Experienced guitarists know just how important the right guitar strings can be, not only in regards to the sound output but also due to their increased durability. If you are a novice or amateur guitarist, chances are that you haven’t paid attention to the quality of your guitar strings in the past, which is something you need to change going forward. We say this because even though they are not rare, quality acoustic guitar strings aren’t exactly easy to come by, mostly because of the sheer variety the market has to offer in this regard.
If you do not know precisely what to look for, you are destined to spend an awful lot of time looking for the guitar strings that best fit your style. This isn’t because the market lacks quality strings but the contrary, because of how many good manufacturers make relatively decent strings. As such, you have to possess a good understanding of what makes a good acoustic guitar string and what characteristics to look for when buying some. To save you the trouble, we put together a list of the ten best acoustic guitar strings money can buy for you to look at.
Best Acoustic Guitar Strings – Top List
10DR Strings VTA-13 Acoustic Guitar Strings
Unlike most acoustic strings, the DR Strings VTA-13 Acoustic Guitar Strings has been uniquely crafted and designed to last up to four times longer without any surface coating or additional treatment. Offering a great tone and brilliant sustain, these strings provide loud and vibrant sound and can be utilized for big concerts. Thanks to its Accurate Core design, it comes with a reinforced core wire that ensures a more reliable output as imperfections are filled in. Giving guitarists a premium feel, these strings improve the retention of a specific pitch and helps stabilize the sound quality.
9Martin MSP6100 SP Acoustic Guitar Strings
Featuring the latest Clear tone proprietary technology by Martin, the MSP6100 SP Acoustic Guitar Strings are designed to last longer compared to other strings of their kind. With the ability to resist oil and dirt, these strings offer durability and high-quality performance. Ideal for experienced guitarists as well as beginners, these acoustic strings offer a warm, bright and crisp tone quality and are recommended by most of those who use them. On a related note, we should point out that these particular strings offer a peculiar versatility you are unlikely to find in this price range.
8Martin SP 7100 Coated Acoustic Strings
The Martin SP 7100 Coated Acoustic Strings are durable, premium grade strings that are uniquely designed with a phosphor bronze coating. Resistant to oil and dirt that usually damage strings, this heavy duty set offers its users full rich, warm tones that deliver a professional experience. Unlike most manufacturers, Martin strings come with an outer coating that helps with clear vibrations that can be easily felt. Light in weight and ideal for beginners, these strings are recommended for playing blues, soft rock, and folk, with almost no limitations whatsoever from a physical standpoint.
7Martin M140 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings
The Martin M140 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings are made from the best grade of bronze alloy and known for their durability and performance. Thanks to this bronze alloy that is carefully wound to coat each string, it gives users the sound of a deep right quality bass and bright crisp treble tones. Ideal for daily use, these premium quality strings are affordable and offer a studio-like sound quality that few if any acoustic guitar strings offer in this price range. This recommends them for experienced and casual musicians alike.
6Martin MSP4100 SP Acoustic Guitar Strings
Thanks to its unique construction, the Martin MSP4100 SP Acoustic Guitar String features a high-quality bronze alloy coating that ensures a surprisingly long lifespan. Offering optimum performance, top-notch tone quality, and durability, these acoustic strings maintain their playability for a long period of time. Made from robust tensile core wire and premium grade wrap, these strings are budget-friendly and perhaps the best option for those looking for warm, crisp tones. At the same time, these strings are somewhat sturdier than other Martin strings of similar of slightly higher standard.
5Vibe Strings Acoustic Guitar String Set
Perfectly designed for beginners as well as pros, the Vibe Strings Acoustic Guitar String Set features smooth, easy to use and soft to touch strings that offer a clear, long-lasting warm tone. Thanks to their unique construction, these strings hold in your tuning and stays in tune for long periods of time, even after consistent playing. Well-balanced and made from premium grade phosphor bronze with a high-quality steel core, these strings are individually labeled and stored in a damage proof packaging that you will definitely find extremely useful in the long run.
4Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Acoustic Guitar String Set
Offering a high quality, rich, and crisp sound, the Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Acoustic Guitar String Set is made from some of the finest materials available. Made from 92% premium grade copper, 7.7% tin, and 0.3% phosphorus wire, these strings feature a special shield packaging that helps to increase their durability and overall lifespan. Thanks to their unique lock twist mechanism, these strings prevent any form of slippage and do not break easily. Made with a brass plated, high carbon steel wire, these strings are ideal for professionals who like to play wildly.
3D’Addario EJ16-3D Acoustic Guitar String Set
Well known for its warm, high quality, balanced tone, the D’Addario EJ16-3D Acoustic Guitar String Set is among the best of its kind. Made from phosphorus bronze coating, these premium quality strings are ideal for professionals as well as beginners. Unlike other strings of their kind, these include a damage-resistant coating that is uniquely designed onto a hexagonally shaped steel core made of premium grade carbon that offers excellent intonation and long-lasting tones; the type of tones not many other phosphorus-bronze strings offer.
