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Good strings for J45


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Been awhile since I have played my J45. Put new strings on it (John Pearse nickel 12-54) and I am, once again, reminded how good a J45 sounds to my ears. I think I was favoring Martin SP Lifespan strings a few years ago when I was playing it a lot. Anyone found any particular string you like on J45? Note: I sometimes like to detune a half step, so, if I were doing that, I might favor 13-56 gauge.

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I hate sunbeams

 

Elixirs after three or four weeks are good

Gibson strings on it at the minute and sound good

 

Good old dadarrio have nothing wrong with them

 

Have reached the conclusion that 80/20’s suit me the best though

 

But the Martin lifespans have been my favourite from going on New until they die

All others find a sweet spot , might be two days after fitting might be 2 weeks

But the lifespans are nice strings

 

All 12’s , tried 11’s and noticed something missing

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My J200 likes masterbuilts but when they are ready to go, man, they go dead as door nails.

 

I've been using Elixrs Nanowebs, and before that polyweb for many years. I can get 2x the time at least. They don't LOOK great (the coating will start to shred) after a few weeks, but they sound ok, and they are stable tuning wise. The ploywebs shred a lot more than the nano.

 

Cleartones are nice, no coating, and therefore no shredding,, they have good life span too.

 

I think I like 80/20s better 'n PBs too.

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I rather like the D'Addario 85/15 12-54s on my J45. I've owned a few J45s and have always found 13s choke them a little, I'm not sure why. 12s always seem to sing the best and coax the best in dynamics from them.

 

I only use 13s on my Epi Texan, tuned down to Eb. That really suits the downtuned meaty strings, with the long scale and thunderous bass response it has.

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I rather like the D'Addario 85/15 12-54s on my J45. I've owned a few J45s and have always found 13s choke them a little, I'm not sure why. 12s always seem to sing the best and coax the best in dynamics from them.

 

I only use 13s on my Epi Texan, tuned down to Eb. That really suits the downtuned meaty strings, with the long scale and thunderous bass response it has.

 

Agree 100% that forever reason 13's "choke" all the J45's I've tried them on, including several J45 Standards and my current J45TV. 13's actually worked well though on my Advanced Jumbo, but I still prefer the sound and feel of 12's on that guitar.

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I just found them very dead

Like all strings the difference between one and the next is minimal

But they were so deft of any life

 

 

Interesting. It may be that you got some bad ones, or it may be that we like very different characteristics in our strings. I like the Sunbeams a lot. To my ear, they sound a lot like new Masterbuilt Premium PBs, but they retain that "new string" combination of warmth and articulation for a much longer time.

 

To each his own, I guess.

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I'm with Nick here--I like the Sunbeams and Masterbilt for my J-45.

 

Now to decide what to use on the new little 80-yr-old hog... Nick, what does your L-00 like? (Not intending to hijack-but we are talking mahogany slopes and string options, so I hope it's okay to throw this out here...)

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I'm with Nick here--I like the Sunbeams and Masterbilt for my J-45.

 

Now to decide what to use on the new little 80-yr-old hog... Nick, what does your L-00 like? (Not intending to hijack-but we are talking mahogany slopes and string options, so I hope it's okay to throw this out here...)

 

I'm down to three mahogany/spruce Gibson flat tops (J-45, SJ, L-OO), and I use either MB Premium PB or Sunbeams on all. I've been using up a bunch of MB Premiums that have been sitting around, but am just about to order a new batch of Sunbeams.

 

I'm lazy when it comes to changing strings, and find the Sunbeams give me the warmth and clarity I crave far longer than other strings. Even when they finally die, they've got a funkiness that is appealing. I literally have a two or three year old set of Sunbeams on my L-OO, and I'm sort of reluctant to change them. The slope-J's, on the other hand, benefit from new strings, so they're first in line when the new Sunbeams come in.

 

Still searching for the right strings for my 000-28 EC. I'd like a contrast to the tone I get out of mahogany guitars. Something a bit more sparkly to go better with a mid-sized rosewood guitar. Suggestions? ( don't like coated strings.)

