Do Elixir Guitar Strings REALLY live up to their grand promises?

  • by Tom Boddison
  • 24 Jan, 2017

Are these the best strings on the market? I decided to find out... (Elixir Strings Review)

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Elixir claim that their guitar strings last up to 3-5x longer than other string brands – helping to make your tone last for longer and reducing the amount of time you have to spend changing strings so you can spend more time playing. But – do they really last as long as Elixir say they do? I decided to try out the strings and see for myself.

The first thing I noticed about the strings was the packaging – no simple foil bag like Ernie Ball; these strings come in a cardboard box with each string individually wrapped inside. I couldn’t help but think that the lack of airtight sealing might reduce the quality of the string if it’s left on the shelf for too long, but upon opening the box I found that each and every string was in decent condition. No dirt, no dust, and certainly no rusting.

I bought a few different packs of strings from various companies including a few local music shops, eBay, and Amazon (which turned out to be the best deal) to see whether there was any difference in quality, but each and every string was perfect.

The first thing you’ll notice when you touch these strings is how smooth they are. There are no rough patches like on regular sets; every string feels silky to the touch. This makes them great for quickly sliding up and down the neck, and makes everything feel that little bit smoother and easier to play. This is due to the “nanoweb” coating Elixir puts on the strings – it helps to block out dirt and keep the strings sounding nice.


"Every string feels silky to the touch... makes everything feel that little bit smoother"

Once I’d put them on my guitar, I immediately noticed how smooth the tone was – it definitely brings out the best in your set up. There’s a nice punch for great riffs, while the clarity helps your chords to sound fuller. They’re also nice for getting a good lead tone – the strings respond very well to your picking technique and help your licks to stand out. 

Unlike other coated strings you don’t lose any punchiness or high end either, which was nice.

And now the final, most important question – do they really last so long? Well, after a couple of months of use I replaced the strings with another set of elixirs and I can say that there was no difference – I could have still been playing the old strings! This is coming from someone who plays for at least an hour a day, if not more. I was very impressed by the tone, even after a long period of playing them – most strings lose their sharpness and clarity after a mere couple of weeks, but not these! The tone was still crisp, and I found that the strings were still smooth even without regular cleaning.

The Ultimate Verdict

After trying out these strings in my setup for a couple of months, I’d give them…

FIVE STARS

They are simply brilliant – the best strings I have ever tried. Now, you do need to prepare yourself to pay a little more for these than you would for other string brands, but they last so much longer that in the end you actually save money; especially with great deals on Amazon like this one:

You could get 3 packs for $25/£25, and when you consider that these strings last 3x longer than their competitors, it’s like getting 9 packs of strings for $25/£25 – that would be just over $1/£1 per pack!

The elixir strings are definitely worth getting if:

  • You’re a player who puts your tone first
  • You don’t want to spend extra money on strings that don’t last
  • You want to make guitar playing as easy and comfortable for yourself as possible.

 

I’d highly recommend them - happy playing!
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