String Suggestion for a Gibson J-45?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by guitarplayer, Feb 15, 2009.


  1. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Member

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    I recently bought a Gibson J-45 which has such a warm tone - I love it! I just replaced the stock strings (which I think are Gibson PB lights) with my all time favorite John Pierce PB lights. I've been using the John Pierce PBs for years on my Taylor 810 and have always loved them but I really don't like them at all on the J-45. They sound way too bright and the guitar just doesn't have the same warm tone. I know that new strings will sound brighter but I just don't think these strings sound anywhere near as good as the stock Gibson strings. Just wondering for those of you who have a J-45 what you've found to be the best string and gauge for that guitar? I never thought I'd suspect that a particular string would sound great on one guitar but not so great on another. :NUTS I appreciate any recommendations you might have!
     
  2. westchesterdave

    westchesterdave Member

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    I have a Gibson Southern Jumbo and have been using Pearse Phosphor Bronze on it since it was new and have been very pleased especially after the initial brightness goes away. Every guitar is different of course, you may want to do some experimenting. D'Addarios are very popular as are Martin SPs.

    Although I can't recommend them because I don't use them you may want to try an 80/20 string.
     
  3. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Member

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    What is the 80/20 string?
     
  4. westchesterdave

    westchesterdave Member

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    80/20 strings are bronze wound, like phosphor bronze, but the bronze itself is a different formula than PB.

    I've heard some varying opinions about the difference...Some people say they are brighter and some people say they are more mellow. In my opinion they start off brighter but lose their tone faster than Phosphor Bronze. While not as popular as PB strings we sell a lot of 80/20 sets.

    It's your guitar and your opinion that counts...Try a set. D'Addario makes a good set, regular Martin, Martin Marquis and SPs are all available 80/20 as are John Pearse.

    Happy Hunting
     
  5. Cybercat

    Cybercat Member

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    I've tried several brands on my '06 Gibson Roy Smeck reissue which has the same body as the J-45, but is a 12-fretter with the soundhole/bridge shifted down south a-ways to give a richer deeper tone. The best strings I've found for rich warmth & balanced brightness (not too much, & with a very nice bass-boost) are the Thomastik Infeld "Spectrum" series.

    I've mostly used .011 or .012 sets of strings on my acoustics before, but I've found the 24.75" scale & easy action on the Smeck allows me to use Spectrum .013s on this guitar, which give a very 'big' sound.
    (Spectrums have a round-core, not hex, so are more easily bendable & feel lower tension than most other strings).

    Despite the lower tension they are very playable in dropped tunings (one singer I work with likes me to detune 2-semitones, & then on some numbers drop various strings further to open G) ...& when tuned this way they have even more of the extremely full tone.

    Not as cheap as many brands, but they do last a very long time for me - even as long as Snake Oils (current set has been on there since early December, even though I play that guitar every single day, from just 40-50 mins. up to a couple of hours or more, & then around 3 hours on gigs).

    Hope this is useful - give them a try!
     
  6. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Gold Supporting Member

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    i use john pearse 720ML strings on my j45.

    String gauge: E - .013, B - .018, G - .022, D - .032, A - .042, E - .052
     

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