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Old 06-17-2019, 08:19 PM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Default finding single strings

I don't want to use a set of strings if i can't buy single strings in case one breaks. I'm talking about the wound strings. The thought of having to purchase a whole set just to get one string doesn't sit well with me. I'd like to try Martin Retro strings. Anyone know of a resource for buying these individually? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:00 PM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Sorry Karen but the best you can do is get unwound strings in various gauges.
The string manufacturers mostly want you to buy in sets for a lot of reasons.
I'm pretty sure they don't care how it sets with you and me or anyone else.
If you break one you can always try calling the manufacturer. I've had companies like Curt Mangan treat me very well when I bought some strings that were mispackaged.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:23 PM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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stringsandbeyond and stringsbymail sell them!

Alternatively, you could shoot an email or call thre company and may get a free pack
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:31 PM
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steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Default finding single strings

SBM- but they don’t do Martin strings do they? Especially Retros- I’ve not been able to find them in singles anywhere.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:43 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Karen, the problem with putting new strings on only when one breaks is that it will never blend well with the rest of the strings in the set. I've known a few old Hootenanny-era folkies for whom it was a point of pride that they only replaced a string when it broke, and they and their guitars always sounded terrible. There'd be shiny new strings mixed with dull grey ones mixed with some corroded completely black. There was always at least one string and usually more that were out of tune with the rest of the set.

Anyway, there are a number of music retailers that will sell strings in bulk, usually selling each gauge in packs of six. I don't know whether you can get Martin Retros that way, but before you go adding one new Retro nickel string to a mixture of old strings made from other alloys, you really ought to splurge and get an entire set to see whether you even like those strings at all.

I own three guitars that sound pretty good with nickel alloy strings, whether Martin Retros, John Pearse Pure Nickels or D'Addario Nickel-Bronze. But all my other guitars don't sound good at all with nickel strings.

So get a set, see whether you like them, then decide your course of action after that.

Hope that makes sense, even if I'm telling you something you don't want to hear.


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Old 06-17-2019, 09:54 PM
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D’Addario sells single strings and you can buy directly from them or link to supplying retailers like Strings & Beyond, Amazon, etc on their site for any type of string they make. Go to this link as an example for EJ16 strings http://www.daddario.com/DADProductDe...__Light__12_53
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:45 PM
baw3 baw3 is offline
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Karen you can buy A set of musicians gear strings at musicians friend for only 2.50. They are actually not a bad string. especially for the price. I would think they would do pretty good if you just needed to replace a string when you break one.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:28 AM
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Karen, it sounds from your post that you’re expecting to break strings. I haven’t broken a string during play for many, many years - maybe twenty, or twenty five years.

If you’re breaking strings often enough that you expect breakages and want to keep a stock of singles for replacement purposes, perhaps you need to investigate the cause(s) of the breakages - sharp edges on tuners, the nut, the saddle, bad stringing technique, too light strings for your playing style, yadda yadda?

Just my two-penn’orth....

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:00 AM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Thank to all for your answers --

JayBee:
Quote:
Karen, it sounds from your post that you’re expecting to break strings. I haven’t broken a string during play for many, many years - maybe twenty, or twenty five years.
I play in many tunings. That's when breakage occurs. Mostly it's the "B" string, (no problem there), occasionally the G. I will look at investigating the possibility of other reasons for string breakage as you suggested.

baw: Those Musician friends strings could work just to finish out the night at a gig.

Hassom: I'll check out various D'addario strings.

Wade: Since I play in lots of tunings, string breakage happens, sometimes in pretty new strings. If I have to put on a whole set I would,but it seems wasteful and enrivonmentally irresponsible. I'd rather find a set that meets all my requirements (not too many overtones, less squeak, etc) that does offer single strings. I know (and Hassom suggested) there are single D'addario strings. I've tried over the many years of playing various D'addario strings. I'll look again at them.
Thanks for your well considered thoughts.

Steelvibe and Chalk: I will need to check with the online string companies and see if they can get Martin Retro Strings individually. And what brands they actually do carry as individual strings.

rokdog: I've called Martin and they don't sell Retro strings individually. I didn't know about Curt Mangan strings. Just checked and they do have Monel strings. I might try these before I try the Martin Retro. Though it seems they don't sell those individually. I'll give them a call today to talk about their strings. I may not even like the sound of Monel on my guitar.
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Last edited by KarenB; 06-18-2019 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:10 AM
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UncleJesse UncleJesse is offline
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I need one myself but it's for a set of Santa Cruz strings. I screwed one up so now I have a set of 5 that I can't use...

That's what I get the first time I try the: cut first, then wind method.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJesse View Post
I need one myself but it's for a set of Santa Cruz strings. I screwed one up so now I have a set of 5 that I can't use...

That's what I get the first time I try the: cut first, then wind method.
And it’s precisely why I never cut until the strings are on, tuned, ‘stretched’, and everything’s good to go. That ‘Taylor’ method is a bugger-up waiting to happen.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:18 AM
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Wolfram Wolfram is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
Thank to all for your answers --

JayBee:

I play in many tunings. That's when breakage occurs. Mostly it's the "B" string, (no problem there), occasionally the G.

baw: Those Musician friends strings could work just to finish out the night at a gig.

Hassom: I'll check out various D'addario strings.

Wade: Since I play in lots of tunings, string breakage happens, sometimes in pretty new strings. If I have to put on a whole set I would,but it seems wasteful and enrivonmentally irresponsible. I'd rather find a set that meets all my requirements (not too many overtones, less squeak, etc) that does offer single strings. I know (and Hassom suggested) there are single D'addario strings. I've tried over the many years of playing various D'addario strings. I'll look again at them.
Thanks for your well considered thoughts.

Steelvibe and Chalk: I will need to check with the online string companies and see if they can get Martin Retro Strings individually. And what brands they actually do carry as individual strings.

rokdog: I've called Martin and they don't sell Retro strings individually. I didn't know about Curt Mangan strings. Just checked and they do have Monel strings. I might try these before I try the Martin Retro. Though it seems they don't sell those individually. I'll give them a call today to talk about their strings. I may not even like the sound of Monel on my guitar.
Hi Karen,

One thing to bear in mind is that there is mostly little-to-no difference in the plain steel strings from different brands (as long as they're basically good-quality wire); most of the differences are in the formation of the wire wrap on the lower four strings. So, you should be able to swap in single strings from e.g. D'Addario without worrying.

I would echo Wade's comment to look closely at why you/your guitar are breaking strings. I constantly iterate through altered tunings - I would guess often changing tunings 5+ times per practice session. I've been playing 15 years - changing tunings will sure send a set of strings dull more quickly, but I have never broken a string yet...

Cheers,
David
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:26 AM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Thanks David. I have found too that there is no difference and no problem in the swapping single unwound strings. Interesting that you don't break strings when going in and out of tunings. I tune up sometimes 1/2 step for some tunings. I edited my "thank you" post to note that I will look into Wade's suggestions at what might be causing string breakage other than going in and out of tunings.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:40 AM
Ed66 Ed66 is offline
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Simple solution - a guitar for each tuning This would limit breakage as well as extending overall string life.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:31 AM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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If you search "bulk single strings" you will find several vendors who sell single strings in packets of 12. I play aggressively with metal fingerpicks on 11's and 12's and I go through those fragile G strings like there is no tomorrow (they go stone dead when the windings are damaged), so I buy these bundled strings in bronze. This extends the life of the full set wonderfully.
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