TOP 5 Acoustic Guitar Strings

Our TOP 5 Acoustic Guitar Strings

The most important part of  acoustic guitar strings are the wrap wire which rounds the core of your guitar string. The acoustic of each guitar and guitar string will vary a bit, but you will most likely choose one of these two wrap wire materials:

  • Either you should choose a 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar String which offer a bright tone, true brass than Phospor bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings
  • Or you should choose a Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar String which offers a bright, rich and warmer tone than the 80/20 strings.


After testing 13 different Acoustic Guitar Strings (see also our Guitar String Reviews) we have found our TOP 5 Acoustic Guitar Strings below.


TOP 5 Acoustic Guitar String Comparison

Acoustic Guitar StringsMaterialQualityAcousticPriceRatingBuy
D'Addario EJ16-3D Phosphor Bronze

Phosphor Bronze5/5bright, rich and warm tone$13.49#1 Bestseller@AmazonCLICK
Elixir Strings Phospor

Phosphor Bronze5/5bolder high end and fuller low end$14.95#1 Elixir Guitar StringCLICK
Elixir Strings 80/20
80/20 Bronze5/5bright, lively tone$13,95#1 Elixir Guitar StringCLICK
Martin MSP4200

Phosphor Bronze4/5great deep, rich basses and clear brights$5,49#1 Martin Guitar StringsCLICK
D'Addario EJ17-3D Phosphor Bronze
Phosphor Bronze5/5bright, rich and warm$13.49#5 Bestseller@AmazonCLICK


1) D’Addario EJ16-3D Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

1) Introduction

D’Addario Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings are one of the best acoustic guitar strings we ever played on our guitars. They are are engineered to serve as the critical link between you and your guitar. The EJ Acoustic Guitar Strings are precision wound with corrosion resistant Phosphor Bronze onto a carefully drawn, hexagonally shaped, high carbon steel core. The result is in our opinion a long lasting, bright acoustic tone with a brilliant intonation.

80/20 Bronze, commonly referred to as brass, is the original acoustic string alloy selected by John D’Addario Sr. and John D’Angelico in the 1930s. 80/20 Bronze strings are popular for recording due to their crisp, deep and projecting tone and appeal to many traditionalists and vintage enthusiasts for their historical significance.


2) Characteristic and Quality

Three components of a D’Addario guitar string work together to create your desired tone: Hex-core, outer wrap wire, and ball-end. It all starts with the core. D’Addario pioneered the use of the Hex Core, and as the name suggests, it is a six-sided high carbon steel core-wire. Each side “bites” into the wire used for the outer winding, creating a tight and consistent bond that keeps the string in tune from end to end. The final component is a D’Addario exclusive: color-coded ball-ends that secure the string in place at the guitar’s bridge, allowing for easy string identification and a major reduction in wasteful packaging. With their round wound wire strings they deliver the traditional textured feel which most players love.

D’Addario EJ16 Acoustic Guitar Strings are made of 92% copper and 8% phosphorous since 1947 in the U.S.A. They are environmentally friendly, corrosion resistant packaging for strings that are always fresh and healthy.

D’Addario’s Phoshor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings offer in our opinion the ideal balance of volume, projection and comfortable playability.




D'addario Acoustic Guitar Strings 2


3) Tone & Acoustic

Phosphor Bronze has normally a  warm, bright, and well balanced acoustic tone.

D’addario’s Acoustic Guitar Strings have an extra-bright tone mixed with deep and projecting bottom end. We think they sound very bright, rich and have a real nice warm acoustic.


4) Price

The normal List Price is $ 35.49, but now they only cost $13.49 for a 3-pack which has the best price-value ratio.

[easyazon_link asin=”B000OR2RNM” locale=”US” new_window=”yes” nofollow=”yes” tag=”guitarstringr-20″]Buy D’Addario EJ16 here [/easyazon_link]


D'addario Acoustic Guitar Strings

5) Reviews of Guitar Players

D’Addario acoustic strings are the choice of countless professionals around the world including Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Ryan Adams, and many more!


