In this article I am reviewing the Black Diamond Acoustic guitar black Phosphor Bronze guitar strings, and yes they really are black. I contacted the Cavanaugh Company (the owner of Black Diamond) and asked if they would be willing to send the strings for a review and they were kind enough to agree and send both the black coated strings and the standard phosphor bronze guitar strings.
Before I get on with the review here are the string gauges for all six strings.
Sound and feel of the strings
I took the strings out of the bag and fell in love with them once I saw them. The black guitar strings looked amazing and I had no choice but to put them on my black guitar to give it a nice shadow like appearance. I really love how these strings look and feel. I tuned them up without any problems and they held their tuning perfectly throughout the rest of the week. I also made a mistake and bent and stretched the strings when I was putting them on and it didn’t even kink or break on me, which got me curious how the strings would sound when I played them.
For them to be phosphor bronze steel acoustic guitar strings they are very light and flexible and easy to bend and slide across, I even found the top bass strings to be easier to bend in my opinion. They also have a nice crisp and clean sound, but I still found that they are not as bright as D’Addario’s EJ16 phosphor bronze guitar strings. In comparison to other phosphor bronze strings that I have tested I would say they are in the average category in terms of sound quality.
But regardless, the Black Diamond phosphor bronze strings have a great sounding tone and feel to them; I really love how effortless they are to play. Another plus for me was that the black coating didn’t scrape off or fade away when I started playing, which is pretty much the main reason I wanted them.
When I first saw the black strings I thought they were just painted black and if I scratched them with my nails (which I did) it would come off while I played; nope, it stayed on there. Up near the tuning post where the string winds down I did notice that as the string rubbed together a very small bit of the black coating chipped away, but it was very subtle and I don’t think the average person would have noticed it (but I was reviewing the strings and was purposely trying to scrape the black off).
I haven’t had the strings on my guitar for long but they do appear to be durable and flexible enough to handle odd tunings if you need to tune them up a bit higher than normal, but I only did a minor stress test because I didn’t want to snap a string.
So far the strings have not lost their tonal quality, so they should last just as long as any other brand of phosphor bronze guitar strings. If the strings start to fade in sound or start randomly breaking I’ll update the article and let you know, but so far I haven’t had any problems with them.
All in all, I don’t think I have much else to say other than I highly recommend that you give these guitar strings a try. You should be able to find them at most music stores and online dealers for anywhere between $12.99 through $14.99 USD.
Also, make sure to check out the Official Black Diamond website for more information about where to buy the strings and all the different products that they have to offer.
I have had the strings now for about three months and they have started to chip near the soundhole and show signs of wear (black coating has drastically began to chip away). The tone still sounds decent and the strings are still responsive and flexible, but I imagine that by the fourth month the strings will start to lose their tone, and since I can see a lot of wear on the strings I imagine they will start to unravel soon as well. My guess is that after four months the guitar strings will be no good and will need to be replaced.
Have you tried the Black Diamond phosphor bronze guitar strings? Comment below and share your thoughts about them.