Update on acoustic strings, in case it helps anyone else searching....

Westerly Wood

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Messages
9,261
Reaction score
1,495
Guild Total
3
and the search goes on and on for me....strings by mail is helpful on the one hand as it has so many options to try, and not so helpful on the other hand as it has so many options to try....oh my, remember my find a beer thread? yeah, this is worse....here is what I have learned:

1. I might have an OCD problem.
2. I do agree with Tom and Pascal, it's probably too early to tell or know any string is my favorite. (and see No.1 above)
3. Dogal 80/20s are fantastic, but their phosphor bronze are lame. Stay away from them...(imho)
4. John Pearse 80/20 alloy is the brightest set I have tried yet, last a long time and have a great feel to the finger pads. They are in contention as my soon to be goto string for the F30R.
5. I am not as much of a fan of the John Pearse PBs (that often get rave reviews everywhere), and not sure how they fell out of favor with me. They go dead faster than I remember.
6. D'Addario PBs are still just a great string on any acoustic guitar.
7. No longer a fan of Martin strings. Not sure what happened...Well, I still like their original M140. It's classic and cheap and solid.
8. Elixir Nano PBs are fantastic too. I just am not a fan of coated strings. I get their purpose. I have them on the dreads that hang on the wall. I do think Elixir strings shed less than I remember, and that is a nice improvement. But they really do ring out...and last and last.
9. I wish I could play medium gauge strings, but it's just too painful for me as I get older. I have tried custom lights too but have found just the standard light gauge is as low as I can go (.12-.53/.54). Still big enough for heavy strumming (while .13-.56 is better for this), but the .11 and .15 E/B strings are just too skinny...
10. Strings By Mail makes their own 80/20 and PB strings and they are super cheap if you are on a budget. They are good, not great, but I still give D'Adarrio the nod.

Btw, I did find out that D'Adarrio made John Pearse's main wire in the beginning when JP was starting to get into string making. I don't know when JP started to take it all in house. I just find that interesting. How many string options are actually still outsourced to D'A for some of it...

11. There are several other brands I have put on the F30R over the past 2 months during my search. They are not making the cut in this post. They just were not enuff difference above D'As to really be worth mentioning.
12. 80/20 is the alloy choice, I at least have landed on that...
13. It's down to JP vs Dogal. Dogals cost twice as much so.....most likely JP 80/20 lights (200L).
14. Probably won't not post about strings again.....sometime.
 

Westerly Wood

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Messages
9,261
Reaction score
1,495
Guild Total
3
Right! It's that double negative trick that most OCD people use, me included! My favorite - "I don't disagree...."

walrus
damn, someone figured out my double negative slight of hand attempt. between this and doing vertical videos, i can never get anything past Ralf!
 

donnylang

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
254
Reaction score
254
Location
Oakland, CA
After trying a lot of different strings on a lot of different guitars, I'm convinced that DR strings are my favorite. While I've noted they start to wear quickly for me, they sound more "magical"/musical to me- consistently. I've tried quite a few of their various offerings, but the HI-BEAM 80/20, 12-54 are my faves.
 

Br1ck

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
698
Reaction score
227
Location
San Jose, Ca
Hey Westerly, I'm 70. I play .013s on my Martin. This is in rotation with my Guild and my Epiphone, so 30% of the time. Half or more of my playing is on Heavy mandolin strings. The secret is a really good setup. My Martin D 35 came from Bryan Kimsey with .004 neck relief. You need to, IMHO, have frets leveled to do this. With a very flat neck, you can tolerate several hours of playing, and at least on a Martin dread, the tone is worth it. When I change playing a guitar, it is usually for a week or so. Never changed because of strings. I'm not without hand issues, having survived carpal, and I'm not without pain, though playing lessens it.
 

