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Jaykingfunk

Are Elixir’s worth it?!

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Evening all,

looking to buy some new strings and always had big standard Ernie Ball 5 string sets. Never had any problems with them but was considering treating the bass to something a bit more up market! 
 

what do people think about them? Is it like, “I can’t believe I haven’t tried these before, my life is better now” or, “good but not that much difference for the extra money”?! 
 

I’ve got a 5 string Sandberg California VM5 and play in a Mod covers band at the moment. Quite like a thick gauge and play with my fingers, not plectrum.

thanks in advance, J. 

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Having tried them, for me Elixirs are not ideal. Mainly because I don't get through uncoated strings that quickly to begin with, being fortunate enough not to have sweaty hands! I can make a regular set of D'Addarios last a long time, even though I replace them way before they're getting tired. I also found Elixirs didn't sound that bright from new, although to be fair they did maintain the same tone for a long time - it's just that I like that 'new string' thing which they didn't give me. Also they feel a bit different too, which maybe clouds my judgement.

Price wise they probably do make sense I guess, being approx. double the price of my usual set but lasting maybe 3 times longer or more. My guitar playing mate in my acoustic duo won't use anything else but Elixirs , but he can kill a regular set of strings on one gig!

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I've never yet had them on a bass, but I swear buy them on my acoustic guitar. They last for years and feel great on the fingers. As said above, they're not as bright straight out of the packet as regular round wound strings, but whereas regular strings lose their zing pretty quickly. Elixirs just keep on trucking. Definitely worth the extra money in my opinion. The only reason I'm not currently using them is because I'm currently getting Diddarios at half price from a friend who used to run a music shop. 

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Got them on bass, acoustic and electric. Not as bright as a new set of uncoateds but retain clarity for years.

The set on my Frankenjazz went on in about 2005 and still sound OK. Guitar strings don't last as long, maybe 6-12 months.

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Posted (edited)

I use them on everything. I once killed a set of ernie balls in 30 minutes and haven't used anything but Elixir since. I will admit they don't sound the best on electric guitar but after 7 or 8 years of only using them i can't stand the feel of anything uncoated. Tried a set of D'Addario EXL on my electric and they lasted as long as it took Amazon to deliver another set of Elixirs.

Edited by LiamPodmore
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Hmmm, not a fan.

Tried some on the Precision and they were very flat and boring. Took them off after a week - you can have them if you like... but there's only four of them 😉

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I love them. On my super bright basses (Smith and Vigier) they sound fantastic as they bring a bit of warmth. I’ve had a set on the Vigier for more than two years now. I don’t sweat much and normal strings would last a few months but it’s nice knowing the elixirs stay fresh. Also I like the company - they’re really friendly and have sponsored this site for several years now. 

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Me no like...... sure they last, but I do not like how they sound. Horses for courses.

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I've used them for a few years.

They start off sounding like normal strings do after they have well and truly worn in.

 

They stay sounding like that for me for about 2 to 3 months. Having said that I sweat like a hippo on crack playing live and that stuff eats through normal strings in less than an hour.

I am seriously considering changing things up a bit though as they sit under rather than cut through a bit too much with my present rig.

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I like elixirs on bass. The stainless steels that is.

I find they are quite warm, full sounding strings but have a nice high end/treble  response to slapping and articulation when digging in with fingers. I think they feel quite nice to play and they keep that tone and it lasts. I've had a 5 string set on since October and they still sound great. They do start looking weird when the coating starts to wear away but I can live with it. I play about 3-4 hours a day usually. 

 

I think I'm going to move to using TI Flats on most of my basses but for rounds, they are great strings that last and will probably leave a set on at least one bass if I need a stainless steel round wound tone! 

 

I used to change my strings every three shows on tour years ago, which was fine financially as an endorsement deal meant they cost peanuts but when I look back I consider it such a waste. If I was in that playing situation again I would just stick elixirs on and be happy that I didn't need to change strings or worry about dud sets. 

