Which acoustic strings are your favorites?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by not_man_davo, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    Feb 25, 2019
    Get yourself a cheapie string winder if you don't have one!
  2. unknown fan

    unknown fan Gretschie

    Aug 7, 2018
    I use Elixir Polywebs simply because they last so long and I hate to change strings.
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  3. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    That’s good advice, but I would add try the winder out on your tuners first. The one I bought is so sloppy I quit using it and went back to just hand winding. I have to get to my favorite music store and get a better winder. ...one of these days.
  4. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    How many wraps do you do
    How many wraps do you do? I do a locking wrap and rarely get more than 1.5 wraps on the tuner. Never saw a need for a winder but I bet for you guys gigging it is still a lot faster.
  5. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    Typically about 2-1/2 wraps. I use the method described on Martin and Gretsch sites, and do the locking wrap, and previously used the winder mostly for quick removal and then getting the wind started, finishing and tuning by hand. For now it’s all by hand, till I get a better winder. I have locking tuners on my 6119 which simplifies things.

    As a side note, I don’t usually clip old strings to remove them in two parts, but rather unwind them till I can release them from the tuning pegs. This probably isn’t the best, easiest, or quickest way to do it, but it is the way I learned fifty years ago, and old habits die hard.
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  6. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I remove mine the same way. I also always trim back the excess string after tuning it up. A person once said I shouldn’t cut my strong ends off because someday i might need them. I have no idea for what.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  7. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    My favorite are Elixir Nanoweb 80/20Bronze, probably because my hearing isn't what it used to be after time in the Service. My son loves the Elixir Polyweb phosphor bronze, since he loves the warmer tone. Today there are so many great options that didn't exist years ago....technology can be a great thing. And yes, we do trim off the excess, too many times getting wire up the finger nail while tuning.
    Flouswa, Bertotti and TSims1 like this.
  8. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Elixir Nanoweb 80/20’s here too. 13 gauge. I play hard.

    I also(as a side-note)recently discovered the Kyser low tension capo. That is a wonderful thing.
    Flouswa and larryb like this.
  9. ramjac

    ramjac Synchromatic

    Aug 14, 2011
    Martin Acoustic SP 80/20. Medium on my D-35. Light on my Taylor 614CE - with the cutaway, I actually try to bend strings on that one.
    Bertotti likes this.
  10. ishtar

    ishtar Country Gent

    I do as well. I’ve been thinking of changing strings because the set that’s on my OM-18 have been on the guitar forever, and the instrument needs a good cleaning, but they still sound great.

    They do take a while to settle in when they’re new, but I’m hooked on them for smaller body guitars.
  11. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I’ve used D’Addario EJ-19’s for over 25 years on my full-size acoustic flat-tops (dreadnaught, jumbos, and concert bodies). I love the heavy bass/medium light treble string combo.

    On parlor-size acoustics I use a lighter string set, and on my arch top acoustics I use D’Addario Flattops, which are simply “ground-wound” strings.
    thunder58 likes this.
  12. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Try to go up to 10s?

    thunder58 likes this.
  13. S.R.Cash

    S.R.Cash Gretschie

    Aug 29, 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze, 11's, on a Fender Newporter. I like the sharp and twangy even when I grab the acoustic.
    larryb likes this.
  14. Groutsch

    Groutsch Gretschie

    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland, US
    I like to try different strings every time I change them, but I've found a couple brands that I like for special purposes:

    For a cheap but comfortable flattop with a cracked bridge, I want light strings. Martin provides string tension data, so I selected the low-tension Silk and Steel Folk strings, product MA130. The 11-47 set sounds and feels good and it's gentle on the instrument.

    I recently got my first vintage archtop, so I ordered a set of Newtone Archtop strings. Newtone is a brand that's not in my local guitar shop, but I ordered directly from newtonestrings.com, and they got to me from the UK within a week. The Archtop strings have two windings around a round core. They're mellower than most roundwounds, but livelier than most flatwounds, and comfortable on the fingers. Newtone makes a variety of strings for various applications, but the Archtops are the only ones I've tried.

    Another boutique string maker I've ordered from is Stringjoy in Nashville. Stringjoy's sets are balanced for similar tension on every string, a quality I can feel and appreciate. Stringjoy also makes it easy to specify a set with any gauges you want. I have two sets waiting to be put on a pair of Telecasters, one with a wound G and the other with a plain G, so I can compare them side by side.
  15. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Off the top of my head I don’t know what’s on my Gretsch Penguin Parlour but it will be getting Martins strings when I change. But my Little Martin with the Sitka top has 13s on it, as it came. The 000-18 came with 12s. I was surprised when I realized that as I thought the LM would be the lower tension set.
  16. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I couldn't believe what was going on ........
    I had emailed Darrin at Martin Guitar ( we'd become friendly through a mutual friend ) regarding a Martin I had that just seemed too bright for me . So I had asked him to recommend a set of strings that would give me that " full " Martin sound . A few days later I received a few sets of strings in the mail from him . So I start to restring the guitar which I've been doing since I was 15 yrs old mind you . ( I'm 60 now ) . I put the first string on ( the 6th , low E ) and tune towards pitch and SNAP ! So I'm the type of guy who puts the whole set aside and opens another pack of strings . Start all over ..... 6th , 5th , 4th , 3rd string , I'm on a roll . 2nd string , again , tune towards pitch and SNAP . All strings come off and on go the D'Addario EJ - 19 with no issues .
    The guitar in question was the Martin GC-MMV , The GC stands for Guitar Center and the MMV is Roman numeral 2005 for the year that Martin started making these models specifically for Guitar Center . Guitar Center puts there own model number on the guitar as part of contract .
    I couldn't wait to get rid of this guitar ..... It was a beautiful acoustic and sounded great ...acoustically . Last week member @Flouswa started a thread regarding a pick-up system for her acoustic . I had stated that I had a LR Baggs Element installed in this Martin . I received the call it was ready and I couldn't wait to get it and plug in . I plugged into a Fishman and hit the first cord and .....garbage . I was so disappointed I just wanted to leave the the store ..without the guitar . I just sold it back to Guitar center and although I took a loss , I felt like the man who has the 2 happiest days in his life ...the day he gets his first boat and the day he sells it . :)
    MTurner likes this.
  17. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Elixirs do last forever!!!

    Elixirs or EB's for me.....Lately I have been using 10's on my Fender Hellcat....That little guitar is every bit as loud as my bandmate's acoustic strung with 12's
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  18. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I tell you what I know absolutely nothing about the LR Baggs but I know that if I plug into a Fishman with the 000-18GE I installed the pure western mini in it will sound like dog crap, big old stinky piles of it. But straight into my QSC K10 it sounds incredibly like the unplugged sound. I really wanted one of the Fishman acoustic pedals but after learning of the mismatch between their amps and my chosen pickups I passed. I would never trust a GC to install a system in my guitar unless I personally know the tech. Universally for things like this, I always do a better job myself.
    Groutsch and thunder58 like this.
  19. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Oh it wasn't the tech , believe me . I've know Lee ( aka Dr Lee ) for a very long time . Excellent acoustic guy and a great bluegrass guitarist . Perhaps it was the combination of the guitar , LR Baggs and the Fishman , who knows .
    Bertotti likes this.
  20. Flouswa

    Flouswa Country Gent

    Elixir Nanoweb 80/20's are what I prefer (Especially on my Fender Sonoran) only because I'm one of those people who's body chemistry eats strings. Otherwise I'm happy with D'Addario EJ16's, but they don't last me long. And I hate changing strings. I did try some D'Addario EXP's on my one Tak, but didn't see that they were worth the added expense.
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