D'Addario Balanced Tension strings - 1 set free with 2 sets of XLs for a tenner, anyone tried them?

dchwhitedchwhite Frets: 133
edited January 2014 in Guitar
Strings direct have got D'Addario strings on a good offer atm: two normal sets for a tenner, with a balanced tension set free (so three sets of strings); I normally use their EXL110s, but if it's a very similar thing for less money...

Has anyone given the balanced tension ones a go, and if so, did you find them much different, please?




(Edited because I thought it was a 'three for two' offer - apols).
Stonevibe: 'The best things in life aren't things'.

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  • For a tenner, I'd go for it! Cheap strings are always good and you already know you like the regular ones.
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7218
    edited January 2014
    Yes I use the 11-50 set on my PRSs tuned to D standard/drop C. I use them because the standard 11-49 set was ever so slightly too slinky.

    They aren't magic, but if you feel you're not getting what you want from a standard pack I'd give them a go. I don't notice any poor balance on my normal strung guitars (10-46 in E) compared to these 11-50s in D but I thought 11-49s weren't quite right (and 12s too heavy) on the downtuned PRSs.
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  • Yes actually tried them , and they do feel nice.  No great magic , but worth a try
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33959
    It still baffles me why so many manufacturers and players stick to sets which are so clearly unbalanced.

    To me it depends on the exact guitar though - both the scale length and what happens to the strings beyond the nut and bridge. Both these change the relative feel of different gauges, especially heavier plain ones.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ThePrettyDamnedThePrettyDamned Frets: 3846
    edited January 2014
    guitarfishbay;135046" said:
    Yes I use the 11-50 set on my PRSs tuned to D standard/drop C. I use them because the standard 11-49 set was ever so slightly too slinky.

    They aren't magic, but if you feel you're not getting what you want from a standard pack I'd give them a go. I don't notice any poor balance on my normal strung guitars (10-46 in E) compared to these 11-50s in D but I thought 11-49s weren't quite right (and 12s too heavy) on the downtuned PRSs.
    Hmm, that's got me thinking. I use 10-54 I think for drop c, and I've found it a bit too slinky on the bass strings. I pick really hard, though.

    Maybe I need to look at the truss rod again... Got a wee bit of rattle if I slam them a bit.
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  • fretfinderfretfinder Frets: 2221
    I've done two gigs with a set on my R7, sounded fine and didn't really notice much difference from 'ordinary' strings.
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  • ESchapESchap Frets: 1411
    ICBM said:
    It still baffles me why so many manufacturers and players stick to sets which are so clearly unbalanced.

    To me it depends on the exact guitar though - both the scale length and what happens to the strings beyond the nut and bridge. Both these change the relative feel of different gauges, especially heavier plain ones.
    I find that the balanced sets make a noticeable difference on ES guitars with Bigsby or trapeze tailpiece i.e. where there is a few inches of string after the bridge.  It makes the feel of bending any of the top 3 strings more consistent.  The d'Addario's balanced 11's set are only up 1/1000 on the second and third string, but it's noticeable.  On stop tail guitars it seems a lot less noticeable. 
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  • dchwhitedchwhite Frets: 133
    Thanks very much for all the advice, much appreciated :)

    Unfortunately, having re-checked the budgie, it looks like a string purchase will have to be deprioritised a bit for now. Hopefully the offer & all the helpful information will be of use to other potential buyers though :)
    Stonevibe: 'The best things in life aren't things'.

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  • dean2371dean2371 Frets: 134
    Thanks for the heads up, ordered some yesterday and they arrived today. Impressive
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  • fretfinderfretfinder Frets: 2221
    edited January 2014
    dean2371 said:
    Thanks for the heads up, ordered some yesterday and they arrived today. Impressive
    Are they post free, and is it as the website says, two normal sets and one balanced tension set?
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  • ESchapESchap Frets: 1411
    dean2371 said:
    Thanks for the heads up, ordered some yesterday and they arrived today. Impressive
    Are they post free, and is it as the website says, two normal sets and one balanced tension set?


    Offer is two normal, one balanced set (free). postage is £1, arrived next day for me. 

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  • dchwhitedchwhite Frets: 133
    dean2371 said:
    Thanks for the heads up, ordered some yesterday and they arrived today. Impressive
    Are they post free, and is it as the website says, two normal sets and one balanced tension set?
    Looking again at the website, that does indeed seem to be the offer - apologies, I clearly can't read right, and will edit the first post accordingly (as it's not a 3 for 2 offer as I said).

    Think it's free postage if you spend over £30 with Strings Direct - although as this is coming from me, you would probably do well to check that...
    Stonevibe: 'The best things in life aren't things'.

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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7218
    edited January 2014
    guitarfishbay;135046" said:
    Yes I use the 11-50 set on my PRSs tuned to D standard/drop C. I use them because the standard 11-49 set was ever so slightly too slinky.

