Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

It might be easy to overlook the importance of strings, but the difference between the best acoustic guitar strings and their cheap counterparts is night and day. Significant noticeable differences include sound quality, and durability, to name a few. If you’ve purchased an expensive guitar, why would you tarnish it’s sound with a low quality string? On the flip side, if you have purchased a budget-friendly guitar, a higher quality string can give it a leg up in terms of sound.

Below you can find our favorite pick “Best of the Best “, which is the highest quality acoustic guitar string on our list. Because music is important to you, and because you’ll be spending a large amount of time using and practicing with your acoustic guitar strings of choice it’s critical you get the right advice. So take some time to digest the information below.

For a quick overview, below is our list of the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings. For more in-depth information, scroll below.

  1. Elixir 80/20 

  2. D’Addario EJ316

  3. Martin MSP4150

  4. Ernie Ball Earthwood

Key Features to Look for in the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

Gauge
Gauge is an important part of choosing the right guitar strings for you. In general, “gauge” pertains to the size of the string. Since lighter gauge strings are smaller, they are typically brighter in tone, and easier in terms of playability. Light gauge strings are perfect for beginners and smaller guitars.

On the other hand, heavier gauge strings have more tension, which leads to a higher volume and sustain. But this increase in tension will bending and finger styling somewhat more difficult. If you’re a guitar player who wants something more middle of the road, most companies also produce “medium gauge” strings to strike a balance.

Material
Bronze and Phosphor Bronze are the two common material choices with steel acoustic strings nowadays. The only real material difference between the two is phosphor bronze strings have a bit of phosphor added to them, which helps fight off oxidation for a time. However, this slight change creates tone changes within the strings. Bronze typically has a bright tone, is referred to as 80/20 (80% bronze, 20% tin), and is usually gold in color. Phosphor Bronze strings are warmer, copper in color, and can last longer than regular Bronze strings.

Coatings should also be a big factor when choosing the right acoustic guitar string for you. Better quality strings will have a coating that prevents oxidation, dirt accumulation, and tone decay. Despite these strings being more expensive, they will last longer – which will save you money in the long run.

Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

♥ Best Buy Award

If you want the best, stop reading right now and pick up a pack of Elixir Nanoweb

I personally use Elixir and can attest to their high quality. Despite being a light gauge, I feel they’re both bright, and not lacking for volume. When I made the change from my old strings to Elixir, the difference was extremely noticeable, and rounded out my guitar for the better.

In terms of features, Elixir Nanoweb is an 80/20 bronze wrap wire, coated with their patented Nanoweb technology (which feels incredible in-hand), and the lifespan of these bad boys is insane.

Despite being on the pricier end, you won’t regret it – I guarantee it.


D’Addario EJ16

best acoustic guitar strings

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It should come as no surprise that one of the worlds biggest guitar string manufacturers made this list.

D’Addario’s EJ316 are a great go-to set of strings that won’t disappoint. The EJ316 are a phosphorus bronze make, have a relatively balanced tone, and maintains tune very well. The only thing lacking from the EJ316 is a coating, but at half the price (per pack) of Elixir, it’s a great budget friendly alternative.

Great strings at a fair price. A win from D’Addario.


Martin MSP4150

best acoustic guitar strings

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Martin is a cherished American guitar company and known for quality products. So you know when Eric Clapton uses your strings, you must be doing something right.

The Martin MSP4150 are a tough Phosphor Bronze string that can take a beating, all while having a balanced sound. Falling somewhere between a light and medium gauge, volume will be stronger with the MSP4150 than most.

One important factor to keep in mind however, is that the MSP4150 will play somewhat rough on the fingers, so this set is not recommended for beginners.


Ernie Ball Earthwood

best acoustic guitar strings

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Ernie Ball’s Earthwood is a welcome series from the California company.

Earthwood’s Phosphor Bronze string has a bright, clear, and no-frills tone. As the cheapest string on this list, it balances quality and price quite well, which is why we felt it needed a spot.

Other positive features include: easy on the fingers, easy to bend, and full on the low end. We would say these are great for beginners to intermediate players, but John Mayer uses them, so they can be for everyone!

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