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  1. #1

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    Anyone tried it? And if so what's the verdict?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I have a set of Martin monel 13s on my 1940 L7. Sound great, feel good, long lasting. Lots of reviews on Martin forums. I also tried them on my ES300, and they acted like acoustic strings; the unwound strings were way too loud. They are cheap enough to warrant a try. There are three types of 13s; slightly different gauging. Just order the cheapest set.

  4. #3

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    monels were the gibson string of the postwar 40's-50's

    gibson mona- steels!

    Monel strings on a carved archtop?-teaserbox_941303923-jpg


    when rotosound strings of the uk came about in the early 60's.... they were monel as well...they still manufacture monel strings!

    classic string material ...derivative of pure nickel


    cheers

  5. #4

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    I used the monels and liked them. My acoustic archtop isn't a carved spruce top, but I see no reason they wouldn't work for your box. I have a set of Curt Mangan flatwound right now that I really like, but I used to have Martin Tony Rice Monel set and thought they did a better job than the PB set I had before. I play 99% unplugged.

  6. #5

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Matching strings to acoustic carved archtops is all about what voicing appeals to you most for a particular instrument.

    Definitely try Monel roundwound strings - they sound different from pure nickel wrap roundwound strings, and different from typical phospor bronze acoustic strings as well. You can find a variety of string sets that are inexpensive enough so that it's worth it to see what set most appeals to your ears.

    FWIW, I've had excellent results with Monel roundwounds on a couple of my acoustic carved archtops.

  7. #6

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    El Fundo,
    You didn't mention if you were playing unplugged or with an amp, flats or round wounds. I use Roto Sound Top Tape flat wounds on my electric and am very happy with them. For reasons I don't understand, they are only available in .12 - .52 set.

  8. #7

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    I tried the Martin Retro Monels on my 51 Gibson Super 300 acoustic carved top archtop. They were the first strings I tried thinking they could be a great match. They lasted an afternoon I found them thin ,tinny, overly metallic sounding and lacking bass definition all of which was exactly what I did not want. If you look on acoustic forums it seems different guitars ( or guitarists)rs seem to respond to them quite differently. For what its worth I settled on DR Rare 13-56 as my strings of choice for that guitar.

    Will

  9. #8
    Thank you guys. I used to post here under a different name, so I recognize some of you. I have an Andersen Streamline with a floating Kent Armstrong PU. I've been using TI Swing 11s, but they get too thumpy and lifeless once they've aged to a certain point, which doesn't work well with this particular instrument. I ended up playing a gig last night with the Martin Retro Monels and really enjoyed them. They bring out the amazing acoustic qualities of this guitar. Quite squeaky after using flats for so long, though! Have to readjust my left-hand technique---again!

  10. #9

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    rotosound is the only string company with a monel flat...only gauge they offer is 12-52 tho


    aside from martins recent entry into monel strings, pyramid also now makes a monel roundwound string..pyramid monel classics

    btw-Monel Steel (67% pure nickel, 23% copper & 10% iron)


    cheers

  11. #10
    I'm sitting here playing the Andersen unplugged--she seems so happy now! It's as if they were meant for one another!

  12. #11

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    Nickel Wrapped Bronze is another option to Monel with a similar tonal quality. I think the Nickel Bronze have a bit more bass.


  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    Nickel Wrapped Bronze is another option to Monel with a similar tonal quality. I think the Nickel Bronze have a bit more bass.
    The Nickel Bronze are simple nickel-plated acoustic strings, AFAIK. Very cool idea.

  14. #13
    How do the nickel- wrapped bronze strings do with a pickup? Sounds very nice, btw! What is that tune?

  15. #14

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    I have the Martin Retro Monels on my Eastman 810, full acoustic. I'm very pleased with the tone and longevity. I've tried many strings on this guitar and I feel this set is the one I've been searching for. Good luck.

  16. #15

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    the more bronze that is involved, the better the acoustic tone....but at the expense of the diminishing of amplified magnetic tone ie. via pickups


    cheers

  17. #16
    That's what I was thinking.

