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String gauge for martin hd28v

Silas 26 Apr 11 - 06:34 AM
Leadfingers 26 Apr 11 - 07:19 AM
Silas 26 Apr 11 - 07:20 AM
Brian May 26 Apr 11 - 07:23 AM
Silas 26 Apr 11 - 07:40 AM
Backwoodsman 26 Apr 11 - 08:08 AM
Backwoodsman 26 Apr 11 - 08:13 AM
Silas 26 Apr 11 - 08:27 AM
kendall 26 Apr 11 - 08:37 AM
Backwoodsman 26 Apr 11 - 08:51 AM
Betsy 26 Apr 11 - 07:41 PM
Silas 27 Apr 11 - 05:52 AM
Brian May 27 Apr 11 - 07:41 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Apr 11 - 07:45 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Apr 11 - 07:53 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Apr 11 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 27 Apr 11 - 11:32 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Apr 11 - 12:07 PM
Justa Picker 27 Apr 11 - 01:11 PM
Fortunato 28 Apr 11 - 08:03 AM
Silas 28 Apr 11 - 08:06 AM
Backwoodsman 28 Apr 11 - 09:04 AM
Backwoodsman 28 Apr 11 - 09:05 AM
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Subject: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Silas
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 06:34 AM

I recently aquired one of these and I am incredibly pleased with it. I had strung it with 12,s but a friend whio has a d41 suggested using 13's. Having checked with the martin website, they do reccomend 13's so i put a set on. However, i can see a slight bellying with these strings, but they sound fantastic and have transformed the guitar.
Question is - are they safe?


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 07:19 AM

Did you buy it new ?? If so I would be inclined to take it back to the Vendor and raise the question with them ! I dont think a guitar should show signs of bellying at that weight of string !


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Silas
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 07:20 AM

No, its 6 years old, though it looks like new.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Brian May
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 07:23 AM

Safe as houses I would think.

I've got 13s on my D-28 and in the light you can see a slight distortion, but these instruments are designed to take the strain.

You may find the bellying will change with the Relative Humidity too.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Silas
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 07:40 AM

Thanks guys. I was wondering if it may be 'normal' on this model as it has forward shifted bracing so the lower bout may not be as stiff as a normal dreadnaught.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 08:08 AM

It's normal for a top on a steel-string guitar to have a slight 'belly' behind the bridge.

Put a straight-edge across the top immediately behind the bridge and you should have a clearance at each end. Add the two clearances together. If they total between zero and 1/2", you're fine. If they total over 1/2", you might have a problem (that's MIGHT), and a good luthier can check it out and tell you if there's anything to worry about.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 08:13 AM

Should have said...a straight-edge at least as long as the bottom bout is wide (you need to check the clearances at the 'edge' on each side).

All of my guitars have had that slight belly - Yamahas, Tanglewoods, a couple of Lowdens, several Martins including an HD-28V. If the top 'sinks' then you may have a problem with insufficient Relative Humidity.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Silas
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 08:27 AM

Thanks very much. The clearance is MUCH less than 1/2", it's probably not all that noticeable really, but I did not want to pull the bridge off the guitar. How do you rate your HD28V? I am in awe of mine, but I suppose I would say that having parted with a lot of dosh to own it.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: kendall
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 08:37 AM

My Taylor has a barely noticeable belly, Jacqui's Apollo has a slightly more noticeable belly and my Apollo 12 string has almost none.
We use light gauge strings on the two Apollos and medium on the Taylor.

I had an old Gibson J-45 years ago that looked like it was pregnant. I took it to a luthier and he somehow flattened it out considerably.
If there is a standard for clearance here, I'm not aware of it.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 08:51 AM

Hi Kendall, hope you and your lady are well.

The 'zero to 1/2" is a general rule-of-thumb which is accepted by a number of notable luthiers over in the US and Canada - there are frequent references to it in the UMGF and the Acoustic Guitar Forum (I'm at work so I don't have time to search for some).

My real point was that a slight belly isn't something to be concerned about, whereas anything more than 'slight' might be. 'Slight' is regarded by many luthiers as zero to half-an-inch measured at the edges of the bottom bout and both clearances added together.

Silas - my HD-28V is a monster, very happy with it (and I've never been a Dread-lover, but I love this one). I wouldn't use anything less than 13-56's on it, I'm a believer in the widely-held view that a Martin Dread needs mediums in order to get the best out of the top and bracing. My OM (Adirondack top), however, has 12.5 - 55s, and my Lowden (Cedar) wears 12-54s (all PB). Different structures and materials respond best to different string types and gauges.

