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String change on my 2014 SJ-200


Larry W

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Wanting some "qualified" opinions. About to do my first string change on this guitar. For over 45 years I have used Martin Bronze (80/20) on all my acoustics....but they are all either rosewood or mahogany bodied instruments. I've never had a maple bodied guitar until this one. What is recommended and why.

 

I know this is totally a personal and subjective thing. [unsure]

 

But I'd like to hear what you have to say anyway.

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I have a 1994 J-100 Xtra with Hog B&S, and have owned, both a 94 J-200 "Special" with Honduran Rosewood B&S, as well as a 2010 J-200 standard with Maple B&S. On all of them I have ended up sticking with D`Addario EJ-16 Phosphor Bronze 12-53s, after lots of experimentation. they seem to work best for me.

 

Steve.

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In my experience maple tends to get pretty rounded, mellow even bit-less, especially in the bass-sector, when the steel fades, so I would go for something rough.

 

Perhaps Gibson Masterbuilts - which I find too edgy for my Bird, but tried on the Dove recently.

 

Haven't got far on the latter though, , , it's sleeping at the moment for reasons irrelevant here. . .

 

Let's hear what you find out.

 

 

 

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After trying several different brands and types of strings on my SJ200, I just put a set of Elixir PB 12's on it and think it sounds and plays great. Because of the maple back and sides, I've found that 80/20's of any brand make it sound too bright.

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To me 80/20's go on super bright and then fall flat in a short period of time. My experience with PB's is that they go on a little less bright but maintain their liveliness much longer. Doesn't matter what guitar it is I always try Martin SP PB lights or D'addario PB lights first.

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My J-200 had Elixir nano custom lights on it when I got it; I liked them so much I contacted the seller to see what they were; had never played them before. They're still on there and still sound great. My hands eat strings and these have stayed good-sounding longer than any strings I've ever used. I've heard folks say the coated strings sound "metallic" or "artificial" but I really like them on this guitar.

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Good opinions.....

 

So, I think I will try some Elixer HD Lights PB on it ....maybe tonight. I loved the Gibson J-200 set that came on it. But they did not last very long before the bass response started to suffer. They did sound great when they were new, though.

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I use D'Addaro EJ-17's on my 2007 J-200. The EJ-16's didn't seem to drive the top, they sounded thin to me. The EJ-17's get more tone and volume. They sound really good. I'm always open to trying different strings, but the EJ-17's seem to be the right fit.

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REPORT: The Elixer HD Light Phosphor Bronze are not the string for my SJ-200. They are rather dull sounding right out of the box.....of course, being coated, they should remain this way. I hate that I wasted $12 on these things. [thumbdn]

 

I had put the Elixer HD Lights 80/20 on my 000-28EC.....they sounded great. But it is short scale, that's why I chose them. The the PB would work better on the long scale, maple body, SJ-200........WRONG.

 

I will live with them a couple weeks and them go back to either the Elixer 80/20 or the Gibson J-200 set like it came with.....those really did sound good.....I just want to find a coated string that will last for a few months.

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I use the elixir nano mediums 80/20's on my SJ200 Custom and I love them! Even though mine is rosewood back and sides I think you will be pleased with the sound on your maple SJ200. I also use the same strings on my maple Guild JF30 which is the same body style as the SJ200. If you don't do a lot of crazy bending the .medium 013's can really drive the top nicely.

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I found for myself I like the Gibson J-200 phosphor bronze in light gauge. They seem to last for months and I play my J-200 almost every day. I've tried medium gauge strings in the past and they made the guitar too muddy sounding, as far as getting the top moving I have never had a problem with the J-200. I guess some guitars sound good with mediums and some don't, but that is all subjective.

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Mostly I used on my J200 Martin SP 12-54 Phos Br. Sounds good to me.

I have tried some Curt Mangan 12-56 Ph Br but I did not like their sound - somehow "muffled"...

I thried Rotosound Ph Br 12-54. Good strings but brightness fade away quickly.

The best strings I have used on my J200 are PRS

They give real power to my MR GIBS (but I hate their prise!)

So since last october - almost 10 months I have on my J200 Elixirs Ph Br 12-56.

I like how they sound on this instrument.

Well - not the best sound, but 10 months these strings sound pretty good to me, so I'll keep them.

On the other hand I tried the same strings (Elixir Ph Br 12-56) on my Guild D55 - failure...

My Guild D55 is my most capricious and exigent guitar... When my MR GUILD doesn't like something he refuses to play!

For exemple he did NOT stay in tune with the Elixirs...

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