Best Guitar Strings for Metal & Down Tuning 2024 (Acoustic, Electric)


best guitar strings for metal and down tuning acoustic and electric guitar

The 3 Best Guitar Strings for Metal & Down Tuning (Acoustic, Electric):

Guitar String BrandReason to Buy
D’Addario NYXL1149 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings for MetalExcellent tuning stability and durability. Designed for aggressive playing styles and offer a bright, punchy tone ideal for metal.
Ernie Ball 2626 Electric Guitar Strings for MetalGreat for down-tuning with a thicker gauge to maintain string tension and prevent string buzz. Delivers a clear, articulate sound and high output for heavy riffing.
DR Strings DDT-11 Drop-Down Tuning Electric Guitar Strings for MetalSpecifically designed for drop tuning, with a unique construction that maintains tension and clarity in lower tunings. They also have a long-lasting tone and sustain.

These three guitar string brands are highly recommended for metal guitar players who use down-tuning. They are designed to provide excellent tuning stability, durability, and tonal clarity, which are essential for playing heavy riffs and fast lead lines. D’Addario is a great option for its durability and bright, punchy tone. Ernie Ball strings are perfect for down-tuning with thicker gauge strings that maintain string tension and prevent buzz. Lastly, DR Strings offers a unique construction designed to maintain tension and clarity in lower tunings, making them an excellent choice for drop-tuning.

If you’re a metal guitarist who loves playing in drop tunings, then you know how important it is to have the right strings on your guitar. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to choose the best guitar strings for your needs.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you find the best guitar strings for metal and down tuning, whether you play acoustic or electric guitar.

In this post, we’ll explore the top brands and models of guitar strings that are specifically designed for metal players who use down-tuning.

We’ll also discuss the features that make these strings stand out, and provide recommendations for specific products that you can purchase on Amazon.

So, let’s get started and find the best guitar strings for metal!

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Best Guitar Strings for Metal & Down Tuning (Acoustic, Electric)

1. Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom (STHB) Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .010, .013, .017, .030, .042, .052
  • Material: Nickel plated steel wire wrapped around a tin-plated high carbon steel core wire
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

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ProsCons
Balanced toneNot ideal for drop tunings
Good intonationCan be prone to breaking
Great for lead playing

Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom (STHB) guitar strings are designed for players who prefer a lighter gauge on the high strings but still want to have enough heft on the low strings for metal and hard rock playing. The combination of the lighter gauge on the high strings and the heavier gauge on the low strings allows for fast and fluid lead playing while still providing plenty of power and sustain for heavy rhythm playing. The nickel-plated steel construction provides a bright, balanced tone with good intonation, making these strings a popular choice for metal guitarists.

While these strings are not specifically designed for drop tunings, they can still be used for this purpose with some adjustment. However, they may not provide the same level of tension as heavier gauge strings designed specifically for drop tunings. Additionally, some players have reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, the Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom (STHB) guitar strings are a solid choice for metal players who want a lighter gauge on the high strings without sacrificing power and sustain on the low strings.

2. D’Addario NYXL Heavy Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .012, .016, .020, .032, .042, .052
  • Material: High carbon steel alloy with enhanced tuning stability and durability
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
High tuning stabilityCan be a bit stiff
Improved durabilityHigher price point
Bright and punchy tone

D’Addario NYXL Heavy guitar strings are designed for maximum tuning stability and durability, making them a popular choice for metal players who want to ensure that their strings stay in tune and last longer. These strings are made from a high carbon steel alloy with a special “fusion twist” process that enhances their strength and stability. The result is a bright and punchy tone with improved sustain and intonation.

The downside to this added durability and tuning stability is that these strings can be a bit stiff to play at first, which may take some getting used to for players who prefer a more flexible string. Additionally, these strings come at a higher price point than some other options on the market.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of heavy gauge strings that will stay in tune and last longer than other options, the D’Addario NYXL Heavy guitar strings are a solid choice.

