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#2965842 - 12/30/18 10:27 PM Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven!
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Another brilliant surprise today, as I got my Eastman Dreadnought Guitar back from setup work for switching for perfectly fine default D'addario coated phosphor bronze strings to Tony Rice signature Monel strings from Martin. What a transformation; even more so than with the similar Monel strings placed on my Guild M-20 (Nick Drake guitar) recently.

Every note is so articulate and focused, without being piercing or bright. And no boom at all! This is what I have always wanted a Dreadnought to sound like! Usually they're a challenge in the studio, but now I am looking forward to using this one, and it sounds so different from my other guitars that it is already inspiring new playing styles. It takes a bit more strength to play, but that's not much of a challenge for a bass player.
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#2965860 - 12/31/18 04:17 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Mark Schmieder]
whitefang Offline
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idk
As probably 90+% of acoustics used are dreadnoughts, I've always been confused as to what this "challenge" is supposed to be. I've actually only heard a small number make any complaint. So anyway.....

What is it that's supposed to make the big difference in these strings?

And what's the comparison price-wise?

As they're MARTIN strings, they're likely to be more costly( based on personal experience), and price too, is never indicative of quality, regardless the product. wink
Whitefang
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#2965877 - 12/31/18 06:27 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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@ Mark, I tried the Martin Monel Retro Acoustic 11-52's. They run about $9.00 a set, which is a normal price for a decent set of strings. (@ Fang, Martin does make much cheaper acoustic sets down to $5.00 a set). I have never owned a dreadnought and have no idea how well the Monel strings would improve the sound. On my acoustics, they didn't impress me all that much and I moved on. I was hoping they would squeak less, but they are about the same as other brands that I have tried...if they get the sound you are looking for Mark, stick with them! cool


Edited by Larryz (12/31/18 06:32 AM)
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#2965881 - 12/31/18 06:41 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Larryz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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I use Martin Silk & Steel strings on my Ovation, gives it a nice warm sound. Haven't tried Nickel strings on Acoustic?
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#2965885 - 12/31/18 06:58 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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@ Winston, I have GHS "Rollerwound" pure nickel strings on both of my acoustics (and all of my electrics) as I found the gauge I like 10-50's in the electric sets. These are Eric Johnson's signature set. They have an unwound 3rd and get a whole lot less squeak than the regular acoustic sets. I really like them and I like being able to use the same gauge on all my guitars. Plus, they don't turn your fingers black and there is no need for coated strings.

Tonight, I will be jamming with my old band mates from '65 using our acoustic guitars. I'll see how well (unplugged) they stand up to the acoustic sets my buddy uses as far as the volumes go. For the most part, my acoustic guitars are always plugged in, so using nickel strings works fine for me. cool


Edited by Larryz (12/31/18 06:59 AM)
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#2965897 - 12/31/18 07:27 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Larryz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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I have an old (mid-80's?), broken-in Alvarez Dreadnought (MIJ), that was modeled after a Martin design, I don't recall which? Next string change, I'll try some of the Monels, see how they sound and feel.
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#2965909 - 12/31/18 08:03 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Mark Schmieder]
d / halfnote Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder
Another brilliant surprise today, as I got my Eastman Dreadnought Guitar back from setup work for switching for perfectly fine default D'addario coated phosphor bronze strings to Tony Rice signature Monel strings from Martin. What a transformation; even more so than with the similar Monel strings placed on my Guild M-20 (Nick Drake guitar) recently.

Every note is so articulate and focused, without being piercing or bright. And no boom at all! This is what I have always wanted a Dreadnought to sound like! Usually they're a challenge in the studio, but now I am looking forward to using this one, and it sounds so different from my other guitars that it is already inspiring new playing styles. It takes a bit more strength to play, but that's not much of a challenge for a bass player.


Good on ya, lad !
Come back in a few weeks & tell us how they wear, OK ?
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#2965999 - 12/31/18 05:44 PM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: d / halfnote]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
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They're supposed to last forever. :-) Kinda like flatwounds.

Dreadnoughts are notorious for boom. Low frequency buildup is the bane of a producer (and a bassist as well, as it steps on our territory). But it can be great for a singer-songwriter at a cafe gig, unaccompanied.

