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String Suggestions Desired

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Milspec, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    I went to re-string my Seagull Entorage last night and discovered that I was out of strings (Doh). So I was about to jump online and order more, but it had me thinking about options.

    I have used the D'addario EJ16 (phosphor light bronze) on all of my acoustics and normally buy them in bulk, but maybe I am missing out in doing so. I thought it might be time to consider options.

    I have the following acoustics:

    Seagull Artist Cameo (flame maple)(Very bright tone)
    Seagull Entorage Rustic (Cedar top)(Warmer tone)
    Godin 5th Ave Kingpin 2 (not a true acoustic, but I do play it that way most of the time)

    I have never tried the D'addario 80/20 bronze strings, or any of the other brands out there for that matter. I don't like coated strings, but I am open to suggestions one what I should try.
     
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  2. blue17

    blue17 Tele-Meister

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    I was an Elixir Nanoweb guy for a long time, but I switched to Martin Lifespan pretty recently and they sound amazing. They take a little bit of breaking in, but once they mellow out, they sound incredibly rich.

    I use a Gibson Songwriter (rosewood back and sides, sitka top)
     
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  3. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    80/20 strings sound best on my Godin Metropolis QIT. I only buy in bulk from Just Strings. The price can’t be beat, and I love fresh strings. I tried coated strings on a Yamaha acoustic, since sold. I really didn’t like them at all. The brightness was really dampened and the feel was weird under the fingers.

    https://m.juststrings.com/guitarbulkstrings.html
     
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  4. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Copied from the email I just got from them :

    D'Addario XS acoustic strings have an extremely thin protective coating for maximum life without sacrificing tone.
     
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  5. USian Pie

    USian Pie Tele-Meister

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    In my experience, D'Addarios are always a good starting point for reference. I'll try the Phosphor Bronze and the 80/20 on a guitar and that tells me which way to go.

    So far, plain uncoated Phosphor Bronze work best on a spruce-top auditorium body guitar. That guitar has enough natural highs that the more mellow PB balances it.

    I also have a couple of spruce top dreadnoughts. One sounds good with Phosphor Bronze. The other doesn't. Both sound good with 80/20s. On the dreads, I'm liking the extra presence of the 80/20s for recording, too.

    I have a Seagull S6 with a cedar top that is really special. Unfortunately, something about it magnifies finger squeak like crazy. Elixir 80/20s with the thicker polyweb coating work great on it. The coating doesn't bother me on this guitar for some reason -- maybe I'm just used to it.

    I've tried Elixirs on other guitars and I prefer the feel of uncoated strings. However, for practicality on a guitar that might go longer than I want without string changes, they work well.

    I've tried D'Addario coated strings and didn't really like either the sound or feel.

    Standard D'Addarios are good and they are cheap to buy in bulk. As long as I have time to do string changes, I can keep fresh strings on a guitar.

    Martins and GHS sound good, too. I just haven't come across any that made me want to switch. I tried GHS low-tension and didn't really notice much difference. Going from .12 to .11 on the same guitar worked out better.

    Finally, I really like John Pearse strings. I use those when I want a guitar to sound its best.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  6. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    I have a Martin 000-18 and a Gibson J-160E.

    For years, I used the Martin SP phosphor-bronze strings on the 000-18 but was never really happy with the feel or sound. I just assumed all acoustic phosphor-bronze strings were like that and didn't think anything further of it.

    Fast forward some years later when the usual SP strings were out of stock and I tried a set of the Martin Claptin's Choice instead. What a difference! Although I was skeptical about the artist endorsement, I loved their tone and feel compared to the SP strings. I occasionally use the D'Addario EJ16 set when the Claptons are out of stock but I much prefer the Claptons. That is the tone I want for fingerstyle and strumming.

    I once tried 80/20s on a boutique-brand deep body rosewood OM. They were the only string set I had found that sounded good with that guitar (everything else was just mud city after they wore in a bit), but then my local store stopped stocking them. I sold that guitar not long after.

