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So  I decided I needed some more Wegen BG100 picks and my local guy didn't have any.

When I searched, Strings and Beyond came up and I'd never ordered there before so looked around a bit. To qualify for free shipping I thought I'd get some strings.

Most of you know I've used GHS 80/20's since they quit making the  Masterbuilts for Gibson, which is several years now. I've never liked Phosphor Bronze strings, I know many of you do and I respect your opinions. I've grown to dislike coated strings as well, although I've used them in the past and am still getting rid of some old spares/leftovers.

So I notice the GHS Vintage Bronze 85/15 are only 5.98 (7.29 at Sweetwater) at Strings and Beyond, and I've never tried them, so I ordered some...

I put a set on my 2003 J-45 Rosewood/Ebony yesterday and spent a few hours with them. I dig em'. There is a misconception (to me) that 80/20's are "bright" and that Phosphor Bronze is "warm" and all descriptions about tone are law, as if ALL ACOUSTIC GUITARS can fit into a single word category and that tone itself can be described with ONE SINGLE WORD.....

Phosphor Bronze strings always sounded tinny to me with overtones that sound like a rattle to my ears. I tried a set of stainless strings back in my electric Les Paul/Marshall half stack days when I was still in Louisiana because the humidity was so consistently high down there only to take them off after about 10 minutes. They sounded horrible for me. It was noticeable immediately. That is the only thing I can compare with how my ears hear Phosphor/tin. Overtones that shouldn't be there. To me...

GHS has a chart from "bright" to "mellow" and these strings fall over on the far right mellow end of the chart. They don't sound "mellow" to me. The are very rounded and articulate with a pleasing punch when pushed on a rosewood acoustic with an ebony bridge and fretboard and a Wegen 1.0 pick. I don't have much of a reference because the J-45 has had Elixirs on it for 6 months, and my "take out" guitar has been the J-15 for the last 6/8 months. I can't compare the J-15 and the J-45 side by side (the J-15 has new 80/20's on it) because the guitars are so different in build, walnut/rosewood, etc. I mean, I could, but the character of the two guitars don't allow a fair comparison of the two string types.

So, for now, all I can say is that I really like the 85/15's in this early stage of the experiment. I haven't plugged in, or mic'ed them yet, and I have multiple acoustic rigs for many different gigging locations and scenarios as most of you know. 

Thought I would share.

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Well, , , guess we should hear them then - via a decent recording set-up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe a couple of days or a week from now when then they fall into place.

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12 hours ago, E-minor7 said:

Well, , , guess we should hear them then - via a decent recording set-up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Ain't falling for it.

You're trying to trick me into work.

I'm married......

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On 7/3/2023 at 8:02 AM, Murph said:

Most of you know I've used GHS 80/20's since  . .  .

I must've missed that issue of Guitar Player Magazine.


But seriously, having had two J-45 R's, it sounds like the 85/15's would be a great combination with the rosewood '45. As far as phosphor bronze, how could a phosphor-coated string not be a little more mellow sounding than an 80/20? But- when those 80/20's (or 85/15's) get settled in, who knows. Then it's up to the player.

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  • 2 months later...


I like them a lot and will be ordering more. They punch through just fine at an "all acoustic" (no amps) jam I do a few times a month but retain a fat/full tone.

They will be going on the J-15 next, as well, and I will update as that experiment progresses.

I'm pretty set in my ways and it's unusual when I make a change.

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32 minutes ago, E-minor7 said:


                                                                      So far, so good - eeehh, was the gauge ever mentioned. . 

I use 12/54's

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