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My '55 J-45 likes Martin 80/20 lights - the cheap ones, no less. They sound good initially and last a good while, except in extreme humidity. The '62 J-50 works best with Martin PB lights - again, the cheap ones. 80/20s go dead pretty rapidly on that one. The '42 J-45 has become progressively happier with lighter strings over the years (20 or so) that I've owned it. Started with mediums, then lights, then custom lights - all Martin PB el-cheapos. I'm not too cheap to buy more expensive strings (honest!), but all I've used have gone dead in an incredibly short time, while the lesser variety just keeps on keepin' on. Can't use coated strings, either.

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I just put Optima gold 12's on my Acacia J-45 and Rosewood custom. I think they are phenomenal. Long lasting and sound different on each guitar because of the wood difference and really amazing. I had D'addario on the Rosewood and the stock Gibson strings on the Acacia which sounded great for about 2 months. Optima's are more expensive though.

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Interesting. It may be that you got some bad ones, or it may be that we like very different characteristics in our strings. I like the Sunbeams a lot. To my ear, they sound a lot like new Masterbuilt Premium PBs, but they retain that "new string" combination of warmth and articulation for a much longer time.

 

To each his own, I guess.

 

It’s possible they were duds as I bought them on eBay

I got dadarrio 85/15 strings on there lately and they were obviously either fakes or duds as they were like spaghetti and wouldn’t stay in tune

I never thought about that when I got the sunbeams so it’s a possibility . And I now pay close attention to who I buy the strings from if I use eBay or amazon.

When I say I don’t like strings I merely mean that I wouldn’t buy them again. The sunbeams aren’t cheap over here either £13 at least.

I bought 6 packs of gibson strings lately as they were on sale and they’re not so bad. But if charged the £6 normal price I’d orobably just get dadarrios instead .

 

My favourite as I say are the lifespan martins which don’t really feel like coated strings the way elixirs would. They don’t last just as long, or rather they don’t keep the tone in the same way elixirs would.

 

The sunbeams have nothing wrong with them but I bought them on the back of all the spectacular things said on here about them and I didn’t see the difference as worth double the price

 

We’re all looking for different things so one mans meat and all that ....

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The Sunbeams probably did have a dud or 2 in the set; I have purchased a couple of sets that had duds, & returned them. The small New Jersey company that makes them has great customer service… They want the customer to be happy/ they even sent me a couple of new sets of strings to try as well as a replacement set of Sunbeams . But if shipping and customer service contact support is long distance, it might not be worth it.

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It’s possible they were duds as I bought them on eBay

I got dadarrio 85/15 strings on there lately and they were obviously either fakes or duds as they were like spaghetti and wouldn’t stay in tune

I never thought about that when I got the sunbeams so it’s a possibility . And I now pay close attention to who I buy the strings from if I use eBay or amazon.

When I say I don’t like strings I merely mean that I wouldn’t buy them again. The sunbeams aren’t cheap over here either £13 at least.

I bought 6 packs of gibson strings lately as they were on sale and they’re not so bad. But if charged the £6 normal price I’d orobably just get dadarrios instead .

 

My favourite as I say are the lifespan martins which don’t really feel like coated strings the way elixirs would. They don’t last just as long, or rather they don’t keep the tone in the same way elixirs would.

 

The sunbeams have nothing wrong with them but I bought them on the back of all the spectacular things said on here about them and I didn’t see the difference as worth double the price

 

We’re all looking for different things so one mans meat and all that ....

 

BBG, eBay is awash with those fake 85/15s, I bought a stack and they were all sh*t, buzzed, intonated terribly, sounded horrendous.

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You guys

Now I’m doubting myself and they’re back on the list then

Albeit written in pencil

 

 

The price you pay over there is pretty close to extortion. I pay about $6.75 for them here from juststrings.com, and shipping is a flat rate of about $6 no matter how many sets you buy, so it pays to buy in bulk. D'Addario EJ16's are about $5.50 from the same source, so there isn't that much price difference.

 

For some reason, you guys seem to get gouged pretty badly on most things associated with guitars.

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  • 3 years later...

 I know this is an older thread, but I just wanted to say:

To make my Gibson J-45 sound less dark, I changed the pins to >Martin Bridge Liquid Metal Bridge Pins<. (White with red dots fit also visually nicely). Those give a nice top shime to the guitar. And the best strings on my J-45 are in my opinion: Martin Retro Acoustic Guitar Strings 012-054 Light. They sound especially good on Mahogany Guitars. (I don't like them on Rosewood Guitars much.) This combination makes me very happy with my J-45 for while now! Give it a try!  Best! Michael Kiske

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