fbpx
Sign In
Account
0
$0.00 0 items

No products in the cart.

$0.00
0
$0.00 0 items

No products in the cart.

$0.00
Music Software Bundles from Pluginboutique.com

The Top 5 Best Guitar Strings for Acoustic (2024)

September 14, 2023 
BY DAN SPENCER
Last Updated on January 9, 2024

Every guitarist knows that the soul of their instrument lies not just in the craftsmanship of the guitar itself, but also in the strings that breathe life into its sound. Whether you're a budding strummer or a seasoned virtuoso, the right set of strings can make all the difference in clarity, tonality, and playability. With the myriad of options available today, choosing the perfect set can be an overwhelming task. Fear not, dear reader, for we've strummed, plucked, and tested a plethora of options to bring you a list of the top 5 best guitar strings for acoustic. So, tune in and let's embark on a melodic journey to find your guitar's next best friend!

Included in this guide:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings

Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • Coated strings
  • Phosphor bronze wrap
  • Anti-rust plated steel core
4.8
Check Price
Runner-up
Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings (MA540T)

Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings (MA540T)

  • Treated strings
  • 92/8 phosphor bronze wrap
  • Full frequency range strong output
4.7
Check Price
Top Pick
D’Addario Acoustic Guitar Strings (EJ16)

D’Addario Acoustic Guitar Strings (EJ16)

  • Uncoated strings
  • Phosphor bronze wrap
  • Hexagonal high-carbon steel core
4.7
Check Price
Top Pick
Donner Acoustic Guitar Strings (DS-20A)

Donner Acoustic Guitar Strings (DS-20A)

  • Coated strings
  • Phosphor bronze wrap
  • Brass-plated hexagonal high-carbon steel core
4.3
Check Price
Lowest Price
Ernie Ball Earthwood Acoustic Guitar Strings

Ernie Ball Earthwood Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • Uncoated strings
  • 80/20 bronze alloy wrap
  • Brass-plated hexagonal steel core
4.7
Check Price

Related Article: How To Tune A Guitar Like A Pro - Easy, Simple, And Fast!


The Top 5 Best Guitar Strings For Acoustic

1
Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings
Best Overall

Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • Coated strings
  • Phosphor bronze wrap
  • Anti-rust plated steel core

Coated with Elixir’s signature Nanoweb fluoropolymer, this string set resists corrosion and gunk build-ups while also reducing finger squeaks. This coating is thinner than the original Ployweb, which keeps the strings smooth. Nanoweb also happens to produce brighter tones than its thicker, mellower counterpart. Overall, this set is suitable for those who want a rich and full sound.

Pros
  • Ultra-thin Nanoweb coating for a smooth feel
  • Full-string coating that protects the winding gaps
  • Great tune holding and stability
Cons
  • Coating might feel slippery to some guitarists
  • Worn-out strings don’t look great (they lose their shine, turn dark, and shed)
  • Some users reported snapping during the initial tuning
2
Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings (MA540T)
Runner-up

Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings (MA540T)

  • Treated strings
  • 92/8 phosphor bronze wrap
  • Full frequency range strong output

The Authentic Acoustic SP (Superior Performance) strings by Martin are already long-lasting. However, the proprietary Lifespan 2.0 formula takes the protection to the next level. Not only does the updated treatment keep the strings from going dull quickly, but it also reduces drag.

Tone-wise, the 92/8 strings are well-rounded compared to the bright 80/20 bronze Martin sets. So, they won’t give you that punchy attack, but they’re good if you want something clean and balanced. All in all, they’re suitable for a wide variety of styles.

Pros
  • Patented treatment for protection against corrosion and humidity
  • Maintains its brightness over time
  • Available in bulk boxes
Cons
  • Some people struggle to keep the strings in tune
  • Requires a break-in period
  • Might leave a black residue on your fingertips
3
D’Addario Acoustic Guitar Strings (EJ16)
Top Pick

D’Addario Acoustic Guitar Strings (EJ16)

  • Uncoated strings
  • Phosphor bronze wrap
  • Hexagonal high-carbon steel core

D’Addario’s DJ16 strings are designed to offer a warm, enveloping tone. The wrapping material responds well to both fingerpicking and strumming techniques. However, the strings are uncoated, which means that you’ll need to put more effort into the maintenance to keep the set sounding good.

