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My new favorite acoustic Strings: Martin Retros

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,402
And right now Musicians Friend has them for $4.99 a set (been that price for a fews weeks, don't know how long it'll last).

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/martin-mm12-retro-series-light-acoustic-guitar-strings?source=3WWRWXG9&gclid=CMmGntawvccCFQYvaQodY80LpQ&kwid=dynamicsearchads-device^c-account^Musicians+Friend+@ADL4+Google+@ADL4+US-campaign^[ADL]+[Non@ADL4Brand]+[US]+[Enhanced]+Test+@ADL4+Keywordless-adid^75067330940-adgroup^Dynamic+Search+Ad+Group#productDetail

They are "crafted from a long-lasting proprietary nickel based alloy blend". I'm surprised how much I like them but one caveat, I play w/ flesh and nail. I don't know if they'd be too bright for flat picking or metal finger picks but they really improved one of my Martin OOs in volume, response and tone.

I'd been using Martin lifespans (but I've tried lot's of different brands), the Retros are very different in a good way. Less strings noise, easy to play, more of the fundamental note and less overtones (which for my taste is fine) and they seem to last a long time without being teated or coated. I've had my Retros on for a couple months of daily playing and they still sound great.

 
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zombywoof

Member
Messages
4,467
I bought some sets from MF. Like you I do not use picks. I threw the first set on a mid-1950s Epiphone flattop. The jury is still out but thus far while I like them I am not thinking they will replace the John Pearce Pure Nickel Wound strings I usually use.
 
Messages
979
And right now Musicians Friend has them for $4.99 a set (been that price for a fews weeks, don't know how long it'll last).

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/martin-mm12-retro-series-light-acoustic-guitar-strings?source=3WWRWXG9&gclid=CMmGntawvccCFQYvaQodY80LpQ&kwid=dynamicsearchads-device^c-account^Musicians+Friend+@ADL4+Google+@ADL4+US-campaign^[ADL]+[Non@ADL4Brand]+[US]+[Enhanced]+Test+@ADL4+Keywordless-adid^75067330940-adgroup^Dynamic+Search+Ad+Group#productDetail

They are "crafted from a long-lasting proprietary nickel based alloy blend". I'm surprised how much I like them but one caveat, I play w/ flesh and nail. I don't know if they'd be too bright for flat picking or metal finger picks but they really improved one of my Martin OOs in volume, response and tone.

I'd been using Martin lifespans (but I've tried lot's of different brands), the Retros are very different in a good way. Less strings noise, easy to play, more of the fundamental note and less overtones (which for my taste is fine) and they seem to last a long time without being teated or coated. I've had my Retros on for a couple months of daily playing and they still sound great.

Hey, Steve! Doin' OK? These are the same strings that Gibson made for so long. (Bluegrass/genius) Tony Rice has had string deals with Vinci, D'Arco (I think) and a couple of other folks. But he's now singing the praises of Martin's monel strings. Ever since bronze-wound strings came out, Gibson's sales on these plummeted, and I have no idea how these strings perform. We had a choice--Gibson monel, or Black Diamonds--great strings for dobro. But I can see where these would emphasize the fundamental, with fewer overtones. I'll have to try a few. Tell Dr. Goodsell hello. Or, something that sounds like me...
 

guitararmy

Member
Messages
2,646
I recently discovered the Retro strings, and currently have them on a mahogany Masterbilt AJ500M and and old Martin dread, as well as on a Rainsong.
They seem to sound best on guitars that don't sound good with either PB or 80/20 strings. Very direct sounding.
 

terrapin

Member
Messages
4,067
The best of worlds is to have a good Mahogany backed/sides guitar with Retros and another Rosewood backed/sides guitar with Bronze or PB strings. I love nickel strings on acoustic guitar, but at the same time would not want to be without one with Bronze strings when I want the expanded harmonic content and sustain.
 

Akwingnut

Member
Messages
433
I haven't tried the Retros per se (only because I use Mediums), but I frequently use Martin Tony Rice Monels (same strings, but in medium) on both my D-28 and my D-18. I love 'em!
 
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Crazyquilt

Guitar Dad
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,505
I've been using the Tony Rice set on my wood bodied National for a while now. I have been less successful in finding a flat top that they work well with, but I'm going to throw a set on my Waterloo (spruce,mahogany,ladder braced) on the next string change, as I've heard very good things about the combination.
 

0018g

Member
Messages
1,902
I've got 'em on one of my D-28's, and I've ordered more to try on my '57 C&W. So far, so good.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,402
I thought they sounded great on a dreadnaught and not as good on other instruments.
I have mine on two OO sized Martins, one w/ a spruce top, the other all Mahogany and the Retros work great for me on smaller bodied guitars. I don't own a dreadnaught, so I'm no help there.

The guitar that benefited the most was the Martin OO-15c w/ mahogany w/ spruce. It's a short scale 14 fret cutaway. I've loved the way it plays and it didn't have any real tonal issues, string balance is good, no weak spots up the neck, but the Retros made a transformation to the guitar. Increase the volume noticeably and gave the guitar some needed punch. I think one reason is the fundamental is strong in the Retros, there are less overtones and it happened to be exactly what this particular guitar needed.

On the Martin OO-15m all mahogany, the change wasn't so pronounced. Still I like them on that guitar as well. It's a untreated and uncoated string that lasts a long time. This is my gig acoustic w/ a Sunrise and I've yet to plug it up w/ the Retros.
 
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Cameleye

Member
Messages
5
I use the TR mediums on my '13 J-45. Like 'em better than bronze or pbs.
Also use Ernie Ball "Not Even Slinkys" which are another medium nickel coated steel string.
 

0018g

Member
Messages
1,902
My initial feeling is that I like these better on my Country And Western than I do on my D-28. They're ok on the Martin, but they really sound better on the slope shouldered Gibby.
 

Crowder

Dang Twangler
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
19,084
Thanks for the notification on the deal. I ordered three sets and put one on my Martin 00-18V right away. I like them so far for a combination of fingerstyle and flatpicking. No downsides yet that I can hear. I'll see how they last. May try a set on my SC D/PW.
 

tammuz7000

Member
Messages
254
I put them on my D15 all mahogany guitar and they were ok. I kept them on for 10 days then got tired of them. I had a few others play them and they were not sold on them. They seemed way too metallic for me. I went to martin FX lights and got back the Martin sound I was after. Normally I use ej16 on the D15 but now really liking the martin FX.

Tom
 




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