#1
I'm in need of a string change, more specifically, a brand change. I've been using D'addario Phosphor bronze heavies, and I'm getting sick of the sound.

What I'm looking for is a really bright, trebly and a little twangy sound. Or am I going to need to replace my guitar (a 1970's Martin knock-off) as well?
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
#2
You could try switching to 80/20 bronze - many people say they sound brighter than PB although I'm often not convinced - it does depend on the guitar.

Also you might try using a lighter gauge set and, if you use a plectrum, try a thinner one- and try playing the strings closer to the bridge - the closer to the bridge you hit the strings, the more "jangly" they sound.

. . . . and perhaps change the guitar? - but try the above first ^^^^^
Last edited by Garthman at Apr 30, 2015,
#3
I've always preferred the brightness of Cleartone EMPs
My God, it's full of stars!
#4
80/20 have a reputation for being brighter than phos bronze, but they also have a reputation for not lasting very long. A lot of new guitars come with Elixirs, and a lot of those sounded very bright and "stringy" to me. They might be worth a try for what you want.

Your guitar might just be warm-sounding though, a lot of those 70s Martin copies were like that. There's plenty of choice these days, in all price ranges.
#5
Quote by Garthman
You could try switching to 80/20 bronze - many people say they sound brighter than PB although I'm often not convinced - it does depend on the guitar.

Also you might try using a lighter gauge set and, if you use a plectrum, try a thinner one- and try playing the strings closer to the bridge - the closer to the bridge you hit the strings, the more "jangly" they sound.

. . . . and perhaps change the guitar? - but try the above first ^^^^^

I'm thinking of changing brands too, D'addario make good strings but I'm not a massive fan of the sound (this goes for a lot of their strings, on both acoustic and electric).

I've been using heavies and I'm definitely using lights this time. As for technique, I've tried everything, plectrums (including fingers, fingerpicks and fingernails), positions, fretting technique. It's definitely my guitar or strings that need changing.

Quote by Tony Done
80/20 have a reputation for being brighter than phos bronze, but they also have a reputation for not lasting very long. A lot of new guitars come with Elixirs, and a lot of those sounded very bright and "stringy" to me. They might be worth a try for what you want.

Your guitar might just be warm-sounding though, a lot of those 70s Martin copies were like that. There's plenty of choice these days, in all price ranges.

I've thought about elixirs, but I've always found them a little too slippery to play, and a little weak sounding personally, but they're still the best bet right now.

The more I think about all this the more I think I need a different guitar (it's a but damaged anyway and the neck is like a baseball bat)

Suggestions still welcome
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
#6
Quote by Pastafarian96
I'm thinking of changing brands too, D'addario make good strings but I'm not a massive fan of the sound (this goes for a lot of their strings, on both acoustic and electric). . . . .


I always recommend experimenting with different brands, gauges and composition of strings. I don't think (despite what many people say) that you can universally predict how a string will sound with any degree of certainty - you need to put them on your guitar and find out.


Quote by Pastafarian96
The more I think about all this the more I think I need a different guitar (it's a but damaged anyway and the neck is like a baseball bat) . . . .


And yes, a new guitar might well be the solution. As Tony Done says those old 70's Martin a-likes tended to be a tad dull sounding.

Pop along to a music shop and play a few guitars (remembering that the strings might have been on them for quite some time) and see what you like. Taylor guitars have a reputation for being bright sounding - I certainly prefer them to Martins - and if you can find a Crafter guitar you'll get a very similar sound, playability and quality to a Taylor for less than 1/2 the price (spec for spec).

And, again as Tony says, there are plenty of very good quality, reasonably priced guitars to be had these days. Good luck.
#7
Quote by Pastafarian96
I'm in need of a string change, more specifically, a brand change. I've been using D'addario Phosphor bronze heavies, and I'm getting sick of the sound.
The only tone woods I've found that PB strings sound good with for a long tine is sitka over maple. In spite of the fact my 2 Epiphones are laminated B & S, they're still bright, they still sound like maple, and they sound better as those strings break in.

I have a laminated Ibanez that sounds like crap after PB strings break in. It gets 80/20 brass.

Quote by Pastafarian96
What I'm looking for is a really bright, trebly and a little twangy sound. Or am I going to need to replace my guitar (a 1970's Martin knock-off) as well?
The best advice there is buy a Taylor something or other. Other than that, keep in mind the Martins are notoriously bass heavy, particularly the dreadnoughts. So it stands to reason their copies, would try to emulate that sound.

If this is a laminated top guitar, that would compound the issue,as they seem to lose resonance in the top end first.

So, what you've been told so far is good info. Try 80/20 strings.Try different picks.

Fender #355 BIG triangles are quite bright. Comparing standard Fender mediums against the big medium triangles is an almost night and day difference.



One thing to keep in mind, is no matter what strings you have on a guitar, they'll get mellower and darker with age.

Also, the guys in Nashville love them Fender Twin Reverbs. They have, (or at least did have), the best spring reverb tanks in the business. And trust me, those things go a long way in the "twang" department. Any decent reverb unit does.

