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New J-45, first string change


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I brought home my J-45 about two weeks ago and am adjusting to the size. It’s bigger than other guitars I’ve owned.  I’m a 1.5 year beginner  but have a few insights and questions.

This guitar has a big bold woody sound that I’m really starting to appreciate. We had some dinner guests last night who have been after me to play my guitar for them. I’m loath to do this as a beginner and find it intimidating. I did it anyway. I also have a Martin GP35E and this is the guitar I started to play. After a while they ask to see the J-45 so I played it for them. All attendees said they preferred the J-45 sound over the Martin. I’m so comfortable playing the Martin and familiar with the sound it surprised me they preferred the J-45. They commented on the bigger bass and more volume.  I had the guitar strung with John Pierce 720ML. These are a medium / light combination. 
Today I changed strings and seeing others that recommended Martin Retro MM12 lights I put a set on the J-45. Im not sure what to say about these strings. At first I thought I didn’t like them but then I played them more and really started to like them. I’m not sure if they are brighter or maybe louder but I think they’re pretty cool sounding. Are there any others that have used these strings on a J-45 that could give their interpretation of the sound. I’d also appreciate any other string recommendations you might share.

After two weeks, paying more attention to my posture while playing I’m really starting to appreciate this guitar. Sometimes things just start to feel right, it reinvigorates me to learn and play more, nice!

Edited by jschmitz54
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I've  been a big fan of D'Addarios's XT's   for a long time. I put them on every acoustic I own. Recently I put Gibson acoustic strings on my J-15, and  WHAM I was impressed. Now the down side. After 3 weeks they need replacing. I get a least a month or longer on the D's

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Congrats on your new J45!  Kudos to you for playing for your friends as well.  It takes guts.  You'll be surprised how much you can grow when playing in front of or with others.

I'm all in on the Martin Retro's on my mahogany guitars.  Personally, I loathe the sound of fresh Retro's, but I love the sound of them after they break in.  For that reason, I have a Tonerite (not trying to start an argument about it's merits) that I use solely to break in the Retro's after a string change.  24 hours on the Tonerite and they're good to go.

I find them bright and harsh before break-in.  After, I find them colorless in that they simply let the guitar speak for it's self without adding their own flavor so to speak.  On my guitars, I get a nice, dry, woody sound out of them.

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Dinner guests are first. Next comes an open mic....

That said, I know some people love their light-gauge strings, but as a guy who has owned a couple of '45s over the years, the guitar needs mediums. At least that is the opinion of this gentle herald. You've got that nice big top, and it needs to vibrate. Lights just don't move it enough.

If you want your J-45 to live up to its potential, go with mediums. Then start scouting open mics in your area....

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