I have strung literally thousands of guitars over my 40 years of repairing stringed instruments. D’Addario EJ16s are IMHO the best strings money can buy- it is the standard of the industry for good reason… they’re simply the best string available! D’Addario’s corrosion-proof sealed bags ensure you get them as fresh as when they left the factory. Lower grade cheap strings are shipped in simple paper envelopes and allow the metals inside to oxidize just while sitting on the shelf at the warehouse, store or while in your case. On the other hand, expensive hand made strings, like DRs or J Pierce, are wrapped way too tightly, thus, have too much mass, so your guitar’s intonation and rod will probably need to be readjusted. They also play stiffly. D’Addario uses the best steel and bronze alloy and wraps the wound strings with just the correct tension over a hex-shaped inner wire. This causes the outter wrapped wire to essentially be “locked” onto the inner hex wire. This secure wrap keeps it from separating and allows the string to breathe and bend great. They’re also VERY resistant to breakage. I have only broken a handful of D’Addarios over several thousand restringings, and the breakages usually only occurred due to a burr on the tuner post, nut, or bridge. On strings like Martin SPs, they’re known to be a more bendable string than Daddarios. This is because the inner wire of the wound strings are much smaller in diameter. This leads to easier string breakage and easier separation of the inner wire and outter wrap wire. TRUST ME ON THIS… you will love Daddario EJ16 strings!Peter Mcconel


2) Elixir Strings 16182 Phosphor Bronze with NANOWEB Coating

1) Introduction

Elixir claims the Acoustic Guitar Strings Phosphor Bronze with Nanoweb Coating to be #1 Acoustic Guitar Strings. In our review they are close to d’addario’s guitar strings and in the end it is just a matter of “good feeling” and your personal opinion in the usability and tone. The HD Light Strings offer a comfortable balanced hand feel together with the extended tone life that players have come to expect from Elixir Strings. With less hassle and expense of frequent string changes, you enjoy more time making music. Elixir players report that they have a smooth feeling that is easy on your fingers and enhances playability.

2) Characteristic and Quality

The #1 acoustic Elixir guitar strings provide consistent performance, smooth feel and reduce finger squeak. Elixir claims to be the only coated string brand to protect the entire string with an ultra-thin coating, keeping gunk out of the gaps between the windings. Moreover the Anti-Rust Plated Plain Steel Strings also resists tone-deadening corrosion, ensuring longer life for the entire set.

We think you don’t do anything wrong with these Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings and they are in the same high-quality like D’addario’s.

Elixir Guitar Strings



This is without a doubt the best guitar string I have ever used in my 45 years of playing. Whether playing rock, country, mellow or bluegrass, the sound seems to be perfect. Very easy on the fingers and smooth and quiet when sliding up and down the fret board. While it has fantastic volume, the tone is both rich and bright. I switched back and forth between these strings and my previous favorites and had to concede that Elixir phosphor bronze with nanoweb coating are the strings to beat. The balance and richness of these make it destined to own the string market, and it will be well earned. It is great to know that there’s still room for big improvements after all these years. Don’t change a thing!Tobias Mister

Uncoated Strings vs Coated Elixir Guitar String

Elixir Guitar Strings 2

3) Tone & Acoustic

If you saw the video above (Comparision between D’addario & Elixir Guitar Strings) you can hear a difference in the guitar string acoustic. In our opinion Elixir Guitar Strings deliver bolder high end and fuller low end with a balanced voice across all the strings which making them ideal for narrow bodied guitars.

Moreover we heard an extended tone life in our tests which is also reported from other players who say their tone lasts longer when playing with Elixir Guitar Strings.


The normal List Price is $ 34,00 but now they only cost $14,95

[easyazon_link asin=”B00JBIVXGC” locale=”US” new_window=”yes” nofollow=”yes” tag=”guitarstringr-20″]Buy Elixir Phosphor Bronze Guitar Strings here[/easyazon_link]



I had the opportunity to try a set of Elixir Nanoweb light gauge (.013 – .053) strings in both Phosphor Bronze and 80/20 Bronze. Instead of writing a separate review for each, I figured I’d write one review for both types of strings and post it in both places for those who are trying to figure out which strings would best meet their needs. The Phosphor Bronze strings are mounted on a brand new Guild F-47 RC guitar. It is a concert sized guitar with a Florentine cutaway. The body is Brazilian Rosewood and the top is Adirondack (Red) Spruce. I have always heard that Phosphor is a bit brighter and sounds better on a Rosewood guitar. I would agree. The tone is nicely balanced – maybe a bit weak in the bass, but the strings are new and in a couple days I expect them to sound a bit better. The notes are articulated well, and there is a nice midrange tone. Vincent Vice



3) Elixir Strings Acoustic 80/20 Bronze Guitar Strings with Coating

1) Introduction

As our #2 Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings we also tested the 80/20 Bronze version of Elixir’s #1 Acoustic Guitar Strings.

2)Characteristic – Quality

The Quality is as great as the Phosphor Version. The Nanoweb Coating helps the Acoustic Guitar String to extend its lifespan and to have a great feeling when you play this kind of guitar string.

