29a.ch experiments by Jonas Wagner

Review: Elixir Nanoweb Guitar Strings

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PackageI'm using elixir nanoweb strings for quite some time now, and I'm very happy with them. So I'll write a review about them.

Technology

Elixir strings are steel strings coated with what they call a nanoweb. When I first read about them I thought oh that's just typical marketing bla bla. But it caught me attention anyway. By looking up the corresponding patents I found out that this nanoweb is a thin layer of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) also known as teflon. It's commonly used to coat frying pans. But it was also used to build nukes in the Manhattan project. PTFE has the second lowest friction coefficient of any solid material known. Only diamonds are less sticky. PTFE is also very resistant to corrosion. That would mean that elixir strings won't rust because of sweat and are very slick. So in theory this is a great material for coating strings. So let's look at how good they are in practice.

Feel

These are clearly the most slick strings I know of and I love it. In comparison other strings will feel like sandpaper after a few days of use. This makes slides easier and smoother. I guess it does also reduce unwanted string noise.

Sound

Their sound seems to be a little bit less brilliant and more mellow than a fresh pack of D'Addario EXL strings. When playing with distortion I didn't notice any difference.

String life

The D'Addario's I used before began to sound dull and feel sticky after just a few days. The elixir strings will last until their coating is severely damaged which, in my case, takes several months. A user of the german musiker-board made interesting pictures of damaged elixir bass strings. Because of the super slick surface there will be less dirt sticking to the strings. I'd say that for me elixir strings last about 4 times longer than normal nickel coated ones. I haven't broken a single elixir string so far. But if you are a frequent string breaker the longer string life won't be of any use.

Conclusion

The thing I love about elixir strings is their feel and that they last so much longer. They cost about 3 times more than the D'Addarios but they last about four times longer. Now add the time you need to change the strings and do the math. Unless you tend to break your strings (in which case you should check your guitar) very often you should consider this strings.

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