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Thread: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

  1. #1
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    Default What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    All my usual stores are out of stock. Since D'Addario stopped making the EXP strings I loved so much, I've been on a hunt for a suitable replacement. Having used a set of the Elixir mediums, I thought I found it, but now I can't seem to find them I went back to EJ 75s but I'm not really happy with them now. I tried Dragon Skin DRs and they sounded good initially, but didn't last very long. I know that string preferences are subjective, but I would really like something akin to either the EXPs or the Elixirs. Any understanding of why the Elixirs are out of stock, or suggestions for a replacement? Thanks.
    Daniel Kaufman

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    Don't know but I'm in the same boat. I've been looking for them for a long time.

  3. #3
    aka aldimandola Michael Wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I wrote them some weeks ago. They told me they have resource problems. So I think guitar stings are more important for them to produce, since they are still there. Understandable on one hand. But nonetheless I´m a bit annoyed and I´m not very motivated to buy their guitar strings any more in the moment.
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  4. #4
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    The coating is from the Goretex people. I suspect that’s where the issue lies.

    I really liked those strings
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  6. #5
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I can highly recommend the new D'Addario XS mandolin strings. If you liked the old EXP set you will love these... a much better product than the Elixir strings or the old EXPs. These strings are coated... but unlike the Elixirs or DR Dragon Skins you will not notice the coating. Great sound, tuning stability and they will last for a couple of months or more if you wipe them off after playing. I just use a microfiber cloth.

    The one drawback is they are not inexpensive... $17.99 per set. A lot less than Thomastiks I guess! Or violin strings!

    Well worth it in my book...
    Last edited by Glassweb; May-02-2022 at 1:12pm.

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  8. #6

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    Good to hear the XS's are worth trying.

    I've been using Elixir nanos on guitar for decades, and while the price seems high, they last so much longer that they end up costing half as much or maybe even less.

    Changing strings on a mando is more of a pain than guitar, so as soon as I'm sure about the gauges I want, I'll be switching to some kind of coated strings. I use D'Addario on classical and they're the best I've found (and also the highest tension strings I can find.) But I haven't tried their XS yet.

    I did try several other companies' coatings, like Martin, and so far, they all sucked compared to Elixir. (The Martins would sing REALLY LOUD whenever I slid my hand along the strings. Yikes!) I suspect D'Addario EXP's were the others I tried.

  9. #7
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    The string thing is funny. I went through a period where I used Elixirs for years on my mandolins--really liked them--then one day decided I wanted a change (or maybe couldn't find them locally, insert shrugging emoji) and went back to J-75s, which I like the tone of better but which don't last as long for me. I used to get 6+ months out of a set of Elixirs but maybe half that with J-75s (I have several instruments and rotate through playing them all, so it's not like I'm playing 3 hours a day and getting that string life, lol). Then, one day on here someone posted a deal with Elixir mandolin strings on Amazon for 6 sets for some ridiculously low price, so I snagged a half dozen. Had a couple that needed changes anyway. Well, I couldn't stand the Elixirs. I love their newer coating on guitar but could only find the older, more obvious coating for mando. I took them off my main couple of players and gradually used up the rest on my beater.

    Lately I've been loving me some D'Addairio monels, but if Elixir ever starts making mando strings with the newer coating I'll give them another shot. Also need to try the new D'Addairio's Glassweb references above.

    Sorry, no useful info to contribute to the original question, other than to suspect it's the ubiquitous supply chain issues...
    Chuck

  10. #8
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I just bought a set of the XS. Hopefully they will last as long as the Elixirs. We'll see....
    Daniel Kaufman

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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I found the XS strings to be very stable when I put them on last summer. The odd thing was they were still very bright, like new string bright when I took them off this past January. Uncoated strings tend to settle in and get a mellower sound, but they didn't. So I'm back to using GHS and don't mind changing strings more than once or twice a year.

  12. #10
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I've had a set of XS on my F4 for a year now. I'm mainly a guitar player (pick up the mando for a tune or two on the weekends), so these have lasted incredibly well. Still look and sound fresh (which I know isn't everyone's cup of tea). I have 2 sets in back up - I won't need to buy new strings until 2025 at this rate! AND I still have an unopened pack of EXPs...

    One more word of praise for the XS strings - when I was trying to find the perfect bridge for my F4, I loosened (right off) and retightened the strings more than a dozen times. Not one snapped string. That is impressive!

