Best Electric Guitar Strings For 2020
Music Authority may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
Every guitarist has different concerns when it comes to choosing their electric guitar strings. Some might go for a tone that can lend character to their music and some might choose strings that can sound good but at the same time are durable.
The budget is also a consideration for many as well as choosing something based on one’s playing style. Therefore, buying the right guitar string is a subjective process.
Here are some suggestions of the best electric guitar strings that you can consider buying for that well-balanced tone and durability.
|1. Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings|
Buy on Amazon
|2. Elixir Optiweb Electric Guitar Strings|
Buy on Amazon
|3. Fender Pure Nickel Electric Guitar Strings|
Buy on Amazon
|4. D’Addario NYXL Electric Guitar Strings|
Buy on Amazon
|5. Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Electric Guitar Strings|
Buy on Amazon
Our Best Electric Guitar Strings Reviews and Comparisons
1. Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings
- Ernie Ball's new state-of-the-art wire drawing process combined with patented RPS (reinforced plain string) technology dramatically increases tensile strength
- Plasma cleaning provides improved corrosion resistance
- Ernie Ball's patented Everlast Nano treatment repels sweat and build up
- No flaking or difference in feel than traditional strings
- Legendary Slinky Tone
Ernie Ball Paradigm is a popular string set in the market that has received numerous positive reviews. The highlight of these strings is the Everlast nanotechnology patented by Ernie Ball.
The company in conjunction with Princeton University developed a treatment called Everlast that seals the winds in a nanometer-thin material. This material is capable of resisting 41% more moisture than an uncoated wire.
The true glory of this product is that they feel just like uncoated strings under your fingers
If you ever decide to load your guitar with the Ernie Ball Paradigm strings you will notice that it sounds similar to the standard Ernie Ball Regular slinky string set. They sound balanced, loud, smooth and a hint brassier than the regular string set.
Try out some blues bends on this one and you won’t be disappointed. The strings feature a nice tension at E-Standard tuning perfect for some blues bends.
Put them through some heavy playing and we assure you they can withstand the torture. These strings have a meticulous wire drawing process coupled with RPS (Reinforced Plain String) technology to exponentially increase tensile strength and fatigue strength compared to traditional strings.
Therefore, you can put these strings through some rock and heavy metal playing and still expect them to be intact along with their new tone. If you tend to leave your guitar basking in your sweat and oil after a session heavy metal jam with your buddies, the paradigm strings still got your back.
What We Like About Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings
These strings are extremely durable and can sound new for a long period of time.
What We Don’t Like About Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings
These strings are more expensive than the regular slinky set.
2. Elixir Optiweb Electric Guitar Strings
- Electric guitar strings constructed with nickel-plated steel wrap wire
- Played for the same crisp tone as an uncoated string
- OPTIWEB Coating provides a natural feel
- Our coating technology protects against common corrosion and debris buildup, extending tone life longer than any other brand’s coated or uncoated strings (Elixir Strings player survey)
- Anti-Rust Plating on plain steel strings ensures longer tone life for the entire set
Elixir is a popular name in the world of guitar strings. Even though most guitarists prefer an uncoated string for the brilliant highs, Elixir has set out to change this with its Optiweb nickel-plated steel strings.
These coated strings are built to give the tone, feel and grip of regular strings while preserving the longer lifespan of coated strings. The tone produced by these Elixir strings is punchy crisp and tight.
Elixir’s Optiweb coated strings are offered in five different gauge configurations: Super Light (.009-.042), Custom Light (.009-.046), Light (.010-.046), Light-Heavy (.010-.052) and Medium (.011-.049).
Constructed with nickel-plated steel wrap wire there is anti-rust plating for the strings which contributes to its longer lifespan. The feel of the string is very similar to the regular nickel strings.
If you run your fingers along the strings you can feel the coating, but it’s not as obvious.
What We Like About Elixir Optiweb electric guitar strings
These strings feature a bright and aggressive tone and have a long lifespan.
What We Don’t Like About Elixir Optiweb electric guitar strings
They are expensive compared to other strings.
- Natural feel
- Less string changes
3. Fender Pure Nickel Electric Guitar Strings
- Fender original 150's are an excellent choice for blues, jazz, and classic rock
- We start with the highest quality wire available and use state-of the-art manufacturing to bring you vintage tone with modern-day quality and consistency.
- Electric Guitar Strings
- Built to recapture the sound of Pure Nickel wound strings
- Built to recapture the sound of Pure Nickel wound strings
Fender is a popular manufacturer of electric guitar chords, guitars, and many other musical instruments. This music industry giant’s pure nickel electric guitar strings also called the Fender bullet strings are one of the best rated among guitar strings.
Fender Bullet strings are so named for the bullet-like terminus of their bridge ends which are different from the ball-ends of conventional electric guitar strings. These special strings are designed for greater tuning stability.
The Fender Pure Nickel sets sports a nickel core, wrapped with a nickel wire cover. This gives the strings a vintage tone, plus the benefit of reducing finger squeak when you run your fingers along the fretboard.
