On opening the packaging, you can immediately tell that the quality of Thomastik strings is a cut above. The strings are individually packaged in very nice paper envelopes, inside which is a strong plastic pouch. The strings are silk-wrapped at both ends to prevent the wrap wire from unravelling.
The strings feel very smooth under the fingers, with a complete absence of the finger noise you get with roundwound strings. There's also a significant reduction in buzzing as you lift off a fretted note. The percussive click of the pick is also considerably reduced, which I find very pleasing. This lack of noise gives a very pure piano-like quality, which I find particularly well suited to fingerstyle playing.
Intonation is perfect right across the neck, particularly thanks to the wound G string. Tension is very well balanced across the strings thanks to the carefully matched string gauges. The strings feel considerably softer than you'd expect for a 10 gauge set.
The tone is warm and rounded, with an almost acoustic woody character in the lower midrange. There is significantly less high end sparkle than roundwounds as you would expect, but the strings aren't dull by any means. The traditional jazz sound is available with a neck humbucker, but the tonal range is surprisingly broad. A single coil in the bridge position still gives a pleasingly jangly tone, but with a little more warmth and a little less harshness than roundwounds.
Strings are always a matter of personal preference, but my preference for Thomastik Jazz Swings is absolute. I wouldn't go back to any other brand of string.
I use these strings on my beloved Epiphone Casino inspired by Lennon. And I've got to say they're what I was looking for. Before I mounted them I thought I would leave the G string out of the story, mounting a plain G string from another set. But then, when I saw the other strings, I just thought "I'll give it a try". So I got all the set mounted. The first thing I did was playing some old beatles song. Casino + Flatwounds is the right way. For sure, I have to say that TIs are always fantastic strings to play. I use TIs on bass and acoustic guitar too, and I've never been disappointed. I can't stop playing, it's really hard to get tired of that sound. The only negative aspect is the fact I can't bend the G string anymore. Well, I can, but matter of fact is kind of hard to reach more than a semitone. I often thought "I can't go on without bending" but THAT sound really too good. The other strings sound great as well. The B string feels quite nice even if it's a 014. A, E and D strings are quite thin, and this makes the set sound more balanced. Perfect for jazzy things, but they're good for classic 60s rock too. The only thing you would change is the G string, but I suggest to give it a try just to taste that sound. I've never tried Pyramid Gold flats, which seem really good too especially for 60s rock. But, as far as I can see, TIs JS are the perfect choice for my Epiphone Casino. Totally worth the price.
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