When I first started playing guitar, I found that the strings felt so thin and delicate that I almost gave up! Playing (what the masses would call) industrial metal, I hated the contrast of having to play aggressive riffs so carefully and gently. Strumming an open power chord in drop-D too hard made the whole chord appear to start nearly a semitone too high, and settle back down to D-A-D... I fixed this by moving up string gauges until I was at the point of buying 7 string sets, and ditching the 1st string!
This apparently solved my problem, and I spent a year learning my instrument with 12s, and (most importantly for my music) a 6th string .56 thick. I always felt something was missing, and didn't "feel" quite right with the strings though... they were too heavy and stiff, particularly the 1st to 3rd strings. My peers dismissed this, saying "you're using really heavy strings, what do you expect?". When I moved over to a more professional setup and started focusing on developing an extremely heavy guitar tone for drop C and drop D tuning, I noticed a real failure in tone that I could no longer compensate for through playing style, pedals, EQ, amp settings, etc. With my ESP Eclipse running into a SansAmp PSA1 I still felt sure there was something missing... I tried EVERY brand of string I could find, with 6th strings ranging from .54 up to .65, nothing felt right, and I didn?t have a clue why.
Then I found DR DDT strings. The packaging looked plain weird, I'd never heard of DR, and they were a fair bit more expensive than other strings, but I gave them a try. I bought a range of sets, from fairly heavy to the heaviest 6 string set they do, and put the lightest set on.
The first thing I noticed was how "floppy" the strings were out the packet, particularly the 6th string... I was used to rigid and stiff strings like "Not even slinky" set from Ernie Ball. In hindsight, perhaps that's what gives the strings such an edge. When I started playing, my ESP just felt "right", palm muting felt easier as I was no longer forced to overcompensate with technique to get the sound I was looking for. I was so shocked that I literally took the fresh strings off, and put on the set I anticipated would sound best, the 10/60s (fairly light top strings, and heavy bottom strings). It was heaven to play through my rig that day, and I'm shockingly disappointed every time I try any other brand of string. "My" sound is gone, my guitar feels alien, the actual part of the instrument I interact with feels like it's fighting me, so I switch straight back to DDTs!
I found the 10/60s ideal: heavy enough for drop D, pretty good for drop C, and still fairly usable in drop B, although drop A seems a step too far without increasing to .65s or having a longer scale length! Bending on the top strings is as easy as a set of 10s, and given that I rarely bend the bottom strings, no concerns there.
Sound wise, they're bright without being harsh, and percussive without sounding nasty. They give that real chainsaw (in a GOOD way) sound when played open, with an aggressive sounding crunch to the palm muted sound. Just listen to "Bestrafe mich" or "Sehnsucht" by Rammstein, or "My Own Summer (Shove It)" by Deftones... I grew up listening to the soundtrack from The Matrix and being utterly captivated with the screaming feedback of "Rock is Dead", the pounding arena-scape of Ministry's "Bad Blood", and the feeling I got when I tried DR DDT strings brought back that awe-inspiring era of discovering heavy music. The difference was that it was ME who was making the music... and DDTs just plain feel right to use, as if I?d discovered some secret combination!
I've since tried to go back to other strings, because here in the UK, DR DDT strings are prohibitively expensive, and changing my strings at LEAST twice a month soon adds up. Every time, I end up taking the other brands off to replace them with DDTs. I've gone as far as to import a shipment of THIRTY packs from America when the Pound was strong against the Dollar, that's how much I love them. I lose interest in playing guitar if I don't have DDTs, because my ESP doesn't sound the same.
They stay bright for long enough, but I?m constantly chasing that ?new string? sound, so my sets rarely stay on for more than a week or two unless I?m extremely busy doing other things! The ONLY down side to DDT strings is the rate of ?dud? strings. I?ve used literally hundreds of packs of DR DDT 10/60s over the years, and I?d say one in twelve packs have an ?off ? string that sounds a little dull, or breaks during tuning. I find myself changing the intonation of the 4th, 5th and 6th strings pretty wildly sometimes, but ultimately I?ve got enough sets lying about that I simply swap out any dud strings. Not a deal breaker, especially when you consider that they?re handmade! If you?re happy after a string change, the strings are generally fine, and I?ve yet to break a string while playing!
To sum up, I was always told by other musicians that strings weren't an important choice. You only hear a magnetic pickup's "image" of the string movement, and once its passed through my dual preamp rig, effects unit, power amp, and into the real world as a pressure wave, only to be captured by a microphone again... does it really matter what brand you use? That string IS the sound, the whole chain after your guitar's jack modulates the sounds generated by that string. You interact with that string, and everything you do with amps, effects, right up to mixing and mastering starts with a vibrating string. DDTs are the best I?ve found for heavy music, without exception.