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anathematized_one 06-06-2013 05:17 PM

Am I the Only Person Who Doesn't Use Ernie Ball Strings
 
I know I am not the only one, but I really don't understand why they are so popular.

My personal experience is that they sound REALLY twangy and I can never get them to last more than a week; usually around a week later, I break a string, almost always the third string (G).

Honestly where I live, for electric, if I want anything other than those in a decent brand, I have to mail order them. They don't even sell crappy brands of bass strings here, only Ernie Ball for bass.

Also, every time I turn around, somebody is trying to convince me to switch and thay they are so much better, almost like a cult; I never have seen anyone do this with any other brand od strings.

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Burning Down 06-06-2013 05:24 PM

I always had bad experiences with Ernie Ball strings, so I stopped buying them years ago. Fortunately there is a vast selection of other brands available at the store.

anathematized_one 06-06-2013 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Burning Down (Post 1329152)
I always had bad experiences with Ernie Ball strings, so I stopped buying them years ago. Fortunately there is a vast selection of other brands available at the store.

That's what I mean, I have had nothing but bad experiences over the years every time. Not just a few times but literally EVERY time. Most other brands are fairly comparable and decent, with some just being fantastic.

Ernie Ball seems to be the most popular and yet it remains the single worst brand I ever have used. Even cheap off-brands do better.

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Freebase Dali 06-06-2013 06:49 PM

Not by a long shot.

I've used many strings over the years, but I always fall back on D'Addario half-rounds for my electric and Martin phosphor bronze for my acoustic.

Ernies probably have their place somewhere in the guitar world, just not mine.
And yes, I would break them in a week as well. I can keep a set of D'Addario on my electric for literally a year. (Did it.)

Janszoon 06-06-2013 09:20 PM

There are far better ball strings out there.

Sequoioideae 06-06-2013 09:24 PM

I never have problems with string breakage, ever. I've only broken strings due to negligence. I've used Ernie Balls on my electric, and they last for months and months with all the weird shit I do to them. My acoustic is a different story, ernies barely last a week or so due to the fact I change tunings so much. Wear develops on a specific part of a string (The G string mainly) and the winding unravels after a few days and it then it starts to sound like I wrapped it in a piece of foam. I use D' Addarios on my acoustic now, which take much more abuse.

anathematized_one 06-07-2013 01:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freebase Dali (Post 1329191)
Not by a long shot.

I've used many strings over the years, but I always fall back on D'Addario half-rounds for my electric and Martin phosphor bronze for my acoustic.

Ernies probably have their place somewhere in the guitar world, just not mine.
And yes, I would break them in a week as well. I can keep a set of D'Addario on my electric for literally a year. (Did it.)

I use the same on my acoustic, I use FireWire on my electric.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sequoioideae (Post 1329311)
I never have problems with string breakage, ever. I've only broken strings due to negligence. I've used Ernie Balls on my electric, and they last for months and months with all the weird shit I do to them. My acoustic is a different story, ernies barely last a week or so due to the fact I change tunings so much. Wear develops on a specific part of a string (The G string mainly) and the winding unravels after a few days and it then it starts to sound like I wrapped it in a piece of foam. I use D' Addarios on my acoustic now, which take much more abuse.

I never did a lot of tuning or abusing of them when I had to use them, and that is with any kind of Ernie Ball.

So if the consensus is generally that they're not so great, why do they have such a cult following?


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Necromancer 06-07-2013 01:18 PM

I use GHS Boomers Electric Bass and Guitar Strings. Elixer Strings for the Acoustic.

I am sorta addicted to using finger grease on my strings and fretboard. It does seem to actually add life to the strings, but the extra finger action is what I'm after mainly.

http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/6914/25104817.jpg

There are other brands of finger grease to choose from that are not quite as messy as the spray is.

A stick roll on is available for example. I know... (sounds like a brand of antiperspirant). :p:

anathematized_one 06-09-2013 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1329582)
I use GHS Boomers Electric Bass and Guitar Strings. Elixer Strings for the Acoustic.

I am sorta addicted to using finger grease on my strings and fretboard. It does seem to actually add life to the strings, but the extra finger action is what I'm after mainly.

http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/6914/25104817.jpg

There are other brands of finger grease to choose from that are not quite as messy as the spray is.

