Monday, February 3, 2014

D’Addario Pro Arte EJ45 Classical Guitar String Review

Hi there!

I do not play my classical guitar very much, and over the years I have tried a few different brands of strings, but so far I have always gone back to my favorites, the D’Addario Pro Arte EJ45 normal tension classical set that can be found on the old Japanese Ariana that my dad bought back on the 1960s.

The normal tension set includes the following gauges: 0.0280, 0.0322, 0.0403, 0.029, 0.035 and 0.043. The wound strings are silver-plated copper over a multi-filament nylon core, and the treble strings are clear nylon. I have never broken one of the wound strings in any of these sets, but of course a few of the nylons ones have popped over the years. It must be all of the chemicals in the Los Angeles air…

By the way, the EJ45 normal tension set is the lightest set of strings in this series. The EJ46 are a bit beefier, and the EJ47 are the heaviest. If you want more volume, you will have to step up to one of these sets, but it seems that they have all of the bases covered.

D’Addario is probably the biggest guitar string manufacturer in the world, and if you look through their literature you will see that they make a big deal about how the Pro Arte strings have “Laser-selected treble strings and computer wound bass strings for perfect consistency and quality.” Well, I do not know how to prove that claim, but these strings are consistent and they are comfortable and hold up well.

After installing a set of Pro Arte strings it takes a while for them to settle in, but they do not seems to stretch any more or less than other classical strings I have tried. They first few hours they have an amazingly bright tone, but calm down to a normal level pretty quickly. Their normal level ends up being a predictably even and sweet tone across all of the strings that works well for both recording and live performances. As a bonus they also have good intonation and project very nicely…

As I said, my classical guitar does not get as much play time as its steel stringed cousins, so I usually only change strings a few times a year, and even then the strings are still in pretty good shape when I swap them out. It probably helps that they use corrosion-resistant packaging, as these things can sit on the shelf for a while in my studio before I install them. Oh yes. And these strings are made in the United States, in case that affects your purchase decision.

Though the D’Addario Pro Arte EJ45 classical guitar string set has a list price of $15.70, you will find that the street price is about $6 or $7 per pack, which is quite a bargain when compared to a lot of the other strings out there. They sound great and hold up well, so if you do not currently use them you should give them a try.


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