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Thread: Question: Strings for HollowBody Guitars

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Question: Strings for HollowBody Guitars

    Hello all. Question for those with HB guitars (piezo equiped)

    What strings do you use? I just got a new Hollowbody II (why am I wasting time online?) and I know from the hang tag that is is strung with 11 gauge strings. This was one of my biggest unanswered questions in terms of what is the max gauge that the HB can take. I play 11's on my LP (DR Pure Blues) and I have a stockpile of them and hoped that I could use the same strings on the HB (I am glad I don't have to drop to 10s). However, I need a wound G for the piezo. That is 100% acceptable to me as I actually prefer that, but that means I need to start another stockpile of string type.

    The PRS gauge 11 strings on the website do not go into detail if they are pure nickel or maybe even chrome plated or anything else.
    Though by description they seem to be like Ernie Balls which in the past I have had bad experiences. Sounds fine stock, but maybe there is better.

    So my options that I see:


    Dean Markley (though a bit heavier on top, I don't want to mess with the setup any more than I have to)

    D'Addario Chromes (not as bass heavy as the DM, but more treble heavy and I have no real experience with chrome)

    D'Addario Ni Wound (closest to OEM spec for size)

    I'm thinking of starting with the DA nickel first, but I would like to know what the PRS strings are, because it is on the warm side already.

    What do you use?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member solacematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    I have my MmCarty HB set up for standard D with Dean Markley Blue Steel's and it sounds great. I tried a set of those newer coated EB strings they released a few years ago because I was out of Blue Steel's and couldn't stand em. Putting the DM's back on this week.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member shinksma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    PRS uses D'Addario strings as stock, AFAIK. The EXL115W set (your third option) seems to match the factory strings spot on for the HBs with piezo. That's what I use on my HB. When I got my HB (used), it had 12s on it, and played/tuned just fine.

    You don't need to use a wound-G. It just makes it easier to bend.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Thanks for the input. I went with the DA Nickels because they are closest to factory spec. I will put them on this weekend. If not as impressed as with stock, I will consider one of the others, but I wonder if they are in fact the same string (the G is 1 mil larger on the DA set, but all else is the same).

    If they are just rebranded, then PRS is putting a big mark up on them....

    If they sound too warm, I will try out the chrome. I don't mind changing strings, just don't want to mess with the set up. But it is a hassle you have to do with each new guitar. Good news is once you are happy you can keep it set.

  5. #5
    Joe Beasley
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Oklahoma City
    I own 3 HB's...I use Ernie Ball Cobalts in .008 g. on all of them - Of course, truss rod adjustment was necessary...they sound & play great.

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