I am a massive George Benson and Thomastik-Infeld fan and combining both of them into a single product creates a perfect storm of compressive talent and expansive harmonics. George Benson GB114 Nickel Flat Wound strings by Thomastik-Infeld are my new, favorite, standard guitar strings. I use them for Jazz and Blues and Rock.
Here are the strings specs for the Bensons, GB114:
Nickel Flat Wound
Here the specs for my previous standard strings, the TI Jazz Swing:
Pure Nickel Flat Wound
I find the Bensons are brighter than the Jazz Swings and the bass strings are less muddy, “flupier,” and easier to play than the Swings even though most of the Benson strings are thicker, and yes, I love a wound third string in all circumstances.
The bluish-green cloth covering the ends of the Bensons strings are similar to the BeBops — but since the Bensons are flat wound and not round wound, there’s no danger in confusing which “green” string genus you have in your hand.
Here’s a warning — on my Ibanez and both historic Les Pauls — I had to bend the bare end of the sixth bass string and cut off the blue-green cloth wrapping before inserting the string into the peg head. At .055 thick, plus the blue-green cloth, the girth of the big bass string was too fat to fit into the hole. (That’s what she said!)
TI strings sound great when you first install them and then, over the next few weeks, they become even better as they stretch into production! I don’t know what it is, but the more you play Thomastik-Infeld strings, the better they sound and the GB114s are no exception. I appreciate the thicker GB114 strings for my fingerpad plucking style of play.
When I play Fingerstyle, I find little tonal difference between plucking the bass strings with my thumb and the treble strings with my first three fingers. Fantastic! I also don’t sense a great drop off in quality of harmonic or rattling timbre with the GB114s — while I tend to hear a small differential in sound and subsequent execution between the bass and treble strings on the Jazz Swings.
If you want a super overall set of strings that will last you a good long while, then be sure to check out a set of the Thomastik-Infeld George Benson Jazz Strings. You will be filled with delight with every slide and strum.