Elixir Guitar Strings


3) Tone & Acoustic

So what is the difference between the Phosphor and the 80/20 version? Of Course the sound!

The 80/20 Elixir Acoustic Guitar Strings deliver a bright, lively tone. If you are an advanced guitar player you will hear the difference. This is in our opinion again an individual choose which sound you like more to decide between these both guitar strings. As the Phosphor version we heard an extended tone life which was great.


The normal List Price is $ 30,00 but now they only cost $13,95

[easyazon_link asin=”B0002E1O2M” locale=”US” new_window=”yes” nofollow=”yes” tag=”guitarstringr-20″]Buy Elixir 80/20 Guitar Strings here[/easyazon_link]

Elixir Guitar Strings 6

Elixir Guitar Strings 4


After trying out a few different types of strings for my Taylor, I decided the Taylor company had the right idea after all- nothing beats Elixirs. I figure the price is reasonable because not only do they last far longer than any other strings, they also feel a lot better on your fingers. I prefer the nanowebs to the polywebs because they’re slicker and the top layer on the polywebs shreds/feathers a bit over the soundhole sometimes. Overall, definitely worth it.Ralf Ombsy


I have over 15 years playing experience and I would not have any other strings on my guitar. I have messed around with many different brands and even the $1/pack I found online (which I wanted to change half way through a set) but there is simply nothing else out there at this price which lasts as long, sounds as good and makes playing such a pleasure as these. I play mostly acoustic guitar in a one man show and play anywhere from 2-5 hours, though the average is around 3 hours. I finger pick but mostly strum with medium thickness picks. I tune frequently to open chords and there never is a problem. I never leave home without a few packs in my case in case a string breaks, but I rarely need them until I decide to change all my strings. They last a long time and never seem to loose their vibrant sound.Steven McGowan


4) Martin MSP4200 SP Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

1) Introduction

On our #4 we have another guitar string brand. We think the Martin Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings deserve to be place 4 due to their price and their stability.

Martin Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings use a winding alloy that is ideally suited for making strings that deliver deep, rich basses and clear, bright trebles.


2)Characteristic – Quality

In our test we saw a good quality, but we think the quality is less good than from brands like Elixir or D’Addario. Some guitar players out there are strongly believing in Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings and we think they can be right, but we are not.

3) Tone & Acoustic

Here is were Martin Guitar String benefit, they have a great deep, rich basses and clear, bright trebles sound. Their acoustic is different to d’addario’s and elixir strings and you should try them if you have not before.

4) Price

The normal List Price is $ 16,79 but now they only cost $5,49

[easyazon_link asin=”B0002D0CAI” locale=”US” new_window=”yes” nofollow=”yes” tag=”guitarstringr-20″]Buy MartinPhosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings here[/easyazon_link]

Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings

5) Reviews

Most guitarists I know tend to buy the typical 80/20 phosphor bronze strings. These are 92/8 phosphor bronze and it really does make for a nicer sounding string. The unwound E and B strings are bronzed. If you aren’t into the nano-webb strings (I’m not)to get long life out of your strings, try these, the do last longer than the 80/20’s. I use these on my D style as well as a Martin OOO, sound great on both for bluesy, fingerstyle playing. Keep on pickin’!!Paul Player
Im a professional player (80+ gigs per year). Because I often play near the bridge with full force (deep churning single and double string rythm rifs) I tend to break strings. D’addarios, for example, last me about 25 minutes on stage (if I’m lucky). These Martin SP’s (mediums) last me from 1 – 6 hours on stage depending on the thickness of the pick I’m using. No other string that I’ve used is a strong as these, period…and the tone is excellent! Norman Toug


5) D’Addario EJ17-3D Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

1) Introduction


Our #5 Ranking is the Medium version of our #1 Place. D’addario brings with the EJ17 another great Acoustic Guitar String.


d'addario acoustic guitar string

3) Tone & Acoustic

Phosphor Bronze has normally a  warm, bright, and well balanced acoustic tone.

D’addario’s Acoustic Guitar Strings have an extra-bright tone mixed with deep and projecting bottom end. We think they sound very bright, rich and have a real nice warm acoustic.


d'addario acoustic guitar string2


Your Turn

What is your favourite Acoustic Guitar String for your Guitar?

Let me know in the comments below!

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Acoustic Guitar Strings
Author Rating
  1. October 9, 2014
  2. November 4, 2015
    • December 25, 2015
  3. February 7, 2016
  4. July 23, 2016