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9 messages

Martin Stringstuff

23 Jul 01 - 04:48 PM (#512823)
Subject: Martin Stringstuff
From: BobP

Would anyone care to comment on martin strings?

My basic string set is MSP 4200 Phospor Bronze.

That's what is recommended and what I normally use.

I experimented with comparable Elixirs, which I liked on an old Ovation, but found to be "kinda dead" on my D-16 (although they did seem to brighten up a bit after about three days).

I'd like to continue experimenting (safely) and am intrigued and confused by the "silk and steel mediums" as well as the SP+ (which, from reading, seem suspiciously similar to Elixirs).

I am interested in getting max volume from barefinger picking (who isn't) as well as reducing finger squeak.

I would actually like to hear from barefingerpickers who use either coated strings or non-bronze.


A really interesting thread a few weeks ago focused on shaving the neck to improve comfort; additional thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Bob P

23 Jul 01 - 05:09 PM (#512851)
Subject: RE: BS: Martin Stringstuff
From: ChanteyMatt

I've used Martin SP lights (phospor bronze) on my DM and I love the sound. Recently I restrung with medium gauge as I have it tuned to DADGAD permanently and the result has been good.

I tried the same light gauge Martin strings on my Larrivee D03 and the result was awful. I immediately went back to the Elixir strings Larrivee guitars are sold with. I find them to have much reduced finger squeak than the Martin strings.

Each guitar needs whatever is best for it. I keep experimenting (safely).

23 Jul 01 - 07:04 PM (#512907)
Subject: RE: BS: Martin Stringstuff
From: Mark Clark

As ChanteyMatt says, each guitar will respond best to different strings. I've been playing SIT Royal Bronze mediums on my 30+ year old Martin D-41. These are on the heavy side of medium and really put out the sound. I play with bare fingers but not with a bare thumb. I use a white Dunlop "S" thumb pick with the pick cut down to about 3/16" and reshaped accordingly. When flatpicking I used a standard Fender heavy held so as to pick with one side of the fat end.

Some people use light strings thinking they're easier on the guitar. I figure if the guitar isn't sounding the way I like, I don't want it to last too long anyway. <g>

      - Mark

23 Jul 01 - 08:48 PM (#512969)
Subject: RE: BS: Martin Stringstuff
From: GUEST,Kaleea

I have been using Martin Marquis lights on my old 1964 Gibson J-45 for about 20+ years. I am a fangerpicker-no picks on my fangers. (unless I must use a regular pick for strumming in order to be heard) I prefer the silverwound or silk & steel. My bridge is the unusual rosewood adjustable which eats the vibrations making a softer sound-in addition to the fact that such an old guitar will have a very "mellow" sound, therefore I more often use the bronze strings for a brighter sound. I tried the elixer strings a few months back. Three of the strings broke within 2 days including the SIXTH. I don't think I have ever broken a sixth string in the 30some years I have been playing. After the three strings broke, I gave up and replaced the other 3. I did not buy any more elixers. Some people swear by them. Perhaps I'll swear about them, something to the effect of: those #$%**! strings cost me $17 plus tax (plus gasoline)!! *&#@+*!! Evidently the greater the price of the strings the higher the ratio of breakage factor i.e.: +$P=BF X infinity

23 Jul 01 - 11:08 PM (#513061)
Subject: RE: BS: Martin Stringstuff
From: Bluebelle

I'm partial to Martin SP Phospor/Bronze, if I'm using light or medium strings. There's not breaking-in period, for me, at least. Currently, I'm using Martin Bluegrass strings, on my OM-28V, and also like those very much.

Despise, hate, abhor Elixir strings!!!!! No punch and no bass.

23 Jul 01 - 11:44 PM (#513079)
Subject: RE: BS: Martin Stringstuff
From: Oversoul

I use the M1000 set on my late'70's Alvarez DY-74S and my archaic brass Dobro(roundneck). My musical goals have changed greatly over the years but these strings have proven reliable and affordable. Martin makes, or at least distributes a damn fine mandolin string as well. My 'taterbug will testify to that!

24 Jul 01 - 08:54 AM (#513297)
Subject: RE: BS: Martin Stringstuff
From: Midchuck

ChanteyMatt: If you like Phosphor Bronze, and want to keep your guitar in DADGAD permanently, try GHS True Mediums. These have the two unwound strings and the low E in what is normally medium gauge, and the A, D, and G the same as a light gauge set. The original idea was to create a set in which all six strings would be under about the same tension - in normal sets, either medium or light, there's more tension on the A, D, and G. But if you put a set of these in DADGAD, it's very similiar to a set of lights in standard tuning.


24 Jul 01 - 08:57 AM (#513300)
Subject: RE: BS: Martin Stringstuff
From: English Jon

Standard Martins for me, or D'addario. Heavier the guage the better. Looking out for 60+ on the Bass.

Don't like SP strings. Feel kind of icky.


24 Jul 01 - 10:54 AM (#513391)
Subject: RE: BS: Martin Stringstuff

Thanks for the responses, I especially appreciate those relating to elixirs (must be rare to find someone who's indifferent toward them).

I agree with English John's "ickyness" comment; which describes my motivation to look around.

This is interesting stuff; I wish more would cast their two pennys in.

Like, twenty years with Martin Marquis, I don't think of them as going back that far, but times does fly.

And the preference "lights" over "mediums".

Lots of "food for thought".

I'm still unsure what to experiment with next.

Much appreciated.

Bob P