Elixir OPTIWEB Guitar Strings Review

Elixir Optiweb Guitar Strings Review

Optiweb is Elixir’s latest string coating and they claim it gives the most natural sound and feel of any coated guitar string. I remember trying coated strings when they first came out and I wasn’t hugely impressed. Have Elixir nailed the recipe?

Elixir Optiweb Guitar Strings

I must admit, after my experiences with coated guitar strings in the past I was a little reluctant to try them again. I do tend to eat through strings at a pretty rapid rate though so the idea of longer lasting strings definitely appeals to me so I ordered a set of Elixir Optiweb 10-46 and fitted them to my Solar S1.6FR when they arrived.

I picked that guitar for a few of reasons. Firstly, I do use it a lot but not every day. I usually forget to wipe the strings down after use so inevitably I’ll pick it up and find the strings feel awful and sound dull. Secondly, changing strings on a Floyd Rose equipped guitar can be a chore so if I don’t need to change them as often that would be a major benefit. Finally, I wanted to give these strings a real workout. Giving them some abuse with the Floyd will definitely show how well they stand up to the kind of stretching you just don’t get with a fixed bridge.

During fitting I gave them the usual stretching I perform on any set of new strings. This helps them to settle in quickly which is important with any guitar but even more so with a Floyd. Once everything was tightened up I gave them an extra stretching by pushing down and pulling up on the bar repeatedly. A quick adjustment to the tuning and I was done. Time to play!

Elixir Optiweb Guitar Strings Review

The first thing I noticed was the tone. They actually sounded like new strings. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised because that’s the point of the Optiweb coating but it’s not what I’ve experienced with other coated strings I’ve tried. They had that new string brightness and sounded nice and balanced. From the tone alone I wouldn’t have known they were coated. They just sounded like a good set of string.

Feel was a major letdown with previous coated strings so this was an area where I was worried. Would they feel natural? I shouldn’t have worried. The plain strings felt completely normal and the wound strings actually felt nicer than uncoated strings. There is a slight softness to the feel and they are super slinky. Your fingers glide over them very quickly and the softness makes them very comfortable. While I can’t say they feel the same as uncoated strings, they do feel very natural and the playing experience is a pleasure. Switching to a guitar with uncoated strings and then back to the Elixirs again I actually preferred the coated strings by some margin. Some people might not agree but the extra comfort and slickness definitely felt better to me.

String life is something I’m going to have to monitor and I’ll update this review in a few weeks. I haven’t noticed any change in tone after a few days and tuning has been very stable. No matter how much I’ve used the Floyd I haven’t needed to retune yet so that’s a sign of well made strings.

Conclusion

Elixir Optiweb strings are a huge improvement over previous coated strings. They sound great and the playing experience is actually an improvement over regular strings. It’ll be interesting to see how long they last but right now I’m very impressed. I actually like the sound and feel so much I’ll probably be switching to these strings for all of my guitars even if they don’t last any longer than regular uncoated strings. The feel alone is worth it.

Rating 9.5/10

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Elixir Optiweb Guitar Strings

9.5

Rating

9.5/10