Introducing D'Addario XT Strings
If you have ever taken the time to experiment with different strings, you’ll be well aware of their importance. Things like gauge size and what alloy your stings are made of have a big impact on both the tone and feel of your instrument. Additionally, all brands take a slightly different approach when it comes to designing the “best” string possible. While there are a lot of different great options for strings, both in type and manufacture, why don’t we focus in on the latest offering from D’Addario.
D’Addario has always been known for making some of the best high-end strings out there. Specifically, since 2014 the company has been on good terms with the guitar community thanks to their NYXL series of strings. These stings are break-resistant, stay in tune, and just feel great in most players' hands. The con that comes with NYXLs (and most other strings of their caliber) is the $13 dollar price tag. So earlier this year with D'Addario announced a new line of NYXL looking stings, you can imagine people’s excitement to hear that they were also going to be three dollars cheaper.
So, here is a basic outline of the appeal to this new XT series.
D’Addario XT – Key Features:
- Fully Treated
- Every string in each set is individually coated (meaning this includes your unwound strings)
- The Coating
- The XT coating is one rather unique in that it feels pretty close to a traditional plain string
- The Core
- XTs have the same high carbon steel that many know from NYXLs
- Break Resistance
- Thanks to this steel core these strings are less prone to breakage than many other alloys
- XT strings are made for electric, acoustic, classical, and bass guitars along with sets for mandolin and banjo
Now I know what your thinking, why would anyone ever buy a set of NYXLs again? Well, there are actually two significant differences between them and the XTs. Firstly, while the core steel of both stings is the same, the wrap wire of the two are different. The XTs are actually using the same nickel-plated steel wrap wire found on D’Adarrio's standard XL line of strings. The second main difference is that NYXLs are not a coated string set. While to some, coated strings are considered a plus, to others they don’t play the same way. That is really what this comparison comes down to, feel. The combination of alloy and no coating are what makes a lot of people love the way NYXLs feel. The choice between NYXLs and XTs is, like with most things, totally dependent on what you like more.
Even if you are not usually a fan of coated strings, I still recommend trying out a set XTs. The XTs do a really good job of feeling like a great uncoated stirring. Additionally, you would be gaining the pros that come with the nature of coated strings (i.e. less corrosion and longer life). I know it can be tough to switch strings if you are really comfortable playing one set, all I am saying is that XTs are the perfect gateway for players looking to get into the coated side of things.
To sum up, this new line of strings from D'Addario fills a new and interesting place in their product line. XTs are a great set of strings and it can’t hurt to give something new a try, so don’t be afraid to test out the water. After all, if you’re like most players out there, finding the perfect string is a lifelong pursuit. Keep pursuing it!