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Old 05-07-2013, 07:30 PM
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DRodgers DRodgers is offline
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Default Tony rice monel strings review, sort of...

Have these on right now on my Rockbridge. One of the builders uses nickel and suggested these. They have a nice tone to them. I feel that I lose volume and the sound is darker, perhaps muddy, on an instrument that was loud, crisp, clear and defined in mids with the curt Mangan phosphor bronze strings. I like them a lot and they are growing on me. I just think for my style, which isn't flat picking, they are not the best choice. I could imagine them being on an all hog guitar.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:33 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is online now
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DR, I put Gibson Monel strings on my guitar back when those were still being made, and had a reaction to them that was similar to yours. They simply didn't do much for me.

But it's an excellent idea for every player to experiment with every option out there. You won't know until you try them.


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Old 05-07-2013, 08:42 PM
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Thanks wade!! I will attest that those Curt Mangan medium PBs are nice.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:12 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRodgers View Post
I feel that I lose volume and the sound is darker, perhaps muddy, on an instrument that was loud, crisp, clear and defined in mids with the curt Mangan phosphor bronze strings.
If it is as you say, you might have just saved me from trying them for myself. I'm looking for the exact opposite in my strings.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:16 AM
amusiathread amusiathread is offline
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I'm curious about these Monel strings. I'm a recent convert and big fan of JP pure nickel acoustic strings, I can only assume that they're in the same ballpark in terms of tone and color. Anyone have experience wit Monel and Pure Nickel and can offer a comparison? Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:22 AM
RevRuss RevRuss is offline
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I put a set on my HD 28 set up for bluegrass. They are pretty much the opposite of the LifeSpan phosphor bronze 7200"S.

Quieter, darker, and "feel" a tad on the "loose' or "floppy" side.

As soon as I get he chance I'm putting on the 7200's... "stiff" and "brighter" with a little "sparkle" and "sizzle".....able to drive that top with a heavy flatpick.

I'm glad I tried them but they are not my cup of tea!

Russ
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:39 AM
Misty44 Misty44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amusiathread View Post
I'm curious about these Monel strings. I'm a recent convert and big fan of JP pure nickel acoustic strings, I can only assume that they're in the same ballpark in terms of tone and color. Anyone have experience wit Monel and Pure Nickel and can offer a comparison? Thanks.
I've had the new Martin Monels on my 1976 D-18 for several months now, and on a HD-35 for several weeks. They are a "warm" string, there is no new-string or bronzy brightness, no loss of volume, and to date no diminution of liveliness. They are the best string I've ever had on the D-18 (and I've tasted all 31 flavors at one time or another), and just as good (but a different good, a nickel good) as the 80/20's usually strung on the HD-35.

I like the JP Pure Nickel strings, they had been my go-to nickels until the Monels came along. And I would not be unhappy to use them again if the Monels were to go away. To my ears, the Monels are a tad warmer and offer a fuller, rounder, less "harsh" sound. But yes, they are in the same ballpark. But as long as I have a choice, the Martin Monels will be chosen.

Generally speaking, nickel strings do not sound like 80/20 or 92/8 bronze, and there really is no common ground on which to compare them. For most of us, nickels are a "specialty" string, rarely carried by local string-and-pick stores except in the electric guitar section, and either you love them or hate them - there is rarely a middling consensus.

The reason I like their sound is succinctly summed up by two bluegrass guitarists:


1. Peter Rowan: "nickel strings don’t have the sweetness of bronze or the smoothness of brass, but they have a very neutral sound, and you hear the real tone of the instrument."

2. Tony Rice: prefers them to the “bright ringy sound” of bronze or brass strings.


Bottom line: as my father-in-law used to say whenever the family took sides on an issue, De gustibus non est disputandum, a sentiment that always applies to personal taste especially regarding strings.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:09 AM
noman noman is offline
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I gave the Monel Strings a try. My style is bare fingerpicking. I can see that with a flatpick or fingerpicks, these strings could have a very nice balance, but with bare fingers I need more brightness.

So my emphasis would be on anything that would add to the brightness. So I prefer 80/20, 92/8...

The wood sound is great, but I play a lot of bright John Fahey tunes. So without fingerpicks, I must up the brightness in all other areas. I also love the big brassy sounds of strings.

Like we say in all these threads, this is a highly subjective topic. If the Monel strings suit your purpose, then more power to you!
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:14 PM
jackajesusfreak jackajesusfreak is offline
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I put them on my Larrivee OM-05 and they sound fantastic!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:53 AM
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I put them on my 2009 D18 and like them so far.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:13 PM
CapnJ CapnJ is offline
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Put them on my Huss & Dalton DM (Mahogany/Red Spruce) and I love them on that guitar. But I always liked EJ22's on it also.
I put them on my CS D28 12 and took them off right away. They sucked all the awesome right out of the guitar.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:05 AM
urlkonig urlkonig is offline
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I put a set on my father-in-law's '48 J45 last week, and they really made that guitar come alive. Phosphor Bronze strings never sounded right on that guitar -- too bright. The monel strings just awakened some sort of long-dormant THUMP in the low end. I'll be interested to see how long they keep that tone.
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:13 PM
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Love them on my Martin. The setup is so low I can use mediums without pain. They do squeak a little bit more than I'd like. I've got light retros for my Alvarez and seagull. They aren't as shiny as PB but woody is more my style Thumbpicker
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:24 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Got a set on a Ds2h. They seem loud,and have clarity , but lack the timbre and complexity of PBs - and they look horrible.

I'm still not sure about them.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:53 PM
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I started using them on my vintage guitars and a few of my newer guitars... namely my '31 D-28A. I absolutely love them on 17's, 18's and 28's. I have not put them on a guitar which I did not absolutely love them on yet. I feel they are VERY neutral sounding, meaning you hear the guitar and not the strings. If you're someone that is always needing new strings to achieve that certain Zing or pop in your guitar, they might not be for you. I feel they work best on guitars that respond well to 80/20's rather than PB's... but that said, they work fine on guitars like my Authentic that loved PB's. I will likely try them on some more modern built/sounding guitars at some point, but I don't think they will work as well as they do on vintage guitars and vintage replicas.

Other things to consider with them is their longevity. Nickel doesn't corrode like bronze, so string life is greatly increased over 80/20's and PB's. Another thing to consider is the tension, which is about 1/2 way between the given gauge and the next gauge up... meaning the lights are .012's but the string tension is about 1/2 between lights and mediums when using 80/20's, like the Martin .0125's (light/mediums). The feel is a bit on the stiff side (which I like), so you can dig in a bit more with a pick without the strings flopping all around at a given gauge.

IMO, they are great strings for my style, my guitars and my ears. If you have an older guitar or vintage guitar kicking around, try them on that first. I feel they work best with vintage guitars and they really let you hear the guitar rather than the strings. The Retros and the TR Monels are the same strings, just different gauges. The TR's are mediums and the Monels are lighter.

I also really LOVE the look of them!
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