  18. #17

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    I have nickel-bronze strings on my Eastman T145. They do ok with a pickup. I had to raise the polepieces under the wound strings a little, but not a huge amount. TBH, they don't sound all that different, to my ear, from nickel strings acousticallly, nor amplified after the polepieces were raised. I'll go back to pure nickel once they die, purely because of the cost.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Fundo
    How do the nickel- wrapped bronze strings do with a pickup? Sounds very nice, btw! What is that tune?
    If you have adjustable pole pieces and sufficient clearance to balance the volume, even bronze wound will work with a magnetic pickup. That's my current setup on this Eastman now: 80/20 bronze and a DeArmond Rhythm Chief 1100. The tune was "My Cherished Prelude" by Harry Volpe.

  20. #19

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    Speaking of strings and Andersen Streamlines, here's further evidence in my case for 80/20 Bronze. In the video below, the guitarist plays 80/20 Bronze on an Andersen Streamline with a KA 12 pole floating PAF. I think it all comes down to how much acoustic volume you want to hear. I have one carved-top archtop with a floating pickup, and I keep bronze strings on it because I want the acoustic volume to be present when playing through an amplifier. If I were purely interested in the electric sound, I would favor pure nickel roundwounds.



    I'm not sure if he clarifies in that specific video that he's playing bronze, but he does so in another video.

  21. #20

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    Here's a playlist of a few recordings I made with .013 Martin Retro monel strings. I used the pickup only, the mic only, the pickup + mic, an amp sim, and the amp sim + mic so 5 recordings in total playing the same arrangement. I hope it's a good demo for anyone who's still wondering about how monel strings sound on an archtop. The pickup is a Shadow Zoller AZ-48 floating humbucker.


  22. #21

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    I use the Martin Monel strings on my Martin CEO-7 and a couple of my acoustic archtops. I find you have to give them a while to break in before they sound their best. They work fine with the De Armond on my 52 L-4. I may try them on my L-4Ces next. I have also used the nickel/ bronze and the aluminum /bronze with similar results. I never like the Monel's when I first put them on but a day or two of playin they just seem to get sweeter.
    Thanks John

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Matching strings to acoustic carved archtops is all about what voicing appeals to you most for a particular instrument. You can find a variety of string sets that are inexpensive enough so that it's worth it to see what set most appeals to your ears.
    This is about the smartest thing I've seen regarding which strings to pick and why. Just simple, practical advice. Good on ya Hammertone.

  24. #23

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    I wanted to try Martin Retro Monel strings on my Eastman AR805CE. It has a floating pickup but the polepieces are not adjustable. Should i bother?

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_Primus
    I wanted to try Martin Retro Monel strings on my Eastman AR805CE. It has a floating pickup but the polepieces are not adjustable. Should i bother?
    give it a try. You’ll probably get a pretty weak bass string response? But Bruce Forman likes D’addario Nickel Bronzes on his Sontag because they have less bottom end than nickel strings.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_Primus
    I wanted to try Martin Retro Monel strings on my Eastman AR805CE. It has a floating pickup but the polepieces are not adjustable. Should i bother?
    Monel strings work well with magnetic pickups. Bear in mind that "Monel" is a trade name for a nickel/copper alloy (technically a range of allowy). Metallurgically, it's the same thing as the "pure nickel" wound strings offered by various companies. Unless your pickup is specifically designed for bronze or PB acoustic strings, any monel or "pure nickel" string will work fine. I've tried a bunch of 'em (TI, Martin Monels, D'Addario, GHS). The basic electric sound of all of them is the same, though the Martin Monels have the best acoustic sound of the bunch.

    John

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    ... You’ll probably get a pretty weak bass string response?
    That hasn't been my experience.

