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Thread: XT we barely new ya!

  1. #1

    Default XT we barely new ya!

    Not sure if these are replacements or another flavor. D'Addario makes a good string. I suspect I'll try em but wonder what is different from the recently introduced XT.
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  3. #2
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Will be trying them also. Once available for mandolin. I wonder if they is more coating than the XT? I get that impression from the press release - https://www.daddario.com/news/introducing-xs/

    Reads like a new film on top of the dispersion coating. Hopefully mandolin comes out sooner, rather than later.
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    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Just strung up a set of the new D'Addario XS strings on my Kimble F5. My first impression is that these are excellent strings... feeling and sounding better than both the old EXP and XT sets. We'll see how it goes after a few weeks, but so far two words come to mind... impressive and expensive... (although not really when compared to violin or bass strings!)

    About $18 per set + shipping from the usual string suppliers.

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  6. #4
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    D'Addario must have something seriously wrong with their marketing, or possibly with their thinking, or even with their strings, to kill off their very successful "EXP" line of coated, phosphor bronze mandolin strings, introduce the "XT" set to (supposedly) replace it -- but at a higher cost! -- only to introduce the very similar-sounding (and confusing!) "XS" line shortly thereafter, with (supposedly) an even better coating, and at a much higher cost!!

    To my way of thinking, this is not a very good way to retain a loyal customer base, by (1) pulling the rug out from under them, (2) confusing the heck out of them with rapidly changing names and brands, and (3) charging them considerably more for their trouble.

    Someone ought to communicate our displeasure to them.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Everyone's looking for a pleasing sound to their liking. Myself I've never cared for a coated string on any instrument. Used D'Addario EJ75 and XT's on my mandolin but liked Mangan and Straight Up better and now on to Mapes at $6 a set. Just put on a Mapes custom gauge set of their nickel strings moving on up to a .12 gauge on E and like them very good so far and maybe best, time will tell. Lots of folks like D'Addario and that's a good thing but meh in my case as far as tone and set gauges. I like a custom gauge set without buying extras.

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  10. #6
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    D'Addario must have something seriously wrong with their marketing, or possibly with their thinking, or even with their strings, to kill off their very successful "EXP" line of coated, phosphor bronze mandolin strings, introduce the "XT" set to (supposedly) replace it -- but at a higher cost! -- only to introduce the very similar-sounding (and confusing!) "XS" line shortly thereafter, with (supposedly) an even better coating, and at a much higher cost!!

    To my way of thinking, this is not a very good way to retain a loyal customer base, by (1) pulling the rug out from under them, (2) confusing the heck out of them with rapidly changing names and brands, and (3) charging them considerably more for their trouble.

    Someone ought to communicate our displeasure to them.
    I think maybe you just did! I couldn't agree with you more... a funny way to run an airline. I believe they may have discontinued the EXP line because of initial bad packaging which led to tarnished strings. They eventually went to the sealed plastic packaging which solved that problem but by then the damage to the reputation of the EXP line was done. I mean who knows what goes on at DA these days? According to a very well-known creator of a wildly popular mandolin site the DA of today is nothing like the company it had been for decades. Seems now their goal is take over the world...

    All that said I really think these XS strings are exceptionally good. Anyone who is contra coated strings will be amazed at how good the feel is on these. But then, compared to DR's "Dragon Skins"... whoo boy!
    Last edited by Glassweb; Apr-19-2021 at 11:10pm.

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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    I pretty much stopped using D'Addario once they got out of control and stopped making strings I like at a price that was competitive.

  12. #8
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Buckingham View Post
    I pretty much stopped using D'Addario once they got out of control and stopped making strings I like at a price that was competitive.
    Well, there's still the trusty old EJ74s... pretty good and pretty inexpensive...

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  14. #9
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    Well, there's still the trusty old EJ74s... pretty good and pretty inexpensive...
    ...at least until supplies in stock run out, that is. These are no longer being made, it would appear.

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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Either me or my instruments or both maybe never cared for D'Addario mandolin or guitar strings. I'm so satisfied with my latest Mapes order and unless something drastically changes I'm staying there. My custom gauge order was .012 .016 .026 .039 nickel plated which sounds fuller and cleaner with no twang and I'll probably try a .017 A string just to see how I like it...I like an .039 G string on my mandolin as the heavier gauge G on all other brands just went dead so quickly and was horribly thud sounding. I never cared for the individual gauges in brand sets. I always wanted to choose my own individual gauges on any instrument based on my preferences.

  16. #11
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    ...at least until supplies in stock run out, that is. These are no longer being made, it would appear.

    wow... really?!?

