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  #1  
Old 08-04-2011, 01:35 PM
seannx seannx is offline
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Default Recommended strings for Martin HD-28

I'm in the process of acquiring a 1994 Martin HD-28. The circumstances are very serendipitous, and I'll share them along with photos once the deal is complete.

When I tried the guitar last week, it had a brand new set of D'Addario EXP26 Custom Lights (11-52.) I liked the basic quality of the guitar's tone, and the wood is beautiful, but the sound seemed kind of anemic. My other guitars have lights (D'Addario EJ16's, 12-53), and I'm very satisfied with the volume and action. I'm not a fan of D'Addario EXP's in general. I tried them on my Taylor, and they were nothing to rave about. They were OK for a few weeks, but then the highs (on a Taylor!) lost brightness and volume.

Inside the guitar, it says to use light or medium strings, and I would like string recommendations. I'm primarily a strummer - and don't play finger style. Thanks in advance...
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2011, 01:42 PM
jmg257 jmg257 is offline
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Those strings are way too light for most dreads, including a Martin HD-28.

Go with mediums.
Go with DR Rare PB 'mediums' or GHS LJ signatures (check DR gauge...the 13s or BG (12-56)), Martin SP med or BG, or for a more vintage tone some 80/20...I like Markely 82R or Helix mediums (13-56) on my HD-28.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:44 PM
Misty44 Misty44 is offline
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Start with the Martin SP4200 Phosphor Bronze in Medium (13-56).



You can experiment with other kinds later on, but those will make a good solid benchmark for comparing, and they are widely available at most guitar stores.

Those HD-28's are great guitars - congratulations!
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:47 PM
rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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Martin SPs are great, but they don't last long, especially for us daily players with oily skin. The new SP Lifespans last about twice as long, I use 13's on the dreads and 12's on OMs. Also good DR Sunbeams.

Enjoy your HD-28, welcome to the Martin family!!!!
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:49 PM
guitararmy guitararmy is offline
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If you're looking for more zing with a piano-like tone to the bass strings, you might try medium 80/20's or a bluegrass set in 80/20....
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:05 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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I have a Band Mate that has been using Martin Bluegrass Gauge strings on his HD-28.
To me, they sound great.
Give a set of them a try.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:45 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I tend to prefer 80/20 strings on rosewood guitars. I'd suggest you try a set of the medium gauge John Pearse 80/20 strings on that instrument.


whm
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:33 PM
Landru Landru is offline
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You're used to medium-light gauge and they work very well on a dread. I'd advise you, but my Martin dread has an adirondack top and reacts differently than your top does - you do have a sitka top, yes?
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:36 PM
The Old Gaffer The Old Gaffer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty44 View Post
Start with the Martin SP4200 Phosphor Bronze in Medium (13-56).
Those HD-28's are great guitars - congratulations!
IMO, you need look no further. I have found them to be the best sounding string for my HD-28V.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:43 PM
Huckleberry Huckleberry is offline
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D'Addario PB mediums worked great on mine.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:27 AM
383roller 383roller is offline
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Elixir nanoweb 13-56!
I should elaborate a bit, the daddarios are junk IMO, I bought them just to have something new to replace really old strings because of the price, but, like in most cases in life: you get whatnyou pay for. This happened more than so it was more than coincidence.
I pulled the factory strings off my 81 hd last month when I got it and put on the elixirs... Now I'm torn on which guitar I would sell if I had to between the hd and my 52 d18!

Last edited by 383roller; 08-05-2011 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:47 AM
Bltprf502 Bltprf502 is offline
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If you go 80/20 and you go with uncoated strings, you will be changing them very regularly! Coated strings have come a LONG way. The new Martin Longlife are great. As well as the D'Addario EXP medium in 80/20. I also like Elixers. I like 80/20 on a rosewood. Keeps it from being too dark.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:11 AM
bluesfreek bluesfreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty44 View Post
Start with the Martin SP4200 Phosphor Bronze in Medium (13-56).



You can experiment with other kinds later on, but those will make a good solid benchmark for comparing, and they are widely available at most guitar stores.

Those HD-28's are great guitars - congratulations!

This

I use those Martins in 80/20 bronze but when they are sold out (which is often) I use Ernie Ball Earthwood strings in meduim gauge 80/20 bronze.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:51 AM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
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If your a flatpicker -id go with Mediums , if your a fingerpicker id say Lights -either the Martin SP's or Elixars ( im a polyweb fan 80/20 over PB's- but give them both a try )
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:15 AM
jmg257 jmg257 is offline
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Quote:
Coated strings have come a LONG way.
As have uncoated strings. While I too like the SP Lifespans, unless they are $5 a pack, I'll pass for some Markleys that last a long time too. Unlike say the Martin 80/20, these just have proven to stay fresher ALOT longer. Unlike the Elxirs, they don't sound thin.
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