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  #1  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:37 PM
Bung Hand Bung Hand is offline
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Default Strings for my Archtop ..

G'day friends,
I've just put a set of Plectrum Tomastik strings ( 12.. 59 ) onto my 1958 Levin Archtop Acoustic Guitar..
I'm not that keen on the sound... a bit too bright for me ,almost tinny.
Would anyone have suggestions for a set of strings that would give the Guitar back a bit of 'warmth' please ?
I've tried half rounds and they didn't really suit the Guitar either..
I like a heavier gauge string ...
Thanks all .. Charlie ..
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2017, 09:49 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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D'Addario EJ18 - PB 14-59, used them on all my archtops for the last 45 years
Martin Retro Monel MM-13 - a medium gauge set at 13-56 but with higher tension than PB or 80/20, period-correct if you want real vintage acoustic archtop tone
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:21 PM
Bung Hand Bung Hand is offline
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Thanks Steve,
Do you see any problems (neck wise) in going to the 14-59 gauge of the D'Adario's ? ..
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:09 AM
Bung Hand Bung Hand is offline
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Oops... brain fade ..
The strings that are on the Levin are in fact Elixir Custom Light 11.. 52 ..
So ... would the D'adario's or the Martins' in the heavy gauge pose any problems do you think ?
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:55 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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I wouldn't worry about the Martin Monels - take your guitar into your friendly local tech before you install the D'Addarios though, just in case...
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:31 PM
Bung Hand Bung Hand is offline
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Thank you once again Steve,
Here in Rural New South Wales ,Australia,the friendly local Guitar tech is a 150 klm round trip away,so to play on the safe side,for the moment ,I thought I'd give the Martin Retros a try ..in a Light Gauge 12 to 54 .
If I like the sound and the neck stays stable,I'll try the Mediums ..and then maybe the D'Adarios... it's an old Guitar ,I don't want to hurt it .
Cheers for now ...
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:55 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bung Hand View Post
...I thought I'd give the Martin Retros a try...in a Light Gauge 12 to 54...
A good compromise might be the Martin Monel "Laurence Juber" set; a "true medium" or "balanced tension" set (I use them on my D-15S and CEO-5, BTW), it consists of medium-gauge first/second/sixth strings and light third/fourth/fifth - should give you enough tension to drive the top without trouble, until you can get a handle on things...
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:56 PM
Bung Hand Bung Hand is offline
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Thanks once again mate ...
The Martin Retros 12/54 are on their way ..
I've put the Laurence Juber set and also the D'Adarios on my " To try next list" .
I appreciate your experience and ideas
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2017, 09:48 AM
Hot Vibrato Hot Vibrato is offline
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You don't think it's safe to install 13's on your guitar? Seems like to get a good sound from an archtop, you need at least a 13-56 set. Otherwise they just sound thin.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2017, 04:26 PM
tdq tdq is offline
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Hey Bung Hand, where in NSW are you? I'm in Sydney and can't find retros anywhere so I order them in online. Just curious.
EDIT: oh and btw I use Martin Monel Retros on my Loar archtop, 13s. I think they work well.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:38 PM
hotroad hotroad is online now
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Just put a set of D'Addario Pro Steels(EPS 600) 13-56 on my archtop. Love em. Very clear, balanced across all tonal spectrums, strong highs, mids and lows. Might never use anything else. Not as tough on the fingers as I thought with this large of gauge.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:22 AM
cmajor9 cmajor9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bung Hand View Post
Oops... brain fade ..
The strings that are on the Levin are in fact Elixir Custom Light 11.. 52 ..
So ... would the D'adario's or the Martins' in the heavy gauge pose any problems do you think ?
If its the Elixirs you don't like the sound of, I suggest you try the TI Plectrums on your Levin. They should give it a warmer, fuller sound. I use both Plectrums and Spectrums on several acoustic archtops and really like the results.
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