  17. #12
    Registered User Scott Rucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    ...at least until supplies in stock run out, that is. These are no longer being made, it would appear.
    They are still listed on D'Addario's site....

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  19. #13
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Scott -- I was referring to the EXP74's and EXP75's. These are no longer listed as available at D'Addario's website. See here: https://www.daddario.com/products/guitar/mandolin/

    You can still get uncoated EJ74's, but not EXP74's.

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  21. #14
    Registered User Scott Rucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    Scott -- I was referring to the EXP74's and EXP75's. These are no longer listed as available at D'Addario's website. See here: https://www.daddario.com/products/guitar/mandolin/

    You can still get uncoated EJ74's, but not EXP74's.
    But you were replying to someone who referenced EJ74s. Don't scare me like that. LOL

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  23. #15
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    At $17.99 the new XS strings are $3.00 more than the XT strings. Both of my mandolins are now strung up with the XS strings and they are excellent. DA's best phosphor bronze offering yet.

  24. #16

    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    I'm a little confused by this new XS string, so quickly on the heels of the XT, which, according to an email I got from D'Addario, should have been the replacement for EXPs. I bought a bunch of EXPs (for my guitar) because of the price bump, and the EXPs are what came on the guitar, and suit it better than some others I tried. Now they have XS, even more expensive? A marketing mistake, I think, or maybe they'll keep the EXPs after all and the XTs will disappear. That would be my preference.

    I just resumed my mandolin dabble after a few years and can't see why they'd ever drop the EJ74s, since that must be a pretty good cash cow. The coated strings seem to be chasing Elixirs or something, which I wish they'd stop doing. I liked Martin Lifespan "1.0" but they had to go to 2.0 (which are actually Ok, but "Why?"), now EXPs turn into XT, or something else. Well, I'm off on another curmudgeonly ramble...

  25. #17
    Registered User withfoam's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    I need that .016 A string. I've found that Mapes are excellent. No upcharge for custom sets and the coating is amazing. I can also get 3 sets for the price of one of these...lol
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  26. #18
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    The Mapes strings, at only $6.00 a set, which come in any gauges that you specify, are an incredible bargain (NFI). They also come coated for greater longevity -- supposedly, with "Appalachian Moonshine", whatever that might be! But I wonder how the Mapes sets compare with D'Addario XT sets, or even with D'Addario XS sets, in phosphor bronze, and in the same gauges as the classic D'Addario J74 set ( .011", .015", .026", .040")?

    Does anyone out there have experience with both Mapes and D'Addario XT (or XS) strings, and can offer a comparison?

  27. #19
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    The Mapes strings, at only $6.00 a set, which come in any gauges that you specify, are an incredible bargain (NFI). They also come coated for greater longevity -- supposedly, with "Appalachian Moonshine", whatever that might be! But I wonder how the Mapes sets compare with D'Addario XT sets, or even with D'Addario XS sets, in phosphor bronze, and in the same gauges as the classic D'Addario J74 set ( .011", .015", .026", .040")?

    Does anyone out there have experience with both Mapes and D'Addario XT (or XS) strings, and can offer a comparison?
    For what my opinion is worth which is very little, I've been posting lately about my Mapes impression as I just ordered two sets from them. I put on the nickel plated and I really like them quiet a bit more than any other brand I've tried and that's been D'Addario XT, Curt Mangan, Straight Up, GHS, John Pearce, DR. I did a custom gauge set as I like a little heavier E. I've only had them on about a week and so far I'm very impressed with the nice rich tone. $6 and $4 shipping you can see how you like them. At this point I don't see using any other brand as they are perfect for what I'm after. Nice and rich but will still bite nicely. I like the nickel plated so well I can't see how the PB's I ordered from them can surpass the nickel tone as the the nickel is plenty bright for my likings.

  28. #20

    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    I ordered two sets of Mapes strings. Custom gauges. $6.00 a set seemed like a good deal to me. Hopefully will receive them this week.

  29. #21

    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    I just put a set of XS strings on my Girouard A5. I have to say I like em. Hope they last though.
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  31. #22
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    It seems to me that the XTs were an unsuccessful attempt to improve the mediocre EXPs, and DA responded to the market's dislike for the XTs by trying again, this time with XSs, which people apparently like.

  32. #23
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT we barely new ya!

    Been pounding away on these new XS strings for several days now... have them on two mandolins. I really like these strings! They stay in tune remarkably well, have the best tactile feel of any strings I've ever played and give these two instruments (Kimble F5 and Kimble 2 point) superb volume, tone and response. No joke... I do believe DA came up with a great product here. Now hopefully they won't be discontinued...

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