Acoustic Instruments

What are the differences in sound/tone between alloys?

Electric and acoustic guitar strings and electric bass strings are made using a steel core wire with a “wrap wire” wound onto the core. The type of alloy used as the wrap wire determines the tonal quality of the strings. Here’s a quick reference guide: Nickel – D’Addario’s XL strings are made using nickel-plated wrap wire. Nickel provides great overall tone and sound and has been the best-selling type of electric guitar string over the last 50 years. Stainless Steel – D’Addario XLS guitar and ProSteels bass strings are made with a stainless steel wrap wire. Stainless steel provides a brighter, more cutting tone. They’re generally used on electric instruments, but can be used on acoustic instruments as well. Phosphor Bronze – D’Addario pioneered Phosphor Bronze acoustic guitar strings in 1974. They are legendary for their full, rich, acoustic tone. Phosphor bronze provides a warm, and bright tone. 80/20 Bronze – D’Addario 80/20 Bronze (also referred to as brass) acoustic guitar strings provide a brighter tone. 80/20 Bronze strings have great acoustic clarity coupled with extra-bright, loud tone. For more information about our different types of strings, please browse our online catalog or contact us at to discuss your specific needs.