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I have a Martin D18 Golden Era. I recently changed strings to Elixir Phosphor Bronze light. I'm disappointed in the tone and feel and was wondering if anyone had some other suggestions or should I just go back to Martin strings. Someone suggested John Pearse. Anyone use them? I primarily fingerpick country and blues, but do some flatpicking as well on pop/folk tunes.

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I had the same experience with the Elixers. I like D'Addarios. Phospher Bronze light gauge. By them by the ten pack and change as needed.
I've used Elixir's on my Taylor 716ce since I got it. I have a set of Cleartone Phosphor Bronze Lights that I will be trying on my next string change. I've heard the Cleartones sound much better than the Elixir's which is why I'm trying them. I've been happy with the Elixir's so far but figured I'd try something else to see the difference.

I also have a set of D'Addario EFT16 Flat Tops and Elixir Bronze Lights (no Phosphor) that I want to try as well.

Don, the sound you get from the strings you choose will vary. I have an Alvarez Yairi JY84E, and have tried just about every brand and type of string, to always come back to Elixir Polywebs. Normally use mediums, but have lights on this time. Elixir offers both Polyweb and Nanoweb, for choices. The nano's are a bighter style of string. For me, on my guitar, and my ear, they are too tinny. That's why I use the poly's. They are a more mellow sounding string. The type you put on may be the difference in your sound. The coating on the nano's is thinner, so they tend to not last as long as the poly's. I recently bought some Zebras, but have yet to try them. A new string out are the red strings. Again, supposed to give you a nice mellow tone. Guitar Center is a prominent carrier of them.

But mostly, it's a trial and error thing to find strings where you like the tone they give off with your guitar. Each guitar and the owner's ear, are different. Experimentation and word of mouth are your only true tests. More experimentation. Musicians Friend used to list the sound quality of the strings they sell. Haven't purchased from them, or had a catalog, to be able to correctly tell you if they do anymore.

Hope this helped out some. Good luck. Mark
Thanks. I'm using the nanoweb and tinny is exactly the sound I'm hearing. This is the first time in 2 years with this guitar I deviated from Martin strings because I've wanted to experiment.
I used to use Guild Phosphor Bronze on all my acoustic guitars. It may be my imagination but they changed when they moved the production of them to Mexico, When they were in Rhode Island they were long lasting and bright sounding. They just aren't the same anymore. Now I use D'Addario Phosphor Bronze. The gauge you use is determined by your likes and dislikes.
My beater guitar is an old Fender acoustic with a Shadow contact pickup. It serves it's purpose and stays in tune fairly well. I use D'Addarios on her.
My main guitar is a Martin D16T and I use the D'Addarios on her.
The Elixir PB's are too harsh/tinny for me, but I really like the 80/20's (nanoweb's). On a semi-related note....don't know if anyone knows this....but D'Addario supplies the string stock to Elixr.

I play mostly two types of music and hang around musicians who do the same. I play either a Martin D or J model for bluegrass or country music and a Martin 0, 00, or 000 for finger picking blues. In my opinion, a flatpicked D or J Martin sounds best with medium gauge PB or B strings. A large majority of people I know agree. It would appear that the larger bodied guitars make the most of larger gauge strings. I have no favorite manufacturer, but I think uncoated strings sound better out of the gate, but definately don't last as long as coated strings.

Also in my opinion, smaller bodied guitars sound better with light or extra light PB or B gauges. I use light gauge on my 000, and extra light on 00 or 0 bodies. Same applies to coated vs uncoated.

So to all boils down to whether I want the longevity of coated strings, or the short life but initial great sound of uncoated strings. Thats my simplistic feeling about string selection. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it!
Hey Don. Ah, a string question. I'll attempt this I haven't really work much with steel strings on guitars and the knowledge I do know may not be as helpful =( but, when I did play with my electric I aways chose D'Addarios'. I still do but, now on the nylon version. I always try to get the heavier tension ones just because I find that they give the brighter sound. I've tried some Martain classical strings but, found that the D'Addarios' sound a lot brighter in tone and colour and last a little long. Then again, I'm speaking strictly nylon strings. I really hoped this helped Don but if it didn't I'm so sorry.

Try the D'Addario EXP16s if you prefer light strings. I started using these for fingerstyle recently. The sound is not quite as bright as the plain Phosphor-Bronze strings, but the last set of strings lasted me more than a month. I usually trash the non-coated strings in a week or so -- maybe I have oily fingers these days. But the EXP16s hold up very well for me. They seem to give more consisted intonation too.

So they are twice as expensive as the plain Phosphor-Bronze strings, but last four times as long and the brilliance is more consistent over the life of the strings. See what you think.
I use the D'Addarios, too. Generally the EXP 12s. They sound brighter to me. I also find the gauge of the strings makes a big difference. I have a Santa Cruz F that sounds great with mediums and very poor with lights. According to Santa Cruz, that guitar is braced for mediums. I also use mediums on my early 60s Gibson J-50. I have two Lowdens, which are brighter guitars to begin with. I frequently use lights on them.

Back in the '70s I played professionally in bars using my Gibson, for the most part. Back then I used heavy gauge strings. I loved the way they made the Gibson sound. My hands no longer are up to that task, and it's also pretty hard to find them these days.
Hi Don...I might as well add my two cents worth to the discussion, I play a '62 Martin D28, A Martin OM, An Alvarez/Yari Dread and A Blueberry Parlor guitar. ON the D28 I use light guage PB's, D'Addarios or Clear tone coated strings. The Yari is a short scale Dread with slotted headstock, and I use a custom mixed set here, Light guage E-B-G, Medium D-A-E. the Blueberry is a small Parlor sized guitar and sounds best with Martin FX Flexible core Silk and Phosphor strings. I also use the Martin FX strings on My OM, which is my main fingerstyle guitar.
I've had good results with Dean Markley "Alchemy" mediums on my J40; I also like Martin Eric Clapton; Martin's new Flexcore strings aren't bad, either.


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