The 4 Best Strings for Drop B Tuning – Reviews 2023

best strings for drop b

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If you happen to be a metal guitarist and you’re looking to achieve the most enormous chug this world can offer, there’s a very good chance that you are in fact in pursuit of the drop B tuning. Introduced way back in the ’70s by Victor Griffin from the band Pentagram, this tuning came a long way and is now frequently utilized by some of the most esteemed metal bands across the globe.

But to achieve it, you won’t be able to just put on any set of strings and tweak your tuners. Oh no, you will need to equip yourself with a pack of best strings for drop B.

The main criteria for finding these is the ability of the given strings to hold a tuning and not get all floppy and detuned after a few strums. That’s the main criteria, while the remaining requirements include standard stuff such as durability, longevity and tone. With those in mind, we sifted through today’s market and fetched the following 4 strings:

Dunlop Heavy Core

We’ll get the party started with a set of Dunlop Heavy Core. These strings scream metal from their very gut and have been hailed by players around the world as the best thing you can buy if chug is on your mind. We recommend the heaviest (12-54) edition, since adding the extra thickness results in the best ability to deliver the sonic impact of super low tuning such as drop B without sounding floppy.

The company utilizes a very carefully selected core wire and proprietary wrap ratios to achieve the aggressive vibe, all while retaining a tight low end with a focused midrange and a smooth high end. This means that you will have a clear tone whether you’re playing in clean or distorted mode. The strings are made in the US – in Benicia, CA, to be precise.

This also happens to be the most affordable item on the list, so if you’re looking for the best strings for drop B on a budget, this is your winning ticket. And we don’t mean cheap in a bad way, because these strings roar like a wild beast!

Elixir Heavy Bottom

Up next is the renowned Elixir and their Heavy Bottom series. What makes these puppies stand out is the nanoweb coating that secures extra feel, power, and punch to your tone. Essentially, they are covered with an ultra-thin polymer tube that contacts the string only on the tops of the windings, leaving the all-important winding-to-winding-to-core space free from any sort of unwanted audio interference.

The strings (see full specs) also feature anti-rust plating on the which extends their life. Thus far, the vast majority of players reported that Elixir Strings keep a top quality sound three to five times longer than other brands of strings. So if you’re after longevity, this is your ticket. In the low tuning department, the strings also have all the needed perquisites to keep a low tuning and rock on ’till sunrise.

D’Addario EXL148

Back in the medium budget region, we bring you D’Addario and their EXL148 model. Available for a song from the right retailer, these 12-60 strings are extra heavy, and therefore perfectly suited for the low tuning.

Classified as Hybrid Gauges, the strings are optimized for the C tuning, meaning they can also take on the drop B without a hassle of any sort. They are round wound with nickel plated steel for the company’s instantly recognizable bright tone, and are also resistant to corrosion.

What this set is also known for is the meticulously crafted, hexagonally shaped, high carbon steel core. The core’s 6-edge shape creates a firm grip with every turn of the wrap wire while the string is being made, securing a super tight wrap and extended longevity, reliability and durability. Hands down, these are among the best strings for drop B period.

Ernie Ball Heavy Bottom

We’ll wrap things up with the iconic Ernie Ball, a string brand associated with such six-string icons as Slash, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and the boys in Metallica – Ernie Ball. However, what we are looking at right now is the manufacturer’s Heavy Bottom series, which is hardly something rock ‘n’ rollers would touch. These are super thick strings, perfect for the fans of the heavy chug.

Made in the sunny state of California, they utilize the company’s renowned Element Shield Packaging that prolongs their life and keeps them as fresh as the day when they were crafted. The strings are made from nickel plated steel wire wrapped around tin plated hex shaped steel core wire, securing a well balanced top quality sound.

Needless to say, these pups can hold the drop B much like any of the listed items, but what we like about them in particular, and what sets them apart in a way, is the ability to take in those endless bends of yours and still hold it together, as well as extra durability which becomes apparent when setting these strings up on a guitar with a Floyd Rose.

As for the price, the Heavy Bottom packs can be found for cheap, which sets them in the budget friendly region. But they still rock out with the best or ’em ,and as you might have noticed, price differences in the string world are so small that it hardly matters for the most part.

What to Expect from Drop B Tuning?

Well, this is a metal tuning. Sure, you can delve into the world of progressive metal and color your sound with a variety of influences, but the sound will still stay very metallic and aggressive. That is the very nature of this tuning, and not something you can escape. That’s why chug is the best sound to describe it, it’s as metal as it can get and that’s what makes it awesome. But that’s why we’re writing this, so you don’t get any other impression.

With that out of the way, if this sounds like your thing, feel free to get any of the listed sets of strings. Any one would quality for the best strings for drop B tuning, and we guarantee that they deliver the goods and the sonic boom you’ve been yearning for. Good luck!

Written and Reviewed By

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

  • Marko is the senior editor and writer on Ultimate Guitar, the No. 1 guitar spot on the web, since early 2013. His work was also featured on a variety of other notable gear spots such as Guitar Fella, Consordini, and, of course, Song Simian. His musical journey began at a very young age, and he finally opted to pick up an instrument in his early teenage years. A fan of King Crimson. A travel enthusiast.

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