    I have tried the Martin Lifespans but wasn't terribly thrilled. Similarly, I tried a set of coated D'Addarios (can't remember the exact type) and they were fairly dull, almost like playing rubber bands.

    The J-160E is interesting because normal acoustic guitar strings don't work well with the magnetic pickup. I bought the guitar used with D'Addario Nickel-Bronze strings which worked with the pickup but felt like barbed wire to me. I have since switched to Martin Retro Monel strings and they are awesome with that guitar. The sound reminds me a bit of Wilco.
     
  7. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have heard similar reports on the Martin Retro Monel strings...might have to try that on the 5th Ave.
     
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  8. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    You Canadian or just love hoser acoustic guitars?
     
  9. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sort of a fluke. I was on vacation in Canada and ended up taking a tour of the factory. Something about buying the instrument that you saw being made that made them stand out. So far, I have 7 Godin ownership instruments and haven't had a bad one yet. Still hoping to find a deal on a Montreal Premiere this year.
     
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  10. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I had been using Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze for a while because they sound really good, but very recently decided to go with D'Addario Nickel Bronze because they have a 12-56 set. I went whole hog and got Nickel Bronzes for my mandolin too, and they are my new favorite. D'addario claims they are the 'natural' sound of your instrument, and I can't really think of a better way to describe them. They sound really, really good even on my cheap acoustic instruments.
     
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  11. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    They are great guitars. The Metropolis was a no brainer for my first all solid wood acoustic guitar. It plays and sounds so good. I’m surprised how much I LOVE the richlite fretboard. One day, I need to snag an electric. Many models sell for peanuts on the Toronto used market.
     
  12. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Afflicted

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    I had been meaning to try those Martin Retros for a while, just never had. The new OOO Martin I just got yesterday had them on it. I really like them a lot.
     
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  13. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    They can certainly be bargains on the used market. If you can find one, the older Godin Session Custom with the revoicer button is a fantastic electric. Sort of a tele-strat hybrid with a Gibson feel neck...shockingly versatile guitar.
     
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  14. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I REALLY tried to love an Icon II. Gorgeous guitar, beautiful fit, finish, excellent hardware, and though IMO, tame, nice pickups. However, my lazy thumb overhang on my fretting hand, just couldn’t grab notes up the neck. The ‘shoulder’ met the neck at the 15th fret, and I was blowing licks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  15. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Milspec, trust your instincts.

    My new 2020 Alvarez MD60EBG came from the factory with D'Addario EXP16 Phospher Bronze coated strings, and in ignorance, I had the dealer swap in Elixir Nanoweb Phospher Bronze coated strings before shipping, due to all the "hype" surrounding Elixir Nanoweb coated strings.

    I had never played Elixir Nanoweb's and I wanted to try them. Well, I've tried them, and I just don't get the "hype".

    Heretofore, I had always strung my acoustics with non-coated D'Addario Phospher Bronze EJ16's, but I did recently buy a set of coated D'Addario, phospher bronze EXP16'S, just to try them out.

    I love D'Addario strings...
    I love Phospher Bronze strings...
    I love light (i.e., .012-.053) strings...
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  16. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    UPDATE:

    I was curious, so I just installed a new set of D'Addario EXP16 strings (which is how the Alvarez MD60EBG comes from the factory). :rolleyes:

    BTW, the Elixir Nanoweb's that I removed were new, too. ;)

    I prefer the D'Addario EXP16 set. :)
     
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  17. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    The answer is John Pearse

    Their light gauge Phosphor Bronze strings last a long time ( my fingertips don't like coated- can't make good contact/slippery), are warm yet bright, and their wrapped wound strings have just a little less friction than a D'Addario PB light- wonderful strings.

    They last a few months of daily home play or 3-4 gigs. Which is fine for me. ( I change all strings often before they go 'dead', never break)

    The Pearse 80/20 string ( in identical light gauge as a PB ) offers a little less string tension than a PB, and unlike some 80/20's, are NOT overly bright or metallic and then die quickly.

    Fantastic strings, made the change from D'Addarios 6-7 years ago ( after 30+ years of D'Addario)
    Just me, strings are personal!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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