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  #1  
Old 10-01-2019, 11:17 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Default To Acoustic Archtop Players - Strings query

Hi, I have three lovely archtops - - a Harmony Monterey, an Eastman AR805, and a Gibson L-4 ('34). all of them are rather underused but I've just realised that I haven't given them new strings for some months.

I started using nickel wound strings because my first archtop had a floating pick-up, but now all are strictly acoustic.
However, over the last year or so, I have discovered that I really prefer nickel wound strings on my F5 Mandolin, so I think I'll stay with nickel(ish) strings on my archtops.

I prefer medium gauge strings - (12 or 13 to 56), so, I could get basic D'addario EJ22s or Dunlop performance - or the fancy D'addario "Nickel Bronze" for 150% of the price.

I'd be interested in your comments/recommendations.

Thanks
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:37 AM
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I tried the D'Addario Nickel Bronze on my '37 L7. I prefer them to Phosphor Bronze because they are a bit mellower sounding and don't have the "zing" that PB can have when new, and doesn't seem to suit the L7 very well.

I have .12-.53s on right now, but I think they're a bit light for the guitar. Good tone, but lacking some oomph. Next re-string I'm going to get a set of NB in .13-.56 which I think will give the guitar a little more punch and volume.
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Old 10-01-2019, 02:19 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is online now
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On a purely acoustic archtop, I like 80/20's

Gotta play them in, they start off ungodly bright, but then after 10 good hours or so they warm up in a way PB never does.
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:55 PM
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iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
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Andy, I have found that on my acoustic archtops with magnetic floating pickups, I prefer Thomastik-Infeld BeBop .013s. On acoustic archtops with no floating magnetic pickup I like either Martin Retros (Monel) or D’Addario or Martin 80/20s (as Jeff suggested after they lose their initial sizzle).
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Old 10-01-2019, 04:32 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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I liked the Newtone archtop double-wrapped nickel 13's on my Eastman (essentially an AR805 converted from an MDC805). I would think those are easier to come by in your neck of the globe. However, last few string changes I've been using the Martin retro monel 13's and I like them even better. More volume and clarity. I just bought a set of Curt Mangan monel 13's to try next.
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Old 10-01-2019, 04:40 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Another vote for the Martin Monel MM13's...
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:51 PM
DanR DanR is offline
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I have medium gauge nickel flat wounds on my 60's Kay Mercury. It's been a while since I put them on so I can't remember the brand.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:52 AM
goatdog goatdog is offline
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D’Addario Chromes on both of my Triggs for a nice, warm tone.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:35 PM
Loren Tilley Loren Tilley is offline
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Are those of you suggesting flats talking about on a strictly acoustic?

I'm with the others with either 80/20 bronze or monel. Either is good, both need to be played in. The phosphor bronze really does not do it for me on an archtop.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:05 AM
hatefulsob hatefulsob is offline
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RE the 80/20’s: After the initial zing is gone, do they last a pretty good while like that, or do they keep deteriorating and “die” soon after.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatefulsob View Post
RE the 80/20’s: After the initial zing is gone, do they last a pretty good while like that, or do they keep deteriorating and “die” soon after.
I play Martin Lifespan 2.0 80/20s which deteriorate from their day 1 brilliance, and maintain their sound for 6+ weeks for me before I notice any further deterioration.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:17 PM
1Charlie 1Charlie is offline
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Monels would have been strung on that '34 roundhole L-4 at the factory, for what it's worth. I love them on all old Gibsons, archtop or flattop.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:07 PM
Andy3Sheds Andy3Sheds is offline
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I love Thomastik flats on my humble Godin 5th Ave not particularly loud but sound sweet for late night playing and if I want volume I stuck a Kent Armstrong pickup on the neck, sorted!
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:02 PM
JoeYouDon't JoeYouDon't is offline
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Flatwounds or Martin Retros. Retros are better all-arounders, but flatwounds definitely have their place.

I'm not crazy about D'Addario Chromes, but they definitely have their fans out there.
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:22 PM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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D’Addario EHR350
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