I love the motto of DR Strings — “The Handmade String: Born in NYC, Wound Up in New Jersey” — that phrase constructs the current essence of my life and I simply find joy in all the musicality and rendering those few words tethered together can express.
That said, I have a new motto for the DR Tite-Fits — “Nagging Nanny State Strings” — and here’s why that motto fits as it bleeds:
When you open a package of DR Tite-Fit strings you first are met with a Nagging Nanny State photo page explaining how it it is your job to “avoid loss of intonation” by taking needle-nose pliers and crimping the end of the string:
If the pictures aren’t enough, flip over the paper and your eye will be filled with DR Nanny warnings and instructions and history that no guitar player should have to worry about, let alone read, when trying on a new pair of strings:
If that isn’t enough reading, more Nanny State admonishments about string care and winding are printed inside the body of the actual paper packaging:
There’s also a Nagging illustration about crimping the strings on the other side of the paper packaging:
To add insult to further wounding, The DR Nanny State then tells you they are only giving you three envelopes for your strings instead of the traditional six:
Gibson Brites and Ernie Balls give you separate packaging for each string and D’Addarios give you colored end on the strings so you can easily know which string goes where without having to feel a string or read anything — and the fact that DR Tite-Fits cost three times as much as those other strings make their stingy packaging a business strategy that helps them without serving you.
Next, in the DR Nagging Nanny State — remember, we haven’t touched an actual string yet — is another warning that guitar strings are dangerous and that they might poke you in the eye.
Welp, as I finally touched my DR Tite-Fit strings by pulling them out of the envelope, I can tell you that they did “spring” out at me and poked me in the arm and almost found a pricking home in my eye!
What sort of Nagging Nanny State is this that you get impaled by DR strings by just removing them from a “corrosion free” envelope?
I was shocked how the strings were not wound in a tight circle like every other string on the market I’ve used so far — the “springing” action of the DR Tites was really the last straw in me putting up with a Nagging Nanny State I didn’t need or want and I still hadn’t even installed a string on my guitar!
I finally installed the DR Tite-Fits on my two best guitars — My Clapton Custom Strat and my Les Paul Standard — and I hated the strings after using them every day for two weeks. Like the Ernie Balls before them, the unwound strings are incredibly sharp — but not bright sounding — and they dug in and cut my fingers to bleeding on the first few Blues Bends of the day.
Someone on the internet said there are really only two manufacturers of guitar strings in the world — only the branding and the packaging are different — and I’m beginning to sense the ring of truth in that statement.
You have the “finger cutting” strings like DR and Ernie Ball; and then you have the softer strings like Gibson Brites and D’Addario that are a joy to push and play all day.
I tried DR strings because Justin Sandercoe uses them and I thought they might be a good fit for playing The Blues. Oh, boy, was I wrong.
My advice to you is to forget paying triple the price for Nanny State Nagging DR Tite-Fit strings and save some money and buy a cheaper — but better quality, and safer — strings sets like Gibson Brites or D’Addario. Your fingers and wallet and your aching head will thank you.