    They aren't magic, but if you feel you're not getting what you want from a standard pack I'd give them a go. I don't notice any poor balance on my normal strung guitars (10-46 in E) compared to these 11-50s in D but I thought 11-49s weren't quite right (and 12s too heavy) on the downtuned PRSs.
    Hmm, that's got me thinking. I use 10-54 I think for drop c, and I've found it a bit too slinky on the bass strings. I pick really hard, though.

    Maybe I need to look at the truss rod again... Got a wee bit of rattle if I slam them a bit.

    What scale length though?  A 54 would be miles too heavy for me regardless.  I don't like thick strings in general, I don't think they sound as good as thin ones for high gain.  Thicker strings tend to have less attack and bite than thinner strings, and often sound too round and dull to me.  In standard tuning I'd use 10s on PRS/Gibsons and 9s on a 25.5 inch guitar (though I ended up just buying 10s in bulk to keep things easier).

    I often pick quite hard too, but I have spent a lot of time developing my pick control and don't use a lot of pick.  If you dig in too deep when picking hard (with too stiff of a pick) you're likely to get tuning issues.  I use 1mm or .88 dunlop max grip nylon picks usually on electric.  They're just thick enough for me that they don't feel floppy when playing hard, but not so stiff that they give me tuning issues playing heavy music.  Nylon picks tend to feel a bit more flexible than tortex style ones, so if you use tortex you might need to go thinner still.  I've seen a few threads on metal boards recently where people have discussed using tortex picks as light as .50/.60.
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  • guitarfishbay;138013" said:
    ThePrettyDamned said:

    guitarfishbay;135046" said:Yes I use the 11-50 set on my PRSs tuned to D standard/drop C. I use them because the standard 11-49 set was ever so slightly too slinky.



    They aren't magic, but if you feel you're not getting what you want from a standard pack I'd give them a go. I don't notice any poor balance on my normal strung guitars (10-46 in E) compared to these 11-50s in D but I thought 11-49s weren't quite right (and 12s too heavy) on the downtuned PRSs.

    Hmm, that's got me thinking. I use 10-54 I think for drop c, and I've found it a bit too slinky on the bass strings. I pick really hard, though.



    Maybe I need to look at the truss rod again... Got a wee bit of rattle if I slam them a bit.







    What scale length though?  A 54 would be miles too heavy for me regardless.  I don't like thick strings in general, I don't think they sound as good as thin ones for high gain.  Thicker strings tend to have less attack and bite than thinner strings, and often sound too round and dull to me.  In standard tuning I'd use 10s on PRS/Gibsons and 9s on a 25.5 inch guitar (though I ended up just buying 10s in bulk to keep things easier).

    I often pick quite hard too, but I have spent a lot of time developing my pick control and don't use a lot of pick.  If you dig in too deep when picking hard (with too stiff of a pick) you're likely to get tuning issues.  I use 1mm or .88 dunlop max grip nylon picks usually on electric.  They're just thick enough for me that they don't feel floppy when playing hard, but not so stiff that they give me tuning issues playing heavy music.  Nylon picks tend to feel a bit more flexible than tortex style ones, so if you use tortex you might need to go thinner still.  I've seen a few threads on metal boards recently where people have discussed using tortex picks as light as .50/.60.
    Interesting. It's on a 25.5" scale.

    I really like the tone I get with hard picking... But I might see if I can experiment with something a little lighter. I use jazz iii Ultex picks, but have a few nylon equivalents laying around. I do prefer the tone from them, but they wore out the edge fairly quickly.

    I currently have 10-52 on, so I'll report back after I've tried some thinner picks.
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7218
    edited January 2014
    Yeah the edge wears out on nylons but I just buy in bulk every time I need more.  I prefer the new style 'max grip' ones to the old ones, they're a tiny bit stiffer and also the grip is really nice on them.

    If you're coming from Jazz III shaped picks you might prefer a sharper tipped pick such as an Ultex Sharp or Tortex wedge.  Hetfield Black Fangs are also good, though not sure if they're any different to regular Ultex Sharps other than the colour.

    image
    image

    Also heard good things about these but never tried them - T3s

    image
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  • Thanks very much! What thickness do you use for heavy riffing? I'll order a few types and report back.

    Nylon, tonally, is my favourite, but Ultex is a nice compromise - I'm still on my first one for over a month, and it hardly looks like it's been used.
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7218
    edited January 2014
    I use 1mm Nylon Max Grips most of the time.  Sometimes I'll use a 1mm or .88 'the wedge' just because they've got a sharp tip.

    I don't have any thinner ultex picks currently to compare, but I have some Hetfield Black Fang 1.14s and they're quite fun but a bit stiffer than I'd normally choose these days.
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  • Cool.  I'll let you know how I get on :D
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