When I see a guitar described as a "cannon", I know it's not for me.

I got rid of my Taylor a few years ago after discovering how inconsistent they are across the frequency spectrum (regardless of strings), and how poorly they cut through a mix. Yet the very things that make them bad in the studio can make them perfect for a folk/rock/indie gig.

The silk and steel strings on my "00" from Larivee, are also supposed to last a long time. So far so good, but "long time" is relative and those of us who are bassists have a completely different standard for what makes something a long-lasting string as well as what should be considered pricey (I have yet to find a set of guitar strings that gave me pause due to price, unlike bass strings).


Edited by Mark Schmieder (01/01/19 01:42 PM)
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#2966034 - 01/01/19 03:58 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Mark Schmieder]
whitefang Offline
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I can't post pics, the best I can do is put up this clip---

https://youtu.be/nLKtX-qZWpw

Whenever I mention( and often do) my old Epiphone FT-145, THIS is the model I own, it's body style described as "dreadnought".

Somehow I get the idea when somebody ELSE uses that term, they're describing something other than this body style. wink

Can't though, figure out why that dude tied that strap on behind the nut at the headboard because as you can see, there's a peg on the neck side of the body for fastening one end of a strap.
Whitefang


Edited by whitefang (01/01/19 04:04 AM)
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#2966045 - 01/01/19 06:28 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: whitefang]
picker Offline
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For a very long time, I couldn't abide the sound of any acoustic that didn't have that big dreadnought boom. Jumbos like a Gibson J-200 or Guild JF-30 were just as good, maybe even better, especially in a solo setting. They sounded so rich and full, I couldn't imagine a more perfect acoustic guitar tone. Smaller guitars sounded cheap to me.

But a few years back, I started appreciating the sound of dobros. From there it wasn't much of a jump to parlor guitars, and then I discovered the further difference in tone between 14 and 12 fret guitars. It's subtle, but it's there.

And, I realized that the thinner, more nasal tone of a small bodied guitar fits better in ensemble settings. They aren't competing with the bass and drums for their part of the overall frequency spectrum a band is generating. It makes getting a good band recording easier, and mixing a lot more simple

I still like the sound of jumbos and dreadnoughts, but it's not the ONLY acceptable sound for an acoustic guitar to my ear, or even the right sound in any given setting.
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#2966083 - 01/01/19 01:24 PM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: picker]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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like
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#2966087 - 01/01/19 01:47 PM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 9397
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
They all have their place, as do the different string types. When I expanded my collection to different shapes and sizes over the past few years, I knew that they would all also get further distinguished with different string types, after first being broken in on the "known sound" of D'addario Phosphor Bronze (coated or uncoated; the EJ's and EXP's are fairly similar).

I was a bit scared about these three recent bold experiments (monel on Eastman hog/spruce 14-fret dreadnought and on Guild all-hog M-20 tiny 14-fret guitar; silk & steel on "00" 12-fret from Larivee), but all three of them FAR exceeded my most optimistic expectations!

At the same time, the simple "standard" D'addario EXL's are so perfect on my rosewood "0" 12-fret from Eastman, that the most daring I might get with that one is to switch to the uncoated EJ's.


Edited by Mark Schmieder (01/01/19 01:48 PM)
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#2966195 - 01/02/19 04:24 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: picker]
whitefang Offline
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Originally Posted By: picker
For a very long time, I couldn't abide the sound of any acoustic that didn't have that big dreadnought boom. Jumbos like a Gibson J-200 or Guild JF-30 were just as good, maybe even better, especially in a solo setting. They sounded so rich and full, I couldn't imagine a more perfect acoustic guitar tone. Smaller guitars sounded cheap to me.

But a few years back, I started appreciating the sound of dobros. From there it wasn't much of a jump to parlor guitars, and then I discovered the further difference in tone between 14 and 12 fret guitars. It's subtle, but it's there.

And, I realized that the thinner, more nasal tone of a small bodied guitar fits better in ensemble settings. They aren't competing with the bass and drums for their part of the overall frequency spectrum a band is generating. It makes getting a good band recording easier, and mixing a lot more simple

I still like the sound of jumbos and dreadnoughts, but it's not the ONLY acceptable sound for an acoustic guitar to my ear, or even the right sound in any given setting.


