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114 of 114 found the following review helpful:
Excellent strings Dec 13, 2005
I've been playing guitar professionally for over 30 years and have tried literally every brand of string I'm aware of...even some odballs that I didn't know existed until I saw them on the rack. For many years, I stuck with D-Addario Phosphor Bronze because they've been consistent with good tone and longevity. But in the Martin SP Phospher Bronze lights, I've found an even better quality string. I'm in an Irish/Celtic duo, and play a Martin OM16 in DADGAD tuning, and a 1970 Guild F30 Paul Simon in standard tuning. In both guitars, the Martin strings provide a deeper, louder tone with great sustain than any other string I've used. I recently tried a set of Elixer Nonoweb Phosphor Bronze ($16!!!!....yikes), and they didn't sound nearly as good as the Martin SPs....at less than half the price. So I immediately replaced the Elixers with SPs.
Yes, strings are a very personal item and we all have different likes and dislikes with regard to what tonal qulaities we like in our acoustic guitars. For me, I like a relatively bright, deep, sustaining tone with good volume and longevity that best brings out the chracter of my guitars, and the Martin SPs deliver big time. It's amazing how long they last after doing sessions, gigs, rehearsals, etc. The SPs last longer than any string I've used and I highly recommend them.
21 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Professional Acoustic Guitarist, I ONLY use these... May 03, 2007
By D. Leach
Prior to using these I would break strings constantly. After a very long period of trying every string out there it was an easy choice. They are the only strings I use now, and occasional efforts to find something better have failed. Super reliable, tough, and they sound fantastic on my Rainsong Jumbo. I haven't done a lot of reviews, but I truly think these are the best acoustic strings you can buy.
10 of 10 found the following review helpful:
Great string May 14, 2007
When I traded in my Alvarez and bought a new Martin, I stuck with my old standby string - John Pearse phosphor bronze light. And they played beautifully. When the local shop stopped carrying John Pearse, I picked up a set of D'Addario which I hadn't tried in years. And they were complete garbage - terrible sound on my Martin. Last time around I picked up some Martin SPs which again I hadn't tried in years - they sounded flat on the Alvarez. But they absolutely sing on a Martin. I didn't think anything would sound better than my old standby John Pearses. But these do. Martin SPs on a Martin - go figure, they work!
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
By far my favorite string Aug 16, 2011
By zKi Comp
Five or six years ago, I worked at Guitar Center. Getting strings at cost allowed me to experiment with pretty much every make and model of strings available. I found a lot of close matches, but had a hard time finding what I was looking for. I decided to give these relatively inexpensive Martin SP's a try and they really fit the bill. I tried both the 80/20 and the 92/8 phosphor bronze. The 80/20's sounded thin and tinny in comparison, but it will depend on the tonal qualities of your guitar. Both are excellent strings, but I prefer the 92/8 on my Seagul.
Very deep sounding bass and midrange. The wound strings really stand out and have a nice pop to them.
The high strings aren't abrasive (tonally). The set as a whole is very balanced and easy on the ears.
Impressively long life for an uncoated string. Granted, I use these in a dry, studio setting, but I can make a single set of strings last between one and two months, playing extensively almost every single day. I'd say I get between 100 and 150 hours of playing time out of these (always wash your hands before you play guitar!).
I have NEVER broken a string (imagine that). I'm probably about average when it comes to the beating I give my strings. I can't speak for the all too prevalent heavy handed picker.
They're inexpensive! Not only are they 1/3 the price of a set of Elixirs, but they sound better, last longer, and they don't start flaking and pealing after a week.
They are quite bright and tend to rattle a bit for the first couple hours of break in time. They mellow out rather quickly, however.
As a fellow reviewer noted, they do, indeed, turn your fingertips black. I'm not sure what it is that does this, but it doesn't bother me and washes off with soap and water. No biggie.
Overall, I've probably tried forty or fifty sets of strings and stopped looking when I tried these. The price, longevity, and tonal characteristics are unmatched, IMHO. For $5, they're worth a try, right?
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Blacken fingertips May 14, 2011
By Pitch Pocket
In general anything Martin makes is high quality and these strings have a good tone and play well. My problem with them is they blacken my fingertips on both hands when I play the guitar. I can wipe the strings down before I play and after I play but it doesn't make any difference. And I'm not talking about minor transferance but major blackening of the fingertips. I have several guitars and use D'Addario strings on the others and don't have this problem so it isn't how I play or my fingertips being rough or something like that. Interestingly I've used these same strings in the past but didn't have this problem. The only difference I can think of is the strings I recently put on the guitar were purchased over a year ago. They were still in their original sealed box and didn't look tarnished when I took them out. Now I also recently installed some D"Addario strings that were also purchased a year ago and have not had a problem with them so it's clearly the Martins. My advice would be to go with the D'Addario strings but if you want to go with the Martins try and find fresh stock.
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