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D’Addario releases XS electric guitar strings, promising “the most innovative coated string ever created”

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

For a while there, electric guitar players thought that D’Addario was going to leave them hanging. Here was this brave new world of the XS series coated string, but since its launch in 2021, only available for acoustic guitar

But the New York based accessories giant has plugged in and rolled out an all new XS series, designed specifically for the electric.

This new electric guitar strings series uses similar cutting-edge technology, coating the wound strings with a film one-tenth the width of a human hair, using D’Addario’s own dispersion polymer coating from the XT series for the plain strings. All this makes for imperceptible differences in feel and tone, but offering an enhanced performance by any other metric.

“XS is a groundbreaking innovation that offers players maximum life, an unprecedented level of strength, and tuning stability,” says D’Addario.

But don’t just take D’Addario’s word for it. Alex Skolnick of Testament/Alex Skolnick Trio – and also a New Yorker – says D’Addario has “outdone themselves”.

“XS Electric strings feel extra smooth without being slippery and deliver a ‘new string feel’ at a higher level,” said Skolnick. “They also feel new for longer and seem to enhance the natural timbres of your instrument. Guitarists of all styles and sounds, including those who don’t pay much attention to string types, will notice a big difference.”

The design of the XS series was led by Jim D’Addario, a man so ensconced in the string business that be probably reaches for a .010 XL to cut himself a piece of cheese for his sandwiches. 

Other up-to-the-minute build details include a newly reformulated nickel-plated steel wrap – think brighter, faster attack, more sustain – with tuning stability and break resistance courtesy of the NY Steel high-carbon core wire and plain-string wire, and D’Addario’s Fusion Twist technology.

The D’Addario XS electric guitar strings are offered in five string gauges, from 09-42 Super Light through to 11-49 Medium. For more information, head over to D’Addario (opens in new tab).

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Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.