Few string manufacturers command the respect and authority of D’Addario. These ubiquitous strings have been found on the guitars of professionals, amateurs, and beginning players alike, but have you ever considered why these strings are as popular as they are? After all, what really sets apart a D’Addario from the competition?
We’ve wondered those exact questions for awhile now, which is why we decided to test out one of D’Addario’s more popular string series, the Pro-Arte EJ46. We’ve taken a look at all the different facets of this string to report back on what all must be considered before purchasing one of these string sets.
Based solely on their reputation, one might expect the EJ46’s to have a pretty fantastic sound; fortunately, this assumption proves to be correct. As a matter of fact, the sound the strings produce is considered one of the top qualities of the EJ46’s. These classical guitar strings are full-bodied, but they have enough punch and top end for quick playability. This best suits the strings for flamenco, as the flurries of hammer-ons and fast fingerings on the top strings will be aided by the treble boost. As far as tone goes, the EJ46’s have sound that is of the same caliber of the D’Addario EJ16’s that we reviewed in the past.
Those of you who know about a thing or two about classical guitar strings are likely wondering what the tension on these strings are; suffice it to say that they are high tension strings. This further serves to aid flamenco players, who often require higher tension strings in order to get a crisp and precise sound to serve their needs. The EJ46’s definitely deliver on this front.
Basic Construction and Durability
Like all classical guitar strings, the primary component of the D’Addario EJ46’s is nylon. This nylon is either stretched over the neck of the guitar as a single filament in the case of the upper strings or wrapped around a bronze core for the lower strings. This allows the manufacturer to control the balance of the strings; by all accounts, the D’Addario EJ46’s have a fairly decent balance that may slightly favor the top end.
One of the EJ46’s strongest points of contention is their durability. Compared to almost every other type of classical string, the EJ46 has an incredible level of durability, often lasting the player for months. While playing on the same strings for months definitely won’t lead to the best sound possible, it is reassuring to know that should access to these strings be severed, the player still has a number of weeks of playability ahead of them.
Another great quality of the EJ46’s is their ability to fall into tune. After relatively little playing, the strings will have become sufficiently “warmed up” and should hold their tuning no problem; compared to similar strings, this warm up period is quite a bit shorter. This is definitely a benefit to professional players, as it means they can string up just a few hours prior to show and be ready to go that evening. Once these strings are in tune, it’s fairly easy to keep them as such, and unless they experience extremely heavy use, the strings will not degrade or unwind.
Price and Availability
Another high point of D’Addario products is their massive availability. Pretty much every music shop, big boxes included, will stock D’Addario strings (they are, after all, one of the most popular brands of strings around). Players should have no trouble finding these strings at a reasonable price. Furthermore, if finding them in your local shops proves challenging, these strings are easily available and cheap through online marketplaces such as Amazon.
As far as price goes, the D’Addario aren’t particularly expensive. As of the writing of this review, the strings typically sell between $5-7 online, and will likely be a few more bucks in person. For the quality of the strings, this price point is a great value for guitar players.