Pros
  • Corrosion-resistant, recyclable packaging with Players Circle reward points
  • Color-coded strings for easier identification
  • Hex core structure offers better grip to the wrapping wire
Cons
  • Lack of coating reduces lifespan
  • Sounds okay but not outright impressive
  • Might squeak a bit
4
Donner Acoustic Guitar Strings (DS-20A)
Top Pick

Donner Acoustic Guitar Strings (DS-20A)

  • Coated strings
  • Phosphor bronze wrap
  • Brass-plated hexagonal high-carbon steel core

The wrap on DS-20A strings is made from 92% copper, 7.7% tin, and 0.3% phosphorus. Over the wrap, there’s a thin coating film that helps keep the corrosion away. Unfortunately, the set is only available in 11/50 gauge.

Overall, 11–50 strings have a decent mid-frequency performance, but you can expect them to sound full and warm on a full mahogany body. If your resonance box is spruce mahogany, the set is going to be brighter. On spruce rosewood bodies, however, you’ll get a balanced sound.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Anti-oxidation coating and a high-barrier package for a longer lifespan
  • Hexagonal core for better tone stabilization
Cons
  • Slightly sticky to the touch
  • Could require a bit of stretching before settling down
  • High E is prone to snapping
5
Ernie Ball Earthwood Acoustic Guitar Strings
Lowest Price

Ernie Ball Earthwood Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • Uncoated strings
  • 80/20 bronze alloy wrap
  • Brass-plated hexagonal steel core

Ernie’s Earthwood strings are made from copper (80%) and zinc (20%) alloy. That’s where the “80/20” label comes from. When it comes to the performance, the bronze wrap provides a crisp, ringing sound, and the set is considered a bright option for acoustics.

You can get Earthwood strings in a wide range of gauges, from 10–50 to 13–56. But Ernie labels the 11 gauge as “light” instead of the typical 12 gauge. If you do want a set that starts at 0.012, go for the “medium light.”

Pros
  • Water-tight packaging with a corrosion-resistant envelope for extra protection
  • Affordable price point
  • Stays in tune
Cons
  • Strings dull quickly since they’re not coated
  • Bass might sound a little quiet or muddied
  • New strings can turn your fingers black

Related Article: Roundwound Vs Flatwound: The Great Guitar String Debate


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which string material is best for acoustic guitars?

Most acoustic string sets are either 80/20 bronze or phosphor bronze alloys—none of them is necessarily better than the other. If you want brighter sounds, go for the bronze. For warmer tones, phosphor bronze wrapping is the way to go.

What gauge is best for acoustic guitars?

While many people go for 12 gauge, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Lighter strings are easier to play, but they tend to break quickly. Heavier gauges, on the other hand, require more effort on your part, but they pay off nicely in terms of sustain.

How can I extend the lifespan of my strings?

To protect your strings, wipe them after every use to remove oil residues from your fingers. It’s also useful to keep the moisture at bay. These tips can be particularly handy if you choose a set of uncoated strings.

Are coated strings better?

Polymer-coated strings aren’t necessarily better, but they do tend to last longer. However, some people find that the coating ruins the feel. It’s also possible to notice some high-end dampening and volume reduction.

Are treated strings the same as coated strings?

While both approaches help increase the lifespan, they’re not the same. For one, treated strings don’t flake or shed. Plus, the “feel” of treated strings can be a closer match to traditional uncoated strings.

Product Recap

The best practice is to try different materials and gauges till you find something that suits your style. However, the Elixir set is an all-around winner with its long-lasting coating and rich sounds. Martin’s MA540T is our second choice since it needs some breaking-in but still offers great value for the money. Speaking of money, the Ernie Ball is a go-to for those on a tight budget.

If you found this guide helpful, please consider subscribing to our blog for more music production tips, product reviews, and buying guides.

"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

Don't forget to share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Waves Platinum Bundle
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram