Strings for Gibson J-35 / J-45 that will last

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Magnets And Melodies, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Magnets And Melodies

    Magnets And Melodies Member

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    Hi!

    I am currently using the Gibson Master Built 12's and 13's on my J35 and J45.

    The "problem" I'm running into is that they really don't last very long at all untill they start sounding dead. A couple weeks at most.

    Can anybody suggest a string that sounds similar or better, and lasts much longer? What do you guys use?
     
  2. Doc3

    Doc3 Member

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    I like the Thomaskik-Infeld Plectrum strings. They are a bit pricey, but last longer than the strings I previously used and I like the sound.
     
  3. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    Honestly I don't know of ANY non-coated string ( with my frequent playing, be it playing daily at home, bluegrass jams, weekly gig) that last me longer than a few weeks- would not expect them too.
    But I also don't mind the sound of my guitar with 'dead' strings. As long as it holds tune, it still has a good warm tone, just not as bright; but some folks may not like this sound.

    I do really like the sound of Elixirs Phosphor Bronze Nanoweb ( 12-53 or 54) They have a rich bright tone and plenty of volume, and they stay in tune, and hold a strong, sustained tone a very long time- even a month or longer!
    If you can live with the slightly slick feel of the wound strings ( my fingertips with my thick calluses will actually slip off sometimes, so I do have a bit of an issue) I find these to be a great string. But I've never tried the 'extended play' coated strings of other brands like Martin, Cleartone, D'ADDARIOS...
     
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  4. joeprs

    joeprs Member

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    I've mentioned this in other threads before, and it might sound strange. Your body pH can have an effect on how long your strings last. If you're acidic, which is not good, your strings will corrode way faster than if your pH is alkaline. If you're interested in learning more, let me know.
     
  5. Adagietto

    Adagietto Supporting Member

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    To me, strings segue through three phases: 1) the initial bright sizzle that lasts for a few hours to several days, 2) a longer period where they've settled in and mellowed, and 3) the end, when they sound or feel dead, or have enough fret wear that they don't play in tune or intonate. My guess is that strings may last me 40-50 hours of play time.

    Another way strings can go dead is from whatever is on ones hands, including dead skin, skin oil, etc. Cleaning the gunk out with a string cleaner can get some extra life out of them. FWIW, I start to tarnish plain strings in just 15 minutes, but they last until the frets kill 'em or I just feel like putting a fresh set on. Maybe others are more corrosive.

    Elixer Nanos probably sound the most consistent to me through the cycle. I don't happen to prefer the sound, whether PB or 80/20, but others do. You might look at the coated D'Addario EXPs. My experience with them is limited.

    I like Martin Retro Monels, D' nickel bronze, and EB aluminum bronze due to their more fundamental tones — the Monels being a little drier/less bright. These reportedly tend to last longer than PB or 80/20, but I can't say as I usually change strings before they're dead. All of these are a bit of change-up from the more common PB and 80/20, so some acclimatization may be in order.

    The new Martin titanium strings are supposed to last a long while, at a price. A guy on AGF has had a set on for over three months now and says they still sound great and stay in tune.
     
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  6. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    I use Elixir Nanoweb 80-20 lights, they keep their tone for months. Works out cheaper than changing uncoated strings every couple of weeks. I've had a set on my LL16 for over two months and they still sound fresh with a couple of hours playing every day.​
     
  7. lamboy1

    lamboy1 Member

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    i really like the martin monels on my J-45
    more than daddario nickel bronze
     
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  8. Johnny21

    Johnny21 Supporting Member

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    I use Elixirs PB 11-52. They sound great and last a long time.
     
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  9. rowdyyates

    rowdyyates Supporting Member

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    Another vote for Elixir Nanowebs. John Pearse Phosphor Bronze would be dead in four hours playing on a warm afternoon/evening. The Elixirs last months.
    They are the best thing to come along, for me.
     
  10. caldera

    caldera Member

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    I use Elixir phosphor bronze light, but any of these coated strings are probably about even.

    The best thing to do is probably to wash and dry your hands before playing and wipe the strings down when you're done playing.
     
  11. joeprs

    joeprs Member

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    This
     
  12. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    I like the Martin SP Longlife (pretty sure that's the name). They don't feel or sound coated to me, but they last.
     
  13. rmconner80

    rmconner80 Cantankerous Luddite Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a few Gibsons and really don't care for the sound of less than fresh strings on these guitars as they are already quite warm and thuddy sounding. I use the PB (hate the 80/20).

    Also my pH is terrible for metals. I usually have utterly destroyed a set of strings for my purposes by the end of a 3 hour gig. If it's outdoors like yesterday... probably half that!

    Couple of weeks? Wow...

    The only strings I've found that last longer are coated, and they aren't really economical.
     
  14. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    just my opinion but I think Elixirs really bumped up their pedigree, first with the nanoweb, and then when they came out with the phosphor bronze string, because they hadn't done that initially, actually not for many years. I think they are great sounding strings, I just kind of have contact issues with them, a little slippery
     
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  15. Mike R.

    Mike R. Supporting Member

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    Martin Monels last forever for me on my J45.
     
  16. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    Are they a bright string, not overly metallic but at least clear on the low strings?
    will they at least hold a little bit of brightness for a long time?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  17. Adagietto

    Adagietto Supporting Member

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    Different folks call different things bright. The Monels, to me, are warm and clear. I'm not one to see how long I can make strings last, but others say longevity is good. I've had a set on one guitar for three weeks and they're holding steady. I might leave them on for a couple more weeks, but am itching to try nickel bronze on this guitar.

    If concerned about brightness, D'Addario nickel bronze might be a good alternative. Besides standard sets, they're available in balanced tension sets with tweaked gauges.
     
  18. Rich b in tempe

    Rich b in tempe Member

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    Ok, when i got my Jean Larrivee LVO3 lefthanded, i decided on trying EVERY BRAND OF STRINGS ON THE MARKET FOR LONG LASTING GREAT TONE!!! Stacks & stacks-& piles of EVERYTHING U COULD POSSABLY REQUEST OR REQUIRE, ive settled on ELIXER nano web bronze wound custom lite!! Yes they do go thru a " break-in" period, but once they settle, they sound pretty good, considering how long they last!!
     
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  19. Mike R.

    Mike R. Supporting Member

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    No not bright. They have (to me) a nice vintage tone without being dull or dead sounding. The lows are clear. In fact clear is the word I'd use to describe them. Clear but not bright or metallic.
     
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  20. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    May have to try them. Despite owning a Martin, I've never liked Martin strings; had prior experiences with strings tension feeling tight ( not giving when bending/vibrato/picking, or corrosion).
    I know these are a different alloy, and seems like Bluegrass folks like them
     

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