View Full Version : D'Addario EXP 80/20 and Black Diamond Blacks

Apr-27-2004, 5:35pm
I have been playing the D'Addario EXP 77 strings;they are coated 80/20 bronze. Never having played 80/20 I didn't know what to expect;but they have a very nice tone,not as harsh as phos.bronze maybe;and they seem to feel a little....less tense somehow. The unwound strings are brass plated just like the PB EXPs. If you have not played D'Addario EXP strings of either type of bronze,don't make a judgement on them when you first put them on. They seem to sound better(to my old ears) after they have been on a week or so. I have played all makes of strings on several different styles of mandolins and D'Addarios have always performed the best for me.*****A buddy of mine in New Mexico wrote and told me about some #Black Diamond strings he was using on guitar that were coated with a black coating. I thought that was a pretty cool idea;so I wrote the Black Diamond folks and they sent me a set to try out. I have not put them on a mandolin yet;but will report my findings once I have had a chance to play them a while. I was unaware the black-coated mandolin strings(11/15/26/40) were available;and just thought I would give a heads up for a venerable old company. THE first strings I ever bought in my life (for my first guitar/a Silvertone archtop) were #Black Diamonds;and were sold at a Rexall Drug store. It was the only place in town that sold guitar strings. It's not easy being this old.........on the other hand, I got a '59 Fender Stratocaster when I was 12 years old for $200 :0)

Apr-28-2004, 12:58am
I've had the black diamonds on my mandolin for about two weeks. The coating started to wear off after about an hour of play...which seems a dubious prospect for their marketablity as a "long lasting" string. They seemed to be going dead already as well and I broke a D string tonight...first time in over a year...tho that could just be concidence and not the string's fault.

Overall they sound ok and look kinda cool, at $5 a pack I might buy them, but not at the same price you pay for elixers or other coated strings. Even if the breakage is not a string problem, the rapidity that the coating wears off just doesn't make em worth the extra cost.

Apr-28-2004, 7:41am
Can't speak to the D'Addario strings, but back in 1966, when I got my first guitar, the only music store I could easily get to seemed to carry only Black Diamond strings. The ones they sold weren't very good. I don't know if it was the brand or if these strings had sat around the store for the past 25 years (a distinct possibility to look at the store and the string packaging). Ever since I have seen Black Diamond as the "Milwaukee's Best" of instrument strings. How accurate was my perception?

Apr-28-2004, 8:47am
Gary has a point; I like Larry Cordle's song about Black Diamond strings, but I remember that most people got them because they were cheap and available everywhere. People would tell me that when I could afford more money for strings I should get D'Angelicos (I did). I have also thought of them as the equivalent of cheap beer, or in a less charitable moment,I suggested to a friend that it was like asking for Trojans - something you could buy quickly with a minimum of discussion.

I have thought of trying them again, but the prices seem slightly higher than my regular strings, and I don't remember them as being all that great. The new ones, however, may be new strings with an old name, and may be worth a try.

Jonathan Reinhardt
Apr-28-2004, 9:36am
The Black Diamond Strings available today bear no resemblance to those of yesteryear.

Apr-28-2004, 10:38am
The Black Diamond Strings available today bear no resemblance to those of yesteryear.
Thanks for clearing that up. It is nice to know.