Best Acoustic Guitar Strings in 2020



D’Addario EJ16-3D Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light Tension – Corrosion-Resistant Phosphor Bronze, Offers a Warm, Bright and Well-Balanced Acoustic Tone – Pack of 3 Sets Review:


Phosphor bronze EJ's are classic go-to budget strings. I love their sound right out of the package. I used to work at a world-renowned instrument shop and we'd send a pack of EJ's home with every new acoustic purchase, can't go wrong. Their tone doesn't hold up as long and they don't hold up to abuse as well as my go-to set that I use on my main instrument, but I always recommend these for folks on a budget or who don't really know what they're looking for.

That said, for Nashville tuning you're largely dealing with unwound strings (only one string is wound phosphor bronze). The difference compared to higher end strings is far less significant. Also, you're string up for Nashville so you're either 1.) Gearing up for a recording session or 2.) trying to find something interesting to do with a spare guitar. For either use these are 100% the set to go with.

If you're looking at these reviews to figure out whether you want to try Nashville tuning on your second guitar - yes you do! It's a neat sound and fun to play around with, can add an interesting depth to your recordings, and I even have a guy in our band playing one on a few tunes at a show this Friday. It's worth a couple of bucks to try it out.



D'Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light Review:


Phosphor bronze EJ's are classic go-to budget strings. I love their sound right out of the package. I used to work at a world-renowned instrument shop and we'd send a pack of EJ's home with every new acoustic purchase, can't go wrong. Their tone doesn't hold up as long and they don't hold up to abuse as well as my go-to set that I use on my main instrument, but I always recommend these for folks on a budget or who don't really know what they're looking for.

That said, for Nashville tuning you're largely dealing with unwound strings (only one string is wound phosphor bronze). The difference compared to higher end strings is far less significant. Also, you're string up for Nashville so you're either 1.) Gearing up for a recording session or 2.) trying to find something interesting to do with a spare guitar. For either use these are 100% the set to go with.

If you're looking at these reviews to figure out whether you want to try Nashville tuning on your second guitar - yes you do! It's a neat sound and fun to play around with, can add an interesting depth to your recordings, and I even have a guy in our band playing one on a few tunes at a show this Friday. It's worth a couple of bucks to try it out.



D'Addario EJ11 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light, 12-53 Review:


I really like these strings, and I use them often. I play acoustic at a vineyard at least once a month. I can best describe the sound as bright, clean, and fresh. The lows and the highs are well pronounced. They are well rounded for many styles of playing, whether it be heavy strumming or finger-picking. I'd highly recommend these, especially if you are unsure as to which string to get. Start with these and then determine whether they are too bright for your taste, then maybe consider phosphor bronze or something else. I always think its good to try out different strings to change things up. I have a cheap Yamaha acoustic(not my gigging guitar), and these strings make it sound pretty good.



D'Addario EJ10 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Extra Light, 10-47 Review:


I really like these strings, and I use them often. I play acoustic at a vineyard at least once a month. I can best describe the sound as bright, clean, and fresh. The lows and the highs are well pronounced. They are well rounded for many styles of playing, whether it be heavy strumming or finger-picking. I'd highly recommend these, especially if you are unsure as to which string to get. Start with these and then determine whether they are too bright for your taste, then maybe consider phosphor bronze or something else. I always think its good to try out different strings to change things up. I have a cheap Yamaha acoustic(not my gigging guitar), and these strings make it sound pretty good.



Elixir Strings Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings w NANOWEB Coating, Light (.012-.053) Review:


I haven't actually played these 12 - 53's, but the 13 - 53's I'm currently using have lasted out approximately 3 months on a regular basis and I play daily. I've also taken these strings beyond the pale, I believe, as I tighten them up to higher than standard tuning then slack them down so that the top and bottom were B tuning and then tightened them back up again all without them complaining very much or causing me to retune too frequently. I've pretty much settled in on these strings as being a comfortable fit for my finger pick style of playing. For me they seem to be less noisy than uncoated strings. After some period of playing, for months, the coating will appear to be raggedy, but this has little or no effect on tone or playability. Right now and or the past couple of years, these are my standard choice.



D'Addario EJ11-3D 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, 12-53, 3 Sets, Light Review:


I really like these strings, and I use them often. I play acoustic at a vineyard at least once a month. I can best describe the sound as bright, clean, and fresh. The lows and the highs are well pronounced. They are well rounded for many styles of playing, whether it be heavy strumming or finger-picking. I'd highly recommend these, especially if you are unsure as to which string to get. Start with these and then determine whether they are too bright for your taste, then maybe consider phosphor bronze or something else. I always think its good to try out different strings to change things up. I have a cheap Yamaha acoustic(not my gigging guitar), and these strings make it sound pretty good.



Elixir Strings 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings w NANOWEB Coating, Light (.012-.053) Review:


Although you'll spend nearly twice the money to get into a set of Elixer strings, it's money well spent. I know that as a college student I had always heard of Elixir strings but could never justify spending the extra money. However, after trying a set, I have been playing nothing but Elixers for the past 10 years.