Well, I suppose, when reading or hearing the term "boom" used to describe any sound, I think in "audiophile" terms in which "boom" refers more towards a preponderance of loud, hollow and "muddled" sounding bass( NOT desirable) and in guitar terms( IMHO) the JUMBO style bodies have much more of than dreadnoughts. To others, "boom" might more refer to volume. And dreadnoughts certainly do have more of that than smaller, "parlor" model guitars.
Whitefang
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#2966279 - 01/02/19 11:06 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: whitefang]
Scott Fraser Offline
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To me 'boominess' is a pejorative used to describe the muddying effect of a preponderance of energy in the octave above the lowest bass range in any instrument. It's not, to my ear, too much bass, it's too much of the first harmonic of the bass range which muddies things up & calls up the term 'boomy'.
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#2966467 - 01/03/19 04:27 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Scott Fraser]
whitefang Offline
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rolleyes

Don't really seem that "simplifying" things is in your wheelhouse, eh? wink
Whitefang
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#2966510 - 01/03/19 08:41 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Reporting back on the nickel electric vs bronze acoustic strings. The nickel did not keep up volume wise. I was playing a Taylor 416 and my buddy was playing his old Ovation Balladeer. Perhaps having nickel strings (which are basically what the Martin Monel strings are i.e. nickel alloy) on a Dreadnought would work better as the dreads have more volume. Mine may have worked better if I had a heavier gauge 11-52's instead of my 10-50's. Or, if we would have been plugged in I know mine would keep up just fine.


I found my unused pack of Martin 11-52's Monel strings and on the Martin write up it says: "Martin Retro strings are crafted from a long lasting proprietary nickel-based alloy blend that mellows quickly to a warm vintage tone that brings out the unique, woody sounds in your acoustic guitar."


anyway, the extra volume may be a reason they work better on a dreadnought than they did on my Takamine parlor and on my custom Taylor 416. The Martin Retro Monels are acoustic guitar strings but they look just like nickel electric strings i.e. silver in color. cool




Edited by Larryz (01/03/19 08:43 AM)
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#2966566 - 01/03/19 12:04 PM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: whitefang]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
rolleyes
Don't really seem that "simplifying" things is in your wheelhouse, eh? wink
Whitefang


I don't have a wheelhouse, but I am a sound engineer for a living, so when I perceive something as muddy, or a client says they feel the sound is muddy, I know that the area to be addressed is not actually the bass region, but the octave above. Removing a few dB in the range of, say, 180 to 250 Hz usually clears up the issue of muddiness. Since I do that kind of thing day in & day out, it actually is pretty simplified.
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#2966666 - 01/04/19 04:20 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: Scott Fraser]
whitefang Offline
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Fine.

But if memory serves( and a quick look up will confirm), I believe I used the term "muddled", which means something else ordinarily, but I use it to define when the bass on sound equipment is set so high as to not only overwhelms the other sounds, but also hollow enough to make even what the bass is playing indescernable.

Really a matter of semantics here.
Whitefang
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#2966727 - 01/04/19 09:46 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: whitefang]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
Fine. But if memory serves( and a quick look up will confirm), I believe I used the term "muddled", which means something else ordinarily, but I use it to define when the bass on sound equipment is set so high as to not only overwhelms the other sounds, but also hollow enough to make even what the bass is playing indescernable.
Really a matter of semantics here.
Whitefang


And I was responding to the use of the term 'boomy' as regards dreadnought guitars, but nevertheless, as some wank famously said, in the early days of the internet, "bad sound is the absence of good sound."
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#2966758 - 01/04/19 11:32 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: whitefang]
d / halfnote Offline
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Quote:
Really a matter of semantics here.

More like a case of familiarity w/ the common audio terminology, IMO.
Scott's bona fides there are established.
& Let's not go down Last Word Blvd...IIRC, that's a dead-end street.
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#2967388 - 01/07/19 05:14 AM Re: Monel strings on a Dreadnought -- a match made in Heaven! [Re: d / halfnote]
whitefang Offline
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Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I have to disagree(sorta)....

"Last Word BLVD." is a street that HAS no end. But then too, doesn't really lead anywhere. wink

So, I'm getting off on the next exit. wink
Whitefang
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