I've never been particularly loyal to guitar strings. I generally play 9-42 "extra light" gauge strings, but I'm occasionally intrigued with the idea of chunkier, heavier strings, and will go up to a 11-54 heavier gauge.I'm sure this does the intonation of my guitars no real good, but I just like to switch things up.
I go through phases, and I remember particularly the time leading up to my starting the first Hayoth batch of songs. I was playing acoustic a lot, and really starting to enjoy the heavier feel of acoustic strings. I felt like I got a "ring" out of them that felt more controllable than what I was getting from lighter electric strings.
Then I'd feel like I wanted something a little easier to bend, do pull-offs, vibrato, etc....so back to lighter strings.
Brand? Virtually irrelevant to me. I probably buy Ernie Ball more than any other, just because they're usually cheaper.
D'Addario NYXL strings, extra light 9-42.
These are great strings. They're light, but they feel like they play at a higher tension, and are a bit stiffer. They don't feel hard to push around like a heavy gauge set, but more solid than a regular set of extra lights. Plus, and this is a big deal....the hold tune really well.
When I strung up with them, I was stretching the strings, and they were holding the note. Even under some pretty serious stretching (my Les Paul can be a bit temperamental, so I tend to stretch strings a lot when I put them on), they were staying reasonable in tune. They've also done pretty well as I've been working on track #8 for the next Hayoth set. As usual with this guitar, the long I play and warm everything up, the better the tuning is, but the NYXLs are doing as well as I could hope for.
I should follow this up when I get to play this weekend. The guitar has been sitting in the studio all week, virtually untouched (I've been gone a lot, in tech for a new play), and the weather has been brutally cold. It seeps into our apartment. When I do pick it up and strum a bit, it's probably slipping low, but it's pretty damn good string to string. I can play on it without sounding shit.
It's only my first set of these babies, but I am looking forward to trying them out on my Tele and Strat. I also see them have an 8-38 "extra super light" set, and I may give that a try.
I'll report back as time goes on.