    John

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Monel strings work well with magnetic pickups. Bear in mind that "Monel" is a trade name for a nickel/copper alloy (technically a range of allowy). Metallurgically, it's the same thing as the "pure nickel" wound strings offered by various companies. Unless your pickup is specifically designed for bronze or PB acoustic strings, any monel or "pure nickel" string will work fine. I've tried a bunch of 'em (TI, Martin Monels, D'Addario, GHS). The basic electric sound of all of them is the same, though the Martin Monels have the best acoustic sound of the bunch. John
    "Monel is a group of nickel alloys, primarily composed of nickel (from 52 to 67%) and copper, with small amounts of iron, manganese, carbon, and silicon."

    "Pure nickel" wrap is ??% nickel.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-25-2020 at 05:37 PM.

  29. #28

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    Strings sold as "pure nickel" are not pure nickel. They're alloys. Pure elemental nickel is not a good choice for very many applications. It would be interesting to see the exact alloy Martin uses, but AFAIK they don't make that information available.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Strings sold as "pure nickel" are not pure nickel. They're alloys. Pure elemental nickel is not a good choice for very many applications. It would be interesting to see the exact alloy Martin uses, but AFAIK they don't make that information available.
    I dropped the last part of my previous post (added back) and think it should not be too hard to sort out the answers for different string brands. My guess is over 95% nickel. Time to dig!

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Monel strings work well with magnetic pickups. Bear in mind that "Monel" is a trade name for a nickel/copper alloy (technically a range of allowy). Metallurgically, it's the same thing as the "pure nickel" wound strings offered by various companies. Unless your pickup is specifically designed for bronze or PB acoustic strings, any monel or "pure nickel" string will work fine. I've tried a bunch of 'em (TI, Martin Monels, D'Addario, GHS). The basic electric sound of all of them is the same, though the Martin Monels have the best acoustic sound of the bunch.

    John
    Worth knowing!

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_Primus
    I wanted to try Martin Retro Monel strings on my Eastman AR805CE. It has a floating pickup but the polepieces are not adjustable. Should i bother?
    I have an Eastman AR810CE with a non adjustable humbucker and these strings work great on them! I don't play roundwound strings much, but I was in need of a new set and had these for backup so I string them up. I have some audio above of this set up that I recorded and put up on soundcloud. Check it out if you're curious. Happy string hunting, friend.

  33. #32

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    Using D'Addario balanced tension nickel bronze strings on my acoustic archtops. Like the acoustic sound. Makes magnetic pickups happy.

  34. #33

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    I always found Rotosound strings to feel quite coarse.

  35. #34

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    Well, I needed more items to get my tuner shipped for free, and I always need more strings, so I bought a couple of sets of the Martin Monel Retro strings. I've used them before, and I mostly like them. They'll go on my Wu, maybe on both. I've been using nickel-plated steel, because they're cheap and sound good, but a change won't hurt.

  36. #35

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    I have a set of Martin Monels on my Triggs 19" "Stromberg". They work fine for me - better than bronze. Bronze tends to get a bit too twangy and the bass can easily get boomy with such a big guitar body, but with the Monels, the guitar is mellow and warm with preserved depth but without the twanginess and bass boominess. I have no experiences with them on electric guitars where I use flatwounds.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by broturtel
    I have an Eastman AR810CE with a non adjustable humbucker and these strings work great on them! I don't play roundwound strings much, but I was in need of a new set and had these for backup so I string them up. I have some audio above of this set up that I recorded and put up on soundcloud. Check it out if you're curious. Happy string hunting, friend.
    Thanks... That’s what I needed to hear

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    rotosound is the only string company with a monel flat...only gauge they offer is 12-52 tho
    aside from martins recent entry into monel strings, pyramid also now makes a monel roundwound string..pyramid monel classics
    btw-Monel Steel (67% pure nickel, 23% copper & 10% iron) cheers
    Just an update to this for those reading it for the first time.
    Rotosound Top Tapes ARE NO LONGER MADE WITH MONEL.
    They switched to a steel wrap a few years ago, and never changed their packaging, which continues to state "Monel Flatwound."