The strings that you use for your acoustic guitar, whether it’s a steel-string guitar or a classical guitar, have a great impact on your guitar’s playability and sound. As you might already know, there is a huge assortment of guitar strings available, meaning that there is a lot of things to consider when buying them.
In this guide, you will learn all the details you need to know in order to find the strings that will match your guitar and your playing style. Here are our top picks of the best acoustic guitar strings on the market.
Our top picks for the best acoustic guitar strings:
- Experience Three tones in one pack
- 80/20 Bronze - bright balanced tone
- Phosphor bronze - warm balanced tone
- Acoustic guitar strings constructed with phosphor bronze wrap wire
- Played for a dynamic balance of rich, full-bodied tone and sparkling high-end clarity
- Ultra-thin NANOWEB Coating provides a traditionally textured, “uncoated” feel
- MOST POPULAR – Pursue your passion with D’Addario’s most popular acoustic guitar string set, the Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings. Since 1974, phosphor strings have been known for superb, long lasting tone and comfortable playability. They are the choice of professionals worldwide.
- INSPIRING PERFORMANCE – These medium acoustic guitar strings help you achieve amazing performances, as they offer a long lasting, warm, bright and balanced acoustic tone with excellent intonation.
- CORROSION-RESISTANT – These strings feature a precision wound corrosion resistant phosphor bronze wire that is carefully drawn around a hexagonally shaped, high-carbon steel core. The result is consistent, long lasting tone.
- Phosphor Bronze Wound
- 0.012 - 0.053
- TRUE VOICE: Martin Retro Acoustic Strings provide incredible note separation and balance, allowing your guitar's natural wood tones to shine. Discover your guitar's true voice with this professional-grade guitar string pack.
- WRAP WIRE: Made from a solid nickel and copper alloy blend, these strings will last through long studio sessions and late-night jams. Our proprietary Monel wrap wire is naturally corrosion resistant and provides tuning stability, so nothing can get in the way of your music.
- VERSATILE STRING SOUNDS: Designed to bring out a sweet, mellow tone from your guitar, these nickel-copper guitar strings can be used for finger-style blues, Americana, bluegrass, and other styles. They sound great plugged in or with a guitar slide.
What are Acoustic Guitar Strings?
To express the self-evident – acoustic guitar strings will be strings that go on an acoustic guitar. In any case, acoustic guitar strings utilize copper-based alloys while electric guitar strings utilize nickel and steel.
Copper is a superior metal for safeguarding the tone of an acoustic instrument while nickel works better with electric guitar pickups.
There’s no reason you can’t utilize nickel strings on an acoustic guitar on the off chance that you want to do as such, but it’s not going to sound in the same class as utilizing strings produced using a copper-based compound when you play your instrument unplugged.
You may get more output in the event that you utilize nickel-based strings in conjunction with a sound-hole pickup; however, it won’t do that much to enhance your general sound.
Many makers make acoustic guitar strings, from mammoth brands down to little boutique shops. D’Addario, Ernie Ball, Martin, Elixir, Gibson, and Dean Markley are among the ones you may as of now be comfortable with.
Acoustic (steel-string) vs. Classical Guitar
The main fundamental distinction to have is the difference amongst classical and flamenco guitars fitted with nylon strings versus steel string acoustics — the sort related to folk, rock, country, and blues.
As a rule, their strings are not exchangeable. Utilizing steel strings on a guitar designed for use with nylon strings can truly harm it.
The neck development and top supporting of classical and flamenco guitars are not intended to deal with the far more prominent strain delivered by steel strings. Utilizing the wrong strings can likewise harm the scaffold and saddles.
Sorts of Strings
When we say “sort” of string, that truly just means the string synthesis, i.e. what materials it’s made of. Distinctive combinations have diverse tonal qualities, and you’ll see them depicted as hotter or brighter or mellower.
Your very own taste manages what you should search for, and in addition what acoustic guitar you’re putting them on. A major bass-overwhelming kind sized body guitar could coordinate well with some brighter strings, to offset a boomy base end. You get the thought.
