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Warm sounding strings?


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A while back I put some nickel / bronze strings on my old J-45. These strings really accentuated the strong points of the tone, and enhanced the dry and raw sound. I like these strings very much on this guitar.


When I look for strings for a guitar I don't necessarily look for the set that will make that one particular guitar sound its best, rather I try to pull my guitars apart tone wise. So in this sense, the nickel / bronze worked great on the J-45. However, had it been my one and only guitar, I probably would have preferred strings more in the middle of the road.


So given this approach to string choice, I'm now looking for a new set of strings to make my D-28 sound even warmer and more mellow, as far away as possible from the J-45, on the opposite side of the tone spectrum. I'd like to accentuate the bass even further and make the guitar as warm, mellow, and thick sounding as possible. I recently tried the Tomastik Spectrums, with silk wrappings, and they were a huge step in that direction. I now wonder if you have any suggestions for other types to try that might be even "better"? Something roundcore perhaps?




By the way, anyone else using my approach for choosing strings with multiple guitars?

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I am a big fan of Martin SP 80/20 Bronze (not phosphor bronze) to achieve the warm deeper sound I like on all of my guitars. Plus, because they never sound exceptionally bright when they are new, the transition to how they sound when they are older isn't really noticeable.


QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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I agree with questionmark. Martin SP, or even Lifespan 80/20, are great on Martin dreads, and additionally, the SPs are a good value set of strings that do everything pretty well.

For what it's worth, I was also a string tester for the martin Titanium strings. They are similar to nickel bronze and monel.... but actually closer to a set of PBS. I liked them a lot. They are pricy though, but perhaps worth a try.

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QM and Sal are on the money here-totally agree!


In terms of warmth, Martin strings are both inexpensive and fantastic sounding. Warm, thrumming bass, detailed mids and fat, chiming trebles.


In terms of brightest to darkest, I rate them as such:


Martin PB

Martin Clapton's Choice PB

Martin SP PB

Martin 80/20

Martin SP 80/20

Martin SP Lifespan PB

Martin SP Lifespan 80/20


The Lifespans are incredible strings, in my opinion. The best of the coated/treated strings.

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I like the martin coated strings a lot too

They are a little expensive and they don't last as long as elixirs , which almost justify the price extra money , if they're on offer


I've tried other martin strings in the past and find they die very very quickly with me

Perhaps I need to try a few more of the many variants , but regular old plain joe Martin 12's are shot in a week

Daddarrios outlast them , so that's pretty much my go to string

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I recently warmed up a guitar that was a wee bit too bright/harsh by replacing the bone saddle with one made of Micarta. So, strings aren't the only consideration. Also, try a set of boxwood pins to further warm up the sound.


Some folks don't think these items make a difference, but after 55 years of working on acoustic guitar tone, I am a believer.



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