2D’Addario EJ17-3D Acoustic Guitar Strings
Seen as some of the best of their kind, the D’Addario EJ17-3D Acoustic Guitar Strings are well known for their resonant, projecting tones. Ideal for those who like to strum heavily as well as for flat picking, these acoustic strings are made from the highest quality materials in the US. Suitable for jazz, pop, and everything in between, these strings can be utilized for almost every genre with pitch-perfect results. Made from anti-abrasive phosphor bronze onto a high carbon steel core, they are specially designed and well-wound to offer comfort and a classic feel.
1Elixir Strings 80/20 Acoustic Guitar Strings
Uniquely constructed with 80% premium quality copper and 20% zinc wrap wire, the Elixir Strings 80/20 Acoustic Guitar Strings produce a vibrant, expressive bright tone that experienced musicians absolutely love. Thanks to their Nano-web super-thin coating, these strings offer a much more traditional, textured feel when playing. Not only that but they also come with a special protected coating that prevents abrasion, outer damage, and helps improve their general durability and reliability. Overall, these are some of the best acoustic guitar strings money can buy.
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Acoustic Guitar Strings Buying Guide
Since there are no pickups or amplifiers utilized when playing an acoustic guitar, it is necessary to know you have the right set of strings. Once you delve into what makes a good acoustic guitar string, you immediately understand that a string isn’t just a string, but a medium for expressing a certain feeling. There are different materials that can be used to make various types of strings to produce different sounds in different tones. Before getting into the specifics, we should perhaps try to figure out what common types of strings one can buy and what characteristics to look for when doing so.
Types Of Acoustic Guitar Strings
Bronze Strings – Crafted with 80% copper and 20% zinc, these are the most common set of strings, commonly used for playing all genres. Offering a vibrant, clear tone, these strings are less durable and tend to wear out quickly, which makes them perfect for newbies. As you would expect, they are also somewhat cheaper when compared to other, more exquisite strings, mostly because of their basic design.
Phosphor Bronze Strings – Similar to bronze strings, these have phosphor added to it to boost their durability. Producing the same kind of bright tones, these strings have a warmer, deeper sound quality. They also last longer than bronze strings by a considerable margin, a feature that recommends them for experienced musicians. Not only that but Phosphor Bronze Strings also stand out through their tone fidelity, more so than cheaper versions to an impressive standard.
Brass Strings – Offering a metallic, bright, and crisp tone, these strings are not exactly versatile in regards to what genres you can play but certainly durable enough to be used by a wide range of musicians. With bass strings, you get a more rigid sound, one that also stands out through its crisp tone. Durability-wise, these strings are much more durable than bronze strings but not by a lot.
Silk and Steel Strings – producing a soft, subtle sound, these strings are ideal for vintage guitars and offer much less tension overall. Easier to use, these do not last very long and are quieter in general, a peculiar characteristic that lends itself to musicians who prefer warmer tunes. Given their reduced tension, these strings aren’t necessarily prone to braking, even though they are somewhat weak overall.
What To Consider
As discussed above, it is important to know the kind of music you would be playing and the best strings to match that particular genre. Different build materials produce different tones and is therefore important to know precisely what you require before buying a set of strings. Depending on whether you favor a more proactive approach to playing music or if you prefer a slower melody, you might want a set of strings that reflects precisely the type of musician you are.
Coating and Treatment – With the constant advancements in music technology, acoustic guitar strings now come with a special coating that helps to improve and increase the durability and performance of the product. Although they might offer a less bright sound quality and less sustain, they tend to last longer and maintain their tune for a lot longer than the guitar strings of old.
Changes – It is important to know when you are ready to change your strings. Yes, all guitarists love the sound of fresh new strings on their guitar and that would make them want to change it every week. However, for those who play on a daily basis, it is necessary to change your strings once every week. But for those who play a lot less, you can change your strings every two months at a stretch. Wiping your hands and strings before and after playing can also help increase the lifespan of your strings.
Price – Different strings come in a variety of price ranges. Basic bronze strings are the cheapest by far while coated strings are the most expensive. If you can, try not go for something too expensive if you can help it. Instead, buy in bulk for a better deal or search the market for a different brand that offers roughly the same standard. Either way, it usually comes down to personal preference.
Proper Packaging – A good packaging is another important factor that one must consider when buying acoustic strings. This is due to the fact that bad packaging can result in rust formation despite how well you take care of the guitar. Proper packing should keep the strings fresh and free from rust right up till you decide to use them. When purchasing strings in bulk, always look for the type of packaging that enables you to reuse it in the future.
Gauge Preference – A gauge is basically the diameter of a string. All strings come in a wide range of different gauges to choose from, a choice that usually comes down to not only personal preference but overall build quality as well. They help change the feel, tone, and sound of your guitar when played, a versatility experienced musicians always look for, especially when talking about acoustic instruments.
Types Of String Gauges
- Easy to play
- Prone to damage
- Offers less sustain and volume
- Notes can be bent easily
- Susceptible to fret buzzing
- A better option for those with vintage guitars
- Hard to play
- Offers louder volume and more sustain
- Applies added tension to the guitar neck
- Needs more force when bending notes and