Recently I had the good fortune to meet Jim D’Addario at one of my performances in the Palm Springs area.
Jim was kind enough to put me in contact with George Santos, Product Specialist at D’Addario who provided me several samples of D’Addario string products. So far I’ve tested & shared two of the products that we decided on with several students.
I first started using the Chromes back in the 90’s. At that time I played my Gibson ES-175 exclusively & opted for the Jazz Light set. EGC24. (.011 – .050) I customized that set by replacing the 1st & 2nd strings with a heavier .012 & .016 respectively on the 175 as I prefer the thicker sound. I have a heavier touch so the .011 & .015 were a bit light for that guitar.
These days I’m playing a Gibson Wes L-5 model, so the 12-52 Light Gauge set as packaged did the trick.
Back in the day, I had experienced issues with the wound G but happy to report no problems now. Overall I’m pleased with the results & after speaking with several of my students who tested them as well, we unanimously rate the Chromes at 5 stars! They have a great feel & precise thick tone. If you haven’t already tried them you will be glad you did!
I had tried the Half Rounds in the past on my 175 but gravitated to the Chromes.
After I started playing the Wes-Mo L-5 (single Humbucker), I picked up a vintage 335 for R&B, Blues Gigs, & the occasional dance gig.
When I play the 335, I’ll often slip into BB King mode & the The Half Rounds really do the trick! BTW: I did change out the 1st & 2nd strings to a .011 & .015 respectively to make life a bit easier.
The Half Rounds really ring out with a clear bell tone that doesn’t sacrifice the round sound I prefer. When you select the 2 pickup mode the 335 really cuts through in a R&B horn band. (Using a Fender 65′ Twin Re-Issue) As with the chromes, nothing but praise from the students that tested demo sets.
Bottom Line: For an all around string go with the Half Rounds but if you plan on mainstream Jazz or have a dedicated axe for Jazz you will likely prefer the Chromes.