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Old 01-20-2020, 07:38 PM
Le Chef Le Chef is offline
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Default Coated versus non coated strings

Forgiveness if this has been done to death, but the search function isn't working for me.

I have nanowebs on my Martin OM35 and they sound fine, but non coated strings sound much better. I think I want to go back to non coated and just change every 2 weeks. Anyone else prefer non coated?

Thanks, Rob
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2020, 07:44 PM
Joe Beamish Joe Beamish is offline
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Sometimes simply using Google works well, even for this particular forum. Type in something like "acoustic guitar forum coated non-coated strings" and you'll find plenty of threads in this forum.

Everyone obviously has their preferences, and they give specific reasons including string life (longer with coated strings for many people), tone, and the feel of the strings on the hands. Hand sweat and "chemistry" is another theme. Lots of people say their hands are particularly corrosive and they therefore prefer the longer life of coated strings.

I prefer non-coated myself, largely because of cost, and I like the feel better. Totally personal preference.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:48 PM
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Haasome Haasome is offline
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Hi Rob, welcome! I went the other way and tend to prefer XT, SCGC and Nano coated strings. I see you’re a dog trainer. Patience, patience, patience — but that’s for another thread in the open mic section. Enjoy the forum.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:55 PM
Oldguy64 Oldguy64 is offline
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There are two main reasons people like coated strings.
Either they have a skin chemistry that renders uncoated strings dead in short order.
Or, they like the longevity.
There will be a thousand reasons to justify.
But those are the two main and actual reasons.

My personal preference is also for uncoated strings.
I have two guitars with D’addario Nickel Bronze strings on them for right at 5 months. Still sound good to me.
I might change them if I was gonna be on stage in the next week or two.

If you prefer uncoated strings, and they are cheaper for you...sounds like you’ve found what will work...for you.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:15 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I use both.

I like the sound of uncoated strings. I use D'Addario EJ16 (PB, light gauge) more than any other strings but I use many other brands, as well. However, after 2-4 weeks I have to change strings and with about a dozen acoustic guitars in my arsenal, this business of changing strings gets tedious.

Recently when I see D'Addario XT Phosphor Bronze on sale, usually a 2 for the price of 1 sale, I tend to buy a few. So more and more lately, I have been using these strings so that when I grab a guitar to play, it sounds good.

Again, I don't think coated strings sound as good as uncoated, but they are getting closer as the string manufacturers keep improving.

- Glenn
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:22 PM
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I have not done a survey or a rigid analysis, but if I had to guess I'd say uncoated outnumbers coated among the members here by about two to one.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:27 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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I'm one of the people that have acidic hands.
Non coated strings can last me as little as 6 hours of play before they are dead.

I use coated strings and find Martin Lifespan to be best for me.
I do like the sound of uncoated/treated string best though.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:33 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I definitely prefer the sound of uncoated strings, no ifs, ands or buts about it. Fortunately, I don’t have the “fingers of death” that kill strings quickly, and I get about a month or six weeks out of the John Pearse 80/20’s I use on some of my guitars, and six weeks to two months out of the Pearse phosphors I use on most of the others.

Nickel alloy strings last me even longer, six months on average, so most of the instruments that I used to string with coated strings because I wasn’t playing those instruments particularly often now have nickel strings on them.

I should point out that the Anchorage Bowl isn’t a terribly humid place, and if I was living in a maritime climate like the Southeast Alaska panhandle or even my hometown of Kansas City, where it gets over 100 degrees F and 100% humidity in the summer, I wouldn’t expect to get the same lifespans out of my strings.

But I haven’t played ANY coated strings that match the best uncoated strings when it comes to tone. So even if I moved back home to Missouri and sweltered in a home that lacked air conditioning, I would still use uncoated strings, even though I’d need to change them more frequently.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:09 PM
jklotz jklotz is offline
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Unfortunately, I do have the “fingers of death”, as Wade so eloquently put it. I can tarnish a new set of strings in 5 minutes flat. Body chemistry I suppose. To me, there is a noticeable difference between the start and end of a set with non coated ones. In the summer, I'd be changing strings twice a set to keep that tone, which I obviously don't do.

I tend to prefer Elixir's. PB nanowebs to be more precise. They sound great to me, and I have become accustomed to the slick feel, and I like them. They last me months. I generally stock up when they have the 3 for the price of 2 specials at the end of the year.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:18 PM
Stevien Stevien is offline
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I'm in the coated string camp (Elixer Pollywebs), for 4 reasons; longevity, tone, feel, & no string squeak. Longevity is obvious, so tone; I like a warmer acoustic tone as opposed to the bright & brittle (Tayloresque) that some like. Coated strings warm & mellow things up. And the feel; I do a lot of slides, hammer ons & pull offs, and coated strings are slicker than non, & allow me free movement. My hands tend to dry out in winter, & coated strings really cut down on string squeak. For me they're a win in all ways!
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:30 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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I generally prefer non coated strings. You'll get as many different answers as there are people responding.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:33 PM
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Elixirs reject my fingers - I'm OK with everything else.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:49 PM
JTFoote JTFoote is offline
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I would be very happy if the uncoated strings I prefer had the longevity of coated varieties. But, unfortunately, they don't. I don't kill strings, and usually get about 4-6 weeks out of a set. But it would be nice if they lasted and sounded newish longer. But I need the clarity and finer intonation of new strings, and "dull" just doesn't cut it for me.

I wish the coated strings I have tried sounded, and felt like uncoated. But, thus far, they don't. With Elixir nanos, for example, the tonal balance was way off, with the trebles being overly prominant/the mids scooped, and the strings felt "tight" and stiff compared to my regular John Pearse.

I wish there was a reasonably priced compromise available that was the best at each of these things. But I haven't seen it yet. Maybe in the future.

... JT
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:47 PM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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I previously used Elixir nanowebs but changed to non-coated since I was changing the Elixirs every 2 weeks anyways since the coating would start fraying over the sound hole due to my mainly strumming style of play.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Chef View Post
Forgiveness if this has been done to death, but the search function isn't working for me.

I have nanowebs on my Martin OM35 and they sound fine, but non coated strings sound much better. I think I want to go back to non coated and just change every 2 weeks. Anyone else prefer non coated?

Thanks, Rob
Hi Rob

First of all, Hello and Welcome to the Forum!!!

I doesn't matter if it's been done-to-death, this is a discussion forum with over 100,000 members, so every topic has probably been discussed and will continue to be.

For me there are a few times I'll use uncoated strings, but usually all 4 of my acoustics and both my Strat and Tele wear Elixir Nano Phosphor Bronze strings.

It's a personal choice because Elixirs sound like non-coated strings sound after 2-3 days, and the keep sounding like that for a couple months.

The non-coated strings sound great for a couple days, and then go South quickly (and my hands don't sweat nor eat strings).

I'm sure after you experiment long enough, you'll reach what's best for you.

Again, welcome to the forum!!!



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