HOME > Guitar strings nickel vs stainless steel


Strings can be divided in two further main categories:
- stainless steel
- nickel.

Stainless Steel strings are usually manufactured in a highly magnetic alloy which ensure the best pickup amplification. Nickel strings are usually made of steel and then covered with an electroplating of 8% pure nickel.

Nickel and stainless steel strings sets.

Stainless steel strings tends to sound brighter than nickel ones with more accentuated upper frequencies and slightly more lows, while nickel strings are usually a bit less bright but their sound is associated with a more full bodied tone i.e. more of the mid frequency range.
Being brighter stainless steel strings are recommended for modern rock and metal and slap on the bass while nickel wound strings are recommended for those who are looking for a more vintage "hot" tone.

Nickel strings deliver a smoother feel under your fingers and their wearing impact on the frets is reduced due to the smoother alloy they are made of.

Stainless steel strings deliver a slightly rougher feel under your finger and tend to wear the frets more rapidly due to the harder material they are made of. Their brightness make them last longer though.

Galeazzo Frudua

Galeazzo Frudua

As a luthier and lutherie teacher, since 1988 he has been making about 350 boutique guitars and basses priced from 2,900 to 5,600 Euros and repaired and customized thousands of string instruments. His instruments and amplifiers are used by flagship artists, such as Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, Ennio Morricone, Vasco Rossi. He owns two YouTube channels—where he teaches music—that count up to 25+ million views and almost 140.000 subscribers.

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