Dean Markley Helix HD Acoustic Strings

Posted on October 20, 2010

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Well it is my civil duty to my fellow tone addicts, if it shows up at my doorstep it gets a review.  I sent requests out for my Coated String Shootout a few blogs back and the day after I posted the finished blog, a pack of the latest strings from Dean Markley show up.  No complaints here, the more the merrier.  So let’s take a look at the Helix strings.

Web: Dean Markley
Street Price: $6-$7 for Acoustic or Electric Strings

The back of the box would hype any cynic up:  “Welcome to the threshold of music history.  The Helix HD string is guaranteed to re-define your music via an innovative patent-pending Hyper-Elliptical Winding process; the most herealed breakthrough in cutting edge string technology in cutting edge string technology in Light Years.”

Yikes!  Is my guitar going to shoot lasers after I put these on?  Well, sadly there were no lasers.  From what I gathered from the box as well as Dean Markley’s website the Helix strings are wound tighter and smoother.  This science allows them to increase the amount of wraps making the string heavier without altering the diameter.

Well Great Who Cares, How Do They Sound?
I strung up my Walden D-710CE with a set of CL 80/20 Helix .012-.056 gauge strings and my initial thoughts were that it was a nice blend of brightness and warmth.  Not too thin sounding, yet not too dark.  The sustain was significantly improved from a set of newer strings I had on still from my previous string test.  After I logged a few hours on the Helix strings in the following days I noticed, “Hey these strings still feel and sound brand new!”

How Do They Stack Up Against More Expensive Strings?

Besides enjoying the tone of these strings, what stood out most compared to the more expensive coated strings is there was little to no string noise on the Helix.  If you read my Coated String Shootout, that was my biggest gripe was the initial string noise.

Second, the price.  Dean Markley managed to introduce new string technology at the price of a current pack of strings.

Final Thoughts
2 weeks of playing the Helix strings on my guitar and they still feel and sound brand new.  There aren’t many other strings out there on the market that give you that for $6 a set.  My next question is when are they coming out with Helix bass strings?  I’ve been a fan of the Blue Steel bass strings and can only imagine what the Helix technology could do for bass strings.

Currently Listening To: Lee Ritenour’s 6 String Theory

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