8 Best Banjo String Reviews 2020 (Best Banjo String Brands)

Best Banjo Strings & Best Banjo String Brands

Best Banjo Strings & Best Banjo String Brands

When it comes to your banjo, the strings have a larger influence than any part of the instrument. There are dozens of banjo strings out there in the market, and only the best will give you the right sound you craved.

Selecting your banjo strings will vary according to your choice, and to do this, we are going to walk you through a review and guide on how to buy the best banjo strings and produce the right banjo sound while savoring the grace of playing flawlessly.

What are the Best Banjo Strings to Buy?

2) Elixir Medium Banjo Strings w Polyweb Coating

  • Nickel-plated Steel Wrap Wire
  • Medium 
  • POLYWEB Coating

1) D’Addario Phosphor EJ69 5-String BRONE Banjo Strings

  • Reputable Brand
  • Ideal Balance
  • Light Tension
  • High Quality

3) Martin Vega V730 5-String Medium Banjo Strings

  • Resistant to Corrosion
  • Medium Tension
  • Well-crafted
  • Comfortable 

How Many Strings Do I Need?

As you may have known, the standard strings type for banjos is the 5-string design, but banjos also come in different string configuration. For instance, the 4-string banjos are recently experiencing a reawakening especially among band players like the Dropkick Murphy and Mumford and Sons.

What Gauges are Good for Me?

Most times, there is no specific answer to this question. But one thing is clear though; it will depend on your style and comfort zone. Some banjo players prefer light gauge strings while others prefer medium gauge strings as the perfect choice for strong midrange response and full-bodied tone.

If you want to select the right gauges for you, then you have to experiment because, banjos vary extensively in their design and native tone, coupled with the fact that players use different picking technologies and also have different attacks. So you need to experiment here.

What About String Coating and Materials?

The only string that comes usually wound is the 4th or B string on 5-string banjos. A wound string often contains a hex-shaped or round steel core and in most cases appears invariably round-wound. A small ‘w’ is used to indicate the wound string(s) in a set, and which follows the gauge number.

Some of the famous materials used in designing banjos strings include:

  • stainless steel—providing balanced tone and smooth feel projection.
  • nickel plated steel—ensures smooth feel, strong projection and bright tone.
  • coated strings—which features a polymer coating around the wire of the string to reduce any form of corrosion while extending its lifespan.
  • Phosphor Bronze—popular with 4th strings banjos, and produces a warmer tone.

These are some of the things to consider when buying your banjos strings. Below is a review of the top banjos strings of the 21st century.

8 Best Banjo String Reviews and the Best Banjo String Brands

1) D’Addario Phosphor EJ69 5-String BRONE Banjo Strings

Measuring 7 pounds, this is one of D’Addario’s light tension playing strings that renders good feel and top class projection.

The EJ69 is a best seller, and the light playing tension it offers banjo players is extremely comfortable.

The strings measure 4.8 x 0.4 x 4.8 inches in dimensions, which further shows it to be a medium-large size option.

EJ69 strings are best starters, and their medium size means they can stay in perfect tune most of the time. If you’re the type that is always breaking strings, the EJ69 is your friend to have.

Like other D’Addario strings in this review, theEJ69 also features a loop-end design that makes it suitable for all types of banjo tailpiece.

2) Elixir Medium Banjo Strings w Polyweb Coating

Each of these strings is constructed with nickel plated steel wire to ensure longevity and bright tone, plus a smooth feel. These strings are preferred by most bluegrass musicians because of their rich, golden tone.

The Elixir features a unique POLYWEB Coating which is remarkable in providing a fast and slick feel that prevent the strings from interfering with the playing process. Apart from that, the excellent patented coating features also help in preventing corrosion while extending the lifespan of the strings. This quality makes the strings by far the most potent in the industry.

The gauge is medium size and they include 010, 012, 016, and 023.

3) Martin Vega V730 Medium Banjo Strings

Vega is a trademark name that has been dominating the banjo instrument world since 1889 to date. Vega produces well-crafted banjos with excellent raw materials and premium quality design that exceeds expectations.

The V730 model is just a typical example of the Martin Vega line of banjo strings that outperform a host of other strings in the market. The strings feature more full design than the light strings.

