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  #1  
Old 01-19-2020, 12:32 PM
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Kh1967 Kh1967 is offline
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Default Martin 000-28 (Reimagined) String Recommendations

Hi All -

Hoping you can help me out?

I have a friend who purchased a new Martin 000-28 (Reimagined) and he is hearing a "boxy" but, boomy tonal quality to the guitar, which does not appeal to him.

While it is a new guitar and likely needs to be played, do you have any string recommendations?

He has Martin Authentic Phosphor Bronze on it now. Light gauge.

Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:19 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Kh,

I purchased mine used in the past year and it came with Martin Lifespan 12's. Sounded great but I prefer the feel of 11's and switched to DR Sunbeam 11 and they sound Great! Dr. Sunbeam 12's would also be good, but the Martin Lifespan 12's sounded good too.

GREAT guitar that likely just needs to be "played in" a bit.

Strings are a very personal preference of course.

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:36 PM
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Kh1967 Kh1967 is offline
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Originally Posted by wguitar View Post
Kh,

I purchased mine used in the past year and it came with Martin Lifespan 12's. Sounded great but I prefer the feel of 11's and switched to DR Sunbeam 11 and they sound Great! Dr. Sunbeam 12's would also be good, but the Martin Lifespan 12's sounded good too.

GREAT guitar that likely just needs to be "played in" a bit.

Strings are a very personal preference of course.

Good luck!
Thank you so much!

I was wondering if the 12s could be "choking" the guitar a bit, and if dropping to extra lights might help? But, then was wondering if the extra lights would be a good pairing with the bracing on that guitar.

I know it all comes down to preference and the individual guitar, but I thought I would come here and pass along some info to my friend.

Thanks, again!
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:45 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Martin Triple O’s with that bracing pattern can handle medium gauge strings just fine, so it’s doubtful that lights are “choking” it. If she isn’t getting a full tone out of the guitar yet it might just be that she hasn’t figured out the best right hand attack to get the sound out.

Anyway, with rosewood Martins I’ve found that 80/20 strings work well. I use John Pearse 80/20 mediums on my 000-42.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:46 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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For penetrating clarity I’ve found Martin Retros (monels) in custom light gauge 11-52 on my rosewood OM most successful - right now it has 80/20 lights (EJ11) and going up a gauge and to bronze wound, it sounds ‘thicker’ and definitely more prone to boom. When my OM was new, it took several days for the initial ‘sizzle’ of the Retros to settle down, but now with a fresh string change I don’t notice it anymore. Retros on rosewood is a long shot for some, for others it can reveal colourful, clear tone to the extreme.
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:56 PM
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Kh1967 Kh1967 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Martin Triple O’s with that bracing pattern can handle medium gauge strings just fine, so it’s doubtful that lights are “choking” it. If she isn’t getting a full tone out of the guitar yet it might just be that she hasn’t figured out the best right hand attack to get the sound out.

Anyway, with rosewood Martins I’ve found that 80/20 strings work well. I use John Pearse 80/20 mediums on my 000-42.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaden View Post
For penetrating clarity I’ve found Martin Retros (monels) in custom light gauge 11-52 on my rosewood OM most successful - right now it has 80/20 lights (EJ11) and going up a gauge and to bronze wound, it sounds ‘thicker’ and definitely more prone to boom. When my OM was new, it took several days for the initial ‘sizzle’ of the Retros to settle down, but now with a fresh string change I don’t notice it anymore. Retros on rosewood is a long shot for some, for others it can reveal colourful, clear tone to the extreme.
Thank you both. Looks like a couple options for him to try. Much appreciated!
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:02 PM
Coler Coler is offline
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I tried Retro .12s on mine and didn't like the result. Too heavy. I have D'Addario .11 Phosphor Bronze on now and the tone is lovely.

I'm going to try Retro custom lights next. I think they'll be great.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:05 PM
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I'm a big John Pearse fan. But in my experience D'addario PB lights EXP16 resonate beautifully and and add an elegant sheen that opens up a "boxy" guitar. I've never tried them on a Martin 000-28 re., but I will say that I personally do not care for the Martin factory strings that come with it.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:01 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Kh, regardless of what strings are used on this guitar, one of the factors that can really diminish the tone and volume is when the player’s forearm is laying on the top and inhibiting its full vibrations. So the next you see your friend, try this simple test:

Play a robust first position E chord with your forearm laying on the top. Then, while the chord is still ringing, lift your arm off of the top.

The chances are that you’ll get a much richer, fuller tone with noticeably more bass response once your arm is off the top.

Then pass the guitar back to your buddy and have him try the same thing: play a vigorous first position E with his arm on the top, then lift the arm off.

If there is a change in the tone when he does that, and he LIKES that tone, then he might want to consider putting a John Pearse on the guitar. I have John Pearse armrests on all of my flattop guitars, and they definitely improve the tone, and most dramatically on Triple O’s, OM’s and smaller body instruments.

