2015 Martin String Catalog C.F. Martin Strings are engineered by guitar players, for guitar players with the same care and compassion that we pour into making all of our fine instruments. View Online | PDF
Frequently Asked Questions: Strings
Is it safe to use medium-gauge strings on my scallop braced guitar?
Yes it is safe. All of our six-string guitars designed for steel strings have been tested to withstand the tension of a medium gauge string. However, since each top is unique, take note if the top starts to raise abnormally. If this happens, go back to the lighter-gauge strings.
What is the difference between phosphor bronze and regular bronze strings?
Simply put, the difference lies in the tone of the strings. Phosphor bronze has a copper/tin alloy, making them sound brighter.
Why do steel strings tarnish?
Longevity of a string can sometimes depend on the player's body chemistry; and if a player has a high acid content in his/her perspiration, it could cause the strings to tarnish more quickly. Environmental factors such as humidity, can also cause tarnishing.
Why are your strings packaged in three envelopes instead of six?
It’s an ecological decision that literally saves tons of excess paper every year. We package pairs of strings in alternate order to avoid confusion for beginner players who may not be familiar with different string gauges.
What type of strings came on my Martin?
From time to time we change the type of strings used on new Martin guitars. Generally, all non-cutaway dreadnoughts and jumbos get medium gauge. All X-Series, cutaways and smaller models such as the 000 and 00 get light gauge strings. All 12 string guitars get extra light gauge. Of course we have a few exceptions with nylon string guitars and bass guitars. For the most current information of what type of strings came on your Martin, please refer to the model spec page for recommended strings.
Why did the Martin Guitar Company choose the packaging they are currently using?
Our 100% recyclable packages and envelopes are safe for the environment and reduce the chances of the strings becoming tarnished.
I keep breaking strings. How can I prevent this from happening?
Your string breakage problem may not be the result of the strings you are using. Strings often break due to an excessively sharp break angle or rough area at the saddle, or a rough area at the nut. Analyze the frequency you break strings and the location of the break. If you think it is the guitar, take your instrument to an authorized Martin Warranty Repair Center. If you are a heavy strummer, a medium-gauge string may be preferable.