Acoustic strings - a journey...

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  • thomasross20thomasross20 Frets: 3685
    edited July 22
    When did it get so expensive for strings? These elixirs are £15+++ ! 
    I need to get some new strings. Seems to be no major conclusion from the thread and I don't want to try ten different sets. 
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9572
    edited July 22
    When did it get so expensive for strings? These elixirs are £15+++ ! 
    I need to get some new strings. Seems to be no major conclusion from the thread and I don't want to try ten different sets. 
    Yeah. The good news is elixirs last at least 3x as long as £5 strings, but I now realise they also sound poo, so more strings changes with cheaper strings seems to be a better bet. 

    I reckon the Martin SP Lifespans are the best bet so far out of the ones I've tried. Medium price, medium life, decent sound.
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  • thomasross20thomasross20 Frets: 3685
    I reckon I don't want strings to last a whole year - I'd want to clean the guitar before then. 
    I think I'm just going to stick with EJ16's - 3 pack for £21.... can't beat it.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9572
    I reckon I don't want strings to last a whole year - I'd want to clean the guitar before then. 
    I think I'm just going to stick with EJ16's - 3 pack for £21.... can't beat it.
    They're my second favourite to date (well, the 80/20 equivalent).
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  • thomasross20thomasross20 Frets: 3685
    edited July 22
    Bronze vs phosphor bronze, what do you think? (Is that what you're talking about?)
    - checked the sounds on YouTube, I'll stick with phosphor bronze. 
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9572
    Bronze vs phosphor bronze, what do you think? (Is that what you're talking about?)
    - checked the sounds on YouTube, I'll stick with phosphor bronze. 
    Yeah, I've always liked everything very toppy, especially as I play with fingers & thumb a lot, so I always feel like phosphor bronze is like playing with a blanket over the guitar. But I'm well aware 80/20's are not for everyone :)
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3878
    Phosphor Bronze tends to last longer in my experience as well.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9572
    Bah, the EJ11 sound and feel rubbish after not-quite 6 weeks. They were great when new but dropped off quite fast and I don't like how they sound once they lose their edge.

    Martin SPs going back on tonight so I can see if I still like them 6 months after the last set. 
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7838
    My daddario exp 12s didnt last too long. 
    They sound nice but a bit thin, almost clanky. 

    I've now moved to Martin lifespan 13s and my guitar sings!
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9572
    I'm back on the Lifespan 12's here and they're as good as I remember from last time. Not quite as toppy as the EJ11s were when new but an extra richness that the D'adds don't have. 
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7838
    I'm back on the Lifespan 12's here and they're as good as I remember from last time. Not quite as toppy as the EJ11s were when new but an extra richness that the D'adds don't have. 
    Id go with that. I think I will be sticking with Martin's for now
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 301
    I've long been an elixir user. Yes, they remain shiny for quite a while. Shiny when the string is dead, or when the top wire has split/deformed along the g string and the last set I took off had a g string buzz on every fret. Very weird.

    I've now got a set of gabriel tenorio hand wound round wound strings. They're a bit more than elixirs, but tonally richer with more sustain and overtones.
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 301

    My daddario exp 12s didnt last too long. 
    They sound nice but a bit thin, almost clanky. 

    I've now moved to Martin lifespan 13s and my guitar sings!
      a lot of the 'string making companies' in the uas get their component wire - core + wrap from Stapes (sp?) Music Wire in Tennessee or the like - they're offered in various formulas AND qualities which is reflected in the price at the counter - typical £5a set are produced to a cost that will sell to the average player, playing a £200 to £1k guitar.
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2230
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 

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  • SparkySparky Frets: 85
    jellyroll said:
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 

    Did the same recently. I guess you saw them on offer at Amazon too.
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  • machakmachak Frets: 5
    jellyroll said:
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 


    for some reason, they sound like crap on my taylor....and sound great on D28..like they designed them for their own guitars. 
    So ended up using EXP16 (light coated ones) on taylor..
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7838
    machak said:
    jellyroll said:
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 


    for some reason, they sound like crap on my taylor....and sound great on D28..like they designed them for their own guitars. 
    So ended up using EXP16 (light coated ones) on taylor..
    it would be tricky to make a string that works for all shapes and wood types of martins alone. 
    Saying that, my Martin sounds best with martin strings...

    Acoustics are a kit more sensitive than electric guitars, its very tricky business. 
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2230
    Sparky said:
    jellyroll said:
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 

    Did the same recently. I guess you saw them on offer at Amazon too.
    Sadly, no :( 

    I'm not convinced about them - too bright for the guitar they are currently on. I can see that on the RIGHT guitar played in a certain way they could be awesome as they really are very ballsy. 
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2230
    machak said:
    jellyroll said:
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 


    for some reason, they sound like crap on my taylor....and sound great on D28..like they designed them for their own guitars. 
    So ended up using EXP16 (light coated ones) on taylor..
    Hmm. Sounds like I might need to buy a D28 to use up my stock of strings....
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9572
    jellyroll said:
    machak said:
    jellyroll said:
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 


    for some reason, they sound like crap on my taylor....and sound great on D28..like they designed them for their own guitars. 
    So ended up using EXP16 (light coated ones) on taylor..
    Hmm. Sounds like I might need to buy a D28 to use up my stock of strings....
    That sounds like an excellent plan. 

