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  1. #1

    Default What are the strongest guitar strings?

    I was wondering if anyone could help me in my quest to find the ultimate strongest guitar strings out there. I usually string up with 11's and tune to C# standard and use a Floyd for a lot for a lot of crazy divebombs, extreme vibrato and flutters. Plus I pick REALLY hard (almost percussively) so I need a set of strings that can stand up to a lot of abuse without ever breaking.

    I used to use Dean Markley Blue Steels which were quite good but recently switched up to Elixirs to check them out and see what all the fuss is about. I was playing a gig last night (tuned to D standard, mind) and broke the A on a two-week old set of strings! Thank fuck I had a backup guitar. Before somebody says anything, the knife edges on the Floyd can't be worn out since it's barely been a few months since I bought it brand new.

    Should I just string up with some 12's and add another spring in the trem cavity?

  2. #2

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    Don't know about whether any particular set/brand of strings is any stronger than the next. I'd just do the usual thing of making sure you wipe them down after you've finished playing. I use D'Addario 10 - 46 in standard tuning on Floyd Rose equipped guitars. I get a maximum of 6 hours out of them. I (and my band) can predict when a string is about to snap, usually the A or the D.

  3. #3

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    Where are they breaking?

    Two weeks is a little old for gigging on strings if you're hard on them with the tremolo. I always changed mine weekly "just to be sure" as they would often break at the saddle after a couple of weeks.

    What would the knife edges have to do with breaking strings?

  4. #4
    JCF ADMIN toejam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devotee View Post
    Plus I pick REALLY hard (almost percussively) so I need a set of strings that can stand up to a lot of abuse without ever breaking.
    Maybe work on your technique and don't pick so hard?
    I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

  5. #5
    Ayatolla of Rock 'n Rolla rjohnstone's Avatar
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    You're gonna be hard pressed to find any strings that will hold up to that kind of abuse for very long.

    And two weeks on a set of strings while gigging? Brave man.

    I changed mine at least a day before any show. Gave me plenty of time to get them settled.
    I could reliably get two shows out of a set if we had to play two nights in a row. But I always had 3 guitars with me at any gig, so I wasn't too worried about a string breaking.
    -Rick

    "I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because it's always 20 years behind" Mark Twain

  6. #6
    JCF Member Grim's Avatar
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    I just throw DR Tite-Fits on, and I can count on one hand how many breaks I've had in over 10 years of use.
    I like EL34s.

  7. #7

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    I've never broken a string ever. How do manage that?
    Last edited by levantin; 01-04-2011 at 06:19 PM.
    I feel festive all year round. Deal with it.

  8. #8

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    I'm with rjohnstone. Get a new pack of strings the day before your show.
    I don't know how regulary you gig, but having way better chances of playing the whole gig without broken strings should be worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SEAN RAF View Post
    I use D'Addario 10 - 46 in standard tuning on Floyd Rose equipped guitars. I get a maximum of 6 hours out of them.
    6 hours is all they can take in your hands?
    Playing guitar is quite expensive, isn't it?
    tremstick give-away (performer series trem)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by levantin View Post
    I've never broken a string ever. How do manage that?
    Yea me either ,I think your technique needs improvement. Or switch to bass .

  10. #10

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    Thanks for all the replies guys and happy new year!

    Quote Originally Posted by levantin View Post
    I've never broken a string ever. How do manage that?
    Quote Originally Posted by P I K A View Post
    Yea me either ,I think your technique needs improvement. Or switch to bass .
    Wow! That's crazy! What, do you guys tickle the strings with feathers?

    Quote Originally Posted by toejam View Post
    Maybe work on your technique and don't pick so hard?
    I'm not arrogant enough to not think that my technique definitely needs improvement, i'm not really sure that's an issue. I just pick fucking hard and i like it, that's how i learned how to play and that's how i get my tone, so i just need some strings that fit my technique.

    I did forget to mention that the A string had broken a few days prior to the gig. I always break strings at the saddle so it's just a matter of clipping the broken end off, giving the string a little more slack and clamping it back in. I should change strings more often.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim View Post
    I just throw DR Tite-Fits on, and I can count on one hand how many breaks I've had in over 10 years of use.
    Thanks for the recommendation, i'll check them out!

    @ rjohnstone: Thanks for the advice!

  11. #11
    JCF ADMIN toejam's Avatar
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    Eh, I pick a little on the hard side, too, but I haven't broken a string in many, many years. I'd say use thicker strings if you can't pick lighter...
    I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

  12. #12

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    The last time I broke a string, I forgot which Floyd nut locks I'd undone and snapped it on the peghead side.

  13. #13
    Platinum Member VitaminG's Avatar
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    if you always break strings at the saddle, it might be worth check the saddles for burrs or what have you
    Hail yesterday

  14. #14

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    The last time I broke a string onstage, I was using a metal pick. It was the A string, and it didn't really break, it came unravalled while I was off on a zone in the middle of a song. My hand scraped against the frayed wrapping. By the end of the song, there was blood all over the front of my guitar... Yeah, I bleed for my art.

    Seriously, I agree with VitaminG. Check your saddles for burrs. If they are new, it's possible.
    Prosecutors will be violated...

  15. #15
    JCF Member Trem's Avatar
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    hmmn, i play hard, pick hard bend hard ect.. and my strings will last a year or more, i mean never break them at all, just 1 string in the last few years and they were almost 2 years old.

    Like VitaminG said if your breaking them a lot, it's a saddle issue more than likely.

  16. #16
    Froot Ninja Hellbat's Avatar
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    I'll hesitantly second the recommendation on the DR tite fits. The only reason for that is I've so far only been using the 10-42's for around 9 months on 2 guitars tuned to E-standard. Not a single breakage and for an uncoated string they retain their tone and feel far longer than my previous uncoated string of choice, D'adarrio XL's.

    I literally can't remember the last time I broke a string while playing though. For a casual player though I don't put lots of hours on them before changing them since I have 5 guitars and typically only play on average a half hour a night.
    GTWGITS! - RacerX

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by VitaminG View Post
    if you always break strings at the saddle, it might be worth check the saddles for burrs or what have you
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hendrix View Post
    Seriously, I agree with VitaminG. Check your saddles for burrs. If they are new, it's possible.
    Hmmm... Thanks for the tip, i got the Floyd over the summer last year so i will check. Any idea what to do if they are burred?

  18. #18
    Platinum Member VitaminG's Avatar
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    get an old string and lightly work it back and forth over the burred area. Slide the string along the groove of the saddle. Should level it out without chewing up the saddle.

    Or you could gently apply some sandpaper. Either way, the aim is to smooth the area and remove any burrs so that when the string is vibrating side-to-side in the saddle, the burrs aren't cutting the string.
    Hail yesterday

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by levantin View Post
    I've never broken a string ever. How do manage that?
    Me either, but I change strings fairly often.

    Well, I did break an Ernie Ball 9 once, but I was stretching it out with the nut unlocked and I think it sort of ground on the nut slot.
    Last edited by potatohead; 01-19-2011 at 06:28 PM.

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