Gibson Brands Forums: Martin Retros on a 'hog slope? - Gibson Brands Forums

Jump to content

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Martin Retros on a 'hog slope?

#1 User is offline   dhanners623 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 1011
  • Joined: 22-February 10

Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:22 PM

So we're in the U.S. on our summer visit. Getting in some fun gigs (a necessity, since I live in Kuwait, Where Music Goes to Die) and I wanted to gauge the members' attitudes/experiences about Martin Monel strings.

I put a set on my kitbuilt mahogany square-shoulder dread (a D-18 clone) and LOVE everything about them -- so far. But I have not yet tried any on my J-35. What experience, if any, have you guys and gals had with them on a mahogany slope? At some point, I'll no doubt put some on to try, but I wanted to hear your thoughts first.

It matters because I tend to buy all the strings I need for the coming year during the summer trip. Can't get Martin Retros in Kuwait, and even your basic D'Addario EJ17s will set you back about $18 a set in the desert.

Yeah, my ears will be the final judge, but of those of you who have tried them, what did you think? I'm a rhythm guitarist and do some fingerstyle to accompany my vocals, so even though I'm trying the Tony Rice set, I'm not tearing off any great licks....
Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
0

#2 User is offline   thegreatgumbino 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 167
  • Joined: 25-June 16

Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:07 PM

I made the switch to them a couple years ago and havenít looked back. I love them on my J45/J50. They last an incredibly long time too. I end up changing them after about 6 months because I tell myself they canít still be good. I think Iím wrong though.
0

#3 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

  • Follow your joy, grasshopper.
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 2822
  • Joined: 03-March 09
  • LocationTexas!

Posted 10 July 2018 - 10:21 PM

Retros work very well for me with mahogany. Iíve heard good and bad about them with rosewood. Absolute favorite set, without doubt, are Martin Titanium on my red spruce topped J-45, and they would be also on the J-35 but for the magnetic pickup which doesnít play nice with that. Much smoother of feel than Retros with less tension, solid short sustain and dry thump. They hold tuning better with titanium less subject to temp changes.......they just donít move once they settle (very quickly Iíll add). Expensive? Yes. At about $34 a set, they take the place of anywhere from 2 to 6 sets of phosphor bronze, bronze and others, depending on your personal favorite. Titanium lasts a very long time and nickel is very corrosion resistant.......I expect at least 10-12 months from a set. Three plus months on the current set and they look, feel and sound like they did when new. Everyone has favs......titaniumís are mine for a lot of reasons.
J45 Vintage & J35
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been. Buc, from Me & Eddie
The 20th Maine An original, historically accurate account of Chamberlain's defense of Little Round Top, just south of Gettysburg, on July 2, 1863.
0

#4 User is offline   ThemisSal 

  • Ordinary Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 4853
  • Joined: 28-July 12

Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:14 AM

I like the Retros. I do suggest packing a set of D'Addario nickel bronze as well. I like them even better.
Anyways I say alternate your nickel strings with good old fashioned Gibson 80/20 lights.... woody vs zing, and you will love the change.

This post has been edited by ThemisSal: 11 July 2018 - 12:15 AM

0

#5 User is offline   jedzep 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 2479
  • Joined: 04-March 10
  • LocationCrankytown, NY

Posted 11 July 2018 - 02:17 AM

Well, there you go. Opinions here are thumbs up, but I found they lacked warmth and were a little harsh sounding on my 000-18 and J-50, so I went back to Th-Infeld Spectrum 13's at 20 bucks a set through the gimmesomestrings site. I moved the Retros over to my '37 Epi Electar lap steel where they fit in well. Still trying to justify the $30+ step up to titaniums since I'm pretty happy with the $3.59 Dunlop 80/20s.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
0

#6 User is offline   Rambler 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 2861
  • Joined: 22-January 08

Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:53 AM

Fond of retros in general in especially on a model like a J35 which has a 'retro' sound anyway. Its' a mature sound. Used em on my J35; now on my 00018GE.

