Other Guitars

Acoustic Jazz Guitars


I have a 1940 Epi Triumph. It loves monel strings.

Lovely playing. I'd love to hear you play mine.


Yep, round wounds seems to sound easily bit harsh. For the Jazz comping a flatwound dull sound would propbably fit well.

– Jukka

Something else to consider Jukka, is a compromise between round wounds that have that harshness you've identified and flats which can be super dull unamplified. I played a vintage D'Angelico with heavy flats and while it played well, even it didn't exhibit much brightness or sustain.

I'm suggesting D'Addario Flattops. While the name implies using only for flattop guitars - really means acoustic vs electric (electric equivalent are their Half Rounds) - it should work well for an archtop, although I haven't tried them yet on my Synchro. They are a round wound string that's ground to remove the crown of the winding. I use them exclusively on my acoustics as they severely reduce the buzz and deliver a smoother surface, as you'd expect. While they're phosphor bronze only, they do come in every size. I'm going to put them on my '55 Fleetwood archtop when the restoration is done.


Flattops sounds like a good compromise. It feels like the archtop somehow emphasizes string and picking noises. Is it because there is no soundhole below the strings and picking noises are reflected by the top directly.

Edit: Found some related discussion.


For some types of plying such as acoustic big band rhythm guitar I'd actually prefer a lot of "click", both to underline the percussive role of the guitar in this context and to make sure I project well. This will likely make the guitar sound a bit harsh to the player himself and those nearest to him - but without it nobody but those nearby would hear the guitar. Listen to the old recordings with Basie from the 1940s and 1050s and listen to the sound of Freddie Greens Stromberg guitar - not at all sweet and mellow but almost metallic and with a lot of attack sound.

When the "click" becomes too much, we begin to call it "pick noise". When enough is enough depends on personal taste (and perception mode?) and the context.



Martin Retro Strings

The Materials Core Wire: Tin-plated hex core Wrap Wire: Solid Nickel/Copper Alloy Blend (NOT Nickel-plated)

The Gauging Martin offers modified gauging on the B, D, and A strings for modern playability. The modified gauging makes the string easier to play with a more balanced feel and clear intonation.

The Process Martin employs a sophisticated winding process in the making of their Retro String line. This process controls the coupling between the core and wrap wire to maximize intonation. This process takes their traditional Monel string, which was innovated in the 1930s, and perfects it with modern technology.

The Core Martin uses tin-plated steel hex core wire for their Retro Strings. The tin-plating helps prevent galvanic corrosion - the natural corrosion that happens when the core wire comes in contact with the wrap wire. The combination of tin-plated hex core wire and solid nickel alloy wrap wire provides for a long-lasting string from the inside out.

The Wrap Martin’s proprietary SOLID Nickel/Copper alloy blend provides for a reduced pick attack which allows the guitar’s tone woods to be heard, not overshadowed. It offers a uniquely mellow, yet crisp, sound. Martin’s wrap is a solid Nickel/Copper blend, not nickel-plated, meaning there is no chance for defects in the plating to allow for corrosion. Instead, Martin’s proprietary wrap wire is naturally corrosion resistant, so much so that it has been used in various marine applications, including use in the propeller of Dreadnaught battleships. It is also incredibly strong, even stronger than pure nickel, and has been used in machinery and tooling applications.

The Real Deal Martin Retros are the real deal. Not an imitation. With Martin Retros, you get one tough set of strings that will last a long time and give you true, consistent tone that sounds like nothing else on the market.

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