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Martin Nickel Brass or D’Addario Nickel Bronze


Paul14
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I did try the D'Addario NB some time ago and while I cannot recall the specifics, I do know I was unimpressed.  Of course, this may have everything to do with the fact that the NBs were a detour from the Martin Retros I had been using regularly at the time.  I can tell you that, as the name of both of your suggested sets imply, these are nickel plated wound strings, brass being pretty much 80/20 and bronze being phosphor bronze.  Martin's Retros are a pure nickel winding and not a plated alloy.  If you're looking to test your guitars' tone with nickel, I'd recommend the Retros for the full effect.

As an aside, after playing Retros for a couple years on my J45, I have recently gone back to phosphor bronze.........but the set of Gibson 80/20 on there now are quite nice.

Edited by Buc McMaster
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Paul,  I have tried both. The Retros are nice... but you have to wait a week. They do not sound good out of the chute. Too Brash.

I actually loved the D'Addario Nickel Bronze lights on my hummingbird-y guitars. I also thought they really toned down my Martin rosewood dreads (HD-28 D-35) at the time. That's what I wanted - to tame the overtones. These were a nice  choice for that as well.

 

What guitar are you thinking of for these string sets? 

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2 hours ago, Salfromchatham said:

Paul,  I have tried both. The Retros are nice... but you have to wait a week. They do not sound good out of the chute. Too Brash.

I actually loved the D'Addario Nickel Bronze lights on my hummingbird-y guitars. I also thought they really toned down my Martin rosewood dreads (HD-28 D-35) at the time. That's what I wanted - to tame the overtones. These were a nice  choice for that as well.

 

What guitar are you thinking of for these string sets? 

Thinking of my J-45, & J-45 Rosewood. I’ll deal with the Maples later, as I just put new strings on those.

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I've had a set of Monels on my maple b/s L-00 for 7 months, and yesterday I thought they sounded the best yet!  Put a set of Elixir Nano's on my Crossroads a few months ago and they've begun to wear in sweetly.  Just takes some time with the varying humidity and temp for those old woods to settle in😎

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When I put the Martin Retro's on my Hummingbird it was like a match made in heaven. That was back in late December and there still on the Bird. I play everyday as long as I want to now I'm retired so the Retro"s have gotten a lot of work. I tried them on my HD28 but while they were ok other sets have sounded better. The D'Addirio N B I've tried a couple times on my HD28 to I thought they were a little brighter on the high end and the bass was really deep a good thump. I might give them a try on my new Eastman E8D.

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9 hours ago, John Joseph said:

When I put the Martin Retro's on my Hummingbird it was like a match made in heaven. That was back in late December and there still on the Bird. I play everyday as long as I want to now I'm retired so the Retro"s have gotten a lot of work. I tried them on my HD28 but while they were ok other sets have sounded better. The D'Addirio N B I've tried a couple times on my HD28 to I thought they were a little brighter on the high end and the bass was really deep a good thump. I might give them a try on my new Eastman E8D.

I’ve never like brass on Rosewood. That’s why I went with the D’Addirio’s on the J-45 Rosewood . I’m pretty happy so far. Will probably try the retro’s on either my J-50, or my J-45 mahogany. I’m also happy with the 11’s the only difference I can tell is it’s a little easier on the fingers. 

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I've tried the Retros only one time. It was on my SJ. I did not leave them on. All's I remember from it was not so much a tone thing, but a feeling I got from them. A strange combination of being taken just past my action comfort zone and the feeling like my guitar was angry due to small extra bit of tension. I wish I could remember for sure if I thought they were too bright or not. 

I landed on the NBs, but not directly. I had a set of Elixer PBs on it in between the two. The NBs have been good with the one exception of being a little bright on certain plectrum materials - and not in a good way.  3 of 4 have the d'add NBs on it right now, fwiw. The 4th, my Hummingbird, just got an experimental set of DR Sunbeams.

Perhaps I will try Retros again. I've replaced extremely loose bridge pins, changed out the saddle and files my nut slots down close to specs on that guitar.

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