I used Blue Steels for years to. Switched to Ernie Ball when they became hard to find, hated them. Been using D'Addario EXL110's for about 15 years. Sometimes I think they're shit too. I've gotten some kinked, rusted, knots, defects, etc.. Crap shoot. Seems like about the last 3-4 years I noticed the inconsistencies moreso.