February 18th, 2012, 12:04 PM
I have a Martin M-38 that I have been playing with D'Addario Phosphor Bronze EJ16s (0.012s) for many years. I wanted to do a little experimenting with both extended life strings and alternative non-extended life strings. I mostly play with my fingers and a flatpick in a hybridized claw style jazz chord melody and some blues.
In extended life strings, I have seen a number of options by D'Addario, Elixir, GHS and Martin to name a few. I have read about folks loving them and others saying that they are dead sounding and talk of string dandruff. I would love to get some recommendations on which ones to try given, what I am used to playing, my style of play etc.?
On the alterative string front, what do folks think about alternatives? I used to play 80/20s many years ago but I did not care for how much they rolled off after a day of play. I have heard good things about John Pearce strings. Any experience out there with these or others? Also, I love Thomastik-Infelds on my jazz hollowbody. How are their acoustic strings?
February 18th, 2012, 12:12 PM
+100 on John Pearse. All I use. Long life, good balance between bright and body. You'll like them.
February 18th, 2012, 06:39 PM
Lotsa strings, you gots lotsa time?...:lol:
Strings are (relatively) cheap, you can look at sites and just find whats on sale to try, and if they are multiples, then trade and match with friends to try new things...
I will throw out Cleartone/Martin SP Plus or Extended Life (not a coating but a "treatment")...on my Guild D55 I though they sounded great, until I realized something was missing in chording...to my ear perhaps the single note articulation was wonderful but multiple note blending was lacking? Dunno, might be my guitar, might be good with yours.
Love GHS Bright Bronze on the D55 (rosewood/sitka), my new Huss and Dalton (mahogany/adirondack) loves GHS Vintage Bronze...
As I said above, lotsa strings...have fun!
February 18th, 2012, 07:11 PM
I think the Pearse phosphor bronze are the best sounding acoustic strings out there. If you've never tried them, you should at least give 'em a shot.
February 18th, 2012, 07:52 PM
I've been using John Pearce Phospher Bronze strings for years and love them!! Great strings :)
February 18th, 2012, 08:05 PM
If i use 80/20s i go for the elixer nanowebs everytime. They dont " drop off" a day later like the others. I do feel that elixer phospher bronzes do sacrifice a tad of volume and overtones due to the coating. I quit using them on my martin d28 for that reason and abandoned elixer altogether. I swapped it for a gibson advanced jumbo recently and decided id give elixer a try on it and grabbed the 80/20s and wow do they sound great on it! 2 weeks after the string change there as crisp and clear as day one. Definitly not tge case with the 80/20 martin sp that was on it. They gave out in just a few days and were shot. i dont feel i sacrafice any tone or volume with the elixer 80/20s but i do feel you loose some with the PB. But in the end it depends on the guitar and what it responds to best. But if you quit playing 80/20 just because of the terrible deadness that quickly follows, id definitly give the elixer nanowebs a shot
February 18th, 2012, 09:52 PM
+1 on the John Pierce, great strings.
February 18th, 2012, 10:59 PM
I like DR Sunbeams a lot. The round cores make them feel light but sound heavy.
They sound great on two of my acoustics, but when I put them on my Alvarez wth mahogany top they just didn't work, and I went back to D'Adario phosphor bronze.
One thing I don't like about DR strings is that they aren't wrapped in plastic. I stocked up on some of their strings when I found them on sale, and after a few months the unwrapped strings had rust spots on them.
February 19th, 2012, 12:32 AM
+1 on the John Pierce, great strings.
For non-coated phosphor bronze strings, I love John Pearse, but must admit that I'm about 3-4 years now a convert to Elixir Phosphor Bronze (Medium/Nanowebs) on my Martin. I just feel like I get the same "warm, yet bright" tone that I always got out of my D'Add's for many years, but with much less string squeak, plus they last forever, and hold their tone. No compromise, IMO on tone.
The Pearse strings have lower string noise that D'Add's too (I think that the 'wrap' on the D'Add wound strings just has more friction), last a long time and sound great.
I do not like Martin strings, which is weird as I love Martins, but have always felt like Martin strings had too much tension, were hard to play, and lose their tone quickly by comparsion, with say D'Add's, Ernie Balls, GHS, Pearse (phosphor bronze strings)