6 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings in 2021

Regardless of the type of acoustic string you choose, they all yield to tuning, thereby producing a raw sound that you get when you strum. You had better be careful when choosing strings for your acoustic guitar so that the guitar lives up to its full potential.

For the sake of those who still struggle to buy the right acoustic string, either as an experienced player or a beginner, this is the right place to get the best acoustic guitar strings. You’ll get the right information to help you select the best strings for your instrument and some product recommendations

Editor Choice

D’Addario EJ17-3D Acoustic Guitar Strings

5/5

Why is it better?

  • Industry-standard
  • Offers great sound
  • Inexpensive

Editor Choice

D’Addario EJ17-3D Acoustic Guitar Strings

5/5

Why is it better?

    • Industry-standard
    • Offers great sound
    • Inexpensive

The line up at a glance

After a series of in-depth research on several products, we’ve selected the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings. Read through each product with its pros and cons to find a suitable acoustic guitar string.

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Summary

Our Rating

D’Addario EJ17-3D Acoustic Guitar Strings

Best acoustic string for all music genres.

4.5/5
4.5/5

Elixir Strings 80/20 Acoustic Guitar Strings

Best coated guitar strings for power chords and different styles

4.5/5
4.5/5

Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings (MSP7200)

An affordable guitar string with a natural vibrato.

4.2/5
4.2/5

DR Strings VTA-13 Acoustic Guitar Strings

If you’re on the lookout for a string set with strength and resonance, this is the best guess.

4.6/5
4.6/5

Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Acoustic Guitar String Set

One of the best string sets that define sustains and produce a traditional concert sound.

4.5/5
4.5/5

John Pearse 600L Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

Best guitar strings for heavy strumming that offers longevity in sounds and the string material.

4.5/5
4.5/5

Our Picks For Top 6 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings in 2021

1

D’Addario EJ17-3D Acoustic Guitar Strings

Best acoustic string for all music genres.

+ Conducive for any music genre

+ The resulting tone is warm and bright

+ Corrosion-resistant and high-performance strings

A choosy user may not trust the tone

 

Surprisingly, a brand that started as a small family-owned business can turn into one of the largest producers of guitar strings in the world. D’Addario has become a household name in the string making industry, and has struggled from the days of humble beginnings.

They originate from Salle, a small town in Italy, to producing mass strings for guitar players and musicians all around the world. The brand is now popular as one of the best string producers in the world, and their strings are always in-demand. Notably, their passion for making lasting strings has made their name so popular.

Achieving a great tone isn’t easy, that’s why they’re not many of them on this list. D’Addario strings can last with the corrosion-resistant phosphor Bronze and they come in a hexagonal high-carbon steel core. They also provide bright and warm sound with ultimate intonation.

They are precisely wounded and their construction comes with a round wounding resulting in a  comfortable feel that guitar players would love when strumming or fingerpicking. If you’re shopping for a versatile string for all music genres, from jazz to pop or country, D’Addario strings are well efficient.

The strings are made in the USA for high performance and durability and this EJ17-3D model is shiny and bright, matching the sound it produces.


2

Elixir Strings 80/20 Acoustic Guitar Strings

Best coated guitar strings for power chords and different styles

 

+ These strings are dust and debris resistant

+ They’re coated, both in and out

+ The nanoweb coating ensures a right and lasting tone

They’re sometimes slippery

 

The Elixir brand was founded over 20 years ago. It became so popular after the initial plan was to try coating guitar strings. The experiment failed but since then, Elixir has achieved a lot in producing some of the best guitar strings in the instrument’s world and has gained fame for production originality.

The brand is unique, innovative and they are known to produce exceptional products. This is one reason why they’re on this list. This 80/20 acoustic guitar string model is designed to last and for long-term playability. You won’t need new strings for a long time if you own this set of Elixir strings.

They’re debris and dirt resistant; why some guitars produce a dampen sound is because dirt is hidden in-between the spaces of the guitar string. Dirt and debris hiding in strings can ruin one’s playing experience and affect the sound of a guitar.