Available in .009, .010 and .011 gauges, these pure nickel strings feel silky smooth under your fingers. The pure nickel core allows the guitar’s inherent tone to stand out. The nickel core also contributes to a rich, warm tone, perfect for blues, country, and jazz.
Besides, the bullet-shaped string ends located between the bridge block creates a “sonic coupling”. It improves stability and sustains your music notes.
What We Like About Fender Pure Nickel electric guitar strings
These strings are great for tremolo equipped guitars and can partner well with your Strat or Tele.
What We Don’t Like About Fender Pure Nickel electric guitar strings
These strings are not too great for high gain styles.
- Vintage tone
- Great tuning stability
- Not suitable for high gain styles
4. D’Addario NYXL Electric Guitar Strings
- PLAY FEARLESSLY –D’Addario’s NYXL Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings feature a newly engineered, break-resistant, high-carbon steel core and plain steel alloy that gives you a whole new level of freedom, confidence and power in your playing. These strings can keep up with your whammy bar dives and bends.
- STAY IN TUNE – With NYXL’s improved tuning stability compared to traditional nickel wound strings, you can get in tune faster and stay in tune better. The corrosion resistant packaging of the 3-pack keeps your extra string sets fresh.
- CUT THROUGH THE MIX – NYXL nickel plated wound strings feature an enhanced mid-range frequency response in the 1 - 3.5 kHz range which gives you more presence and crunch to cut through the mix.
- STRING GAUGES – NYXL1046-3P offers an ideal combination of comfortable playability and ideal electric tone: Plain Steel .010, .013, .017, Nickel Wound .026, .036, .046.
- MADE IN THE USA – D’Addario leverages centuries of string-making experience and advanced computer-controlled winding technology to bring you the most durable, consistent and long-lasting guitar strings. Made in the USA for the highest quality and performance, only D’Addario strings are sealed inside and out.
The NYXL string series is an upgrade to the D’Addario’s classic XL series of strings. The strings feature a precision wound reformulated nickel-plated steel wrap. This leaves the string with a high breakpoint coupled with loud, punchy tones.
The D’Addario NYXL electric guitar strings have a modern, full-frequency tone that is loud and lively. These strings produce a full, present and unaffected EQ with the right warmth to the tone to give character to your music. This hint of mellow warmth is pronounced in the mids.
Once you string them up on your guitar, you will see that the NYXLs hold the tune and feel settled within minutes. The strings have a consistent elasticity which contributes to more control over the pitch when vibrato is applied. The strings give you a consistent feel without ever being stiff and can settle into rapid playability.
What We Like About D’Addario NYXL electric guitar strings
NYXL features improved tonal consistency across all available gauges, and at the same time delivers better bite and punch to your music. They can also hold the tune for a longer time.
What We Don’t Like About D’Addario NYXL electric guitar strings
These strings have high tension, therefore not recommended for blues bends and vibrato.
- Brighter sound
- Corrosion resistant
- Not recommended for blues bends
- Made in California, U.S.A. Featuring the finest and freshest materials.
- Played By Legends around the world including Slash, Jimmy Page, Metallica, Eric Clapton, and more...
- Element Shield Packaging Prolongs string life and keeps strings as fresh as the day they were made
- Recipes and Popular gauges created by industry icon Ernie Ball
Ernie Ball’s Slinky series of guitar strings has found a place in the gig cases of many elite guitarists globally. They are cheap plus they come in all kinds of custom gauge options.
The gauge options range from 8-38 gauge Extra Slinky to 12-62 gauge Mammoth Slinky. So whatever your playing style is, there is an Ernie Ball Slinky that will compliment it.
Regular Slinky wound strings are made from nickel-plated steel wire wrapped around a hex-shaped steel core wire. These plain strings are made of specially tempered, tin-plated, high-carbon steel giving a well-balanced tone to your guitar.
Coupled with performance and durability the guitar is decently priced and sounds good, making it a perfect choice for musicians.
For many guitarists, these strings are well-balanced to produce around tone. The strings are designed thick enough for solid tone and easy chording. They are thin enough for precision fret-work and rapid-fire soloing as well.
Ernie Ball Slinky is the best-selling set of strings of the brand and is particularly favored by rock musicians.
What We Like About Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Electric Guitar Strings
Ernie Ball Slinky is a quality set of strings designed to give your music a great tone.
What We Don’t Like About Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Electric Guitar Strings
For shredding, some bend techniques are a bit harder and slower with these strings.
- Intonation falters after playing for a long time
We recommend using the Ernie Ball Paradigm strings for your electric guitar. Capable to withstand any abuse that you can throw at it, these strings are long-lasting and retains a new tone even after long hours of heavy playing.
These are very popular and one of the best-rated products in the market. If you choose these you also don’t have to worry about breakages and constant string changes.
Hope these suggestions will help you choose the best electric guitar string set!