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Bought some for one of my acoustic guitars years ago, never fitted them, as the Thomastik's that are on it still sound as bright as the day they were put on years ago.

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Love them - apart from the odd flirtation with NYXLs, I use them on everything (barring my acoustic bass - flats on there), they last a long, long time, and I like a bright aggressive sound...

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I do like them a lot, however one observation.

Two years ago I took delivery of a Mike Lull bass that appears to be strung with D'Addarios (coloured ball-ends).  These still sound as zingy now as when the bass arrived.  It's not had a ton of use, but even so, two years...they should be dead by now.

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It's my first time trying them this month. So far so good. I used to use Dunlop Super Brights Stainless Steels, but at max they only last me 2-3 gigs. I only had 1 gig so far though but I haven't heard any fading brightness or change in tone. Not the same feel as what I'm used to but not bad either, just different.

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If I ever go back to rounds it will be with Elixirs. I loved them thought they were well worth the money.

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Okay, for years I have been using D'addarios. Still my first choice for straight up tone. However the Elixirs deliver 90% of the tone and last for ages. The switch is saving me a lot of money as previously I was switching strings every 6 weeks or so on my two main basses between my different gigs and rehearsals.It was starting to hit me in the pocket and I felt that I was wasting so much metal to the point that I could swear that Greta Thunberg was angrily looking at me when she appeared on my TV. 

So Elixirs it is.

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23 minutes ago, mrtcat said:

How do they fair if you use a pick?

Pretty good. As most strings are killed by sweat, oil, and dead skin getting into the coils of the string by your fretting hand.

If you're playing with a pick then that's not really an issue anyway.

I've had a set on my acoustic guitar (played only with a pick) for over 5 years and they're still good. 

 

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Elixirs all the way for me. I find them to be just bright enough without being stupidly toppy, and they stay that way for ages. The set I've just taken off my Sire are 18 months old, and I've put 4 of them onto the Thunder 1A as they're plenty lively enough yet. The main thing I love about them is the silky feel though. I wouldn't use anything else now.

 

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15 hours ago, mrtcat said:

How do they fair if you use a pick?

The newer version (which IIRC have been around at least a couple of years) don't suffer from the 'shedding' thing that the very early coated strings did. I use a pick 85% of the time (and not with a light touch, either), and I've got Elixirs which are 18 months old, and they haven't shed at all...

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25 minutes ago, Muzz said:

The newer version (which IIRC have been around at least a couple of years) don't suffer from the 'shedding' thing that the very early coated strings did. I use a pick 85% of the time (and not with a light touch, either), and I've got Elixirs which are 18 months old, and they haven't shed at all...

That was my concern. I had some a few years back and they shed the coating but maybe it's worth me trying them again. I always really liked the tone and feel.

 

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5 minutes ago, mrtcat said:

That was my concern. I had some a few years back and they shed the coating but maybe it's worth me trying them again. I always really liked the tone and feel.

 

You may want to try some DR coated. They coat their strings before winding. I believe Elixir coat their strings after winding. When I was dabbling with coated strings, I found the DRs coating didn't start coming off like the Elixir ones.

Ultimately, I settled on non coated and found my string of preference - DR Lo-Rider.

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5 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

You may want to try some DR coated. They coat their strings before winding. I believe Elixir coat their strings after winding. When I was dabbling with coated strings, I found the DRs coating didn't start coming off like the Elixir ones.

Ultimately, I settled on non coated and found my string of preference - DR Lo-Rider.

I've got DR neons on one of my regular gigging basses and I really like them. I have High Beams on the rest. I moved to DR after Elixirs but as I liked the sound of the Elixirs I'm tempted to try them again. I also like the idea of a non neon or black coating.

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I’ve recently bought basses with EB Super Slinkies on which I really like, anyone offer advice on how Elixirs compare in regards to tension & feel with these (as like the idea of strings that last a long time)?

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