3. GHS Boomers Heavy Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .011, .015, .018, .026, .036, .050
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Good balance of brightness and warmthMay require frequent tuning
Great for heavy playingMay be prone to breaking
Good value

GHS Boomers Heavy guitar strings are a popular choice for metal players who want a good balance of brightness and warmth in their tone. The nickel-plated steel construction provides a bright and cutting sound, while the hexagonal core provides excellent sustain and punch. These strings are great for heavy playing and provide a good value for the price.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may require frequent tuning, especially when first installed. Some players have also reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of heavy gauge strings that provide a good balance of brightness and warmth and can handle heavy playing, the GHS Boomers Heavy guitar strings are a solid choice.

4. DR Strings Tite-Fit Heavy Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .011, .014, .018, .028, .038, .050
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Long lastingNot as bright as some other options
Great for heavy playingCan be prone to breaking
Good intonation

DR Strings Tite-Fit Heavy guitar strings are designed to be long-lasting and great for heavy playing. The nickel-plated steel construction provides a balanced tone with good intonation, while the hexagonal core provides excellent sustain and punch. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may not be as bright as some other options on the market. Additionally, some players have reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of heavy gauge strings that are long-lasting and great for heavy playing, the DR Strings Tite-Fit Heavy guitar strings are a solid choice.

5. Dean Markley Blue Steel Heavy Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .011, .014, .018, .028, .038, .050
  • Material: Stainless steel roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

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ProsCons
Bright and punchy toneMay be prone to breaking
Long lastingCan be a bit stiff
Good for heavy playing

Dean Markley Blue Steel Heavy guitar strings are made from stainless steel roundwound on a hexagonal core, providing a bright and punchy tone with excellent sustain and intonation. These strings are designed to be long-lasting and great for heavy playing, with a special cryogenic process used to increase their strength and durability.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may be a bit stiff to play at first, which may take some getting used to for players who prefer a more flexible string. Additionally, some players have reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of heavy gauge strings that provide a bright and punchy tone and are designed to be long-lasting, the Dean Markley Blue Steel Heavy guitar strings are a solid choice.

6. Gibson Vintage Reissue Heavy Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .011, .014, .018, .028, .038, .050
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

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ProsCons
Vintage toneMay require frequent tuning
Good balance of brightness and warmthCan be prone to breaking

Gibson Vintage Reissue guitar strings are designed to replicate the sound of vintage Gibson guitars, providing a good balance of brightness and warmth with a classic tone.

These strings are made from nickel-plated steel roundwound on a hexagonal core, providing excellent sustain and intonation.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may require frequent tuning, especially when first installed.

7. Dunlop Heavy Core Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .010, .013, .017, .028, .038, .048
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Good balance of brightness and warmthMay not be ideal for drop tunings
Great for heavy playingCan be prone to breaking
Good value

Dunlop Heavy Core guitar strings are designed to provide a good balance of brightness and warmth with a heavy playing style. The nickel-plated steel construction provides excellent sustain and intonation, while the hexagonal core provides added strength and durability. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may not be ideal for drop tunings, as they are not specifically designed for this purpose. Additionally, some players have reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of heavy gauge strings that provide a good balance of brightness and warmth and can handle heavy playing, the Dunlop Heavy Core guitar strings are a solid choice.

8. Rotosound Roto Yellows Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .011, .014, .018, .028, .038, .048
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Bright and cutting toneMay require frequent tuning
Great for heavy playingCan be prone to breaking
Good value

Rotosound Roto Yellows guitar strings are known for their bright and cutting tone, making them a popular choice for metal players who want a lot of clarity and definition in their sound. The nickel-plated steel construction provides excellent sustain and intonation, while the hexagonal core provides added strength and durability. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may require frequent tuning, especially when first installed.

9. Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056
  • Material: Phosphor bronze round wound on a hexagonal core with a Nanoweb coating
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

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ProsCons
Long-lastingMay not provide as much brightness as some other options
Great for heavy playingHigher price point
Good balance of warmth and clarity

Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze guitar strings are designed to be long-lasting and great for heavy playing. The phosphor bronze construction provides a good balance of warmth and clarity, while the Nanoweb coating helps to prevent dirt and debris buildup and extends the life of the strings. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may not provide as much brightness as some other options on the market. Additionally, these strings come at a higher price point than some other options.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of guitar strings for metal that are long-lasting and provide a good balance of warmth and clarity, the Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Medium guitar strings are a solid choice.

10. Martin SP Phosphor Bronze Medium Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056
  • Material: Phosphor bronze roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Good balance of warmth and clarityMay require frequent tuning
Great for heavy playingCan be prone to breaking
Long lasting

Martin SP Phosphor Bronze Medium guitar strings are designed to provide a good balance of warmth and clarity with a heavy playing style. The phosphor bronze construction provides excellent sustain and intonation, while the hexagonal core provides added strength and durability. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may require frequent tuning, especially when first installed. Some players have also reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of medium gauge strings that provide a good balance of warmth and clarity and can handle heavy playing, the Martin SP Phosphor Bronze Medium guitar strings are a solid choice.

11. D’Addario EJ17 Phosphor Bronze Medium Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056
  • Material: Phosphor bronze roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Good balance of warmth and clarityMay require frequent tuning
Great for heavy playingCan be prone to breaking
Long lasting

D’Addario EJ17 Phosphor Bronze Medium guitar strings are designed to provide a good balance of warmth and clarity with a heavy playing style. The phosphor bronze construction provides excellent sustain and intonation, while the hexagonal core provides added strength and durability. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may require frequent tuning, especially when first installed. Some players have also reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of medium gauge strings that provide a good balance of warmth and clarity and can handle heavy playing, the D’Addario EJ17 Phosphor Bronze Medium guitar strings are a solid choice.

12. Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Medium Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056
  • Material: Phosphor bronze roundwound on a hexagonal core with a Nanoweb coating
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Long lastingMay not provide as much brightness as some other options
Great for heavy playingHigher price point

Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Medium guitar strings for metal are designed to be long-lasting and great for heavy playing. The phosphor bronze construction provides a good balance of warmth and clarity, while the Nanoweb coating helps to prevent dirt and debris buildup and extend the life of the strings. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may not provide as much brightness as some other options on the market. Additionally, these strings come at a higher price point than some other options.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of medium gauge strings that are long-lasting and provide a good balance of warmth and clarity, the Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Heavy guitar strings are a solid choice.

13. Martin SP 80/20 Bronze Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056
  • Material: 80/20 bronze roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Bright and clear toneMay require frequent tuning
Great for heavy playingCan be prone to breaking
Long lasting

Martin SP 80/20 Bronze guitar strings for metal are designed to provide a bright and clear tone. The 80/20 bronze construction provides excellent sustain and intonation, while the hexagonal core provides added strength and durability. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may require frequent tuning, especially when first installed. Some players have also reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

14. D’Addario EXP17 Coated Phosphor Bronze Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056
  • Material: Coated phosphor bronze roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Long lastingMay not provide as much brightness as some other options
Good balance of warmth and clarityHigher price point

D’Addario EXP17 Coated Phosphor Bronze guitar strings are designed to be long-lasting. The coated phosphor bronze construction provides a good balance of warmth and clarity, while the hexagonal core provides added strength and durability. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may not provide as much brightness as some other options on the market. Additionally, these strings come at a higher price point than some other options.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of guitar strings that are long-lasting and provide a good balance of warmth and clarity, the D’Addario EXP17 Coated Phosphor Bronze guitar strings are a solid choice.

15. Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Heavy Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .013, .017, .026, .036, .046, .056
  • Material: Phosphor bronze roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Good balance of warmth and brightnessMay require frequent tuning
Great for heavy playingCan be prone to breaking
Long lasting

Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Heavy guitar strings are designed to provide a good balance of warmth and brightness with a heavy playing style. The phosphor bronze construction provides excellent sustain and intonation, while the hexagonal core provides added strength and durability. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may require frequent tuning, especially when first installed. Some players have also reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of heavy gauge strings that provide a good balance of warmth and brightness and can handle heavy playing, the Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Heavy guitar strings are a solid choice.

16. GHS Bright Bronze Heavy Guitar Strings for Metal

  • String Gauge: .013, .017, .026, .036, .046, .056
  • Material: Bright bronze roundwound on a hexagonal core
  • Quantity: 1 set (6 strings)

Check Amazon Pricing

ProsCons
Great balance of warmth and clarityMay require frequent tuning
Great for heavy playingCan be prone to breaking
Long lasting

GHS Bright Bronze Heavy guitar strings are designed to provide a great balance of warmth and clarity with a heavy playing style. The phosphor bronze construction provides excellent sustain and intonation, while the hexagonal core provides added strength and durability. These strings are also designed to stay in tune and resist slipping.

One potential downside to these strings is that they may require frequent tuning, especially when first installed. Some players have also reported issues with these strings breaking prematurely, particularly on the higher gauge strings.

Overall, if you’re looking for a set of heavy gauge strings that provide a great balance of warmth and clarity and can handle heavy playing, the GHS Bright Bronze Heavy guitar strings are a solid choice.

Best Guitar Strings for Metal & Down Tuning (Acoustic, Electric): Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing the best guitar strings for metal and down tuning requires consideration of several factors such as string gauge, material, and coating. The perfect strings for you will depend on your individual preferences and playing style.

For electric guitarists, the Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom (STHB) guitar strings are versatile and suitable for both heavy playing and drop tuning.

For acoustic guitarists, the Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Medium guitar strings and Martin SP Phosphor Bronze Medium guitar strings offer a balance of warmth and clarity.

Regardless of your preference, remember to experiment with different strings to find the set that works best for you.

Best Guitar Strings for Metal & Down Tuning (Acoustic, Electric): Buying Advice

What are guitar strings for metal?

Guitar strings for metal are typically made of nickel-plated steel or stainless steel and are designed to produce a bright, cutting tone that is ideal for heavy metal music.

When should guitar strings for metal be used?

Guitar strings for metal should be used when playing heavy metal or any other style of music that requires a bright, cutting tone. These strings are designed to produce a high output and a fast attack, making them ideal for heavy riffs and fast solos.

Are Heavier Guitar Strings Better for Metal?

Heavier guitar strings can be better for metal because they produce a thicker, more powerful tone that is well-suited for the heavy, aggressive style of metal music. However, the choice of string gauge ultimately depends on personal preference and playing style.

Can You Play Metal With Light Guitar Strings?

Yes, you can play metal with light guitar strings, although they may not produce the same thick, powerful tone as heavier strings. Lighter strings are often easier to play and can be better for fast, technical playing styles.

What are the best 9 gauge strings for metal?

The best 9 gauge strings for metal depend on personal preference, but some popular options include D’Addario NYXL0942, Ernie Ball 2221, and Dunlop DEN0942. These strings are designed to provide a bright, cutting tone that is well-suited for heavy metal music.

Why are guitar strings for metal important?

Guitar strings for metal are important because they are specifically designed to produce a bright, cutting tone that is ideal for heavy metal music. Metal is a genre that typically relies on heavy, aggressive riffs and fast, technical solos, and the right strings can help guitarists achieve the desired tone and feel.

Nickel-plated steel or stainless steel strings with a thicker gauge are often preferred by metal guitarists because they produce a powerful, sustained sound that can cut through the mix. Without the appropriate strings, it can be difficult to achieve the desired tone and sustain needed for playing metal music.

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David Sandy

Hey there! My name is David Sandy and I'm the founder of Sandy Music Lab. I've been playing guitar for several years now and created this site to be able to share and explore music with others.
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