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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!"

  2. #2
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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.

  12. #10
    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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  13. #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.

  15. #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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  17. #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.

  18. #16
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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.

  19. #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.

  20. #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.

  21. #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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