  13. #11
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    You might find using the Sam Bush strings from D'Addario work - Monel - for me, it's hard wearing, almost as good as Elixirs... just a thought. No Financial interest, etc..
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  14. #12

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    CES, with Elixir make sure you distinguish between nanoweb and polyweb. I don't think they have "new" and "old". I've never tried polyweb, but I hear they're terrible. Nanoweb is what I've been using since 1990 or maybe earlier (on guitar.)

    When I first started using them, I missed the "brand new strings" sparkle I got from Martin 80/20's, which would fade after say 8 hours of playing and then sound pretty much the same as the Elixirs. But now I find I like the tone better without that anyway.

  15. #13
    aka aldimandola Michael Wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I think D'Addario XS are a very good alternative for archtop instruments. But it looks like they offer no light set of XS. I used Elixir lights on my Bandolim, and there seems to be no real alternative in lighter strings.
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  16. #14

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I am surprised no one has mentioned the d'addario XT. I use these on mando and some guitars. Excellent life and tone. Maybe not feeling as coated as elixirs but last fine.
    I use 11 - 40.

  17. #15

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    My problem is that they are Phosphor Bronze. D'Addario used to make an 80/20 bronze coated set but that doesn't appear to be available in the new version of their coated strings. I'm one of those people that kill Phosphor Bronze in very short order.

  18. #16
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by nick delmore View Post
    My problem is that they are Phosphor Bronze. D'Addario used to make an 80/20 bronze coated set but that doesn't appear to be available in the new version of their coated strings. I'm one of those people that kill Phosphor Bronze in very short order.
    That is an issue. Elixir are the only coated 80/20 mando strings from what I can see.

    FWIW, I kill uncoated PB strings in two days, but have coated PB strings on guitars and a mandolin here that have lasted more than a year.

  19. #17

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I was wondering if the coating would make a difference. When I started using coated strings the 80/20's were available, so that's all I've ever used. Maybe I'll try a set to see if they stand up.

  20. #18
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by nick delmore View Post
    I was wondering if the coating would make a difference. When I started using coated strings the 80/20's were available, so that's all I've ever used. Maybe I'll try a set to see if they stand up.
    You might be pleasantly surprised. I use Elixir strings on my guitars, and the wound strings get quite furry in the picking area (no effect on sound though I must say). The XS mandolin strings have not got furry at all after a year, and are still bright and shiny. It seems they have a more robust coating process.

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  22. #19

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    Interesting point about the fur. I admit that bugs me when I pay attention to it (which I usually don't, thank goodness.) But I'm looking forward to trying a set that doesn't do that!

  23. #20

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I tried the XS strings on my D18. To me they have a smoother feel than the XT. I got about 2 months out of them (as opposed to 3 weeks). Interestingly, they didn't sound like coated strings when fresh, more like PB strings that have been played in. They didn't have the brashness of regular uncoated new strings, and here's the remarkable thing, they held that same tone for the entire 2 months. They never got muddy like old strings do, they just got quieter. I'm used to having to change pick thicknesses as strings get older, never needed to with these.

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  25. #21
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Roy View Post
    I tried the XS strings on my D18. To me they have a smoother feel than the XT. I got about 2 months out of them (as opposed to 3 weeks). Interestingly, they didn't sound like coated strings when fresh, more like PB strings that have been played in. They didn't have the brashness of regular uncoated new strings, and here's the remarkable thing, they held that same tone for the entire 2 months. They never got muddy like old strings do, they just got quieter. I'm used to having to change pick thicknesses as strings get older, never needed to with these.
    Agree!

  26. #22

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    I've tried coated D'addario EXP and Mangan strings. Both were good but didn't last as long as my Elixir strings

  27. #23

    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    So here’s a reply it’s finally come down the line.

    “Hi Dylan, Unfortunately we're
    discontinuing banjo and mandolin
    strings effective immediately.
    Supply is limited. Some stock may
    still exist at your favorite music
    store. Please check with them for
    availability. This decision was
    made so that Elixir Strings can
    focus on more in-demand strings
    like acoustic, electric, and bass as
    well as future innovations.”

  28. #24
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    Yikes! That's big news...

  29. #25
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: What has happened to Elixir mando strings?

    Disappointing but not surprising.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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