D’Addario EPN115 Electric Guitar Strings Review (.11-.48)

D'Addario EPN115 Review - Pure Nickel or Pure Joy

Our Rating

8 Durability

8 Pain

9 Tone

9 Feel

8 Price

D’Addario EPN115 Pure Nickel – Pure Music

I have heard many good things about D’Addario as a company, as a family and as a product. They have been helpful when I was researching Blues guitar-approved strings and many people, from my classmate to Gary Clark Jr. recommended their strings as a go-to workhorse for any kind of musicians. It is possible that this very same description turned me away a little. I wasn’t looking for something “regular” but instead was in search for things that would blow me away. D’Addario strings can be seen on the greatest musicians like Lenny Kravitz, Dave Matthews, Joe Satriani, Robert Cray and an alphabetical list of countless others equally worthy guitarists.

Experimenting makes us learn more. During my experiments with different guitar strings I have learned that many of my favorite Blues guitarists are using thicker strings. One of the store managers even once said: “Oh yes, elevens are the real Blues tone”. Predictably, I found myself wanting to try this “real” guitar sound and skipped a few of the scheduled experiments in favor of my first D’Addario strings pack.

There are several general types of guitar strings that D’Addario offers, which then splits into countless variations, gauge and preferences that can be found appealing for most any type of guitar player. The main categories offered are:

  1. Chromes – the warmest type you can find.
  2. Pure Nickel – the ones that I’ve started with.
  3. Half Round – best of both worlds.
  4. Nickel Wound – the ones on the picture below.
  5. Prosteels – the brightest tone you can find among the list of company’s strings products.

daddario electric guitar strings list type package

I’ve decided to start with the Pure Nickel EPN 115 basing my decision of the 50’s warm Blues tone brought to the history of guitar. During that time, pure nickel had been the main material for guitar strings used by the greats of Chess Records and others for it’s better tolerance to electromagnetic pickups and less gain which was not yet desired in the world of music. It is targeted as an ideal choice for Blues, Jazz and Classic Rock when it comes to guitar playing. I have enjoyed the recycle materials used in the packaging as well as the counterfeit warning inside. It is always nice to feel as if you are being cared for, even if it is a mass-letter which is properly worded.

The actual string gauge for the EPN’s are.

  • E: .011, Plain Steel
  • B: .014,
  • G: .018, Nickel Wound
  • D: .027,
  • A: .037,
  • E: .048

fender stratocaster black and white electric guitar strings

The first noticeable difference was of course the change in string gauge from the tender .007 up to .011 which reminded me why we try to keep calluses on our fingers. Then the depth of the sound that came out of the speakers followed. It was beautiful, it was rich, it was warm and filled with that vintage vibe that brought us all to love the Blues. It felt real and radiant as it filled the room and my heart and it humbled me for the false perception of D’Addario that I’ve had at first. It was my founding of the tone, the feel and the sound of Blues Guitar as I felt it should have been. I will not stop experimenting but I have left a bold “Yes” by the name and have ordered a couple of strings sets just in case others will break and I will be in the mood to step away from the schedule once more. As Blues is my witness, this time I’m glad that I did.

daddario epn115 pack on a black fyodor cat

I will include elevens in every brand of strings I experiment with, wondering if something will best the pleasure EPN115 had given me. EXL115 are next…

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