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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:33 pm 
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Thomastik-Infeld Plectrum (Medium Light .012-.059)

Strings generously provided by: Strings By Mail,(https://www.StringsByMail.com)

https://www.stringsbymail.com/thomastik-infeld-ac112-plectrum-bronze-acoustic-strings-med-lt-12-59-3725.html?zenid=v2dcnoim3levnnfmqretfp2fm7

Thomastik-Infeld of Vienna is known for quality strings, and their Plectrum, medium light acoustic strings are no exception. Straight out of the package, they’re different. From their substantial and smooth feel, to the green silk wrapped ends, the strings exude quality.

They arrived in plastic that’s easily opened at the top. Inside, each string was secured in a paper envelope. Although I like the easy open plastic, I wish Thomastik-Infeld had sealed the strings in a plastic bag to avoid oxidation. I found a small amount of dark oxidation on the 3rd string (G), due to air infiltration. In contrast, the other strings were bright and clean. Green silk wraps the last 10cm of the wound strings. It becomes apparent when stringing, that the silk wrapping has several functions; it keeps the windings in place, protects tuners, and it protects fingers. Thanks to the wrappings, the strings slid easily through the tuners.

Once strung, they took about 48 hours to settle into tuning. When first played, they sounded nice, but not outstanding. My thoughts were, “they’re good, but could be better”. I noticed a very minimal amount of finger funk, that disappeared by day 2, which was great. Then, on the fifth day, they suddenly opened up, and I knew why I would buy them again.

The plectrums developed a truly lovely, almost ethereal quality that I’ve not experienced in any acoustic guitar strings. I play many different genres of music and the Plectrums complemented every piece I played. They’re low tension strings, so they’re easy to fret; they are ideal for vintage guitars and for those who have problems with their hands. They made my OM sound great indeed.

I’ve recently run across a piece of music that requires down tuning. When I say down tuning, I mean way down under! The piece requires the odd tuning of BADF#AD. Even with the action on my OM being lower than a hound’s belly (sorry, I couldn’t help inserting a West Virginia vernacular), I never had a problem with the strings fretting out or buzzing from the low tension, even at this very low tuning. It’s obvious that Thomastik-Infeld Plectrums are not niche strings. In fact, I put the Thomastik-Infeld Plectrums through a torture test that I’ve never put any set of strings through.

I played the strings on a daily basis, some days as long as 5+ hours. And on a daily basis, I tuned my guitar up, down, and all around. The strings hung in there like champs. Finally, with more than 70 hours of playing time and the continuous torture of tuning way down, then back up, and drop D, I could hear trebles B and E finally giving up the ghost. At first, I thought something may have been amiss with my saddle, because the two strings started sounding twangy and bright. I realized as I tuned them back up, that they were stretching so far out of shape, that not only were they bright sounding, but there was a real risk of breaking. It was a good thing that I was at the end of my test period. If I hadn’t continuously re-tuned the strings, I have no doubt that they would have lasted longer than 70 hours, much longer.

String sound and voice are hard to describe in the best of circumstances; the sound produced by the Plectrums is almost indescribable. They impart a resonating, high quality, bell-like tone, which is very complex and harmonic. The sound is warm like a summer day, yet bright (but warm-bright) and articulate. If I played professionally, I wouldn’t hesitate stringing my guitar with Thomastik-Infeld Plectrums. They made my guitar shine. I play up the neck to fret 17, and regularly with harmonics; there was minimal finger squeak and the harmonics sounded amazing.

Thus far, the Thomastik-Infeld Plectrums are the priciest of the string sets tested. At first glance, $23.99 (at Strings By Mail), may seem expensive. However, they lasted longer than any set of strings I’ve tried. I have no doubt that they would have lasted much longer had I not tortured them. With their beautiful sound, combined with great longevity, they’re a bargain.

The Good:

Very clean with minimal finger funk
Minimal finger squeak
Quick break in, held tuning
Held up to humidity and temperature change
Long lasting
Low tension without fretting out; esp. good for those who have physical challenges or older guitars
Silk wrapping to protect equipment and fingers
BEAUTIFUL SOUND!

The Bad:

Packaging could better to protect the strings against oxidation
High price (almost nullified because of longevity)

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