    But failing that, give them a couple of weeks to bed in. I find they lose that initial major brightness relatively quickly but kept a rally nice mellow tone for a long time after that. Still brighter and nicer than phosphors just a little less toppy than new.
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2230
    Thanks Sticky. I will give them a little longer.
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 5246
    I’ve just restrung my Takamine with Martin Retro’s. They work really well, nice full mellow tone from them. The Tak tends to be very bright and too zingy with phosphor bronze strings, these suit it much better. Wish I’d gone gone for 13s (or heavier), I bought 12s and the top strings feel like cotton. 
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2230
    boogieman said:
    I’ve just restrung my Takamine with Martin Retro’s. They work really well, nice full mellow tone from them. The Tak tends to be very bright and too zingy with phosphor bronze strings, these suit it much better. Wish I’d gone gone for 13s (or heavier), I bought 12s and the top strings feel like cotton. 
    A while ago I tried Retros on a mahogany OM. Hated them. Tinny, thin, awful. Came straight off. Didn't last 24 hours. 

    Fast forward and scratching an itch for a dreadnought, last week I bought an HD28. The Retros (13s) went on last night. Sound pretty good. Certainly acceptable and worlds better than they sounded on the OM. They really do have a vintage Martin thing going on - I can imagine that on an actual vintage Martin they would enhance the natural sound of the instrument. Good for a dry acoustic archtop-ey flatpicked sound. Not so good for full on strumming though. And they have tamed the HD28 boom somewhat - compared to PB anyway. Still early days with these strings. I have a draw full of others to try.....
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 301
    jellyroll said:
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 

    that would suggest to me your guitar likes the tension 13 afford ???.
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2230
    AliGorie said:
    jellyroll said:
         Just put in Martin SP 13s. Wow. Loud. Not settled in yet - very bright. But I’m digging the oomph they bring. 

    that would suggest to me your guitar likes the tension 13 afford ???.
    Yes, the SP 13s are on a Martin OM21. Seem to really go together. 
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  • CMW335CMW335 Frets: 178
    I got these for my 64 D-28 but not fitted them yet. Anyone used them?


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  • GagarynGagaryn Frets: 1437
    boogieman said:
    I’ve just restrung my Takamine with Martin Retro’s. They work really well, nice full mellow tone from them. The Tak tends to be very bright and too zingy with phosphor bronze strings, these suit it much better. Wish I’d gone gone for 13s (or heavier), I bought 12s and the top strings feel like cotton. 
    I've replaced the Newtones on my Guild 12 fret with Martin Retros. I went back to 13s after a failed experiment with 12s and am quite impressed with them.

    I agree with the marketing spiel - you really do hear less string and more guitar. My guitar is already very mellow and these strings really emphasise that. Maybe a bit too little zing although its still there if you really dig in - forces me to play a bit differently but they do sound good.

    Sounds way better tuned down a half step - guitar felt a bit choked at standard pitch. Bizarrely the strings seem a bit brighter now that they have been on the guitar for a couple of weeks although that might be a trick of the ears due to me getting used to the difference.
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 301
    CMW335 said:
    I got these for my 64 D-28 but not fitted them yet. Anyone used them?


    yeah tried them a coupe o' times very well made - poss THE best - not surprising given their history - the just dont skimp on materials or construction.
    Sound wise they are VERY full and round and 'mellow' quickly to that 'play'd in sound - should go well with a D28.
    One thing to watch out for is the silk wrap around the ball end winding, it may be a squeeze - easily dealt with a sharp blade slices the thread of, I tried to put them through Lowdens string through bridge - rh no.
    Last thing is - because the bronze wrap wire is v/high quality ir dont like devil sweat - no life extending zinc in then but the + is they dont have that brittle metallic timbre sound u get from £5 a set sets.
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  • CMW335CMW335 Frets: 178
    AliGorie said:
    CMW335 said:
    I got these for my 64 D-28 but not fitted them yet. Anyone used them?


    yeah tried them a coupe o' times very well made - poss THE best - not surprising given their history - the just dont skimp on materials or construction.
    Sound wise they are VERY full and round and 'mellow' quickly to that 'play'd in sound - should go well with a D28.
    One thing to watch out for is the silk wrap around the ball end winding, it may be a squeeze - easily dealt with a sharp blade slices the thread of, I tried to put them through Lowdens string through bridge - rh no.
    Last thing is - because the bronze wrap wire is v/high quality ir dont like devil sweat - no life extending zinc in then but the + is they dont have that brittle metallic timbre sound u get from £5 a set sets.
    Great stuff thanks mate. Look forward to getting them on now.
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  • Jumped on to this thread to see if I could get a definitive answer on what I should be looking at to stop my Martin 0001xae sounding so muddy (on elixirs) but it's confused me further! I've not really gelled with the guitar but I think I should try some different strings before I flip it.
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