This post has been edited by Rambler: 11 July 2018 - 03:54 AM

ďThere are evidently some principle in [man's] nature, which interests him in the fortune of others and render their happiness necessary to him" Adam Smith

"As through this world you ramble, you meet some funny men. Some rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen" Woodrow Wilson Guthrie.

"Aint no easy job to sit down and play guitar!" Rev. Gary Davis
0

#7 User is offline   Rev Roy 

  • Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 20-December 15
  • LocationNorthwest Oklahoma

Posted 11 July 2018 - 06:30 AM

I loved them on my J-45. Thought my string search for that guitar was over. But then at the urging of a bunch of guitar buddies I tried Santa Cruz Mid Tension strings. WOW...they were perfect for the 45. Play like lights but get the top moving like mediums. Sweet tone with a noticeable increase in volume. Retros are now my second favorite strings on the 45.

This post has been edited by Rev Roy: 11 July 2018 - 11:30 AM

Gibson J-45
Martin D-41
0

#8 User is offline   dhanners623 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 1011
  • Joined: 22-February 10

Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:34 AM

Wow. Thanks, all!

I'm realizing more and more there's a whole music product world going on that I am clueless to overseas....

Later today, after I go into town and get a haircut, I'm going to sit in the shade out by the pond and string the J-35 with Retros. Will report back....

This post has been edited by dhanners623: 11 July 2018 - 07:35 AM

Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
0

#9 User is offline   rbpicker 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 301
  • Joined: 04-July 08
  • LocationSE Mich

Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:48 AM

Love Retros on my J45 and my Martin M36 (rosewood). I agree with Sal that the DAdd nickel bronze ar great as well....a little bolder sound in my experience. I use lights in both instances.
Rb
Pura Vida
0

#10 User is offline   thegreatgumbino 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 167
  • Joined: 25-June 16

Posted 11 July 2018 - 08:40 AM

Be sure to give them some break in time. The sound when first installed is not representative of their sound after 2 days of playing time.
0

#11 User is offline   vacamartin 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 978
  • Joined: 24-October 12
  • LocationCa.

Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:25 AM

Retro 13's work so well on my L-OO's........the lights are *pristine* on my 0-15 ;)
0

#12 User is offline   J45fan 

  • Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 64
  • Joined: 14-January 08

Posted 12 July 2018 - 02:24 AM

Love the Retro's on my OJ (Mahogany) don't like 'em at all on my AJ (Rosewood).
0

#13 User is offline   billroy 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 479
  • Joined: 30-November 17

Posted 12 July 2018 - 04:12 PM

Apologies, not to be difficult - but I can't say I'm in line with everyone with respect to the retros. Maybe they represent a sound I'm not familiar with, but when I put them on my J45 they just didn't work for me, couldn't get them off quick enough (my whole body and being rejected them, it was odd). The look is partially there too, acoustics need bronze colored strings up top (opinion, and meant in humor).

Anyways d'addario PBs have been good to me (12/54), and just about to switch to the Martin 12/54 PBs to see if I can get a little more oomph out of the high e.

Regardless, if you're just here for a short time, I'd recommend getting a couple 3 packs of the d'addarios or even martin PBs to have on hand. You might not like it better, but they are not too expensive and it is a different sound to play with. and if your in purgatory, it's nice to have optional sounds to try out and form an opinion until next time your hear.

Best of luck in Kuwait, I can't think of many fun reasons people are there.

regards - billroy
'18 Gibson J45, vintage
'86 Guild D25
'00 Fender Strat (American Standard)
'90 Fender Strat (Korea, bought in an open market in Korea... yeah it might be real)
'68 Gibson SG
'17 Several 3 String CBGs

"Want people to listen to your stuff, don't play boring stuff..." heard somewhere.
0

#14 User is offline   jedzep 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 2479
  • Joined: 04-March 10
  • LocationCrankytown, NY

Posted 12 July 2018 - 05:21 PM

That's also where I land on the Retros, as I said earlier, but I only have one mahogany guitar, which is a small L0, and I never thought of trying them. Now I wish I had, but I cut 'em short for the lap steel. Is anyone still playing Black Diamonds? I'm thinking they might have the all steel tone thing too.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
0

