The D’Addario NYXL Strings are another to fall under the category of premium guitar strings. Similar to the Ernie Ball Cobalt strings that were previously reviewed, however, the NYXL’s have gone above and beyond the Ernie balls and provided a premium value product!
There was a huge marketing campaign that came alongside these strings, advertising greater tuning stability, the ability to strum harder and bend further without the string breaking and greater magnetic properties which result in higher output and midrange for more presence and crunch in the sound.
But how much is hype? What exactly do these strings have to offer?
Well, when you first get these strings on your guitar you can hear and feel a difference in the quality of these strings. They are a major step up from the regular D’Addario EXL strings, so you are paying more, but you are paying for a considerable increase in sound quality, not to mention that the sustain on those bends is fantastic. And, they will hold that great sound for weeks and even months before you have to change them out.
D’addario, whose history more or less runs parallel with the history of the guitar string throughout the 20th century, have stepped up their game yet again to re-engineer the steel core of the string making it stronger and more resilient leading to a longer lasting string and less string changes. Basically, what they’ve done is increase the tensile strength of the metal, this is how far the string can be stretched and bent without it breaking, or how much stress it can endure. Which is why you can strum harder and bend further without the string breaking. Pretty damn cool!
Now the tuning stability comes because they have reinvented their wire drawing process and used a revolutionary new fusion twist process. I could not work out what they could have changed in this process that could increase the tuning stability. As far as I’m aware there are several factors that affect how well your strings stay in tune: How well the tuning nuts are cut, how often you play, how far the strings get stretched when playing, the temperature of your hands when your playing, even how many times the strings are wrapped around the tuning peg. Now it doesn’t seem like any of these would be affected by how the string is wound during production.
So I got in touch with D’Addario and asked!
They told me that the secret of the NYXLs lies is in the primary lock twist of the string, this is the part of the process that attaches the ball-end to the string. They have a novel way of performing the lock twist and the soldering thereof. I’m still not entirely sure how this would make the string stay in tune for longer, but you can’t argue with facts, and the D’Addario NYXLs do stay in tune for a really long time! You can run up and down the fretboard all you want, these strings feel really nice and smooth to the touch, bend like a dream and fall perfectly back into tune. Have a look at Amazon, you’ll see a whole bunch of other reviews of people saying how great these strings stay in tune.
There are a few other cool little features of the D’Addario NYXL strings, they come in corrosion resistant packaging so the strings always arrive fresh, but that’s pretty standard of all strings so nothing new to write home about. Also, each string has a different colored ball on the end to represent the string gauge with a guide on the back of the packet telling you which string is which. It’s not a world-changing feature but I think it’s cool.
Now you can get these strings in a huge range of different gauges to suit the needs of any guitarist with 6, 7 or 8 strings! What I found great about the D’Addario’s NYXL 0980 8 string set was that the they are optimized for a 30” scale length with gauges of .009 .012 .016 .024 .032 .044 .060 .080. It’s not common to get a 0.009 gauge string that would fit a 30” neck without being extremely tight, and optimizing for this gauge allows the strings to comfortably fit on any guitar neck with a shorter gauge. The other D’Addario NYXL set available for 8 string guitars are the 10-74s which are optimized for a 27” scale length. So all in all, they have two very different sets which offer a lot of flexibility to fit your needs.
The 7 string D’Addario NYXL sets, which are the 11-64 and 10-59s, come optimized for a 25.5”. If you have a 7 string with a much longer scale length than this, then by all means try them out but you could always get one of the NYXL 8 string sets and use 7 of those strings. Not the lowest string of course, the tension would be too much and you could damage the guitar!
D’Addario have done some really excellent work with the NYXL strings, they’ve provided a phenomenal product for a really great price, which you can see here on Amazon! You can select the gauge you want on the page. It’s well worth your time giving these a try and seeing for yourself the awesome sound they produce and the fantastic feel to the finger.