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Martin SP 7100 - need strings less noisy for recording


Silver Supporting Member
I play a Martin OM-28 and have been using Martin strings for a few years. I really like the sound of the Martin SP 7100's, and their longevity, but now I'm going to start doing some studio work, and find that the 7100's are really noisy when mic'ing with a condenser.

Any suggestions for alternative strings that record well? Or do I just need to spray something on my strings to make them less noisy?


Coated strings are less squeaky, but I don't really like them-many people do. First I'd try different mic angles, and playing louder. Playing louder is key because the more sound your guitar is putting out, the less mic gain you need so you won't notice the squeaks. Also, be careful with compression and EQ.


Silver Supporting Member
Try the Lifespan version of the Martin SP or Elixirs are always a good option. I use both.


D'Addario phosphor bronze. More output helps overwhelm noise, as Brien said, and these are powerful and bright. Been using these since they came out in 1974. Their EFT17 Flat Tops are semi-flat wound (flat on the outside) reducing noise further. No coating -- the flat surface makes it unnecessary.

And likewise to RockinB23, Elixers are darn fine strings, the only one to woo me away from D'Addario P/B's in all these years. Their P/B's are round but coated, but the coating doesn't detract. I've not tried their bronze because bronze always seems to stretch out and go dead sooner. But they claim theirs lasts longer. If I used any bronze I'd expect to change them more often. But if you're recoding, perhaps it'd be worth it to get the early life brighter sound. I use their super lights (.009) for electrics and they do last longer than any others I've used, even .012s.

And if it's the cordoury-pants sound of your fingers rubbing up and down, try this: rub the side of your hand up and down a few times. Less noise because it's softer. Sure, callouses make you able to play longer, but they get hard. Try moistening them. Best thing for it is generic urea cream, comes in 10%, 20% and 40%. It doesn't oily you up, it soaks in and makes your skin absorb more of your own body's water, and they get softer themselves naturally. No residue like hand lotions, as long as you let it soak in (use it after playing, not before). If the 40% can turn boot wearing multi-mile hiking quarter inch thick foot-bottom callouses soft again, it'll do your fingers a treat. It'll also keep them from peeling off as they sometimes do.

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