This article is the complement to The Best and Most Popular Acoustic Guitar Strings compilation that I recently posted. Like that article, this too will be mainly a listing of the various types of electric guitar strings available at Amazon; that is, the best and most popular electric guitar strings you can find there.
Most of the packs you’ll see below contain 6 strings. There are a few that have 7 strings or 8 strings and are clearly noted as such.
There are really only five Amazon sales pages involved. You see many more than five sets of strings listed because, if you click around just a little on each sales page, you can get to all sorts of variations on the main listing.
With the exception of the Ernie Ball brand, the vast majority of sets of electric strings are 1-packs. However, for a few of the more common styles, you can get 3-packs or even 25-packs. (I guess those are for the pros who play a lot and are especially rough with their strings.)
Unlike the numbers shown in the acoustic listings, here we’ll go without the decimal points for the gauges. So, when you see a size of “9”, realize that that’s the same as a “.009” gauge string.
Ernie Ball Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings
All the Ernie Ball electric strings listed below come in 3-packs.
Click the link just below to see all the Ernie Ball electric guitar strings in the table that follows.
|Weight||Slinky Top, Heavy Bottom||Power Slinky||Regular Slinky||Hybrid Slinky||Super Slinky|
D’Addario XL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings
There are over a dozen options on this sales page. Choose wisely using the link below. I’ll spread the sets over three tables so things don’t get too crowded.
Note that these are designated as “nickel wound” as opposed to “nickel plated” (NYXL) which you’ll find further down in this article.
|Weight||Regular Light, Wound Third||Regular Light (7)||Medium, Wound Third||Super Light||Super Light Plus|
|Weight||Super Light, Soldered||Super Light, Balanced Tension||Super Light. (7)||Super Light (8)||Super Light Top. Regular Bottom|
|Packs||1||1||1||1||1, 3, 10|
|Weight||Extra Super Light||Extra Super Light Plus||Light Top, Heavy Bottom (8)||High Strung, Nashville Tuning|
D’Addario NYXL Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings
I don’t honestly know the difference between nickel wound and nickel plated, but that’s that main point of difference I see between these and the XL strings above.
Again, due to the high volume of variations – 20 of them – I’ll use several tables to contain them all. If looking to purchase by stock number, prefix each number below with “NYXL”. (I left that part off for space considerations.)
|Weight||Extra Super Light||Super Light, Bal. Tension||Super Light||Super Light Top, Regular Bottom||Super Light Plus||Super Light (8)|
|Packs||1||1||1, 3, 25||1, 3||1||1|
|Weight||Regular Light||Regular Light, Balanced Tension||Light Top, Heavy Bottom||Regular Light (7)||Light Top, Heavy Bottom (8)|
|Packs||1, 3, 25||1||1, 3||1||1|
|Weight||Medium||Medium, Balanced Tension||Medium Top, Heavy Bottom||Medium Top, Extra Heavy Bottom||Medium (7)|
|Packs||1, 3, 25||1||1, 3||1||1|
Each of the following is only available (at Amazon) in a 1-pack.
NYXL1356W is called “Medium” at Amazon, but I think that is mislabeled. These strings are heavy, if not extra heavy.
|Weight||Light, Wound Third||Heavy||Extra Heavy||Medium, Wound Third|
Elixir Nickel Plated Steel Electric Guitar Strings with NANOWEB Coating
Elixir has quite of few options as well, so we’ll go with three tables here.
All of the following are available as 1-packs.
|Weight||Super Light||Super Light (7)||Custom Light||Light|
|Weight||Light (8)||Light / Heavy (7)||Light / Heavy|
Fender Original Bullets Electric Guitar Strings
These strings take a little explanation. I’ll simply quote Fender to help you understand what makes these so different and – according to Fender – worth paying for.
Bullet vs Ball Ends
An effect of the ball-end design is that when bending a string, the wire in that small slack area bends slightly, allowing the ball-end to seat itself more closely against the bridge. Then, when ‘diving’ the tremolo, tension on the bridge end of the string is briefly released, causing the slack area to attempt to spring back to its original un-bent position, only to ‘re-bend’ when bending the string again.
The problem is that when the string returns to tension, it might or might not be seated against the bridge exactly as it was before, which means there’s a pretty good chance that it will be slightly out of tune.
Another problem is that, on Stratocaster guitars, ball ends often get wedged in the tremolo block channels pretty tight, making them difficult to remove when changing strings.
The Bullet-End design is especially well suited to Stratocaster guitars because the bullet ends fit far more precisely into the tremolo block, closely fitting the circumference of the string channel, and they slipped out easily when changing strings.
Here’s what ball and bullet ends look like.
All the Fender electric string sets are 1-packs below.
|Type||Light (3150L)||Light / Regular (3150LR)||Vintage Nickel, 10||Vintage Nickel, 11|
I had to make some assumptions about the gauges for the two Vintage Nickel sets. If the numbers aren’t correct, they’re at least close.