Full disclosure: I am an artist endorser for John Pearse strings and accessories. But I had John Pearse armrests on all of my flattop guitars for a good ten or twelve years before John decided to make me an artist endorser.

I use the armrests because they do exactly what they’re supposed to do, which is let the top vibrate to its fullest possible extent. Now, classical guitarists are trained to keep their forearms off the top when they play, so they wouldn’t benefit from using an armrest.

But those of us who lack that formal training do benefit.

It’s just a thought, and your friend might get the tone he wants just through experimentation with string alloys. But try that little test I mentioned, and see what you all think.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:39 PM
zoopeda zoopeda is offline
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I agree with Wade, I'd go up to mediums to move the top more rather than drop to extra lights. To be fair, the short scale 000 with 5/16" bracing is a relatively boxy sounding guitar. That's the appeal to some and drawback to others. The standard scale OM-28 with thinner bracing might suit his playing style better if the string change doesn't do it.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:06 PM
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SalFromChatham SalFromChatham is offline
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Owned this guitar. Loved 80/20s... I like the Martin lights, and Elixir nanos even more. I was amazed with mine. It was not boxy at all and had. A nice full balanced sound, with a pleasantly robust bass.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:18 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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I like the med/light, Bluegrass gauge strings these days.
Medium gauge strings for the bass side and light gauge strings for the treble side.

Try a set of Martin Retro strings in Bluegrass gauge.
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2020, 10:55 PM
zoopeda zoopeda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SalFromChatham View Post
Owned this guitar. Loved 80/20s... I like the Martin lights, and Elixir nanos even more. I was amazed with mine. It was not boxy at all and had. A nice full balanced sound, with a pleasantly robust bass.
The owner described the guitar as “boxy.” I appreciate the same in this guitar. Doesn’t mean it’s boxy for everyone, but, under certain playing styles, obviously it can be. And under other playing styles, it is not. But the owners playing style is definitely not irrelevant here...
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:57 AM
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Kh1967 Kh1967 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Kh, regardless of what strings are used on this guitar, one of the factors that can really diminish the tone and volume is when the player’s forearm is laying on the top and inhibiting its full vibrations. So the next you see your friend, try this simple test:

Play a robust first position E chord with your forearm laying on the top. Then, while the chord is still ringing, lift your arm off of the top.

The chances are that you’ll get a much richer, fuller tone with noticeably more bass response once your arm is off the top.

Then pass the guitar back to your buddy and have him try the same thing: play a vigorous first position E with his arm on the top, then lift the arm off.

If there is a change in the tone when he does that, and he LIKES that tone, then he might want to consider putting a John Pearse on the guitar. I have John Pearse armrests on all of my flattop guitars, and they definitely improve the tone, and most dramatically on Triple O’s, OM’s and smaller body instruments.

Full disclosure: I am an artist endorser for John Pearse strings and accessories. But I had John Pearse armrests on all of my flattop guitars for a good ten or twelve years before John decided to make me an artist endorser.

I use the armrests because they do exactly what they’re supposed to do, which is let the top vibrate to its fullest possible extent. Now, classical guitarists are trained to keep their forearms off the top when they play, so they wouldn’t benefit from using an armrest.

But those of us who lack that formal training do benefit.

It’s just a thought, and your friend might get the tone he wants just through experimentation with string alloys. But try that little test I mentioned, and see what you all think.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoopeda View Post
I agree with Wade, I'd go up to mediums to move the top more rather than drop to extra lights. To be fair, the short scale 000 with 5/16" bracing is a relatively boxy sounding guitar. That's the appeal to some and drawback to others. The standard scale OM-28 with thinner bracing might suit his playing style better if the string change doesn't do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SalFromChatham View Post
Owned this guitar. Loved 80/20s... I like the Martin lights, and Elixir nanos even more. I was amazed with mine. It was not boxy at all and had. A nice full balanced sound, with a pleasantly robust bass.
Quote:
Originally Posted by L20A View Post
I like the med/light, Bluegrass gauge strings these days.
Medium gauge strings for the bass side and light gauge strings for the treble side.

Try a set of Martin Retro strings in Bluegrass gauge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoopeda View Post
The owner described the guitar as “boxy.” I appreciate the same in this guitar. Doesn’t mean it’s boxy for everyone, but, under certain playing styles, obviously it can be. And under other playing styles, it is not. But the owners playing style is definitely not irrelevant here...
Thank you again to all!

I am going to have my friend try mediums, 80/20s, and see if that does the trick for him.

If not, as mentioned, he might be better off with an OM, but I know he is enjoying the comfort of a short scale guitar.

Thanks, again!
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  #15  
Old 01-20-2020, 02:47 PM
djcarolino djcarolino is offline
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I’ve used Thomastik infield spectrum strings on my 0 size guitar and it definitely brings the best of it without the boxy sound.
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