Having previously only used Elixir?s Nanowebs I was excited to test their originals, the Polywebs for any differences. I had heard that the Polywebs last longer, and If I was to like them as much as I like the Nanowebs, and if they last longer, then I?m converting to them. Even if this does mean changing string gauges, resetting my Floyd Rose bridge and adjusting the truss-rod ? Sadly, Polywebs string are not offered anymore in all gauges, just super light and light (9?s and 10?s).
Immediately there is a difference, made obvious on opening the packet. The polywebs have a much thicker coating around the string which is blatantly visible compared to the almost invisible coating around the Nanowebs (see pics). I wonder if this extra coat will add more density/weight to the strings, will they pull more on my floating bridge? I am changing gauge anyway so will need to set up the guitar properly for it, but what if I were changing from Nano to Polyweb and keeping the gauge the same? Would small adjustments be needed?
The tone is great, as is with the Nanowebs, and to be expected.
It seems that the only difference is the thickness in coat. This thickness does make a difference to the overall feel of the string. The Polywebs have a different feel, which might take some getting used to, but for me I had no trouble with this and find them easy to play, comfortable and rather interesting. Over time the coating - or my sensitivity to it - has relaxed. The strings are still very bright after about 3 months of daily playing. They might as well be brand new; they still have that nice new rattley sound. I haven?t cleaned, or wiped the strings at all. I only wash my hands before playing. The protective coating has lost its brilliant white colour and is dirtier now but the coating has not worn down to any noticeable degree. All 3 of the bottom strings are still completely coated.
The Elixir coating is only applied to the bottom 3 (the wound) strings, this leaves the top 3 strings, the G,B,and top E plain steel strings uncoated ? these are the strings that start to go first and feel old. These strings have only the anti-rust coating, which does extend their life and playability. However, the anti-rust coating will wear off, the strings will the start to corrode and oxidize, making them feel uncomfortable, and harder to slide around on. The same can be found with the Nanowebs as well as the Polywebs. You will be able to see when the anti-rust coating is wearing off at the places played the most. When this happens consider changing just these strings, or just cleaning these strings carefully (Being careful not to wipe the wound strings and risk removing the Elixir coating from them).
The Verdict: I?m a convert to Polywebs? for now. I find them to be much longer lasting. I may change the G,B, and top E strings when the time comes to see how long the 3 coated strings will last. It may very well be in many years time.
Now, granted I haven't tried many strings. In fact the only ones I have tried are D'Ardios and a default thomann set for Westwood, which are crap, but the Elixirs are the best strings I have ever used.
They sound amazing, and I use nothing else. They stay in tune perfectly and have never had issues with them in that regard. I have acidic sweat apparently, but yet thomann they stay fresh even after a month or two of frequent use. They have only once snapped on me after 3 months of use and relieving way too much tension by tuning to D on my .011 gauge e string, although that is mostly my own fault. They thomann do not rust, as in, at all. At all at all. The worst that happens to them is that the plastic covering tears a little a leaves a bit of a burr on the string at the end where I pluck them, but that doesn't affect anything. They thomann don't get in your way, or ruin the sound. Just happens. Thomann also has the best prices on them, whenever I order something I always plop some strings to boot!
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