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Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings

Mathew Raymond 01 Aug 13 - 04:53 PM
GUEST 02 Aug 13 - 01:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Aug 13 - 01:32 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 13 - 01:34 AM
The Sandman 02 Aug 13 - 02:47 AM
Dave Hanson 02 Aug 13 - 03:25 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 13 - 03:39 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Aug 13 - 03:45 AM
Nick 02 Aug 13 - 09:26 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Aug 13 - 09:39 AM
Backwoodsman 02 Aug 13 - 09:44 AM
bubblyrat 02 Aug 13 - 09:48 AM
Kev Boyd 02 Feb 14 - 05:46 PM
bubblyrat 03 Feb 14 - 10:48 AM
GUEST 07 Feb 14 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,matt milton 08 Feb 14 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Martin 19 Mar 16 - 12:14 PM
Chris Amos 26 Mar 16 - 11:34 AM
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Subject: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Mathew Raymond
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 04:53 PM

I've noticed in a few photos and the like that it seems Martin uses nylon strings and steel strings, does anyone know which strings are which and if he does this at all? Furthermore if someone could tell me the gauge of string he prefers, that would also be valued info. Thanks


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 01:29 AM

Martin uses very heavy guage strings which invalidate the warranty on his guitar which has been repaired many times. Gauges used:

.015
.018
.027
.039
.047
.059

Tunings. Cgcdga often. If you use heavy gauge get advice first or so that the guitar can take it. Like johnDoyle has reinforcements for his martin tsking heavy gauge bass strings.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 01:32 AM

news to me about nylon strings - is this arelatively recent thing?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 01:34 AM

I cannot see that he can use nylon strings on a Martinor Fylde and nylon and steel would not give hime enough attack for his technique. However he may have stopped using heavy strings because of the hightension problems.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 02:47 AM

why dont you write him a letter,he lives in robin hoods bay, or contact him on face book


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 03:25 AM

On the back of Martin's album ' Right of Passage ' is a picture of his open guitar case, full of D'Addario strings.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 03:39 AM

D'addario EJ18 with an 18 on the E. you need a dedcated strenthened guitar to cope with this tension. Or tune low low?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 03:45 AM

The stated string gauges in the stated tuning would in fact be very slack. Back in the day we all played 13-56s in standard tuning, and for a while in the 80s I played 13-58s in standard tuning.

http://www.daddario.com/DAstringtensionguide.Page?sid=66a480c0-de5c-4667-97b6-35819ce6a1ce

And IIRC the Martin lifetime warranty is only in favour of US purchasers.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Nick
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 09:26 AM

I always use 13-56's in standard tuning on the Tanglewood I have and it seems happy enough.

Allows drop D very happily and it allows me to play in open C


I have a friend who plays with 10's on his acoustic and it's like using a bow and arrow the distance the strings bend.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 09:39 AM

I agree. The point of my post was the suggestion that Martin had voided the lifetime warranty on his Martin by using heavy strings.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 09:44 AM

The Martin lifetime warranty is valid for instruments purchased from authorised CFM dealers in North America, and then only covers the original Purchaser. However, neither the nationality nor the domicile of the purchaser are relevant. So a guitar purchased new in the US by a non-North American and exported by him/her remains covered by the warranty, whereas a guitar purchased new outside North America does not - even if the purchaser is a national of North America.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: bubblyrat
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 09:48 AM

I remember a Sidmouth of a few years ago when someone said " What strings do you use , Martin ? " to which he replied "Yes!!" .


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Kev Boyd
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 05:46 PM

A couple of things:

Martin explains his string choices and gauges in the British Fingerstyle Guitar video/DVD from 1992. I don't have access to this at present but his normal tuning is CGCDGA and from memory I believe he says he uses standard D'Addario heavy-gauge strings with a .018 on the top string because it's tuned so low.

This would make the gauges as follows:
.018
.018
.027
.039
.047
.059

Because he tunes so low I don't think the heavy strings would require any special reinforcements or affect the guitar's warranty and a couple of things back this up.

Firstly, since 2002 he has almost exclusively played his own Martin Guitars 000-18MC signature model. The spec for this guitar doesn't mention any adjustments to specifically cope with the heavy strings and given that the specific model that Martin plays was custom built for him by Martin Guitars it's inconceivable that they would create something that would invalidate their own warranty.

Secondly, since 2013 Martin has occasionally played a PRS custom PRS Martin Simpson signature model that was bought for him as a gift by Simpson himself. A luthier friend of mine did some setup work on this guitar before it was given to him and at this stage it was already strung and tuned to Carthy's preference. When I asked what work he did on the guitar he just said a 'general tweak' with a re-cut nut being the only adjustment to accommodate the heavier strings.

Incidentally, on a (slightly) related note, for decades Martin exclusively used metal zither thumb picks but a couple of years ago he suddenly started using plastic picks which he continues to use now.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: bubblyrat
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 10:48 AM

Again,at Sidmouth once,Martin told us that he used superglue to build up his nails.I well remember that morning "workshop" ; he struggled to play anything and had a "galley medal" ( egg on his shirt front !!).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 14 - 06:26 PM

His scordatura's in constant development, that tuning was what he described a couple of years ago and it might have moved since. It's basically Apallachian.
There's just a possibility he'll sit in on a short-term project week after next, if so I'll ask where he's got to now over coffee.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 05:17 AM

Echoing one comment above, I'd be surprised if using 0.18-0.59 would damage a Martin guitar with the strings tuned down as low as that Carthy tuning mentioned above.

But I'm also not sure that they'd be hugely slack either. I say that based on the fact that my gypsy jazz guitar is currently tuned down a whole 3 semitones, to C sharp (though still in standard tuning). I'm using a set of strings that are 12-50. Frankly, they don't feel as slack to me as when I've played using light gauges in standard tuning.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: GUEST,Martin
Date: 19 Mar 16 - 12:14 PM

I have been looking into Martin Carthy's tuning and string gauges lately, and I managed to find this note on the subject from Roger Bucknall of Fylde Guitars, who has worked on Carthy's guitar a lot over the years:

"He uses custom string sets to accommodate his favored tuning (C G C D G A, low to high), with typical gauges (high to low) .015, .018, .027, .039, .049, and .059."

This was a quote from Acoustic Guitar Magazine, July 2005, No. 151. The complete quote can be found here:

http://editthis.info/geartome/Martin_Carthy

cheers


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Subject: RE: Tech: Martin Carthy's Strings
From: Chris Amos
Date: 26 Mar 16 - 11:34 AM

Hi,

Here is a tool that can help you calculate the tension on the guitar neck based on the gauge of the string and the pitch

https://wahiduddin.net/calc/calc_guitar_string.htm

https://wahiduddin.net/calc/calc_guitar_string.htm


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