#15 User is offline   MissouriPicker 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 4052
  • Joined: 26-December 07
  • LocationIndependence, Missouri

Posted 12 July 2018 - 06:54 PM

I've got Martin Retros on my Hummingbird and J45tv. They sound real good. Got a set of Martin Marquis on my Dove and SPs on my other Gibsons. I know this "string" deal is very important to some folks and I understand why, but I think all my guitars sound good. irregardless of which Martin strings I have on. For me, I think it's a combination of the strings, the guitar, and the fact I love playing the guitar. Chances are I'm missing something on the string issue, but if they sound good on a guitar, I'll likely keep using them.
Website: https://soundcloud.com/you/tracks
YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.c...er?feature=mhee
http://www.reverbnat...om/larrygarrett

Gibsons J45TV, J15, Hummingbird, Dove, Southern Jumbo Mystic, Advanced Jumbo Rosewood
Advanced Jumbo Koa, J100 Walnut
Alvarez MFA66CE Masterworks OM/Folk
Martin X Series 2016 D12X1AE Dreadnought 12-String
Regal 1944 Parlor Guitar
LAG Nylon Stringed
Oahu 1941 Squareneck Parlor Guitar
Yamaha YPG-535MM Keyboard
and a herd of ukes, banjos, strumsticks, harmonicas and dulcimers,
making me a "jack of all trades and master of none."
0

#16 User is online   Dave F 

  • Plain Old Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 2290
  • Joined: 19-December 11
  • LocationKY

Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:15 PM

A few years ago, Maury's was clearing out string stock for Martin at $1 a pack. Thus all my guitars use what comes on them and when they get changed, they get Martin SP strings. I bought 100 sets.
0

#17 User is offline   dhanners623 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 1011
  • Joined: 22-February 10

Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:08 PM

Strung up the J-35 with the Retros yesterday. Jury is still out, which is odd because when I strung up the kitbuilt D-18 clone with them, the change was immediate and noticeable, very much for the better.

They don't sound bad on the '35, mind you. It's just at this point, I don't know if it's worth switching over from EJ17s. I'll give them more time, of course. Maybe they'll surprise me tomorrow....
Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
0

#18 User is offline   dhanners623 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 1011
  • Joined: 22-February 10

Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:29 PM

Ok, this was weird. Played the J-35 at an open mic last night. Again, the Martin Retros sounded good but, like I said in my previous post, I don't know that they're worth giving up EJ17s for.

So this morning I pull the guitar out of the case to play it and all the strings were flat several cents. The humidity hadn't changed that much, so I thought that was strange. I tuned them up to pitch the strings suddenly took on a pop and sizzle they hadn't had before. NOW they were sounding special. And they still do.

In my years of playing, I've never had anything happen like that....

This post has been edited by dhanners623: 14 July 2018 - 08:56 PM

Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
0

#19 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

  • Follow your joy, grasshopper.
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 2822
  • Joined: 03-March 09
  • LocationTexas!

Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:35 PM

uh huh.......yep. I think nickel wraps are the ticket for that old time tone Gibson slope shoulder guitars are famous for.

Now try a set of titaniums for another step up.
J45 Vintage & J35
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been. Buc, from Me & Eddie
The 20th Maine An original, historically accurate account of Chamberlain's defense of Little Round Top, just south of Gettysburg, on July 2, 1863.
0

#20 User is offline   dhanners623 

  • Advanced Member
  • Group: All Access
  • Posts: 1011
  • Joined: 22-February 10

Posted 14 July 2018 - 09:01 PM

View PostBuc McMaster, on 14 July 2018 - 06:35 PM, said:

uh huh.......yep. I think nickel wraps are the ticket for that old time tone Gibson slope shoulder guitars are famous for.

Now try a set of titaniums for another step up.


Not to sound like a rube, but how long do the titaniums last, on average? (Although there's no such thing as "on average" when it comes to strings....) I checked JustStrings.com and they're $39.95 a set.
Check out my latest record, There Are No Secrets in This Town, by going to https://davidhannersmusic.com. Thanks!
0

Share this topic:


  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users