The message here is don't compare apples with oranges. A lot of the gloss and sheen goes in at the post production stage.

And really, show this guitar some mercy in its old age, ditch those heavy strings.
Last edited by Captaincranky at May 1, 2015,
#8
Quote by Captaincranky
. . . . I have a laminated Ibanez that sounds like crap after PB strings break in. It gets 80/20 brass. . . . . .


With the exception on one (an old Eko Ranger VI which has a magnetic sound-hole pick up and on which I use nickel-steel wound strings), all my acoustic guitars get 80/20 bronze: better sounding and longer lasting than PB (IMHO).
#9
Certainly looks like I'm going to have to try the 80/20s...

@Garthman - You may have hit a nail on the head there with the Crafters, I know one of the local music shops has a few of them in stock, I'm going to try them later in the week anyway, even if I don't go down the new guitar path. Thanks!

@Captaincranky - Bass heavy dreadnought describes this thing to a tee, I hate bass heavy guitars too (probably because I'm really a bass player that plays guitar ).

Hmm... those triangle picks are definitely something I want to get my hands on again, never used them on my acoustic. Something I'll definitely have to try.

I want a twin reverb, but I can't get one out to where I live without spending way too much money to make it justifiable.

And I put the strings on and tuned it in E standard for a week until the strings settled and then kept it in D standard for I think it's been about 14 months (I'm terrible, I know, don't remind me). so it isn't taking the full force of the string tension.
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day
#10
Martin phosphor bronze strings have a real bright twangy sound, but for my money, the best sounding string out there is any acoustic string made by Thomastik-Infeld. I've played them all, and the Thomastiks have no equal. Buy a few different sets of different type; you'll definitely find one you like.
#11
Quote by Pastafarian96
I'm in need of a string change, more specifically, a brand change. I've been using D'addario Phosphor bronze heavies, and I'm getting sick of the sound.

What I'm looking for is a really bright, trebly and a little twangy sound. Or am I going to need to replace my guitar (a 1970's Martin knock-off) as well?


I highly recommend those cheap Martin silk wound folk strings. You don't have to play folk with them, but they sound great. Only downside is they never last me more than three weeks(But I play a few hours a day usually, and sweat a lot).

I've been using them exclusively on my Cort and Babicz for years. My Ovation I use Elixir, though.
#12
If you want to try new strings, Elixir Nanoweb phosphor bronze mediums are the strings I am currently using. If you go a bit more loose, then you will get more sparkle for sure, but if you go lights, Idk, for me lights are too light for fingerpicking. It might be ok for some, especially if they use long nails, but I prefer mediums for a number of reasons, one of which is they are a bit easier to grip since they aren't bouncing around everywhere, and you could play with a lighter touch with still good volume, and they also still bend easily enough.

Coated strings, even d'addario EXP strings last quite long. I actually prefer them once they've been played a bit. I actually like a nice mellow tone to a degree. just not a dead one.

Not that these are mellow sounding, but they will keep a playable tone for much longer than ordinary strings, without going dead.

Maybe you'd want to get a new guitar also, idk, obviously strings are just strings, and changing the guitar will make a much bigger difference. Dead strings vs sparkling new ones is a huge difference though.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at May 7, 2015,
#13
Strum and pick closer to the bridge - there's a whole range of tones you can get by picking either closer to the bridge (treble) or neck (bass). It's brighter and twangier up by the bridge. This is a Classical guitar 101 concept but it's oblivious to most acoustic and electric guitarists.

D"addario makes great strings which, when new, are irritatingly bright to my ears. It's doubtful that your issue is there, unless of course you don't change them often enough.
#14
Don from D'Addario here 80/20 is by far the brightest acoustic string we make. However, feel free to experiment. You can put electric guitar strings on an acoustic - there's no hard and fast rule that says you can't. Stainless steel can feel a bit rougher than what acoustic players are used to but they too are quite brilliant in tone. Good luck with the search!
Don Dawson
Marketing Specialist
D'Addario / Planet Waves
#15
Quote by reverb66
Strum and pick closer to the bridge - there's a whole range of tones you can get by picking either closer to the bridge (treble) or neck (bass). It's brighter and twangier up by the bridge. This is a Classical guitar 101 concept but it's oblivious to most acoustic and electric guitarists.

D"addario makes great strings which, when new, are irritatingly bright to my ears. It's doubtful that your issue is there, unless of course you don't change them often enough.

I'm a bass player so I can really appreciate moving the picking position so I've already tried that to no avail.

Quote by ddawson2012
Don from D'Addario here 80/20 is by far the brightest acoustic string we make. However, feel free to experiment. You can put electric guitar strings on an acoustic - there's no hard and fast rule that says you can't. Stainless steel can feel a bit rougher than what acoustic players are used to but they too are quite brilliant in tone. Good luck with the search!

I've been thinking about doing this but I'm not exactly excited at the prospect of going through strings every two months so it's on the back shelf for now.
A poem.
Quote by yoman297
no girl, movember isnt for you. shave your stache pls

I can out-bore you any day