Along these lines, there are a few sorts of acoustic guitar strings, however just truly two MAIN sorts; the first is 80/20 Bronze and the second is Phosphor Bronze. We should discuss what these all are:
- 80/20 Bronze: These are made of 80% copper and 20% zinc, which is in fact known as brass, so the music business calling them “80/20 Bronze” is really mistaken! 80/20 Bronze strings sound very splendid and ringer like, and all the more intensely underline the top of the line frequencies of your instrument. It’s an extraordinary fit for something like a kind sized guitar, which profits by an arrangement of strings that take care of the immense low end that sort of guitar, is known for.
- Phosphor Bronze: Phosphor Bronze is 92% Copper and approximately 8% Zinc, with a little measure of Phosphorous. These strings are somewhat richer and hotter sounding, and marginally more impervious to the destructive properties of the oil on your hands. A decent arrangement of Phosphor Bronze strings is incredible for restraining a guitar with an excess of the high end, however, it might likewise not be a solid match for a guitar that is all the more intensely adapted towards low-end frequencies.
- Silk and Steel: Because these steel center strings have silk, nylon, or copper wrap wire on the lower strings, they deliver a smooth tone, and are exceptionally appropriate for fingerpicking.
When you’re searching for the ideal guitar string, you’re additionally going to consider regardless of whether you need a coated set. Coated strings are covered in a thin layer of plastic.
This keeps oil and soil from working up in the furrows of your string. Be that as it may, covering a string unquestionably cuts some high-end frequencies and general volume – to put it gruffly it denies it of some tone.
This isn’t really a terrible thing; it’s simply something you ought to consider. For instance, heaps of players utilize covered Phosphor Bronze strings to shield a Martin or Taylor guitar from sounding tinny or thin.
A few players additionally utilize covered 80/20 strings as an upbeat medium between the two sorts. This sort of string isn’t equitably preferable or more terrible over a non-covered string, it’s recently unique.
In the end, you’ve just became acquainted with how you need your guitar to sound. In the event that your guitar doesn’t have the low-end, you need to hear you should attempt an arrangement of Phosphor Bronze strings.
Moreover in case you’re sound is excessively dim or sloppy you’re going, making it impossible to need to attempt an arrangement of 80/20 strings to light up things up.
Reviews of the best acoustic guitar strings
Elixir is an American string brand that dependably pushes the bar with regards to advancement, and delivers awesome strings for electric, bass, and – our highlighted instrument – acoustic guitars.
Set up in 1995, they are best known for their coated strings, which utilize one of a kind POLYWEB and NANOWEB coatings to shield the metal from dirt, rust and erosion, giving the strings an expanded life expectancy – three to five times longer as indicated by Elixir.
In the 90’s their covering innovation was progressive and it stays hard to beat today, in spite of the fact that there are unobtrusive contrasts between the two coatings. The first POLYWEB covering gives a hotter, played-in tone, while the ultra-thin NANOWEB covering has a crisper, brighter sound.
While their scope of strings is restricted in contrast with others on this rundown, Elixir offer both POLYWEB and NANOWEB adaptations of their 80/20 Bronze string in a few gauges, with a Phosphor Bronze set featuring the NANOWEB covering.
Numerous prestige acoustic guitarists utilize Elixir strings, including Massimo Varini, Sarah Jarosz, and the late fingerstyle maestro Pete Huttlinger.
Very comfortable to play
Very nice tone
A bit pricey
The prominent Californian company is acclaimed for their smooth electric guitar strings, however, their scope of acoustic strings are utilized by learners, experienced, and proficient acoustic guitarists over the globe – from Paul McCartney to John Mayer – and are certainly justified regardless of your consideration.
Their Earthwood arrangement gets a great deal of acclaim, as they offer both a rich and warm phosphor bronze string set, and additionally an 80/20 bronze pack with a fresh, adjusted tone – all with ensured freshness because of their superb Element Shield bundling.
Somewhere else, their Everlast string arrangement – in either 80/20 bronze or phosphor bronze – is another to consider, as it offers a thin covering that repulses dampness, oil, and dirt, dragging out the strings’ life expectancy.
