Elixir strings are some of the cheapest premium guitar strings you can get and they come in two very unique flavors: Elixir Nanoweb Guitar strings and Elixir Polyweb Guitar strings. Both of these types of guitar strings offer fantastic life thanks to their high standard of manufacture.
The main difference between the strings is that the Polyweb coating is much thicker than the Nanoweb coating which leads to a totally different sound and feel. The Polyweb strings give a warmer sound while the Nanoweb strings give a brighter sound.
Before we move on to the nitty gritty you should know the main problem with these strings. If you keep them on your guitar for a very long time (I’m talking up to a year or more of at least semi-regular playing) then they can start to shed their coating leaving you with guitar strings that look and feel like old rope.
But no guitar strings will last you that long and if it gets to that point you are way beyond needing to change your strings!
Like I said before the Nanoweb strings have an ultra thin coating which makes the strings feel and sound uncoated while still giving you some of the longest last strings available!
As for tone the Nanowebs offer a far brighter tone than the Polyweb guitar strings giving you crisp and vibrant sound. This is great if you have a dull sounding acoustic guitar because the nanoweb strings really bring it to life giving you crisp and clear sound.
The Nanoweb strings will provide you with a smooth feel and a really classic uncoated tone no matter what guitar you put on them. A great choice for any player looking for precision sound and great tone, my current favorites for the acoustic guitar.
Now Elixirs Polyweb guitar strings are for a far more specific player. The thick coating provides them with a lot of great but specific benefits.
The extra thick coating provides unparalleled protection against dirt from your fingers and humidity in the air. So if you have a guitar you don’t play that often, I’m talking a couple times a month or less, put a set of Polyweb Elixir strings on it and your guitar will sound fresh every time you play it.
And this added protection makes these strings perfect for anyone with acidic hand, if you have them you’ll know what I’m talking about. Every time you put on a new set of strings soon enough you’ve broken a string, maybe even after the first session! It doesn’t matter how much you wipe down the strings after each play through they still snap way too often for it to be affordable. Well try out some Polyweb strings and you could be in the clear!
Finally Elixir have managed to completely eliminate string squeak with their Polyweb strings. This is more useful on acoustic guitars and especially if you are recording you can move around the fretboard without that jarring squeaking sound.
String squeak is still reduced with the Nanoweb Guitar strings but it is not completely eliminated like the Polyweb strings
So what’s the downside to these fantastic strings? Well, you need to know that they feel and sound very different to most strings. The acoustic Polyweb strings for instance actually feel similar to nylon strings because the coating is so thick.
The tone can also be a bit dull sounding. If you have a really bright sounding guitar the Polyweb Elixir strings will add some warmth to it but the tone is not for everyone.
But I should add that these are the best guitar strings to use if you favor a metal pick. A metal pick, like a brass finger pick, makes a really metallic sound when hitting the string but the thick Polyweb coating gives you a really nice tone with a metal pick because it dampens this clanging sound.
So if you need the absolute longest lasting guitar strings then these are for you. And if you have hands that shoot acid or you use a metal guitar pick then definitely pick up a pair, otherwise I’d stick to the Nanoweb strings.
Elixir have made these strings in a big variety of gauges across both electric guitar and acoustic guitar so I’ve made a list showing you the gauges available. I didn’t review every gauge because string gauge is a very personal choice I think and I always favor the 9-42s for electric because I love a nice light guitar string on my electric. As for acoustic, it’s got to be the 11-52s.
Not many choices for Elixir Polyweb strings but here they are:
Now the acoustic Elixir strings come in a few different choices: they have the 80/20 Nanoweb coating, the 80/20 Polyweb Coating and the Phosphor Bronze Nanoweb Coating.
As with the electric strings the Polyweb coated Elixir strings provide the warmest tone while the 80/20 bronze Nanoweb coated strings provide the brightest tone.
Now the Phosphor Bronze Nanoweb coated strings are the most balanced of all the strings giving you a great full bodied tone with all the long lasting benefits of the Nanoweb coating.
All three styles of acoustic Guitar Elixir strings come in the following gauges:
And the Hd Light 13-53s are available for the Phosphor Bronze and 80/20 Nanoweb Strings.