I'm not good at describing sounds, but through my silverface Vibrochamp they bring a different quality which I really like. Something along the lines of 'not bright but very present'. I haven't tried it with any other amps yet but I will ASAP because I think they might be what I have been looking for. Thanks for the information.


I was holding a set in my hand last night, but they're not my preferred gauge, so I was reluctant to put them on for a gig. I also want to try them on a very familiar guitar, so I can really notice the difference. I kinda hope I'm unimpressed because they cost more...


GHS Big Core Nickel Rockers are super twangy and fat. In general, Nickel strings sound like most regular strings did before 1980.


Felll in love with pure nickel strings about 3 yrs. ago, when I tried a pair of Gretsch Chet Atkins strings. Never going back.

They're discontinued, so I think I'll give those Fender 150s and the Pyramid strings a try.


There's a school of thought that although the wound strings will sound warmer, they will make the unwound strings sound brighter. Tone settings, of course, will have an influence - you can brighten up the amp. This thought came from Tom Klukosky at DR Strings, who I spoke with last year for an article in Premier Guitar magazine - ninth paragraph down:

Guitar Pickups 101

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