The nanoweb coating of this string model is contrary to poly-web coating and it delivers a crisp and bright tone that complements your prized guitar.

The nanoweb coating on the strings is inside and outside the strings. There’s a coating on the parts that you can’t see. The Elixir acoustic guitar strings are always talked about among most users. It’s one choice they can’t sideline for the sake of their sounds.


3

Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings (MSP7200)

An affordable guitar string with a natural vibrato.

+ Produces a vibrant tone

+ Endorsed by pro-guitarists and musicians

+ Comes with ClearTone Proprietary technology

The sound is lost as time goes on

 

Martin is one guitar brand that’s highly rated and its products are nothing short of quality and value. Since their introduction into the guitar world, they’ve gathered multiple awards for their innovative ideas. This string set from Martin follows suit in the same quality and high value. 

It is designed to last long and interest players. Its value for money is excellent and you’re getting an effective crisp and bright tone if you make one of these strings yours today. If you’re in the contention that your string’s tone should be long-lasting and fresh every time you, this is the right string for your acoustic instrument.

With decades of experience and trust from the brand, everything about this MSP7200 string set feels right. If you have a quality guitar, you should try this sound quality string set. Martin designed these strings to resist dirt and dust. Dirt and debris are external environment elements that can affect the sound and quality of a guitar string set.

Your jamming experience just got better with the thin coating that’s almost impossible to feel. Many guitarists, from The Avett Brothers and Cody Simpson, have made this string set their first choice and didn’t get disappointed with its performance. It boosts your playing comfort on stage and during recording sessions.

With this string set, there’s no need to keep changing strings too soon.


4

DR Strings VTA-13 Acoustic Guitar Strings

If you’re on the lookout for a string set with strength and resonance, this is the best guess.

+ Produces a robust tone and ample sustain

+ Good blues sound and balanced tone

+ Not coated, which is some users’ preference

Can buzz a little when there’s low action

 

If you’re a fan of handcrafted products, this DR Veritas string set is the best choice for you. It comes with strength that can’t be compared with what you get from most handcrafted strings. The producers have carefully made this string set for all level players and different genres, they’re not slippery or lousy.

It comes with great quality and attention to detail to improve its overall sound. These string sets can last longer than the machine-folded strings on the market today. The VTA-13 strings are the latest in the phosphor bronze series. One reason why they’re special is that they are useful for different genres.

With the Accurate Core technology utilized in reinforcing the core wire and filling in imperfections, it gives a premium feel and lasting usage. Additionally, the pitch retention of this string set is different from others in this list. DR Veritas 13 strings also offer sustain and stability, this is why most musicians love it.


5

Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Acoustic Guitar String Set

One of the best string sets that define sustains and produce a traditional concert sound.

+ High-quality product

+ Inexpensive

+ Effective clarity

Sound quality may twang at first installation

 

An ideal review on guitar strings won’t be perfect without including an Ernie Ball string. Ernie Ball revolutionized the technology of the guitar string after discovering what guitarists needed most in their preferred strings. After some trials with Gibson and Fender, he started his brand from a Los Angeles shop and the brand has been to date, for up to 50 years.

Musicians like Keith Richards and Jimmy Page have played with Ernie Ball medium-light strings, both on stage and during recording sessions. It goes a long way to describe the strings’ efficiency and the playing comfort that comes with them. One key element that has contributed to Ernie Ball’s success is the cutting edge technology and the use of new materials to improve on their strings.

You can play any music genre on the strings. The composition is a mixture of 92% copper, 7.7% tin, and 0.3% phosphorus. The mixture is wrapped around a run of hexagon-shaped steel core wires. This whole composition gives the strings a vintage look and they deliver a warm, and rich tone with great clarity.

There are no slippery traits when playing on the strings and they can last for years without breaking.


6

John Pearse 600L Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

Best guitar strings for heavy strumming that offers longevity in sounds and the string material.

+ Can stay in tune for long

+ Solid and lasting construction

+ Unique coating

Not preferable for soloists

 

Vibe is a brand that’s just carving a niche for itself in the string industry. Their Phosphor Bronze string set is one to look out for because they’re much better than some older brands, This Phosphor Bronze model has a unique coating application. The coating is applied in a vacuum to avoid the interaction of dust and moisture. Thus, ensuring its whole quality. 