A stick roll on is available for example. I know... (sounds like a brand of antiperspirant). :p:

I've used Finger Ease before. I didn't notice very much of a difference for me, aside from a slight reprieve from finger pain that was primarily caused by sliding up and down the lower strings. Then again, unlike most electric guitar players who typically, as far as I can tell, use 10-46's, I use 10-52 or 11-56.

Not sure if that makes much of a difference though.

Necromancer 06-09-2013 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anathematized_one (Post 1330179)
I've used Finger Ease before. I didn't notice very much of a difference for me, aside from a slight reprieve from finger pain that was primarily caused by sliding up and down the lower strings. Then again, unlike most electric guitar players who typically, as far as I can tell, use 10-46's, I use 10-52 or 11-56.

Not sure if that makes much of a difference though.

Thats my fault, I forgot to mention I'm a bass player, if that makes any difference. But I do use Finger Ease on 6 and 12 string acoustics and electric guitars as well.
I guess what might work for one, doesn't always do the same for another. :)

Its like, I'm addicted to it in a small way or something. I just hate the extra drag I get from my (Bass) strings dry, without straying them down first (Let strings, fretboard dry a little) before playing. I sometimes spray the back of the neck also. I will admit, it takes a little more time and effort into the cleaning of the guitar itself using Finger Ease.

And for the same reason I use Elixirs on acoustics, they have a coating over the strings that supposedly, add life and better action to the strings, and I like the full and bright ring I get with Elixir strings on the acoustic too.

anathematized_one 06-09-2013 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1330410)
Thats my fault, I forgot to mention I'm a bass player, if that makes any difference. But I do use Finger Ease on 6 and 12 string acoustics and electric guitars as well.
I guess what might work for one, doesn't always do the same for another. :)

Its like, I'm addicted to it in a small way or something. I just hate the extra drag I get from my (Bass) strings dry, without straying them down first (Let strings, fretboard dry a little) before playing. I sometimes spray the back of the neck also. I will admit, it takes a little more time and effort into the cleaning of the guitar itself using Finger Ease.

And for the same reason I use Elixirs on acoustics, they have a coating over the strings that supposedly, add life and better action to the strings, and I like the full and bright ring I get with Elixir strings on the acoustic too.

That is why I use Martin phosphor-bronze on acoustic, they have a wamer tone. Same with FireWire on electric—warmer and thicker.

I play bass too, GHS is what I use there but, I haven't really tried others (many of the others I have come across are like $40).

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Necromancer 06-09-2013 11:16 PM

Used GHS Boomers Medium Lights with certain particular Basses Ive owned before.

Ive been wanting to try the new Dunlop Heavy Core Bass Strings, they should be great when tuning down for Metal. Low B for example.

source: Bassplayer: Dunlop Heavy Core Bass Strings now shipping

anathematized_one 06-10-2013 12:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1330461)
Used GHS Boomers Medium Lights with certain particular Basses Ive owned before.

Ive been wanting to try the new Dunlop Heavy Core Bass Strings, they should be great when tuning down for Metal. Low B for example.

source: Bassplayer: Dunlop Heavy Core Bass Strings now shipping

Totally irrelevant, but if you play guitar... well I use Jim Dunlop nylon picks and they have these new ones out with this like pimp-heavy grip. I mean it's like sand paper or a cat's tongue, that pick is going nowhere. Just, throwing that out there for anyone who uses those.

Anyway, I use standard sized bass strings, whatever gauge rating those are.

On a more related note I went to the Ernie Ball site, their tone universe (Ernie Ball | Tone Universe) and their "warmest" string still sounds bright and twangy as hell. Also the brightest is no brighter than the second brightest and they're significantly further apart on the scale.

Then I decided to look at their artists and the vast majority of them are all people who are all ancient as hell or have a fondness of wanking ballad-type solos (with like the cock-rocking motion with the guitar in the crotch type thing). Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Slash. Coincidentally, I consider half of them (particularly Page and Slash) to be way overrated (that's not saying they aren't good, just stupidly overrated).

Unfortunately, FireWire has tanked I think; it looks like some generic music companies bought their back stock of strings but the site is gone and everything else. They were a really small company and now I hate that I'm going to have to find a new electric string with that warmth.

