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Post new topic Bronze or nickel for dobro?
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Author Topic:  Bronze or nickel for dobro?
Terry Sneed


From:
Arkansas,
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 6:31 pm     Reply with quote

Sorry I'm sure it's been asked and answered many
Times before, but I hadn't been on the forum for good while.
Which strings for best tone bronze, nickel, stainless, and
Which brand do you guys prefer? Thanks
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 6:53 pm     Reply with quote

Bronze for sure. Lots of good brands. Currently using John Pearse Phosphor Bronze 3100s because they were recently on sale @ JustStrings.com.
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Nakos Marker


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 17 Jun 2017 12:54 am     Reply with quote

It depends on what you're looking for. I've used bronze, nickel, stainless, and stainless flatwound.

I mostly play bluegrass, so I use bronze. It's my favorite for punch, brightness, and sheer volume. They don't last very long, but with the kind of beating they get, no material does. D'Addario has the cheapest decent set I've found.

Stainless has a bit less volume and punch than bronze, but lasts longer against corrosion.

Nickel is the quietest roundwound in my experience. The treble is very articulate, though; sort of 'snappy'. They last about as long as bronze.

I used D'Addario chromes (stainless flatwound) back when I was broke. They're a bit more expensive, but they last SO long if you clean them regularly. The trade off, of course, is a lack of volume, sustain, articulation, and brightness.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 17 Jun 2017 6:47 am     Reply with quote

Depends who you ask, I guess. Probably one of the most used sets is D'Addario EJ 42 bronze set. At least for acoustic playing. They also make a Flat Top set in bronze for less noise plugged in.

Then there's Beard, Pearse, Black Diamond, etc. sets in bronze.

Some people like nickel, but I think most players choose bronze for acoustic and on stage miced playing.

b0b has John Pearse nickel and bronze sets here at www.steelguitarshopper.com
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Brad Davis


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 17 Jun 2017 8:52 am     Reply with quote

For bluegrass and old country I used the Beard Special 28 and Special 29 sets, bronze. In theory they're designed so the 3rd string lasts longer. Not bad at all for a little Hawaiian either. The EJ42's are good too.

I tried a Pierce nickel set a long time ago and didn't like them, but the guitar I tried them on wasn't that great either.
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Terry Sneed


From:
Arkansas,
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 10:43 am     Strings Reply with quote

Thanks a bunch guys. I'll go with the bronze.
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 11:26 am     Reply with quote

Good choice.

I can't stand the sound of nickel strings on a dobro.
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K Maul


From:
Round Lake,NY usa
Post Posted 19 Jun 2017 6:41 am     Reply with quote

I usually use Pearse Phosphor Bronze but sometimes nickel. They are slightly duller initially but remain the same for a long long time. If you're cheap like me,then you don't have to change strings as often. Haha.
But...if you want to sound like Uncle Josh,use Martin Monel strings [a solid Nickel/Copper blend, not nickel plated] with an unwound G .026! They just started making them again after 30 years.
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 27 Jun 2017 3:46 pm     Reply with quote

I use nickel for guitar I play Hawaiian music on - a 30's Dobro and 4'2 National Tricone.

I use GHS Scheerhorn sets on my bluegrass machines. I used to use D'Addario but the 3rd and 4th seem to consistently go dead in 2-3 hours playing time.

The GHS last for 6-10 hours before they go "dead", but only 4-6 hours before the brightness fades out.

That's the most many bluegrass players get out of any set.
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K Maul


From:
Round Lake,NY usa
Post Posted 28 Jun 2017 4:21 am     Reply with quote

Quite often I use Stainless steel .028 on the 3rd string. It takes a beating much better than bronze and is an interesting tonal transition between the wound and unwound strings.
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Brad Davis


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 28 Jun 2017 5:48 am     Reply with quote

Beard has sold a solid 3rd string individually for some time, I forget the exact gauge. I saw it posted somewhere online a long time that he said you wouldn't like it. I tried it once, and probably still have a couple of extras laying around. I didn't like it.
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Tom Wolverton


From:
San Diego, CA
Post Posted 29 Jun 2017 7:58 am     Reply with quote

I too am a big fan of the Scheerhorn strings.
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 29 Jun 2017 7:12 pm     Reply with quote

I use EJ42 Phospher Bronze on my Beard MA6 - just perfect
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 7 Jul 2017 4:13 pm     Reply with quote

Interesting that some of the comments are along the lines of "for bluegrass I use phosphor bronze as opposed to _____ ."

It doesn't matter to me what kind of music I'm playing - it's whatever makes the sound most pleasing to my ear. And it's pretty much always phosphor bronze on a lap style resonator.

It's no different to me than if we were on a flattop forum and discussing strings. I put strings on my Martin dreadnought that sound good to my ear and I believe are the best choice for the guitar - it's not one type of material for bluegrass vs. a different type of string when I'm playing say, a Jackson Browne or a Gordon Lightfoot song.
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Robert Allen


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 8 Jul 2017 5:57 am     Reply with quote

If you find yourself in a situation where you can't wait for delivery from an Internet store, and your local store doesn't carry dobro strings, a set of medium guitar strings will work just fine if you toss out the .013 first string, use the .017 guitar 2nd for the 1st on the dobro and buy a single .018 or .019 plain for the dobro 2nd string. For EJ42, substitute EJ17 or Martin M550.
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Robert Allen


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 8 Jul 2017 6:04 am     Re: Strings Reply with quote

Terry Sneed wrote:
Thanks a bunch guys. I'll go with the bronze.


The EJ42 is Phosphor Bronze. Bronze (80/20) doesn't have much sustain on a dobro.
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