In case you don’t know of the best string for you, Ernie Ball’s Acoustic Tone Pack – sold in light or medium-light gages – offers three distinct packs (Earthwood 80/20 Bronze, Earthwood Phosphor Bronze, and their elite Aluminum Bronze strings) in one moderate package, enabling you to analyze, appreciate, and settle on one you cherish.
Exceptional sound quality
Three different packs in one box
Might be a waste of money for someone who knows precisely which set he wants to use
Formally established in 1974 – despite the fact that they’ve really been making strings since the 1930’s – D’Addario is one of the most established and best-known guitar string makers on the planet, and make sublime acoustic strings notwithstanding both electric guitar and bass sets.
They have a stone strong notoriety, fabricating strings of high caliber, and are played by several expert acoustic groups and specialists including Dave Rawlings, Fats Kaplin, and Jackie Green.
Their most prevalent string range is their Phosphor Bronze EJ arrangement which are brilliant, however very much adjusted and arrive in a major scope of gages – from additional light (.009-.045) to substantial (014-.059) and everything in the middle.
Their inventive EXP arrangement is another value considering, utilizing their additional solid high-carbon NY Steel wire, with a thin covering to shield the strings from dirt and corrosion – broadening their existence without decimating their tone.
D’Addario additionally creates different reaches, including their 80/20 Bronze, Nickel Bronze Wound, and Gypsy Jazz strings for a magnificent warm tone. With such a range and notoriety, it’s no big surprise D’Addario are so famous with acoustic guitarists around the globe.
Nice sounding bass tones
Excellent overall sound
Comfortable to play
Some quality control issues
“Conceivably the best acoustic guitar strings that you’ve never known about,” says one analyst. To be reasonable, a lot of individuals have known about John Pearse strings, yet they do fall long ways behind in notoriety against any semblance of Elixir, D’Addario, Ernie Ball, and Martin.
Showcasing may not be John Pearse’s strong point (the Website still appears as though it was made in the mid-90s), yet they make phenomenal strings.
Tonally they are great, straight up there with Martin strings. They sound spotless and clear both on our reasonable Ibanez acoustic, and top of the line Taylor.
While their lifespan is not as much as covered Elixir strings, they keep going a sensibly lengthy time span and still tend to sound great even as they’re moving toward the finish of their life.
While it might take you a while to get down to the fifth string change, we unquestionably think John Pearse are astounding and deserving of taking for a turn. We truly delighted in the Light gage with these (.012, .016, .024, .032, .042, .053, with the two most slender strings being plain, and the rest wound).
Warm and rich tone
Very expressive blues sound
Very affordable price
They lose their brightness somewhat quick
Born in 1833, Martin are maybe the best-known quality acoustic guitar mark on the planet – so it’s nothing unexpected that they make an awesome acoustic string as well.
The American makers create a heap of string sets, providing food for a wide range of style and sound, including their top of the line Phosphor Bronze M540 strings, which offer a splendid and all around adjusted tone at a super moderate cost.
In any case, if it’s unadulterated vintage you’re searching for, Martin’s Retro acoustic strings, produced using a consumption safe mix of nickel and copper, give a fresh however smooth sound that draws out the best in your guitar’s tonewoods.
It’s just characteristic that best offering proficient acoustic specialists would utilize Martin strings, much the same as they utilize Martin guitars. These incorporate American people pop pair Porter and Sayles, Adam Levy, Anthony D’Amato, and the amazing Eric Clapton.
Truth be told, Clapton adored his Martin strings so much he now has his own mark set – Clapton’s Choice 928 made of phosphor bronze and coming in two distinct gages – light and medium.
Quite a bright tone
Very comfortable to play
Quiet when compared to similar strings
Whether you are buying strings for your new guitar or you are just restringing your old one, it’s always a good idea to check out to see what’s on the market. We encourage you to experiment with different guitar strings until you find the set that suits you the best.
In our opinion, the best acoustic guitar strings are the Elixir ones because of their excellent tone that lasts long and their overall quality. However, you might not like how they sound on your guitar so you might like some other set from our list. Check them out and decide.