Thursday, March 6, 2014

Martin MSP3200 SP Medium Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings Review


On my trusty Martin D-18GE I sometimes experiment with different strings, but so far I have always gone back to my favorites, Martin MSP3200 SP Medium Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings. This set includes the following gauges: 0.013, 0.017, 0.026, 0.035, 0.045 and 0.056

The 1 and 2 strings are high-quality steel with a bronze coating, which is a great combination. The other four strings have steel cores with bronze windings. The steel helps keep the strings from breaking (I cannot remember the last time I broke a Martin string), and the bronze helps the strings sound brighter for a longer period of time. By the way, the bronze in these strings in an 80/20 alloy. I wonder that the other 20% is…

After installing a new set of these strings it takes an hour of two of playing to get them to over their initial overly bright and crisp tone. They do not stretch very much, and once they settle in they have a beautifully even and sweet tone across all of the strings. This tone translates well for both recording and live performances.

Volume and intonation are very consistent from string to string and set to set, so Martin must have a great quality control department. I get awesome volume from my dreadnoughts with these Martin strings and they hold up for a surprisingly long time. I play every day, and end up changing them out about once per month. As I said earlier, I never break these strings, even though I change to different tunings fairly often.

Some of my friends swear by the coated Elixir strings, and they do hold their tone around twice as long as the Martin strings, but they also cost twice as much. Plus I do not care for the feel of the Elixirs, and their tone does not fit in with my style of playing. Don’t get me wrong, Elixirs are very nice, but the Martins just work better for me.

Martin makes their strings in Mexico, and right out of the package I have never had a bad string from them. But I do not care for is their packaging. The strings come in paper envelopes inside a cardboard box. I would prefer that they were in an airtight package, as I never know how long these strings have been sitting around at the store, and I believe that exposure to air and moisture degrades string performance over time.

Though the Martin MSP3200 Medium Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings have a rather high list price of $15.29, you will find that the street price is about $5.00 per pack, which is not out of line with the competition. They sound great and hold up well, so if you do not currently use them you should give them a try.


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