Aside from that, the feel of the strings set is comfortable and lets you play smoothly, though it may not be one string that soloists would like; you’ll love the level of sustain in these strings’ set. A medium gauge string set like this having value and longevity factor in its construction is ideal for heavy style players. It can withstand hard strumming without snapping.

Vibe acoustic guitar string brand is the newest of best guitar strings on this list, but not the least in quality. The price value is there and you won’t have any regret trying it out.



Criteria used for evaluation

Sound Quality

The quality of sounds coming out from an acoustic guitar is partly dependent on your finesse on the guitar and the choice of string you prefer. Strings having the right material and enough tension will surely boost the sound quality. Naturally, pro-guitarists can decide the right guitar and string that’s good for them, by merely hearing the strings sound.

If you’re a beginner and you need the right string to boost your sound quality, ask an experienced player, or your local instrument store attendant to help you select within the few good ones.

Coating

One of the reasons why some players prefer coated strings is because of the lasting effect. Coated strings typically boost the strings’ longevity. Also, you won’t enjoy playing strings that easily sound flat after some time. This makes coated strings higher in price than non-coated strings. But all coatings are not the same.

Brands like Elixir and D’Addario are the only producers that apply coating on the outer string surface and the spaces in-between the winding spaces, that’s why they’re mostly patronized. Some of them are Round wounds to offer comfort and natural sparkle to the player. Some coating offers less finger squeaking and improves user experience, while some offer extended tone life, but it is mostly down to the choice of the buyer whether they want a coated string set or not.

Tension

Every guitar string, including the hand-crafted type, are made of different materials and sizes. Usually, big or large strings have high tension, and they are loud. However, if you must play on a big or large string, you need more strength, and applying pressure on strings can be stressful for beginners.

Fingerstyle players can’t play on a guitar with heavy strings. Lighter gauge strings are best for beginners because they can bend easily. Heavier strings have this characteristic loud and firmer sound, especially on a dreadnought-style guitar

Your Playing Style

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned guitarist, a finger-picker, or a strummer, one key aspect to take note of is your playing style. The different playing styles will require you to play on a specific string gauge. A finger-picker will flow well on lighter gauge strings and a strummer with a plectrum will play well on medium gauge strings.

A beginner on the other hand would get discouraged if they start with heavier gauge strings because they can cause pains to the finger. Although, the more you play, the more you’re building resistance. Starting with a lighter gauge is better, and after some time, you can advance to heavier gauge strings.

Materials

The material used in constructing the guitar strings is effective for the sound they dispense, although the guitar wood is another deciding factor for sound resonance. Two common materials are used for acoustic guitar strings, and they are copper and Phosphor copper. When you see a 80/20 copper, it is so because it is made of 80% copper and 20% zinc. It offers a sharp and bright sound.

Phosphorus copper often lasts long, because the metal does not undergo oxidation. It offers a warmer sound than the 80/20 copper. String coating plays an important role in how you feel the guitar when you play. Brands like D’Addario and Elixir use thin coating in their strings, and it repels the strings from moisture, dirt, oil, and rust.

These strings are usually expensive and can last longer than the regular string types. With this, you can save money and time as you won’t be changing them too soon.

Frequently Asked Question

Things that can cause a short life span for strings and make them lose their tone are listed below:

  • Keeping the guitar out of its case all the time.
  • Hard strumming
  • When you keep bending the strings
  • Playing in a smoky environment
  • When you frequently tune the guitar
  • When you play the guitar every day

This question has no right or wrong answer, some players prefer breaking their guitar strings after a few weeks or months and some change their strings once in a fortnight. Changing your strings is dependent on how frequently you play your guitar. However, some signs will lead to change the strings, and here they are;

  • When the guitar won’t stay in tune for long
  • When the strings are unraveled
  • If you haven’t changed the strings since you bought your guitar
  • When the tone is flat and doesn’t resonate as much as you expect
  • When there’s discoloration or rust on the strings

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