Westerly Wood

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Messages
9,261
Reaction score
1,495
Guild Total
3
Hey Westerly, I'm 70. I play .013s on my Martin. This is in rotation with my Guild and my Epiphone, so 30% of the time. Half or more of my playing is on Heavy mandolin strings. The secret is a really good setup. My Martin D 35 came from Bryan Kimsey with .004 neck relief. You need to, IMHO, have frets leveled to do this. With a very flat neck, you can tolerate several hours of playing, and at least on a Martin dread, the tone is worth it. When I change playing a guitar, it is usually for a week or so. Never changed because of strings. I'm not without hand issues, having survived carpal, and I'm not without pain, though playing lessens it.
thanks Brick! I got to look into this instead of a lighter or even custom light gauge string. I prefer mediums, any given day. I just like the volume output for my crappy hearing. and the B/E string of standard light are so thin, man, just drives me up a wall. I prefer .13/.17. but the finger pads. got to be the setup then...

so i play the F30R like 99% of the week, with the Br a 1% on saturday nights, when i am strumming heavily, again, another call for medium gauge strings as they do best with heavy strumming. I have also started to use the F30r on saturday nights, and just leave the dreads on a wall. my F30R is heavily built, like rock solid at the neck and body joint, so it can handle EJ12s at pitch, no problem. i appreciate you weighing in and taking my post seriously, I know i tend to annoy many on LTG with my string posts, but really, i am still searching, and it's nice to have someone chime in with what is working for them, instead of just ragging on me.

thanks Brick!
 

walrus

Venerated Member
Gold Supporting
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
18,312
Reaction score
1,816
Location
Massachusetts
i appreciate you weighing in and taking my post seriously, I know i tend to annoy many on LTG with my string posts, but really, i am still searching, and it's nice to have someone chime in with what is working for them, instead of just ragging on me.
WW, you know we love you! And I for one never find your posts "annoying". Entertaining and informative, yes. But as you and I have discussed, no matter what strings I try, I always come back to Ernie Ball aluminum bronze. So I finally stopped trying different strings, it was driving me crazy! Where my OCD kicks in - not counting in my day to day life - is guitar picks. I must have tried every single kind and gauge in the last several years! Luckily, it's not that expensive...

walrus
 

walrus

Venerated Member
Gold Supporting
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
18,312
Reaction score
1,816
Location
Massachusetts
Hey Westerly, I'm 70. I play .013s on my Martin. This is in rotation with my Guild and my Epiphone, so 30% of the time. Half or more of my playing is on Heavy mandolin strings. The secret is a really good setup. My Martin D 35 came from Bryan Kimsey with .004 neck relief. You need to, IMHO, have frets leveled to do this. With a very flat neck, you can tolerate several hours of playing, and at least on a Martin dread, the tone is worth it. When I change playing a guitar, it is usually for a week or so. Never changed because of strings. I'm not without hand issues, having survived carpal, and I'm not without pain, though playing lessens it.
.13's! Wow, your fingers must be in great shape!

I have one of those "squeeze balls" in my car to keep my fingers strong (and to relax more when driving), but perhaps I should just go to .13's - that is Stevie Ray Vaughn territory!

Can you tell us how it sounds? I'm assuming louder, but also deeper (as opposed to bright)?

walrus
 

Rayk

Senior Member
Gold Supporting
Joined
Apr 19, 2015
Messages
4,857
Reaction score
366
I’ve had old Elixer meaning years ago flake dead skin off but not the Nano webs . I prefer these because I hate squeaks when sliding up or down the fingerboard.
The Martin Monals for the same reason plus the longevity of both . Oh and they sound good 😁
 

bluesypicky

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
7,644
Reaction score
187
Location
Jupiter, FL.
I know i tend to annoy many on LTG with my string posts, but really, i am still searching, and it's nice to have someone chime in with what is working for them, instead of just ragging on me.
Some people can be so mean I know..... just don't pay attention woody, and keep bringing'em strings threads on, damn it!
 

Westerly Wood

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Messages
9,261
Reaction score
1,495
Guild Total
3
oh i know i bring it on....with my jack-wagon string posts.

you guys are great!
 

Opsimath

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,525
Reaction score
498
Location
North Florida
I appreciate your string expertise. I have a Takimine that was given to me. It's pretty but sounds muffled, as some have said, like a sock is stuffed in the soundhole. Maybe those JP 80/20's would help.

Thank you for your comparisons.

Now if I could just make myself change the strings ....
 
Top