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View Full Version : Whats the difference between PHOSPHOR BRONZE strings & 80/20s?


Taylor007
10-16-2003, 12:15 PM
I know they are made of different materials, but what is the difference in sound / tone?

cpmusic
10-16-2003, 12:47 PM
I think it depends on who (whom?) you ask. Some say 80/20 is brighter, and others say phosphor bronze is brighter. The problem is that we all hear and perceive things a little differently.

It also depends on the guitar, in part. Some just sound better with one type of string than with the other.

In my experience, phosphor bronze are a little warmer and more "three dimensional," if that makes sense. I really noticed the difference with my 000-15, which sounds rich and complex with PBs but a little brash and kind of flat with 80/20s. The difference is subtler on my Taylors, but still there.

Just my two cents. I'm sure others will weigh in with completely different pennies. :)

FNG
10-16-2003, 04:43 PM
Check out the latest Acoustic guitar edition, a good article on steel stings. Also, try www.juststrings.com Some good info.

chtaylo2
10-16-2003, 05:18 PM
I think that 80/20s are brighter than phosphor bronze. I think the composition of phosphor bronze strings is about 92/8, if I remember correctly.

-Chris

Taylor007
10-17-2003, 05:56 AM
...so for the most part, 80/20's are brighter?

Taylor007
10-17-2003, 06:02 AM
wiat a minute,

Martin's website states the following:

"Q: What is the difference between phosphor bronze and regular bronze strings?
A: Simply put, the difference lies in the tone of the strings. Phosphor bronze has a copper/tin alloy, making them sound brighter."

vertical51
10-17-2003, 06:29 AM
Originally posted by Taylor007
wiat a minute,

Martin's website states the following:

"Q: What is the difference between phosphor bronze and regular bronze strings?
A: Simply put, the difference lies in the tone of the strings. Phosphor bronze has a copper/tin alloy, making them sound brighter."

That is how I understood it. :)

cpmusic
10-17-2003, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by Taylor007
wiat a minute,

Martin's website states the following:

"Q: What is the difference between phosphor bronze and regular bronze strings?
A: Simply put, the difference lies in the tone of the strings. Phosphor bronze has a copper/tin alloy, making them sound brighter."

As I said, it depends on who you ask. If you run a search on the web you'll find answers on both sides, stated with equal certainty. For example, here's a blurb from Ernie Ball's website:

"For acoustic guitars, the two most popular types are 80/20 bronze, and Phosphor Bronze. Earthwood 80/20 bronze gives a player a brighter, dynamic sound with lots of clarity."

All I know in this area is what I hear.

sully
10-17-2003, 10:33 AM
That is funny. On my Martin, 80/20's sound brighter to me.

Taylor007
10-17-2003, 10:44 AM
yeah, I think I'm gonna try some 80/20s and decide for myself.

jimklein
10-17-2003, 10:49 AM
I'd say 80/20 are single tone where phos/bronze has a kinda "shimmer" & like other people described, 3D.

CDT
10-17-2003, 03:54 PM
John Pearse PB and 80/20's (light gage): I've been switching back anbd forth for a month and the PB are more jangly and last longer and are rougher on the fingers. The 80/20's sound great off the bat and last about 75% as long and are cheaper. there is a tonal difference but not a lot imo and I prefer the john pearse 80/20's personally. but there is not a huge difference imho..I'd not hesitate to buy one over the other in a pinch.

nhsmitty
10-17-2003, 04:00 PM
I like Phos. Bronze. Sounds fancier than 80/20. :roll:

Pipsqueak
10-17-2003, 07:58 PM
it also depends on which guitar you put them on....seriously.

maple vs. rosewood....blah, blah...you know what I mean.

chtaylo2
10-17-2003, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by Taylor007
wiat a minute,

Martin's website states the following:

"Q: What is the difference between phosphor bronze and regular bronze strings?
A: Simply put, the difference lies in the tone of the strings. Phosphor bronze has a copper/tin alloy, making them sound brighter."

The D'Addario website describes PB to have a warm, rich sound and 80/20s to have a brighter, louder tone.

juststrings.com reads that PBs provide "80% of the brilliance of a new 80/20 set"

-Chris

Stuart
10-17-2003, 11:12 PM
There was a great article in AG about strings. It's the recent "Gear" issue. They go into great detail about all kinds of strings. Very informative.

kcollins
10-18-2003, 11:44 PM
The difference seems to be 80/0 = brighter and PB = warmer and longer lasting.