Electric guitarists the world over are always on the search for the very best strings and I can tell you right now the best strings — forget value and pricing even though these strings are cheap — are the D’Addario EXL110.
When I first started playing the electric guitar, I used D’Addario strings, but I didn’t like them much, so I switched over to Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys.
The Ernie Ball strings sounded great the first few days but then quickly lost their brilliance.
I tried GHS Boomers, Gibson Vintage and Gibson Brites and was similarly disappointed.
The best, longest-lasting strings that can take dramatic Blues bends and still bounce back and sing for more are the D’Addario EXL110.
I was directed back to D’Addario from Ernie Ball when I purchased my David Gilmour Black Strat and asked that it be re-strung before delivery.
When I was later told by Wildwood that D’Addario strings were used to re-string my Gilmour Strat, I wasn’t pleased based on my previous experience, but when I played that guitar, it sang like no other and I could easily bend big Blues notes without cutting into my fingers.
When I also found out that Eric Clapton switched from Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys to D’Addario Regulars for his Fender Custom Stratocaster, I was shocked. SHOCKED! Here’s the evidence of Clapton’s strings spec switch directly from the Fender website:
If D’Addario are good enough for Wildwood and Eric Clapton, I decided to get rid of my Ernie Ball Slinkys and install D’Addario strings on all my guitars — including my Fender Custom Shop Clapton Strat — and I could not be happier.
Strings are the soul of every guitar and if they are not in great, resilient, shape — then nothing you can do will ever make them better again — unless you swap out old strings for new.
Using D’Addario strings, I don’t have to change them as often because they sound and play better longer. The XL110 strings are also tough. I haven’t broken a string yet and I use a very tough Dunlop Ultex 1.0 pick.
In fact, the only strings I’ve ever broken were Ernie Ball — and that was during setup and tuning and not playing!
Stop hunting for the right strings and pick up a pack or three or ten of the D’Addario EXL110 and find the real soul of your sound that you’re missing.