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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / What acoustic strings are you liking these days?

Next 20 Messages   Newest 20 Messages
Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 25th, 2017 03:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've been using Martin's Acoustic SP and Lifespan strings for some time. Used to use D'Addario and am going to order a couple sets from them in the near future.

Strings would be for Martin dreads (D-42, HD-28V, and D-18).


MoJo, Minnesota

Jump in and hang on
Oct 25th, 2017 03:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've used both the Lifespans and Elixir Nanowebs on my D-45E - and prefer the Elixir's. To me - they seem to hold their tone a bit longer than the Lifespans SP's.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 25th, 2017 03:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've tried a few different Elixers on both acoustic and electric and always found them a bit dead sounding but thanks for the suggestion.

Contributing Member

USA/Taos, NM

Oct 25th, 2017 03:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

We've certainly had this discussion at various times. Hard to say which brands/models sound best on which guitars. That's so hit-and-miss. But on my high-end Guild, I went through 6 or 8 brands/models in its early days--including most of the major brands. I finally settled on the John Pearse phosphor bronze. Good, clear tone. Good playability (12-53, though I usually put a 13 in for the high E). And they seem to last quite a good while, too.


Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 25th, 2017 04:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've never tried Pearse strings, maybe it's time I did.



Oct 25th, 2017 04:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

Pearse 80/20 Bronze here. They sound broken in as soon as you tune up. Martin SP 80/20 Bronze is my second choice. It takes 2-3 days for them to settle in. I'm not a fan of PB's.

Contributing Member


Best dryfire is at the range with ammo
Oct 25th, 2017 06:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like Pearse 80/20 on my Martin OM-35 but prefer the Nanowebs on my Taylor 12 fret.


Boy Jeenyus

Oct 25th, 2017 06:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

I really like the Martin Monel strings on my Santa Cruz dread.
They're definitely different from the phosphor bronze feel and sound.

IME, they last much longer than PB, and have a looser, less tensioned feel to them.

(This message was last edited by Snakeboy at 08:16 PM, Oct 25th, 2017)

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Oct 26th, 2017 10:11 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm an Elixer nanoweb guy. 80/20 on the Taylors and Phosphor/Bronze on the rest.

I'm surprised you think they sound dull CG. The Elixers are some of the brightest strings I've tried.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 26th, 2017 10:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

Elixer had sent me a bunch of strings many years ago. Do they go bad sitting in their boxes? I do like the feel of them but didn't like them on acoustic or electric even when they were new.

Black Gibson

Idaho, USA

Acoustics Rock! Well, sort of...
Oct 26th, 2017 11:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've been using Pearse strings on all my acoustics for years. J-200's, Everly's, J-185's, J-45's even my Guild Jumbo 12. I've never had a "bad" set, they seem last a long time and they don't have that too bright sizzle brand new strings can have. I can put new strings on a guitar tune up and hit the stage without worrying about tuning issues.



Oct 26th, 2017 11:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

I prefer John Pearce Phosphor Bronze

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Oct 26th, 2017 01:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Chris, IMO typically strings don't go bad for a long time unless they are stored in a damp environment. Were they Poly Web? I don't care for those as the coating is too thick and I think they are duller that the Nanoweb sets.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 26th, 2017 02:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Dry storage in a cabinet drawer. I'll have to check to see which type of Elixers they are. Only have two sets left for acoustic.

Contributing Member


This space intentionally left blank.
Oct 26th, 2017 02:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve switched to D’Addario Nickel Bronze recently. They’ve become my favorite set.

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 27th, 2017 08:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

I use Newtone 11-47 on the 0015, and John Pearse 80/20 on the 00015s, occasionally I'll use the DR Sunbeams on the 00015s, a little lower tension with the round core.

Strings seem to last a long time, I do wipe them down with a piece of felt sprayed with a mix of Balistol and water, keeps them from gunking up or rusting.

Back in 2012 when I crushed my left hand in a motorcycle accident the Doc repeatedly told me my playing guitar days were over. He was wrong but I did put some low tension strings on the two Martins to re-hab the hands into shape. I still use the 11-47 and 12-54 on these guitars.

I haven't settled on a set for my classical guitar.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Oct 27th, 2017 08:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Martins are a good choice - I've used them more than anything the past few years - Phosphor Bronze, and more often now, the Monel Retros. I like the Laurence Juber gauged Retro set the best; lights on the A, D, G, mediums on the low E and high B & E.

You can't go wrong with D'Addario's either for quality/price. I bought a bunch of the New Bronze sets awhile back, but didn't care for them (I DO think they sound/feel different than the Martin Monel Retros). Since I have a few sets left, I put them on a couple guitar again... so far they're okay, we'll see how I like them after they've been on a few more days.

John Pearse are good strings. In my experience, they seem to tarnish earlier than Martin or D'Addario, but the tone is still there. This is also true for Curt Mangan strings - sound great, tarnish quickly, but still sound good.

Contributing Member

The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Nov 1st, 2017 06:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

I just bought an Alvarez-Yairi PY70, which is a spruce/rosewood parlor. Nice little guitar.

At the suggestion of the seller, I bought a set of LaBella Light Silk & Steel strings for it. They sounded good right out of the box, but now they have been on about a week. I got it out last night, tuned it up, and was promptly blown away at how good that little guitar sounded.

No way a small guitar should have that much bass, and any boxy-ness it might have had before was gone. And they felt good under my fingertips.

Don't know how long they will last- I'm an Elixir man and am used to strings lasting a loooonnnggg time- but for now I'm real happy with them. Not expensive either, $8 for the set.

Not sure how they would sound on a dreadnought, but I think I might buy another set and put them on my other Yairi, a DY74, just to see.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 1st, 2017 10:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...I got it out last night, tuned it up, and was promptly blown away at how good that little guitar sounded..."

I grew up with an O-size mahogany Martin in the house. That thing positively came alive with silk-and-steel strings. They really seem to bring out the best in parlor-size instruments.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 12:34 PM, Nov 1st, 2017)

El Kabong
Contributing Member

NJArmpit of Universe

A-Ahhl do the thinnin' around here!
Nov 2nd, 2017 03:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

D'Addario -
For acoustic 12-string and acoustic 6-string
(both Martin (Nazareth PA, not Mexico, of course))

Ernie Ball -
Electric (Fender, Fullerton CA)

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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / What acoustic strings are you liking these days?

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