Thursday September 22, 2011

Elixir Nanoweb Guitar Strings Review

Elixir Nanoweb coated strings is one of the finest technological advancements to hit modern guitar. The GORE-TEX (Elixir’s parent company) fluoropolymer protective coating on the strings stops oils, dirt, sweat and gunk from deadening and corroding the strings.
Electric guitar strings are one of those consumable items like batteries and ink jet cartridges that eat money. It’s probably in the best interest of these companies to let their products have a short life span; lord knows what the R&D department of these companies do! Elixir on the other hand spent a decade developing a Teflon coated string that lasts at least 3 to 5 times longer. And it works.

Polyweb or Nanoweb

Elixir produces two types of fluoropolymer coatings - Polyweb and Nanoweb. The original Elixir Polyweb strings have a thicker coating that offers a “balance tone with smooth response”. The latest Elixir Nanoweb strings have an ultra thin coating that has a “bright tone and punch of non coated strings”. Both coated strings are available for both electric (blue packaging) and acoustic (purple packaging) guitars. I found the Nanoweb’s a bit brighter however after a few days of play they sounded similar. Go for the Nanoweb’s if you want a bright tone from day one.

Elixir Nanoweb Tone

The coating on the treble strings is the best thing since slice bread. They glide nicely, even better than brand new lubricated non-coated strings. They don’t cut into your fingers and string noise and squeaks are lessened. Some players have complained that the tone of the Elixir’s are not up to non coated strings. I don’t hear any perceivable difference. In fact I love the feel of the coating on the steel over normal strings. The bass strings aren’t ultra bright, but they are no worse than standard Ernie Ball Super Slinky Nickel Wound in the pink pack and are certainly better than GHS Boomers. The feel is negligible for bass strings and I’ve not really observed that much difference between non-coated bass strings or Elixirs even over time.

Rust Never Sleeps

If you live near the ocean you’ll really appreciate these strings. Normal strings don’t seem to last all that long even after giving them a good old wipe. The salt in the air starts corroding the strings the minute you start playing them. Because I’m lazy and hate changing strings the Elixir’s are a god send. The Elixir Nanoweb’s seems to last even longer the 5 times claimed. But your guitar will appreciate them more as the wear and tear on the tuners, tremolo saddles and locking screws nuts are lessened from constantly changing strings.

Your Strength Gives Me Strength

Strength wise these strings are good. Using .009 - .042’s I manage to break a high E string of a standard Ernie Ball Super Slinky while installing it; I’ve never had that happened with Elixir Nanoweb’s. These strings can be bent all day and you’ll have no problems. Using an Ibanez Edge Pro Floyd Rose style tremolo and abusing the hell out of the whammy bar, the Elixir strings still come back fine and have never snapped.


The popularity of Elixir strings has forced other guitar string manufacturers to bring out their own products. Ernie Ball now sells a Coated Electric Titanium RPS Super Slinky version while GHS has brought out the GHS Coated Boomers.

The down side to these coated strings are the price. They’re a little more than the standard string, which costs around $5.49, but if you weigh up how much longer they last, the price is probably justifiable. Unless you are a pro player who demands a certain tone from your strings and has the time, money and resources to change them for every gig I highly recommend . I won’t ever go back to non-coated strings again!

Below is a price comparison of the latest coated strings.

Electric Guitar Coated Strings based on Extra Lights .009 - .042 Gauge

Elixir Light Nanoweb Electric Guitar Strings

3 Super Light Pro Pack $24.99

Elixir Light Polyweb Electric Guitar Strings


Cleartone Coated Electric Guitar Strings Light


D’Addario EXP  EXP120 Super Light 9-42


DR Strings Black Beauties Coated Electric Guitar Strings


Ernie Ball 3123 Coated Super Slinky Electric Guitar Strings (Titanium Reinforced Technology)


GHS GBCL Coated Boomers Custom Light Electric Guitar Strings


Rotosound Nexus Polymer Coated Electric Strings Extra Light NXE9



Return to the Ibanez Mods Main Page




For people that like reading maps...

Sitemap »
Terms & Conditions

Nothing to see here, move along...

Terms and Conditions »
Help & Support

What is the tallest mountain in the world, and other useful answers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) »
Get in touch