Here's the sound of them after being 1 year old; no finger ease, normal proper cleaning; first direct input clean then direct input through Amplitube III; all of it on bridge pickup with the tone knob turned fairly high on the treble end, if you'll excuse my quick, off-the-top-of-my-head noodle and no editing.
https://soundcloud.com/anathematized_one/firewire

oldgeezer 06-10-2013 05:07 AM

I always liked ernies. But of course there must be other good if not better ones out there
sometimes strings last ages other times. break fairly soon. unpredictable I think

Necromancer 06-10-2013 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anathematized_one (Post 1330463)
Totally irrelevant

By that, do you mean that my comment was totally irrelevant?

Another know it all adolescent. Jesus God...

anathematized_one 06-10-2013 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1330665)
By that, do you mean that my comment was totally irrelevant?

Another know it all adolescent. Jesus God...

No, I meant my talking about JD nylon picks was irrelevant.

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Necromancer 06-10-2013 03:51 PM

OK, sorry.

FRED HALE SR. 06-10-2013 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1330728)
OK, sorry.

Jumping the gun Lonnie. :wave: I have always used Billy Sheehan Rotosounds on my bass. GHS is a decent brand but I get my preferred sound from rotosounds. 19.95 is affordable and they're good quality. 43-110 is my preferred gauge also.

Necromancer 06-10-2013 04:32 PM

Yeah...I'm a grumpy old fucker today. :mad:

I'm ready for a verbal confrontation.

So, what is it you were talking about Fred?

FRED HALE SR. 06-10-2013 04:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1330755)
Yeah...I'm a grumpy old fucker today. :mad:

I'm ready for a verbal confrontation.

So, what is it you were talking about Fred?

Bout my rotosounds, then never let me down. Eh I wouldn't let it get to you man, lifes too short for verbal confrontation.

Necromancer 06-10-2013 04:59 PM

Yeah, I am going to remember about those BS- GHS Rotosounds. As Ive stated before, I like the GHS Boomers. Might as well keep it in the GHS family. Thanks for the tip Fred!

Thanks Man.

FRED HALE SR. 06-10-2013 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Necromancer (Post 1330765)
Yeah, I am going to remember about those BS- GHS Rotosounds. As Ive stated before, I like the GHS Boomers. Might as well keep it in the GHS family. Thanks for the tip Fred!

Thanks Man.

You misunderstood. The Rotosounds are Billy Sheehan signature strings. GHS is a good brand but i no longer use them. The Rotosounds have a thicker gauge E and a smaller G string.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...GJAaTviyl8fkwQ

Lots of good feedback not including mine. Great tone.

Necromancer 06-10-2013 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FRED HALE SR. (Post 1330771)
You misunderstood. The Rotosounds are Billy Sheehan signature strings. GHS is a good brand but i no longer use them. The Rotosounds have a thicker gauge E and a smaller G string.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...GJAaTviyl8fkwQ

Lots of good feedback not including mine. Great tone.

Hey, thanks for the link. Might post link on BassPlayerzz page. :)

Want to try out the Dunlop Heavy Core strings too.

drh1589 06-20-2013 11:55 AM

I've used Ernie Balls on my rock electrics since I began playing. I experimented a little with GHS boomers when I played heavier stuff, then some d'addarios, but eventually settled on Ernie Ball regular slinky strings for everything but jazz. I put flatwounds on my jazz guitar and fell in love.

dukethenuke 07-19-2013 05:50 PM

My ernie balls would break almost every week with my Epiphone. I did not think it was the strings so instead I bought graphite saddles and upped the gauge on my strings. adjusted my neck and bridge down tuned to drop b, and called my self a BadAss =) plays like a charm

AlecRob 07-25-2013 08:44 PM

I prefer D'Addario Chromes for my Rickenbacker 4003. They are wonderful. For roundwounds I like Rickenbacker strings and Rotosound swing bass. Though i haven't used either in a very long time.

Gavin B. 08-07-2013 06:00 AM

I play acoustic guitar and use Martin or D'Angelico strings. I'm really not that fussy about strings except I prefer a lighter gauge.

I used to play a 1957 Telecaster and used Ernie Ball strings but I needed to retune it after every song I played. I think most rock guitarists like Ernie Ball because you can bend the strings for a mile.

