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Thread: DAD NB strings

  1. #1
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    Default DAD NB strings

    I got a new Martin guitar and am sampling the best strings for her. Nickel Bronze strings are one of the choices I will be trying. But it occurred to me to to try them on my F5 as well. Currently I use 11.5-40 EXP's on my mandolin and see that D'Addario has the same in Nickel Bronze, too. I would like to hear some opinions from those who have tried the NB's on their mandolins. The information I've read so far says nickel bronze seems to bring out the "natural" tones inherent the instrument. Not sure what that sounds like exactly, and they also are a bit pricey.
    Last edited by dorenac; Feb-24-2018 at 8:07am.

  2. #2

    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    Quite a few folks around these parts, including myself, we're lucky enough to be sent a pack of NB's during the pre-release beta phase so you should get plenty of opinions.

    For me, I liked them well enough. I had them on an F style I no longer own and they were brighter than my usual EJ74s and seemed a bit softer under the fingers. I would buy them again for use on my oval if a great deal presented itself but am sticking with phosphor bronze as my preferred string for now.

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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    You might try GHS white bronze on your guitar. I like them a lot for guitars and was using them on my mandolin until they came out with pure nickel.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    I like the NB strings and use them on both my guitars and mandolins. First I tried the Gibson Sam Bush Monels and started using Martin Retro (monel also) on guitar. Martin will not make monels for mandolin and Gibson stopped producing the Sam Bush strings. I knew Curt Mangan has monels for mandolin. I tried the pure nickel GHS on my oval hole Brentrup but was not all that fond of them.

    I also received a beta sample of the NB mandolin from D'Addario and really liked them. Had that same "natural flavor" of the monels with a little more of that sweetness you get from phosphor bronze. So I was sold. I do have to change the strings on my Brentrup but even the old strings sound good to me.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    I was lukewarm about the beta set of NB I received, but decided to try the 11.5-40's anyway and I have been using them ever since. To me they are less "jangly?" sounding when new than phosphor bronze and they keep their tone really well over time.

    One big selling point to me is that my hands and phosphor bronze do not get along well. Even EXP strings will corrode on me fairly quickly and get a lot of gross buildup on the fretboard and behind the bridge. I have much less of this with NB and don't notice corrosion until they have been on for quite a while.
    Maybe a bit less 'cut' through a full band sound, but I definitely like the tone.
    Drew
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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    [QUOTE=Drew Egerton;1636060]I was lukewarm about the beta set of NB I received, but decided to try the 11.5-40's anyway and I have been using them ever since. To me they are less "jangly?" sounding when new than phosphor bronze and they keep their tone really well over time.

    How is the tone different from phosphor bronze? Can you describe it? The EXP's are coated but in their particular case I don't find that an issue. The new nickel bronze however are purported to bring out tones that might not be heard with other strings.

  7. #7

    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    Idon't knw about hearing any tones that are not heard with other types of strings but I have a set of the NB on my F5. They sound very nice to my ear. Ireally cannot describe the differences in tone.
    I will probably have to switch back to my usual EXP custom mediums to really see if Inotice a big difference in tone/volume.
    If they last as long as EXPs I will probably buy some more of the NB custom mediums.

    D'Addarios are always worth the price imho.

  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    The only thing I have heard is less string and more instrument. I have a feeling that that is what some folks hear when they put on a new set of PB strings -- very bright and metallic sound. Some players prefer the sound after the PB's settle in a bit. I think the NB's sound broken in already. I have heard some folks say that the NB's sound more transparent, but, once again, that is just finding words to describe some subjective hearing.
    Jim

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  9. #9
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    Like the others above stated, it's hard to put into words really what the difference is since tone is so subjective. Like Jim said, they sound more 'broken in' right off the bat, and stay that way. The set I have had on for too long and played to death still sounds great, they're just having issues knocking out of tune and whatnot like any other old string now, but I still like the tone.
    I would almost put it like this - the difference in tone from regular EJ74 to EXP's, then another step in that direction to NB.

    Ultimately it's a pretty cheap experiment to see if you like them, so give it a shot.
    Drew
    2016 Skip Kelley Vintage F-5 (#54)
    2003 Flatbush V4
    2015 Eastman MDA815 (mandola)
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    "Thank you for making it through a truly unreasonable amount of mandolin playing" - CT

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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    Well I should be getting a set in the next few days and I will just see for my self. Thanks for the comments and I'll report back later.

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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    I put a set of NB's on my guitar and really like the sound. I compared them to PB on another guitar and have ordered a set of NB's to replace the PB's on the second guitar to give a more apples to apples comparison. Describing the sound is a little elusive. Maybe as Garber said there's more instrument and less strings. Will try some on my mandolin as soon as the EXP's go South on that.

  12. #12
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: DAD NB strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Egerton View Post
    One big selling point to me is that my hands and phosphor bronze do not get along well. Even EXP strings will corrode on me fairly quickly and get a lot of gross buildup on the fretboard and behind the bridge. I have much less of this with NB and don't notice corrosion until they have been on for quite a while.
    Last summer, I got to talk to Adam Steffey after a Boxcars show. He said basically the same as you about strings, that he destroys strings, coated, PB, other brands' nickel... doesn't matter. He indicated that he'd been using the NB earlier than the beta test for the rest of us, and they last longer for him than any other set. He gave me a set to try (11.5-40), that was in July, and I'm just now changing them. One of the As won't stay in tune as well as it did, and I want to try a 41 G.

    Like others said, they sound nice and broken in right out of the box, no zinginess.

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