They are best for medium tension tuning. Vega strings offer you smooth feel beneath your fingertips. The slides feel just perfect and the strings also excel in brilliance, clarity, and longevity.

The V730 tonal qualities are made possible due to the nickel/steel alloy design used on it for a strong resonance.

4) Ernie Ball Earthwood Bronze Loop 5-String Banjo Strings

Ernie is out to give brands like D’Addario a run for their money. With these awesome 5-string bronze strings, Ernie aims to compete at the highest level, and this is evident in the fact that all strings in this model are loop-end designated.

The strings are designed from Ernie’s popular 80/20 reliable to allow construction—the hallmark of their most famous acoustic strings. And the immediate result of this top class design is flawless, pleasing overtones with crisp ringing sound.

The strings also feature high carbon steel core with a tin-plated design. It’s a remarkable design coming from Southern California.

5) D’Addario J60 Nickel 5-String Banjo Strings

D’Addario returns with one of its most famous 5-string banjo strings gauges, boasting excellent tone and amazing balance, together with superb projection.

Like its sister version, the J61, this model also features solid and reliable loop-end construction that will fit well with any banjo styled projects.

The strings are coated in nickel plate design, rendering a smooth feel, bright tone, and a better lifespan.

The J60 offers the ability to play light tension while enjoying a comfortable feel. D’Addario isn’t just the world largest manufacturer of strings instruments for nothing.

6) D’Addario Nickel J61 5-String Banjo Strings (Medium)

D’Addario J61 is a popular and versatile 5-string banjo gauge that is just perfect for all types of playing styles. The strings come featuring excellent loop-end construction that renders universal fit when employed.

You can expect a bright tone and smooth feel from your instrument due to the nickel-plated design of the strings. The nickel plating also elongates the lifespan of the strings as well.

The J61 boast top quality design, considering that the product is made in the USA, which guarantees top performance and high quality.

All professional bluegrass musicians can enjoy these 5-string banjo strings that are available in different types of gauges.

The strings measure 4.4 x 4.4 x 0.4 inches in dimensions, making it a medium-sized string.

7) GHS Sony Osborne Medium Light Signature Banjos Strings

As the name implies, this is the banjo strings that is proudly endorsed by one of banjos greatest players of all times—Sony Osborne. The strings are designed to meet the taste of the legendary Sony Osborne. The strings feature a round-wound design made of stainless steel of the 4th string category.

As a plain, loop end banjo strings, the GHS has 42-inch winding, making them extra long so they can fit banjos that have a long neck. They are also designed to provide long-lasting tone. With its GHS lock twixt design, these strings can stay in perfect tone, even as the loops are designed to fit different types of the tailpiece.

8) GHS QUINTO Strings BSX – 10Stainless Steel Banjo Strings Loop End

GHS remarkable lock twixt design is what really set it apart from a host of other strings in the market. The lock twixt design enables the banjo player to achieve the best in tuning and tension.

The strings also come with a heavy and reliable core wire that provides the best in strength and volume, even as you are bound to derive excellence from the amazing tone qualities they render.

As a 10-string banjo Quinto set, these are among the most reliable stainless steel banjo strings design in the market. But what we really like about them is their durability even as they also sound great.

Choosing the Best Banjo Strings

When it comes down to choosing banjo instruments, there are no precise rules to follow as strings vary a lot with gauges. Choosing a string will largely depend on your scale of preference.

While some banjo players take delight in playing light strings, others swear by medium gauges strings which produce a full and excellent range of sound from their banjos.

2) Elixir Medium Banjo Strings w Polyweb Coating

  • Nickel-plated Steel Wrap Wire
  • Medium 
  • POLYWEB Coating

1) D’Addario Phosphor EJ69 5-String BRONE Banjo Strings

  • Reputable Brand
  • Ideal Balance
  • Light Tension
  • High Quality

3) Martin Vega V730 5-String Medium Banjo Strings

  • Resistant to Corrosion
  • Medium Tension
  • Well-crafted
  • Comfortable 

When choosing your banjo, make sure you carry out some level of experimentation. This is important owing to the fact that banjo players have different techniques of playing. The way you play yours might not be the exact way I’ll love to play mine.

Also consider the construction of your banjo strings, as stronger strings tend to pull harder on the neck of the banjo, which weakens it over time and causes the instrument to play off tune. Hence, light strings are recommended for vintage banjos.