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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / So I finally restrung the D42 with Martin SP lights

Previous 20 Messages  
kego
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Houston, TX

Give me a second to think of something..
Feb 20th, 2015 01:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bought a D-18GE in December from a friend of mine who owns a shop. It was his personal guitar, and I got a great deal on it.

Interestingly enough, I *LOVED* the tone it had, and asked him what strings were on it.

The answer?

Martin Retro Lights

I bought a couple sets and plan on trying them on one of my 000 or OM Martins to see what I think. They are made of Monel steel, and I'm amazed at the tone so far. They also make Mediums (the Tony Rice signature strings I think).

This was the first time I've ever found a new type of string that way - I had no idea at all what they were, I just knew that they sounded fantastic. I have used DiAddarios, John Pearse, and many others and have more or less settled on Martin SP's, but I think I may like the Monels/Retro strings even better.

They are supposed to last longer and have a softer feel than Phosphor Bronze. I can say that they are very comfortable to play, and so far I'm still on the set that came on the guitar (and I've played it a lot!) - and I have no idea how long they had been on the guitar before I bought it. They still sound great. I'll probably try the mediums as well to see what I think.

All the talk on the various forums suggests that some folks love them and some folks hate them, but all I know is that I liked them *before* I even knew what they were - so I was unbiased by any hype. That says something to me.

At any rate, if I were you, Chris, I'd try as many different strings as you want to find the ones you like best. I definitely suggest that you give the Monel's a try though.

Enjoy the search!


Link to GC - but you can find them elsewhere significantly cheaper...

(This message was last edited by kego at 03:59 PM, Feb 20th, 2015)

kego
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Houston, TX

Give me a second to think of something..
Feb 20th, 2015 02:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here's the Tony Rice set...

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Feb 20th, 2015 06:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I've never tried the Pearse strings but I know the seem to have their fans."

Yep. Me too. Tried tons of different strings, but these ultimately won the battle of the brands. Their version of "light" is not too light. They went the 12-53 route, not 11 (though I'm sure they make them in that gauge). This is what sounds great on my high-end American Guild. In fact, I put a new set on last night and man they sound great.

Those Martin Retro Lights do sound interesting though.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 20th, 2015 06:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I used to think a string was a string but after restringing with another brand for a trial and absolutely hating the sound of a known monster sounding guitar ,then going back right then and putting the original brand back on and getting the sound back on it I learned to stick with what works for the instrument. Your results may Vary!

jhawkr
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Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Feb 21st, 2015 07:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Monel is very tough steel. Should resist breaking as it's not especially brittle.

urby
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Seattle, Wa

Feb 21st, 2015 12:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Another picker here that uses the Martin Retro lights on a 000-28.

6L6
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San Francisco, CA

Feb 21st, 2015 07:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I string all of my acoustics with D'Addario PB Lights. On several of the guitars I do replace the first string with a Medium gauge PB.

Love 'em!

John Pearse makes good strings. If you are looking for a less bright sound than D'Addario PB's, try a set. But be aware that many folks complain about how quickly they go dead…

6

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Feb 21st, 2015 09:28 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"But be aware that many folks complain about how quickly they go dead…" (the Pearse strings, that is)

That has not been my experience.

jhawkr
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Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Feb 22nd, 2015 03:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"John Pearse makes good strings. If you are looking for a less bright sound than D'Addario PB's, try a set. But be aware that many folks complain about how quickly they go dead…"


That was my experience with JP's. Great sounding for a couple months, then a quick die-off.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Frogs, the other white meat
Feb 22nd, 2015 10:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I sort of liked the Martin Lifespan Mediums they equip their dreads with. Those were what sold me on the sound. Makes sense to get some more. I'm not on a quest; I just want to get the D42 back to where it was when I got it.

budg
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Feb 22nd, 2015 11:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I use the lifespan mediums on my Martin and I really love the results myself.

jhawkr
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Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Feb 23rd, 2015 03:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I used Martin Mediums for many years until arthritis forced me to change. The Martin FX Silk & Phosphor have extended my playing years.

MLC
Contributing Member
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It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Feb 23rd, 2015 07:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

""But be aware that many folks complain about how quickly they go dead…" (the Pearse strings, that is)

That has not been my experience."

Nor mine - I've used Pearse strings for years.
Strings are one of those truly personal things - really depends on your body chemistry and how your fingers get along with them.


jefe46
Contributing Member
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State of Jefferson

Mar 1st, 2015 07:28 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was a MARTIN string user for years.. Gave them up
including a recent set of Martin BANJO "Bluegrass" strings.

To my ears and hands... D'Addario.

I use 12's and 11's on Martins and 11's on most all my other acoustics.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Frogs, the other white meat
Mar 3rd, 2015 01:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, knowing there are lots of choices, as I said earlier, I was won over by these guitars' sound with their factory strung MSP7200 Lifespan SP mediums. Just picked up a few sets to have on hand. At this point, I'm not interested in experimenting too much, I just want to keep playing with the sound of these Martins as they came to me.

Right now, the D42 is sitting in the case waiting to be restrung but the HD28V is getting mucho love.

neilp
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Austin TX

Mar 8th, 2015 06:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've tried others over the years but frankly you couldn't give me anything but Martin Mediums now. Anything else just sounds something less than it should be. I really tried to like lighter strings when carpal tunnel was plaguing me a couple of years ago but I found that I would rather play for a shorter time than use lighter strings. Thankfully (or perhaps I should thank my Dr...) the CTS is now under control and I can play Mediums all night long again. I can even wear my heavier watches again!

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Frogs, the other white meat
Mar 9th, 2015 06:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Still waiting on my Lifespan Meds. The lights on the D42 have mellowed very slightly but I'm spending my time with the HD28V instead. I like lighter strings on my electrics but I prefer the heavier strings on the Martins even if a bit more difficult to play.

Bubbalou
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USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Mar 9th, 2015 11:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I love John Pearce Phospher Bronze. Heavenly tone and good longevity

CVH
Contributing Member
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downslope of life

Quod ad porcarium tempus est?
Jul 8th, 2015 09:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just did a restring on my Yamaha FG750S, changing from medium (.013-.056), phosphor bronze Martin SP's to "custom light" (.011-.052) 80/20 bronze Martin SP's. What a difference! The guitar sounded depressingly dead from the get-go with the mediums, and sprang back to life with the lights.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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west Omaha, east NE

Life gets in the way of my G.A.S.
Jul 29th, 2015 03:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Another vote for the Martin Retro Monel strings. Tried them first on my new D-35, and they sound great (feel fine, too). Now I have them on all three of my Larrivees, and will put a set on the Ovation that will land here Friday.

Very impressed with their warm, full, clear tone, and they do seem to be holding up very well.

I also like Martin SP's and John Pearse, but I also felt that the JP strings looked dirty more quickly than others. Still sounded good, but looked like they needed to be changed... and I don't have the body chemistry that usually does that to strings. But they have a nice variety of Medium Gauge sets to choose from - I like the Hawaiian set.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / So I finally restrung the D42 with Martin SP lights




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