D’Addario has been a long-time major player in the guitar string business. Chances are great that you have played a guitar with their strings on it, whether you’ve purchased the strings yourself or just tested out a guitar at a store and unknowingly made some music with them.
I first started hearing about the D’Addario NYXL strings a couple of years back. I was seeing raving posts from players on guitar forums and Instagram shots from some players I follow who were making big claims about the strings. I was already using some premium strings and am naturally allergic to anything that I perceive as hype so I ignored the NYXL “fad” for a year. The fad didn’t die. I still kept seeing all those same posts online about happy users, so I gave in and bought a pack for myself. In my mind I was gonna give them a whirl and then head back to using my usually brand which were fantastic.
I never switched back. Turns out that the NYXL strings were not being hyped, but rather they are just that good!
But don’t all strings sound great when you first change them? Well yes, usually. But any seasoned player knows that there is a lot more going on with strings than just the tone of the package.
The first thing I noticed about D’Addario NYXL strings was that they took very little stretching to settle and stay in tune. I typically change my strings one at a time, giving them a quick stretch and tune to pitch before moving to the next string. It’s not unusual with many strings for me to have to repeatedly go back over the strings to stretch and tune them until the tuning stabilizes. I remember the old days of being weary of changing strings on the day of a gig, or even the day before. Not with NYXL’s. I feel confident if I have even just a few minutes to stretch, play, and tune. The strings settle quickly and then hold their tune very well, even as the strings age.
The next thing I noticed is that they sounded great. Sure, as I mentioned earlier, most strings sound great out of the package and NYXL’s are no different. What is different is that these strings stay sounding great. They retain their clarity and lively tone even after weeks of use. They actually can hold up not too bad for a few months if you’re the type of person who really likes to get your money’s worth out of strings, these NYXL’s just don’t seem to turn as lifeless as many other strings I’ve tried. Many players, including myself, will tell you that they can easily get twice the life out of these strings compared to a standard string which means more time for playing and less time spent changing strings.
Something that I didn’t expect with the D’Addario NXYL strings is that they are actually quite easy to bend. Suddenly I was finding that bends were taking less effort for me. I wasn’t even sure if I believed myself so I asked around and it seems other players were reporting the same thing. Easier bends and the string retained it’s tuning better even after heavy bends.
There are tons of great string options out there, but if you haven’t tried the D’Addario NXYL’s yet I would encourage you to give them a shot. Great string clarity, very little stretching needed, long lasting tone, and easy bends: all of these things translate into a great string that lets you play with confidence.