Lord Larehip 08-07-2013 06:40 AM

I hope you geniuses know there are maybe 3 companies that actually manufacture strings. The guitar makers just buy them from one of these manufacturers and. put their own name on them. The. Strings are identical.

Sequoioideae 08-09-2013 07:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lord Larehip (Post 1354144)
I hope you geniuses know there are maybe 3 companies that actually manufacture strings. The guitar makers just buy them from one of these manufacturers and. put their own name on them. The. Strings are identical.

Oh sorry, I didn't realize you knew everything, but there definitely is more than 3 companies that manufacture guitar strings. Also, from the various strings I've tried there definitely is a a difference in feel, durability, and sound.

Lord Larehip 08-09-2013 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sequoioideae (Post 1355424)
Oh sorry, I didn't realize you knew everything, but there definitely is more than 3 companies that manufacture guitar strings.

Name them, please.

Quote:

Also, from the various strings I've tried there definitely is a a difference in feel, durability, and sound.
There's different quality strings obviously. Otherwise all sets would cost the same. There's a difference between round wound and flat wound obviously. There's a difference in gauge obviously. But nevertheless, all these so-called different brands come from the same small set of companies.

Most strings are some form of D'Addario. Ernie Ball and GHS make strings for other companies and many of the facilities are now in China and Mexico. Unwound strings come from Sweden. Thomastiks are made in Austria. All this stuff about coatings on the strings sounds like a lot of bulls-hit to me. Sure when you put them on they sound bright and clean--ALL strings do when they are brand new out of the box.

When they get clunky, you can taken them off and soak them in rubbing alcohol and restore them quite significantly. That will work pretty much with any string. Some claims certain strings like elixirs last forever, s-hit, I've had cheap strings that lasted forever. I've had expensive strings that broke quickly and I had a set of nylons were one string snapped when I wasn't even playing the damned thing. I opened the case and there's a broken string. It doesn't matter. One set to another has different characteristics. The rest of it is your damned imagination.

Antonio 08-09-2013 09:30 PM

D'Addarios all day son.

Lord Larehip 08-09-2013 09:47 PM

Damn right.

Sequoioideae 08-09-2013 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lord Larehip (Post 1355449)
Name them, please.

DR Strings
D' Addario
Ernie Ball
GHS
Dean Markley
Martin (not sure if they still do, but they did manufacture their own strings).



Quote:

There's different quality strings obviously. Otherwise all sets would cost the same. There's a difference between round wound and flat wound obviously. There's a difference in gauge obviously. But nevertheless, all these so-called different brands come from the same small set of companies.
So you're telling me the all have the same manufacturing methods, same type of quality control?

Quote:

All this stuff about coatings on the strings sounds like a lot of bulls-hit to me. Sure when you put them on they sound bright and clean--ALL strings do when they are brand new out of the box.
Who's to say, have you tried strings with coatings on them? I'm pretty sure most strings sound bright and clean right out of the pack depending on what they are actually wound with, and how they are wound.

Quote:

When they get clunky, you can taken them off and soak them in rubbing alcohol and restore them quite significantly. That will work pretty much with any string.
Sure that can clean off all the gunk, but strings start to wear out after a few months of playing for me and I usually end up changing all of them when the winding around the G string starts to unravel. As for my electric, the strings last a much longer time (mainly due to the fact I don't play it as much).

Quote:

Some claims certain strings like elixirs last forever, s-hit, I've had cheap strings that lasted forever. I've had expensive strings that broke quickly and I had a set of nylons were one string snapped when I wasn't even playing the damned thing. I opened the case and there's a broken string.
I've had 5 five dollar pack of strings last me 8 months, and I've tried more expensive *high quality* strings that I down right hated.

Quote:

It doesn't matter. One set to another has different characteristics. The rest of it is your damned imagination.
Well, obviously, so why can't different manufacturers of the same type of string be different? I find it hard to believe they all use the same techniques and manufacturing processes.

Lord Larehip 08-10-2013 09:30 AM

Quote:

Well, obviously, so why can't different manufacturers of the same type of string be different? I find it hard to believe they all use the same techniques and manufacturing processes.
They pretty much do. It's all the same machinery located in countries where labor is cheap. New techniques and machinery costs a lot and that cost will be passed to you the consumer. How much are you willing to spend for a set of strings? So machinery might get replaced if it breaks down or might get upgraded to remain competitive but I doubt it's anything revolutionary. Occasionally, some company comes up with something new that isn't too expensive and the public loves it and that forces a change in the industry but I don't think that's really happening. I've used the coated strings and while they do sound very good at first, like any string, they succumb to use and to temperature and humidity changes. They last a long time but most of my strings do anyway.

