Hi gang - I know string selection is a personal preference. Since I am due for a new set of strings, I have read that Addario strings seem to be high on Martin pickers list of favorites. Not sure what brand model seems to be the top choice of strings sold. If anyone has a guitar store and can tell me what brand Martin pickers walk out the door with the most I will thank you. It may surprize me even if you tell me a total different company name for the #1 seller of Martin strings. All ears listening! -Rob

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The brand is not the question, string's materials and process make the sound. I could try to give you some advice if you tell me what Martin model you own, what strings you have on it now, and what you have to say against them, or what you like about them.
D'addario makes a phospher bronze set that is heavy on the bottom. I believe the 6th E is a .056 and the top is a .012. So you can get that booming bass and still be able to rip up the treble lead without a hitch!
Not to intentionally sidestep the "best string" issue (although I don't believe there is a "best" for everybody). But, from a repair shop point of view, I drove myself nuts trying to keep a zillion brands and gauges of strings in the shop.

That's all stopped, and now I restring with the least-expensive generics I can find and don't charge for them. It's worked out well, in that the casual non-fussy player gets new strings for 'free' (well, it's built-in to the repair rate) and is thrilled to get them. If a customer wants a certain brand and gauge, I'll ask that he/she bring a fresh set when they bring the guitar in. If someone isn't sure what he/she wants but is willing to experiment, I'll restring with a set of Martin phospher bronze strings and charge accordingly. Lots of acoustic players seem to like them, but an equal number like the generics! Go figure. But the benefit (for me) was getting out of the "string stocking" business.
I understand that. I spend a lot of time with these issues too.
I like Elixers on one of my guitars because it doesn't get a lot of play and they last longer, I run D'addario brand on my 12th fret player and Martin SP's on my 14th fret player. I don't pound on my guitars much. My main players are both naturally loud enough for my playing that I don't need to try to over drive them. At those rare times when I need more volume, I plug in a mic rather than try to force the instrument. I have chosen the strings I use based on how they sound, feel and how well they last, in that order and like something different on each guitar even if I play them the same way.

Actually, I'm playing with a Nashville set on the 12th fret guitar right now. I like the chime like sound with out the hassle of a 12 string. I'm thinking of setting one of my guitars to use these full time but the jury is still out. I also have a Baritone Ukulele that I don't like the sound of too much. I put a set of tenor guitar strings on it and tuned it as such. It sounds great and (so far) hasn't self destructed. It affords me the opportunity to play with a tuning I wouldn't otherwise have available on an instrument I otherwise wouldn't play.

These are examples of what I actually recommend. Experimentation. It doesn't matter what others are using so much as it matters what YOU like. It's your guitar, your playing style and your music. You've made an investment in your guitar, now make an investment in finding the strings that suite you.

One last thing. Hopefully, your guitar has a good setup. Unless you want to invest the time/money in a new setup, it's important that you keep your string gauge selection fairly close to what you have now. When experimenting, I like to keep track of the brand and gauge of the set I replaced as well as the set I just put on so I can remember what I had as well as what I have. If you look in the cases for all of my guitars you will find the old box for the strings I have on it. That way, I don't have to remember which guitar uses what string and I can easily go back to what I had if I don't like what I'm using now. ( if this makes any sense)

I agree with the generic premise,except they must be US or UK made.Chinese strings-when they go-they're gone!
The strings I will never touch again are the Martin Darco's They seem to have a smaller ball and the high e breaks readily on tuneup
So far it looks like the way I should lean is for the D Addario phospher bronze with the.056 low -E
Thanks for all the feedback so far! -Rob
I'm not trying to be offensive but can I ask you something, Rob? Is this your first guitar?

You seem to want a hard and fast answer. No one here has made a hard, fast, "buy these" recommendation yet you are jumping on the one and only post that mentions something specific. I just don't get it. None of us have this guitar in front of us and none of us are going to play it.

What brand/ gauge of strings have you used in the past? THAT should be your guide unless you have never owned a guitar before. It's not that Martin guitars require a certain brand of string. It's what works for you, the player that counts.

Not affended Ned. Would just walk into local for years and ask for set of light guage strings for both my clunkers and my beloved D-35 Guild which Istill have,not being specific to axact diameters of each string or the brand name like you hear people at work talking about.Half the time it would be some kid behind the counter who would hand me the cheapest set marked down,often Martin I recall. One time tried Guild strings but thought they were both tone and volume poor to my tin ear so was not too long and they were in the garbage and Iwas back at counter getting real daring asking for a set of light Errney Ball strings. Often the guages would be different from the old set going off but would slap them on and play them till my tin ear decided they had lost both volume and tone. Guess I wasn't fusy enough at the counter but just my nature not to give people a hard time as often I would hear some know it all at the counter describing the axact string guage by string guageand sound he wanted from each string and you would see the person behind the counter roll his eyes and shake his head in disbelief when that person walked out of the store. I often chuckled to myself at the whole show.Next would come me and to his delight would reach and thow me the closest set of any Martin light guage. Ned, no offense intended but picked up my first guitar at seventeen and turned sixty on Sunday so I thought it was time to give the kid at the counter a bit of a hard time with particulars and specifics for this 64 D-18 Martin.-Rob
Happy birthday. It sounds like you have more then enough experience to decide for yourself what you like. Obviously you know what you like and don't like so invest in experimentation until you find what works best for you on your Martin.. If you like Martin strings, start with those. Mike's approach sounds good. Threat yourself to a belated birthday present.

I tried Darco's once and didn't like them either. I don't remember exactly what it was but I do remember that they seemed brittle.


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