All IMHO, and I'm very happy to acknowledge others' differing views.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Betsy
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 07:41 PM

I have a HD 28 V - I USE 11 - 52 but I have been advised that you can go stronger , but I'm happy with the sound and I use D'addario (Spelling?) phospher bronze.
Better to be light than to invite bellying although everyone must do their own thing !


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Silas
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 05:52 AM

Hi Betsy

My other guitars use 12's and they are fine with that. I used to have a Yamaha that I gig'd with that had 13's on it, it didn't belly, but the neck parted company with the body at the heel joint.
Putting 13's on the HD makes a tremedous diffeence to the sound and resonance, and Martin do reccomend 13's. I think I am being a touch nursemaidish about my new guitar!


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Brian May
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 07:41 AM

From Backwoodsman

"My real point was that a slight belly isn't something to be concerned about"

I wish you'd tell my missus that John . . .

Silas

Your concerns are normal and frankly, I enjoy ANY discussion about my guitars and love conversation with others who made the decision to put their money into them too.

Have fun, they're lovely boxes, well made, beautiful and make you happy.

I can often sit down to play in a bit of a bad mood, I seldom, if ever put the guitar down in the same one.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 07:45 AM

Why not try LTHBs - 12-56?


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 07:53 AM

"Putting 13's on the HD makes a tremedous diffeence to the sound and resonance, and Martin do reccomend 13's. I think I am being a touch nursemaidish about my new guitar!"

And with that, the nail has been firmly struck on the head. Putting 13s on a Martin Dread is not "inviting bellying", it's using the gauge of strings that the guitar was designed and built for. Bearing in mind that Martin give the original owner a lifetime guarantee in the US, it seems hardly likely that they would recommend a string-gauge which they knew would result in guitars being quickly returned for free neck-resets, top-crack repairs, lifted bridge repairs etc.

I tried 12s on my HD-28V. Lacked both tone and volume, like the guitar had 'died'. They came off after a couple of weeks, and I won't be putting any more on. 13s only from now on.

But it's up to the individual owner, you pays yer money, you takes yer choice.

Usual disclaimers.....IMHO, YMMV etc.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 09:52 AM

"Why not try LTHBs - 12-56?"

Tried those too, Richard. Better than lights, not as good as mediums, IMHO. I tried the Light-Mediums too (12.5 - 55) - same result.

I never used mediums at all until I got my HD last summer. Initially, I found they fought back a lot, but patience and perseverance won in the end, and I love them now - to a point where lights don't do it at all for me, they don't give the tone and volume I want and like, and they don't fight back enough!


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 11:32 AM

Its like drugs, you start out on the light stuff, but sooner or later you get craving for the heavy gauge. the more extreme cases end up in a padded cell strumming a barbed wire banjo with a brick.

Its s a short step from there to the Write a Folksong for Lincolnshire Competition, and Faldingworth live.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 12:07 PM

Speaking of which......will you be entering this year, Al?
(Long drive up for Finals Nite though!). :-)

Illegal substances were never my thang, Al - never used any, not even cannabis (especially not cannabis even). I used to enjoy a few pints of Real Ale or a tot of single malt but, alas, I'm teetotal now.

Hoping to migrate from girly-mediums to hairy-arsed heavy-gauge strings at some future date! :-)


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Justa Picker
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 01:11 PM

Stay with 12s.


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Fortunato
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 08:03 AM

Good discussion. Backwoodsman has clearly defined the slight bellying. I call that normal and desirable since I am a player. I use medium gauge d'addario or elixer nano phosphor bronze strings on my Gallagher Doc Watson. The tone and volume is what I want. Don Gallagher builds them for these. Now, if you are a collector, or wish longevity instead of a particular tone, then the stress on the top and bridge are less with lighter strings and MAY increase it's life without repair to the bridge or top.

What do you want? It's a clearly subjective question.

What you might be more concerned with is maintenance. For example, when I change my strings I wax my neck with butchers (bowling alley) wax to help prevent shrinkage which can cause cracks near the neck on the top. Are you taking steps to properly hydrate your guitar? Are you keeping a good coat of polish on your guitar?
A D28v can be a very good guitar, best of luck.
chance


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Silas
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 08:06 AM

Well, my objective is to get a guitar that SOUNDS good, I don't see the point otherwise! This guitar sounds amazing with 13's on it. I can happily put up with a bit of bellying, I just wanted to make sure I was not likley to pull the bridge off!


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 09:04 AM

Martin Top Belly Discussion

Check Posts Nos. 2 and 10.

And Here:-

All is well. Stop wittering and play the bugger!


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Subject: RE: String gauge for martin hd28v
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 09:05 AM

Sorry, should have been posts 1 and 10 in the first link.


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