My only two rules of strings is:

-Always change the strings when you buy a new guitar or uke or what have you. The factory strings really are low-grade crap.

-Always buy round wound. People are going to argue that but why would you buy some clunky sounding flat wound thing?

ddawson2014 08-12-2013 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lord Larehip (Post 1355536)
They pretty much do. It's all the same machinery located in countries where labor is cheap. New techniques and machinery costs a lot and that cost will be passed to you the consumer. How much are you willing to spend for a set of strings? So machinery might get replaced if it breaks down or might get upgraded to remain competitive but I doubt it's anything revolutionary. Occasionally, some company comes up with something new that isn't too expensive and the public loves it and that forces a change in the industry but I don't think that's really happening. I've used the coated strings and while they do sound very good at first, like any string, they succumb to use and to temperature and humidity changes. They last a long time but most of my strings do anyway.

My only two rules of strings is:

-Always change the strings when you buy a new guitar or uke or what have you. The factory strings really are low-grade crap.

-Always buy round wound. People are going to argue that but why would you buy some clunky sounding flat wound thing?

This isn't quite an accurate depiction of the string industry. My name is Don Dawson and I work for D'Addario. We have our own in-house engineering team, as well as our own milling and machinist division. We design and manufacturer our own machines, which are truly cutting edge from the standpoint of technology and design. Many of our competitors purchase machines that are available commercially and then rework them to their specifications but our machines are truly our own and unlike anything available in the general marketplace. This allows us to have greater quality control. We are also the largest string manufacturer so the need to have increase quality control capability is essential. We produce over 650,000 strings a day.

Additionally, Rotosound, Thomastik and a few other string makers are located in the UK and Europe - each with their own machinery and most importantly, their own core to wrap ratio, which gives the strings its feel and tension. So there are differences.

That being said, many string manufacturers do make strings for guitar makers as well as other string companies who choose to not identify that they "purchase" strings from another party.

Hope this helps

Don Dawson
Product marketing specialist
D'Addario / Planet Waves

Plankton 08-12-2013 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ddawson2014 (Post 1356193)
This isn't quite an accurate depiction of the string industry. My name is Don Dawson and I work for D'Addario. We have our own in-house engineering team, as well as our own milling and machinist division. We design and manufacturer our own machines, which are truly cutting edge from the standpoint of technology and design. Many of our competitors purchase machines that are available commercially and then rework them to their specifications but our machines are truly our own and unlike anything available in the general marketplace. This allows us to have greater quality control. We are also the largest string manufacturer so the need to have increase quality control capability is essential. We produce over 650,000 strings a day.

Additionally, Rotosound, Thomastik and a few other string makers are located in the UK and Europe - each with their own machinery and most importantly, their own core to wrap ratio, which gives the strings its feel and tension. So there are differences.

That being said, many string manufacturers do make strings for guitar makers as well as other string companies who choose to not identify that they "purchase" strings from another party.

Hope this helps

Don Dawson
Product marketing specialist
D'Addario / Planet Waves

Nice insight, and welcome to the forum. I've been using D'Addario 10's for about 20 years, and I have to say the consistency has been outstanding.

_VincentAnthony 12-16-2015 12:29 AM

no, you're not, obviously

at the end of the day, it's subjective dude, we as musicians like what we like

SatoshiNak 12-16-2015 11:13 AM

I've tried Ernie Ball's several times over the years along with a host of other brands and each time go back to my D'Addario's. I used 10's for years but recently gave the XL Super Light top/Regular bottom 9-46's a try and have been digging them.

1so-static 12-27-2015 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antonio (Post 1355452)
D'Addarios all day son.


ooooo yus :cool: I've tested a lot of strings - I'm not budging from D'Addario superlights - nothing has bettered them.......................yet !

Mister Mushroom 12-30-2015 12:55 PM

I usually use Musician's Gear strings. Cheap and strangely last the longest of any string I've used. (I've had my current sets on for about 3 months and still play well, I play at least 30 minutes a day with tons of bends and vibrato)


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