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strings for my Maple

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Hey you Maple owners I would be very appreciative of your input on what strings you prefer. I have a 2007 J185 quilted and it just doesn't sound the way I would like it to. I'm just a front porch player but I love this forum. there are a lot of great players with an abundance of Gibson knowledge' Thanks for the help

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What does it sound like now (that you'd like to change) ?

not that different from my J45. maybe lookin for a brighter sound

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There are those here that might like to amplify the quick attack that maple is known for by going with a slightly heavier string set. The trick is trying to lighten things a little with light to medium strings, and try to find a warmer sound in that maple sweetness. Definitely phosphor bronze-something. The D'Addario Nickel Bronze color the sound very little, but I'd keep them on for a few, 3+ weeks, to soften their edge.

 

EDIT: Brighter ? ? Your J-185 Quilt is not bright enough?

Edited by 62burst

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I have the brother guitar to yours, a J-180 Custom Shop. Did you try Gibson's very own J-200 strings yet? I love them for everything maple but especially for Gibson's mini maple jumbos.

 

gibson-j-200l.jpg

Edited by Leonard McCoy

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It is not always about gauge and such but about how you approach a guitar whether you have say an aggressive or lighter attack. Are you a strummer or a fingerpicker and if the latter do you play au natural or use picks. While string choice will not have a dramatic effect on a guitar's voice they certainly can nuance it. My wife does own a maple body J-200. We have probably strung that guitar with every kind of string available over the decades. She is a strummer and although a longtime fan of John Pearce PBs she has gone to Martin Lifespans. She finds the Martin strings more responsive than the JPs.

 

Me, I generally prefer strings wound on a round core. First I really like the way they feel. To my ears, they give the low end a bit more oomph while the balance tends to subdue the upper end a bit resulting in a fuller overall sound although you do lose some of the clarity of the upper end. It is all a trade off.

Edited by zombywoof

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I pretty much use Martin light strings on all my Gibsons. Mostly Martin SPs. Don 't know if they're louder, darker, or brighter sounding than other strings, but I've always liked the way my guitars sound. My maple Dove is a thundering guitar.

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I pretty much use Martin light strings on all my Gibsons. Mostly Martin SPs. Don 't know if they're louder, darker, or brighter sounding than other strings, but I've always liked the way my guitars sound. My maple Dove is a thundering guitar.

MP,

 

 

What gauge strings are you using on the Dove?

 

 

 

Good to see you around my friend.

 

 

JC

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Here's another suggestion that might be easy to do, and cost about the same

or less than, a three pack of Elixir strings:

 

Get a set of Tusq bridge pins.

 

I recently bought a 2018 Gibson J-45 AG, which has a Walnut back & sides, spruce top, Walnut bridge and fretboard

and a maple neck. I was immediately attracted by the unique construction of this model, and also wanted to

support the idea of a guitar made from North American Hardwood, rather than tropical wood obtained from

pirates, developers or plantation owners.

 

I've had my J-45 for more than a year now, it's the first acoustic guitar in my long career that I ever bought

new. All my other acoustics were used, some VERY used. So I've never before experienced the mellowing of a new

guitar, or listened to it happen while playing over a period of a year. It's been fascinating.

 

When I first received my new Gibson, its tone was bright bright bright. I sort of expected this, knowing that any

guitar needs to work and vibrate a lot before it achieves its tone. Even electrics go through this when new, although

not as dramatically as acoustics. So I have been listening attentively as my J-45 tone has worked its way into

my music.

 

The first mod was to install bluegrass style "light top, medium bottom" strings...

So if you want your guitar to sound brighter, reverse this and install light gauge strings.

 

The second mod was to remove the Tusq bridge pins and install a set of Ebony ones.

Tusq is a fine material, my Gibson has a Tusq nut and bridge saddle as well as Tusq bridge pins.

I replaced the Tusq with Ebony and observed more warmth in the tone immediately.

Reversing this would be an easy and inexpensive mod. You could also buy bone bridge pins which

would do the same thing, with more organic elegance.

 

For even more organic elegance, try fossil Walrus Ivory, or fossil Mammoth Ivory bridge pins.

These are $$$$$$$$$$ of course, but I can't help being fascinated by the idea. *grins

 

But I'm very happy with the ebony pins, they have tamed a bit of the brightness of my new Gibson,

and I'm loving the music she makes.

 

Time will do the rest. Also, since my guitar is so new and shiny and all, I'm sure she needs a few more

"tone notches" which is how we refer to the dings and scratches that accidentally accumulate on a

wooden instrument. I have ONE such 'tone notch" dinged into the lovely spruce top of my guitar,

caused when I dropped a needle nose plier that I was using to clip my new strings, and it bounced

off the floor right into the top of my new guitar... with a THUNK.

 

Don't we hate that sound? The first one hurts the worst, I confess. I know, if you really want to

improve the tone of a new acoustic, you have to drag it down a dirt road behind your truck.

But I ain't doing that. I'm trying to protect her, so she gets her tone notches one at a time, and

only when I ain't looking.

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Don't we hate that sound? The first one hurts the worst, I confess.

 

Tone notches... I actually named my first 'Rays Divot' after kid blast. We were at a bar rocking out in full leathers and he started throwing beer bottles around, then some guy came at us with brass knuckles. KB clocked him, but his hand flew out and smashed my guitar, leaving 'Rays Divot'. It was either that or I dropped a sound hole pickup he suggested I get when I was removing it, can't remember which.

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If it's dark sounding, try D'Addario EXP 80/20 to give it more zing. If you want to go the other way, try Martin Lifespans. Both great sounding wires at either end of the tonal spectrum.

 

In the middle are standard D'Addario PBs, DRs and off the peg Martins. The new formula Martin SPs are somewhere off the scale, they sounded horribly bright and thin on my usually warm and plummy J180.

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Hey you Maple owners I would be very appreciative of your input on what strings you prefer. I have a 2007 J185 quilted and it just doesn't sound the way I would like it to. I'm just a front porch player but I love this forum. there are a lot of great players with an abundance of Gibson knowledge' Thanks for the help

thank you all for the input I'm going to try the John Pearse 12's PB. will let y'all know the outcome.

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