Tone Rockets Guitar Strings Review

StringDog.net - We're About the Strings

I think it goes without saying that strings are an essential element when it comes to playing guitar.  The real question is- what brand do you use?  There are so many out there- Ernie Ball, D’Addario, Dunlop, GHS, DR, Elixir, RotoSound etc.

New students that I get in to my teaching studio always ask me what strings should they buy.  With so many choices, its overwhelming for someone who is not familiar with the different brands.  I have tried a large majority of the brands out there.

I recently discovered a new brand of string. (new to me at least) called StringDog.  They are the makers of the Tone Rockets strings.

Tone Rockets are made in the USA, and feature a nickel-plated wrap over a tempered steel core. They are designed to be an all-purpose string, suitable for everything from rock to metal to blues to country and everything in between.

In chatting with StringDog VP, Mark Stephan, he explained that Tone Rockets are designed to produce a balanced tone – chimey highs, clear but not overbearing midrange, and chunky lows. In addition, high quality plating is used for long tonal life.

He also explained that Tone Rockets are well suited to bending, plus precision winding and premium materials are used which enhance tuning stability and reduce breakage.

All packs come with an extra high E and B string.  Let me say that again- you get an extra high e and b string with each set!

I was curious so I got several sets and did a bit of an experiment.  I have several students that have been with me for a while so I picked 6 of them and gave them each a set to try out.  In addition, I strung up my trusty strat with a set of Tone Rockets.

There was 4 criteria that the strings were being judged on- tone, feel, durability and price.  All of us were going to evaluate the strings for 4 weeks.

All six of my students that tried the strings out really liked them.  They all agreed they sounded just as good if not better than the various brands that they use.  They said that the Tone Rockets felt good and had no issues with breakage.  And after a full month there didn’t appear to be any loss in tone and the strings hadn’t gone dead so to speak.  Happy students all around!

As I mentioned above, I tested them myself, comparing them side by side with the brand that I have used for years.

Tone wise, the Tone Rockets really have a full range throughout the six strings.  Not any one of them was more pronounced.  Just an overall full spectrum.  The strings didn’t sound overly bassy or chimey.  They sit nicely right in the middle.

Feel- I first noticed that the strings have a bit of grip to them which I like.  You can really feel the strings under your fingers.  I have tried some brands that almost felt slippery and were hard to control.  The Tone Rockets felt a bit stiff at first but broke in nicely.

Durability- Generally I change strings after about 3 weeks.  DR strings are the only brand that I can go into the 5 or 6 week range without changing but they are double the cost of most brands.  I have crossed week 4 with the Tone Rockets and they don’t sound dead at all.  I have not had any issue with breakage nor did any of my students.  The cool thing is, is that you get an extra e and b string in case you do bust a string.

Price-  A 10 pack of Tone Rockets will run you $42.  comparatively, a 12 pack of Ernie Ball strings will cost $45.  Per pack the Ernie’s are cheaper but if you factor in the extra strings you get with the Tone Rockets and the fact that they last longer, Tone Rockets are a much better value.

A couple of other items to mention- StringDog makes their strings extra long.  I really liked this.  Your generic strings are generally shorter so they can save money.  The problem is, you can’t a decent number of wraps around the tuning peg with them.  Not an issue with Tone Rockets.  I had plenty of string to wrap and if for some reason, I got a bad wrap, it wasnt an issue to cut the string and have plenty left.  They also have a nice lead wire on them so there is no issue with cutting at the winding and having it come unraveled.

One suggestion that I would have for the folks at StringDog would be to package the extra strings separately.  There are 2 e strings and 2 b strings in the respective envelope.  It was a bit of a hassle to separate the extra strings and have to rewind them to get them back in the envelope.

All in all, the Tone Rockets are fantastic strings and I would definitely buy them again.  Check them out at  www.stringdog.net