State of the corrosion resistant plain strings

nickgray

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A sort of a PSA for fellow Xenomorphs whose sweat destroys normal strings.

First of all, what works? Elixir plains. They are ridiculously anti-corrosive, for me they can last for literally months.

What didn't work for me? All of the following:

Optima 24K gold plated
Pyramid silver plated
Thomastik brass plated
D'Addario XL, NYXL, XT
Ernie Ball regular
GHS regular
Darco regular
Dean Markley signature
And a bunch of other regular ones I can't remember the name of, just your basic tin plated plains

They all suck. I think it's the same problem with all of them - the plating is shit, it's just too thin, it rubs off extremely quickly, and the sweat aggressively attacks the exposed steel.

The worst case scenario is playing the same guitar for 2-3 hours straight. My left hand always gets a little bit sweaty after a while, and it's a death sentence for plain strings. All of the ones mentioned above, save for Elixir, will start to exhibit moderate to severe tarnishing within that single long playing session (starting from completely fresh strings), the kind of tarnishing where parts of the string get quite rough and coarse and the color darkens as well - that's the oxidation. You can try cleaning them with a rag and a bit of alcohol, it definitely removes a lot of the tarnish, but sadly not all the way, the string will never feel as smooth and pristine as a new one, and it's a losing battle. You can combine that with oiling the plain strings with a tiny bit of mineral oil (Fast Fret or actual mineral oil), but the effect is still fairly limited, and the downside is that oily strings feel really weird.
 

Kyle Jordan

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Have you given the D’Addario XS sets a try? They’re the ones that are supposedly made coated the same or similar way Elixirs are. Not just coating the wrap wire.

I went back to Elixir’s as well in part because I can kill strings kind of fast as well. The XS don’t have options to cover my 8 strings so I am waiting to see if they bust out thicker gauges to give them a whirl.
 

budda

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Not sure there's really anything for it aside from talking to a dietician to figure out new eating habits to change sweat pH.

Since I'm only playing at home, I let strings stay dead for a little bit. If something seems off, I restring first and check again. I also buy 3-packs of my usual gauge.
 

nickgray

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Have you given the D’Addario XS sets a try?
Nope, I'm mostly interested in single plains because I want specific gauges (for a top 9 I'd want a 9-12-15 set of plains). And even then, Elixir got you covered from 9 to 18. A big part of the reason for me going down this rabbit hole is to find a corrosion resistant 8. I'm playing with a very low tension because of an injury and I really want to get a set of 8-11-14 plains to use for E standard.
 

youngthrasher9

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Ernie Ball Paradigm.

They are not a true coated string, apparently more of a treated string. They lasted for months in my basement jam space at my home in north Idaho. I sweat a lot and can typically toast a set of D’addarios or reg slinky’s in like 2-3 plays.
 

Emperoff

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I've been an Elixir Optiweb user for some years now and there's just nothing better regarding coated strings. I'm testing now a set of D'addario XS with an Elixir 059 for the low B out of curiosity. It's too early to decide if they last as much, but until they release 7-string sets or single strings I'll keep using Elixirs.
 

BearOnGuitar

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If you use uncoated strings the best thing you can do is to wipe the strings down after each use with a clean cloth after applying the Stringjoy Natural Conditioner. It was recommended to me and I didn't think much of it, but bought it anyways as I'm always happy to try new products. I set up a new set of strings and after tuning and intonating these to perfection I noticed that two of my plain D'Addario NYXL strings already developed black spots on them, annoying me greatly as I was really excited to get some fresh tone out of this new set for at least a bit of a while. After I stopped playing I cleaned my strings as usual, for the first time applying the Stringjoy cleaner and after wiping down the strings, the black spots came right off! I couldn't believe it. I've been using it exclusively ever since and it is without a doubt the best product to use to keep your uncoated strings looking and feeling as new. I haven't done any actual sound comparison but my current set of strings that I have on for a month now still sounds great, looks and feels like new, and it doesn't have any oily feel. The real test is going to see how long the Ernie Ball Cobalt strings are going to last, as these usually started deteriorating the fastest for me. I highly recommend giving it a try.
 

CanserDYI

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Man I'm sorry your sweat be like that.

But seriously, that really would be difficult for me. I have very dry hands and sweat very little playing guitar. Strings last me months and months if I don't care about the brightness(I do, so I change my strings pretty much biweekly).
 

Gmork

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A sort of a PSA for fellow Xenomorphs whose sweat destroys normal strings.

First of all, what works? Elixir plains. They are ridiculously anti-corrosive, for me they can last for literally months.

What didn't work for me? All of the following:

Optima 24K gold plated
Pyramid silver plated
Thomastik brass plated
D'Addario XL, NYXL, XT
Ernie Ball regular
GHS regular
Darco regular
Dean Markley signature
And a bunch of other regular ones I can't remember the name of, just your basic tin plated plains

They all suck. I think it's the same problem with all of them - the plating is shit, it's just too thin, it rubs off extremely quickly, and the sweat aggressively attacks the exposed steel.

The worst case scenario is playing the same guitar for 2-3 hours straight. My left hand always gets a little bit sweaty after a while, and it's a death sentence for plain strings. All of the ones mentioned above, save for Elixir, will start to exhibit moderate to severe tarnishing within that single long playing session (starting from completely fresh strings), the kind of tarnishing where parts of the string get quite rough and coarse and the color darkens as well - that's the oxidation. You can try cleaning them with a rag and a bit of alcohol, it definitely removes a lot of the tarnish, but sadly not all the way, the string will never feel as smooth and pristine as a new one, and it's a losing battle. You can combine that with oiling the plain strings with a tiny bit of mineral oil (Fast Fret or actual mineral oil), but the effect is still fairly limited, and the downside is that oily strings feel really weird.
Yup! Elixir all the way!! As a fellow xenomorph it is also the only set I found that will last a super long while (and feel great!)
 

Gmork

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Nope, I'm mostly interested in single plains because I want specific gauges (for a top 9 I'd want a 9-12-15 set of plains). And even then, Elixir got you covered from 9 to 18. A big part of the reason for me going down this rabbit hole is to find a corrosion resistant 8. I'm playing with a very low tension because of an injury and I really want to get a set of 8-11-14 plains to use for E standard.
Check out BEYOND STRINGS, u can order custom elixir sets! Even .90s if i remember correctly!
 


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