EJ42 Lifespan?

6256 reads
Resophonatic's picture

I've now had my Scheerhorn long enough to have tried a variety of string sets once or twice. EJ42s sound by far the most pleasing to my ear. That would be great except that they seem to die on me waaaaay more quickly than any other sets I've tried. Just a few hours of playing - at most - and they're goners. Anyone else having this issue? Is this simply a fluke curse of body chemistry versus string chemistry or is there something else going on I haven't figured out? In either case, have any of you found ways to nurse EJ42s to a longer, healthier life?


Jim McNab's picture

Sounds about right compared to what I remember.  

Greg Booth's picture

I'm still sold on the Dunlop DOP1656 set with a six pack of Ernie Ball .28s for spares if needed. Good durability, great sound, lowest price.


I just found another potential great deal from Musicians Friend, a dozen 28s for $6.79, free shipping on orders >$25. They are "Rogue" bulk strings. I have had lousy performance from bulk strings in the past so I'm not in a hurry to try these, but when my stash of EB 28s are gone I might.


George Laker's picture

I found the same result. Ended up using GHS TS1600's.

Jim McNab's picture

George Laker:

I found the same result. Ended up using GHS TS1600's.


Ditto.  I also found that I liked the sound of the TS1600's over all the others I've ever tried.  Like Greg, I also bought some extra 3rd strings, too.  I've found that no matter what set of strings I use, the 3rd starts buzzing first.  String breakage is never far behind.

Interesting comments about buzzing.   Is the buzzing the first sign that the string is weak and does it buzz because it has lost its elasticity?   Are there any other effects from a worn string on the sound it makes?           


Greg Booth's picture

The buzzing or sizzling is caused by the winding coming loose where my thumb pick strikes and wears it out. The harder you play the sooner it happens. In a really noisy jam I've wrecked my 3rd string in one song! As my technique improves it seems like I can make my strings last a little longer before they are toast. 

Michael Barton's picture

I seem to get the most bang for my buck with the GHS 1650s

Will Andrew's picture

Same short life I've found with the J42's, though I like the sound, while it lasts. I've switched to Tim Scheerhorn's set. I like the 17 and 19 on top. And they do seem to last longer. 

Playing softer saves the life of strings.  I've become aware when I play too loud and too hard. I'm making a big effort to play softer, (not soft, softer). Playing softer, strings last longer, intonation improves, less tension in body, speed is faster, mind is less tense, tone less harsh and sweeter.  A key I've found to playing softer, is hearing one self. Using an in-ear monitor system has solved hearing issues on stage.  Playing at loud jams strengthens the bad habit of playing too loud.

Orville Johnson's picture

Will's got it right. The key is in the dynamics of your playing. You play softer or harder based on what the music calls for. If you play hard because you need volume to get over the other people you're playing with you're playing a losing game. You're also killing your strings.

I only play hard when I want the tone I get from playing hard, not because I need to overcome the other musicians. I know we're not always blessed with playing mates that understand dynamics, but the music sure gets better when everybody gets it. And for everyone here that is seeking good tone (modeling after folks like MikeA, fr'instance) it comes from the variations in your pressure, not constant pressure. And whatever brand of strings you choose, they'll have longer life.

Olli Haavisto's picture

I`m glad that someone else likes Dunlops too, I suspected they were to cheap to be goodSmile
Seriously, they are great and the company has good customer policy.

I wrote them an email and suggested that instead of two 018`s why not include two 028s. because that is what most players need to change before they change the whole set.

They responded quickly, thanked me for a good suggestion and sent me a set as a Thank You...

Always feels good when a big company does that!

User login