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i have a breedlove atlas for about 2 years now... (i play about once a week) and i think it is time i change the strings... what do you recommend?

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If you've been happy with the factory setup, Breedlove's site tells us that their Atlas guitars are shipped with Light Gauge strings, specifically D'Addario EXP16 Lights (.12-.53).

At the very least, you'll want to stick with the same gauge, but as far as the intonation, action, etc. switching brands should be just fine. Since it seems you go a long time between restringing, I'd stick with coated strings (e.g. these D'Addarios, or Elixirs).

They are more expensive, but over a year or two I'll argue they're well worth it. Even though the strings may not wear out for a while when you're not playing daily, that's still time for grime, sweat, etc. to settle in and do their job. The coating will help the strings remain playable, instead of turning prematurely black and brittle.

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Regarding coated strings: depends on how often you change your strings. I wouldn't claim "but over a year or two I'll argue they're well worth it" without the math and supporting details :). Still a good answer though. – Jduv Jan 25 '11 at 17:37
He's gone two years so far. Even $15 for a set of strings is a string budget of $0.60/month at that rate. As for supporting details, good point. Editing... – Anonymous Jan 25 '11 at 17:43
I agree with you, I just wanted you to prove it :D. – Jduv Jan 25 '11 at 18:22

Here's a good guitar string guide based on what kind of music you are playing:

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This is incredibly subjective, and it really depends on what kind of tone you want in tandem with what the guitar is built to handle. Different metal compositions will sound slightly different, but a string is a string--regardless of all the marketing hype companies try to put behind them. I would take note as to the gauge of strings that your guitar is currently set up to handle. For example if your guitar is set up with low action for lights (.11 to .53) then slapping a set of mediums on there (0.13 to 0.56) is likely going to land you a little string buzz on the lower strings. So with all that said, I'd put whatever gauge you had back on it, but the brand is really up to you. You could potentially go with coated strings (see this question) but note they are a higher initial investment.

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