Could D’Addario’s new XS designs be the best coated strings yet?

D'Addario has introduced XS strings
(Image credit: D'Addario)

NAMM 2021 isn't taking place in the physical realm this year, but you'll find all the hottest January gear launches in our guide to the biggest guitar, amp and pedal releases of 2021 so far.

D’Addario has unveiled a new acoustic guitar string design, the XS, which the company touts as a “true technological breakthrough in coated strings”.

The strings boast an “impossibly thin” film coating (1/10 the thickness of a human hair) that D’Addario says completely protects the wound strings from corrosion without dampening tone. The new film covering is combined with D’Addario’s proprietary dispersion coating, used in the company’s XT line, to protect the plain steel strings as well.

In developing the strings, the D’Addario team, led by Chief Innovation Officer Jim D’Addario, incorporated the company’s proprietary manufacturing processes and innovations (NY Steel high-carbon cores in the wound strings and Fusion Twist technology in the plain steels) to give XS incomparable break strength and tuning stability.

“Several years ago, I posed a simple question to our team of engineers and product designers, to create the world’s greatest coated string with no tonal compromise and no slick or slippery feel,” D’Addario said.

“I am proud to say our team rose to every one of these incredible challenges with the new XS strings, providing the most advanced and effective defense possible to lock in your string tone.”

The XS strings will be available beginning in April in Phosphor Bronze string sets for acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar and mandolin in a variety of gauges.  

The line will range in price starting at $17.99 for acoustic six-string guitar and mandolin, and $24.99 for acoustic 12-string guitar. 

For more information, head to D’Addario.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.