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Thread: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

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    Default Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Last week I installed a set of 11.5 to 40 XT's on my Gibson Master Model and my mandolin sounded terrible. It suffered a complete loss of volume and the G-string was tubby. Luckily, I had a new set of EXP74's and put them on after a one week XT test. Everything is now back to normal.

    A big thumbs down for me on the XT's. What are your experiences?

    I say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I put the 11 - 40's on and found they were brighter than the EXP's I had on but otherwise they stayed in tune and were ok.

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    send me some & I can form an opinion..






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    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I use nothing but J74’s

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    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I put them on one of my mandolins and I didn’t like them either.

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    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I've used EXP74 for two years. I'm trying a set of XTs now. They sound a little different but I like them.

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I have XTs on a couple of mandolins. I never liked EXPs because they felt 'sticky' to me. The XTs feel better and seems to be lasting well, but I can't say that I like their sound any better than J74s or Monels, or Silk & Bronze, all of which I've used in the past.

    The coating DOES seem to be keeping the unwound strings from getting rough after a few weeks, which I notice with most string sets.

    Undecided for now, but not convinced that I will consider their price to be a value long term.
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    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I got a set for Christmas and put them on. I prefer nickel/bronze strings but gave them a try since they were a gift and my strings needed to be changed. They are definitely warmer sounding and I will go back to nickel/bronze for the next string change. I can’t tell any difference with my fretting hand, so the coating must be very thin. The string tension also feels a bit looser, especially on the G string. The A & E strings sound and feel good.

    I’m glad that I tried them, but they aren’t the right strings for my mandolin (oval hole). I’m sure some people will love them if they are looking for a warmer tone, but so far, the nickel/bronze strings sound and feel best for this mandolin.
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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by MojoMando View Post
    Last week I installed a set of 11.5 to 40 XT's on my Gibson Master Model and my mandolin sounded terrible. It suffered a complete loss of volume and the G-string was tubby.
    Almost a similar experience here. Not really tubby, but somewhat muted from the get-go. But the strings stay like that for quite a while. Probably a good choice for players, who tend to corrode uncoated strings fast.

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    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I have a set on now for about 3 weeks. They've held up pretty good through the holiday jamming/gigging season and still sound good and even toned. They're a little bright for the first several hours of playing but relax afterwards. I'm in a humid place and uncoated corrode pretty quick. These are still smooth.
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  14. #11

    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I've had a set of medium XTs on my Kentucky Km-756 for almost 2 months. I like them. I haven't experienced any tubbiness as others have reported, and definitely like them better than EXP-74s.To me, they sound just like J74s but are lasting longer and settled in quicker. I will definitely put another set on when it's time.

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    Registered User Bill Baldridge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by MojoMando View Post
    Last week I installed a set of 11.5 to 40 XT's on my Gibson Master Model and my mandolin sounded terrible. It suffered a complete loss of volume and the G-string was tubby. Luckily, I had a new set of EXP74's and put them on after a one week XT test. Everything is now back to normal.

    A big thumbs down for me on the XT's. What are your experiences?

    I say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
    I took off EXP74s To try 11-40XTs on my Daley. I am only one day into the trial, but so far my experience matches yours right down to the "tubby" G strings. I want to give them a few days to see if they change as I like the idea of coated A and E strings for my acid fingers. They are going to have to change a lot as I have gone from bell tones to mush.

    I thought that I read that EXPs were no longer being made, Someone tell me that I am wrong.

  16. #13
    Mike Fox mandolinfox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Baldridge View Post
    .

    I thought that I read that EXPs were no longer being made, Someone tell me that I am wrong.
    Unfortunately, that is true of EXP74 and EXP77 (my personal; favorite - I like coated 80/20). I think the EXP74CM's are still being made.
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    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Post Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Update a month later:

    My my initial thoughts were that they were OK, but I preferred my usual nickel/bronze strings. It’s a month later and I like them more than before. It might be that my ears have gotten used to them, but I feel they lack nothing. The bass end is still there, but you can control that with attack and technique. They are holding tune very well and ring out.

    I don’t know if I would buy them in the future, but if someone gave me another set, I would use them. I would recommend checking them out to see if they fit your taste and mandolin. In general, I do like D’Addario strings for the most part.
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  18. #15

    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I've had them on for about a week now on one of my mandolins. I like the way they sound and feel. They seem to have a bit more body than EXPs (which I've been using for a few years). I think I will be using XTs on my other mandolin as well.

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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I put a set on about two months ago and I absolutely love them. The sound difference is significant and the strings stayed in tune very quickly. I guess it just depends on the mandolin, but for my Eastman these strings are perfect.

  20. #17

    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Update to my original post:

    After initially being disappointed I tried another set of XT's, this time on my 2009 Gilchrist and had much more positive results. They sound quite good and they do stay in tune extremely well. I do feel there is a minor loss in volume on the G and D strings, but not enough to complain about.

    The next step is to try another set on my Master Model and see if I get more positive results this time.
    Last edited by MojoMando; Feb-11-2020 at 3:10pm.

  21. #18

    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I just put some on my 305. I could instantly tell a difference! My wife even noticed. Not as tinny and the bass is a little more defined.

  22. #19
    Bob Ayers Ranger Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Ditto! Couldn’t wait toTake them off.
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  23. #20

    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I've now had medium XTs on my mando for just over 3 months, with pretty steady playing. Albeit not marathon stretches. In the last few days, they've finally hit the point where I'm ready to change them out. Tuning stability is still pretty good, but intonation is starting to suffer, especially in the G strings (though I don't have the lightest touch so I may have dented them up) and tone is now past my liking. Not bad though! I ordered this set with a set of custom mediums (11.5/16). I will try those next and report back.

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    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I've had my first set of XTs on my K956 for two months and they sound good and have no problem tuning or staying in tune.

  25. #22
    Registered User Eldon Dennis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I've had a set of (.11-.40) XT's on my 2010 Weber Fern A model for about a month and I'm pleased with how (for a mandolin) they seem to stay in tune during a two hour weekly jam and practice time between sessions. I also like the tone and clarity I'm hearing on this mandolin. I didn't notice any loss of volume or sustain. I just ordered some additional sets and looking forward to checking them out on my 1992 Flatiron F5 master model.
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    I just took them off two mandolins, they were not staying in tune very well, especially the A and E strings. I was disappointed with the cost/value ratio. Back to untreated strings.

  27. #24
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Each mandolin is a bit different, of course. I like the D'Addarios monel (Sam Bush gauge for me, but others might lik the standard gauges), which last a long time. So, for those who have acid fingers, if the coated strings don't work for you, it might be worth trying the monels.

    YMMV, just my 2c, etc.
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    Default Re: Your Thoughts On D'Addario XT Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis View Post
    Each mandolin is a bit different, of course. I like the D'Addarios monel (Sam Bush gauge for me, but others might lik the standard gauges), which last a long time. So, for those who have acid fingers, if the coated strings don't work for you, it might be worth trying the monels.

    YMMV, just my 2c, etc.
    I tried the XT set,but was already solidly hooked on Daddario monels. Standard gauge for me so far. May try the Bush gauges
    at some pont. Their monel strings check all the boxes for what I want.

    Have a couple sets of Curt Mangun monels to try. May take a while to get to them.

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