Author Topic: Acoustic guitar string question  (Read 419 times)

TNblueshawk

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1405
    • View Profile
Acoustic guitar string question
« on: October 10, 2019, 07:31:01 AM »
So I have a relatively new mahogany Martin and it is just a tad dark sounding for my tastes. When I plug in of course I can adjust and it sounds great. But unplugged I need more chime for what I like to hear.

Is there such a thing as some strings being more chimey than others? What strings might you guys suggest in this situation?
John

Matmosphere

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1777
  • Matthew
    • View Profile
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 07:56:13 AM »
Congrats on the guitar! Iíve always wanted a Martin.

I donít have a specific recommendation other than to experiment and see what you like best, but in my experience strings can make a big difference in how an acoustic sounds. At least, that is, while the strings are still somewhat new, just as any other guitar strings as they age theyíll sound more ďdeadĒ.

I think DíAddario put a brightness chart on their electric strings, perhaps there is someone doing the same thing for acoustic strings.

The other thing to keep in mind is that acoustic guitars have a break in period. Once itís got a few weeks/months of playing, depending on how often itís played (and how itís played), it will start to sound different than when itís brand new. This may work in your favor.

Aleph Null

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
    • View Profile
    • The Hard Problem
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 09:28:17 AM »
Different string compositions and even brands can definitely make a difference! I've had good results with 80/20 bronze on mahogany guitars (as opposed to phosphor bronze). John Pearse strings sound good on everything in my experienceóif you can get them. You might also try Martin's own Marquis. They're pretty bright and probably easier to find.

P.S. Don't underestimate the contribution of the plectrum. Changing to a thicker pick might get you where you want to go.

TNblueshawk

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1405
    • View Profile
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2019, 10:25:24 AM »
Great suggestions guys. Thanks. I will poke around a bit.
John

Aentons

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 439
    • View Profile
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2019, 09:22:06 PM »
You don't hear about them much but I like Gibson Brite Wires (acoustic and electric). They are very crisp and raw sounding. I have a SG electric and a rosewood SJ-200 acoustic and I use BW occasionally. They are the opposite of Elixirs. I use those sometimes too. I've had 2 sets of John Pearse strings for lower tension and broke the high e on both within 10 minutes
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 09:26:14 PM by Aentons »

TNblueshawk

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1405
    • View Profile
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2019, 01:13:58 PM »
I ended up going with a company here in Nashville called Stringjoy and got some brass strings that really fit the bill. It did perk up me Martin. Now the question is how long will it last. If a good amount of time then I think I'll stick with them and I get to give back to a Nashville business.
John

vicfiveleven

  • Diode Destroyer
  • *
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2019, 08:01:51 AM »
Why don't you try a different type of pick? Material/shape/thickness.

TNblueshawk

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1405
    • View Profile
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2019, 10:11:47 AM »
Why don't you try a different type of pick? Material/shape/thickness.

You know, I have tried so many picks over the years and I keep going back to a pick I'm comfortable with, ie. stays in my freaking fingers!. However, to your point I actually have a couple metal picks a friend got me. Generally I didn't like how those sounded on my Taylor or electrics but you just reminded me of them so I'll try on this guitar in particular to see what I think.

Anyone here like metal picks?
John

ahiddentableau

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 247
  • J
    • View Profile
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2019, 10:18:28 AM »
Not a big fan of metal, but I do like those newer-aged plastic picks (e.g. V-Picks, etc)  I think they're made of some kind of acrylic.  Especially if you're a pickdropper, the combination of more thickness and the tackiness of the plastic might be something you'd like.  I have a couple and I'm pretty fond of one design in particular.  It has a more serverely bevelled edge that makes it easier to get a bright, clear attack.

Timko

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 632
  • I'm walking a line, visiting houses in motion.
    • View Profile
Re: Acoustic guitar string question
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 11:50:43 AM »
I generally opt for DAdderio Nickel Bronze on my 2 acoustics (a vintage Yamaha and a vintage Guild).  The Yamaha is the more Martin sounding of the two (the Guild has a more balanced, slightly brighter than a J-45 sound), and they do remarkably well on that guitar.  It sounds like some older vintage Martins I've played; big booming low end, mid scoop, and a bell like top end.  The suggestions of a different material/thickness for a pick are also good.

A mahogany guitar (I've been pining over a Guild M-20 for years now) is going to have a more mellow sound; the lack of a spruce top is the biggest factor in that.  String companies make brighter strings, but if the mellow sound isn't what you're after, you may be better off with a spruce top on a 18 (mahogany back  & sides) or a 28 (rosewood back & sides) guitar.