Best Guitar Strings

The Top Ten
1 Ernie Ball

These strings have the best feel when playing. The smoothness is like a buttery sensation on the hands, and bending these strings is easy. Most of all, they sound brighter than any other strings. I have used other strings before, but when I compare them with Ernie Ball, Ernie Ball still sounds and feels better.

"There are no other strings I will use but Ernie Ball."

Ernie Ball makes the best strings I've ever played. I would bet most famous guitarists would say the same thing. Just look at the massive list of musicians who use Ernie Ball. The Slinky series is simply incredible. Regular, Super, Power, whichever you prefer.

Like it says at the bottom of the package - USE ERNIE BALL STRINGS!

2 D'Addario

All 26 guitars I own are strung with D'Addario, from 9's to 11's XL nickel on the electrics to phosphor bronze on the 3 acoustics. They don't break, rust out in the case from inattention, or lose too much tonal character over time. I've pulled a guitar out after 2 years and it was still in perfect tune. It's nice not to worry about the strings in the interim.

They are not insanely crisp and bright when new, but I'm not looking for that with all the guitars I have to keep in service. I need a consistent level of tune, feel, performance, and tone at a very good price point.

3 Elixir

Out of all the guitar strings I've played, Elixir stands out above all for me. I admit they're expensive, but they last long and sound good after a long period of time. They sound great even on a low-budget guitar. But hey, it's my opinion. I love Elixir and always will.

I tell you, ever since I got these strings I have never needed to change them. The best in the world by far.

Amazing response, long life, great sound! If you try these, you'll never go back to any other. P.S. Try Elixir PolyWeb strings.

4 Dean Markley
5 Dunlop

They have the best feel, balance, and even last long. Anyway, they are just great.

6 RotoSound

I have used these strings as my first strings and they work superbly.

7 Martin
8 GHS

I have played GHS, Ernie Ball, and D'Addario, and I have to say that GHS has the best electric guitar strings. They sound great, they feel great on my hands, and bending them is just incredible.

I'm a 4-string (c, g, d, a) banjo player. I use a guitar "e" string for "a" (9, 10) and a "b" string for "d" (13-16), etc. It's really heavy duty for the strings. GHS is the only one that can withstand the higher tension and still produce a clean sound. They are very flexible, powerful, and the price is reasonable.

I often use Ernie Ball or D'Addario strings for my guitar, but I'll try GHS. I think they'll be better than the others.

9 Fender

I use Fender Bullets all the time, and they're great. That said, I think what you play will also dictate the strings you use. Ernie Ball strings are good for playing long guitar riffs. Fender strings are good all-rounders with a tendency toward rhythm. D'Addario are just good strings. I'd like to see more research on strings, especially how they connect to the guitar for sound transference.

10 DR

I've played lots of strings in the past 25 years. My favorites, based on strength and lifespan of sound, are DRs. I'm a heavy-handed player who uses tremolo work. I'll either break the string or bend it completely across the neck without meaning to. My strings have to be rather stiff to keep up with detuned fast-paced metal and still sound good enough to flip to clean and pull off some bluesy Hendrix-ish styles. Most strings don't hold sound long enough or break.

The Contenders
11 Cleartone

Better than any other guitar strings. They sound better, last longer, and they're louder. They do not rust or flake like Ernie Balls do. Even the Ernie Ball cobalt strings leave flakes all over my fretboard and rust after a few days of being played. Cleartones do not flake or rust quickly.

12 Alice

The cheapest strings with a great tone. Also, beautiful packaging - the best packaging I've seen.

13 XMW
14 Austin
15 Gibson

Ace Frehley nickel-wound hex cores. Getting harder to find but worth looking for. Very bright, great tone.

16 Framus
17 Danelectro
18 Marshall
19 Granada
20 Curt Mangan
21 Thomastik Infeld

Quite simply the best strings in the world. They make every other string sound like rubbish. Thomastik's are head and shoulders above the rest. The next best are or were Gibson strings.

22 LaBella
23 Jimm
24 String Joy

Really nice quality, cheap strings from a rising company. You can also customize string sets.

25 Orphee
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