I'm not going to pretend to know the science behind any of this, but can tell you that these strings make any guitar sound much better. They typically give a bright, even, and deep tone that you simply don't get with the budget brands. Additionally, they last nearly twice as long before needing to be replaced. Lastly, I will say that the webbing on these strings makes them much easier on the fingers for beginning and experienced guitar players alike. Sliding up and down the strings wont cut you up nearly as bad as other brands.

One point of clarification here: buy the NANOWEB instead of the POLYWEB. As the Poly coating wears off it can be uncomfortable to play and adds an ugliness to your guitar that any civilized being shouldn't want. Keep your baby looking good and she'll be good to you. However, if I remember correctly, the poly-coated strings did hold their sound and playability even longer than the Nanoweb coating, so if that's more of a priority for you don't feel bad about getting those.

In summary, if you're looking for the best guitar strings on the market, you've found them. Figure out the correct weight of strings for your guitar and order some. I highly doubt you'll regret it.



Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic Phosphor Bronze String Set (12 - 54) Review:


I ordered a bunch of different electric and acoustic strings last week. I like to use different gauges, materials, or brands. I usually like pretty light strings but sometimes on acoustic I enjoy 12-54. In general I like Ernie Ball strings for acoustic guitars. I change strings fairly often and don't care about expensive fancy coatings. On average I change every 100 hours or every 45 days on Seagull acoustic. When I had the Taylor 714ce I only used Elixir strings. On the Seagull I like to try assorted strings. [side note: If you've never checked Godin's Seagull brand, check them out. Nice sound, versatile, good looking, under $1000, made in North America.] Anyway... I put these Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic Phosphor Bronze on today at 3pm. Played it for a couple of hours to break in the strings. Sounded great from first good stretch and tune. Had to tune up every 30 mins which is absolutely normal for new strings. I came back around 8pm and decided to capture some ideas in my head. So I tuned up and recorded the entire 40 minute session with the guitar uninterrupted stream of consciousness. I never needed to pause and tune up. It was bright and exhibited all the delicious tones that a Dreadnought in the hands of hippie should make! Everything felt right while I was playing so I just powered on from idea to idea. It's a warm humid day so I I put the guitar down after that session and played back the recording. These strings sound amazing. 40 minute session of various intensity playing with string, picking and palm muting. Lots of light hammer on/offs. The strings were bright as sunshine and they broke in amazingly fast. They both felt and sounded good. Wow. I am just going to order a few more sets so always have these around. Next month I try a different Ernie Ball set with .11-.52 which is more my norm.



Elixir NanoWeb Acoustic Guitar Strings - Light Medium Review:


Although you'll spend nearly twice the money to get into a set of Elixer strings, it's money well spent. I know that as a college student I had always heard of Elixir strings but could never justify spending the extra money. However, after trying a set, I have been playing nothing but Elixers for the past 10 years.

I'm not going to pretend to know the science behind any of this, but can tell you that these strings make any guitar sound much better. They typically give a bright, even, and deep tone that you simply don't get with the budget brands. Additionally, they last nearly twice as long before needing to be replaced. Lastly, I will say that the webbing on these strings makes them much easier on the fingers for beginning and experienced guitar players alike. Sliding up and down the strings wont cut you up nearly as bad as other brands.

One point of clarification here: buy the NANOWEB instead of the POLYWEB. As the Poly coating wears off it can be uncomfortable to play and adds an ugliness to your guitar that any civilized being shouldn't want. Keep your baby looking good and she'll be good to you. However, if I remember correctly, the poly-coated strings did hold their sound and playability even longer than the Nanoweb coating, so if that's more of a priority for you don't feel bad about getting those.

In summary, if you're looking for the best guitar strings on the market, you've found them. Figure out the correct weight of strings for your guitar and order some. I highly doubt you'll regret it.



Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Medium Light (12-54) 3-Pack Acoustic Guitar Strings (P03446) Review:


I ordered a bunch of different electric and acoustic strings last week. I like to use different gauges, materials, or brands. I usually like pretty light strings but sometimes on acoustic I enjoy 12-54. In general I like Ernie Ball strings for acoustic guitars. I change strings fairly often and don't care about expensive fancy coatings. On average I change every 100 hours or every 45 days on Seagull acoustic. When I had the Taylor 714ce I only used Elixir strings. On the Seagull I like to try assorted strings. [side note: If you've never checked Godin's Seagull brand, check them out. Nice sound, versatile, good looking, under $1000, made in North America.] Anyway... I put these Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic Phosphor Bronze on today at 3pm. Played it for a couple of hours to break in the strings. Sounded great from first good stretch and tune. Had to tune up every 30 mins which is absolutely normal for new strings. I came back around 8pm and decided to capture some ideas in my head. So I tuned up and recorded the entire 40 minute session with the guitar uninterrupted stream of consciousness. I never needed to pause and tune up. It was bright and exhibited all the delicious tones that a Dreadnought in the hands of hippie should make! Everything felt right while I was playing so I just powered on from idea to idea. It's a warm humid day so I I put the guitar down after that session and played back the recording. These strings sound amazing. 40 minute session of various intensity playing with string, picking and palm muting. Lots of light hammer on/offs. The strings were bright as sunshine and they broke in amazingly fast. They both felt and sounded good. Wow. I am just going to order a few more sets so always have these around. Next month I try a different Ernie Ball set with .11-.52 which is more my norm.