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Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings

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Guages: .012 .015 .025 .031 .041 .054Martin’s proprietary Nickel/Copper alloy blend wrap wire provides for a reduced pick attack and allows the guita...Click To Read More About This Product

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See All Martin .012 Gauge Acoustic Guitar Strings
OVERVIEW

Brings out your guitar's true voice.

Guages: .012 .015 .025 .031 .041 .054

Martin’s proprietary Nickel/Copper alloy blend wrap wire provides for a reduced pick attack and allows the guitar’s tonewoods to be heard, not overshadowed. It offers a uniquely mellow, yet crisp, sound. Martin’s wrap is a solid Nickel/Copper blend, not nickel-plated, meaning there is no chance for defects to allow for corrosion. Martin's proprietary wrap is naturally strong and corrosion-resistant, so much so that it has been used in the propeller of dreadnought battleships and various machinery and tooling applications.


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Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MartinMM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings
 
4.5

(based on 44 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (32)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (38)
  • Consistent (20)
  • Long life (15)
  • Well built / quality (12)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Concerts (18)
  • Practicing (15)
  • Back-up (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (28), Professional musician (15)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Very good sounding strings.

I put these strings on my J45 when a set of Martin Lifespan needed changing. I did not know what to expect.

These strings are very good sounding and have a...Read complete review

I put these strings on my J45 when a set of Martin Lifespan needed changing. I did not know what to expect.

These strings are very good sounding and have a really good feel. Even through the tension runs about the same as the Martin Lifespans, these feel easier to bend.

The strings have a really nice woody tone, almost smoky. Not dull or muffled sounding at all.

I cannot speak to longevity at this point.

I usually use the Martin Lifespan or John Pearse, and sometimes DR Sunbeams. I would put the RETRO strings up there as far as tone and playability.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great size for drop tuning!

Straight out of the pack they have a harsh tone that quickly subdues. The sound is warm and very open but a bit stuck in the midrange. They actually do have a soft feeling...Read complete review

Straight out of the pack they have a harsh tone that quickly subdues. The sound is warm and very open but a bit stuck in the midrange. They actually do have a soft feeling which I like a lot, great for playing with all fingers. They last quite a bit longer than uncoated phosphor bronze but still not close to the lifespan of a coated set.

I don't like the sound of these playing in the higher range of my guitar, they seem to lack some depth and the harmonics aren't nearly as vivid. I would recommend anyone to give these a try at the price I paid. Looking again I'm finding out the regular price is 4x what I paid! They don't last nearly as long as coated bronze even though they're the same price so unless you already know you love the tone and the tone is worth the price to you I would avoid these.

I prefer the more dynamic tone of phosphor bronze.

Reviewed by 44 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Smooth sound

By Millard F. Hoidlehauser, Esq.

from Smyrna, TN

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

      I normally use Martin E.C.'s Choice on my Martin, which I really like because of the mid to upper tonal quality. The Retro Series is something else altogether. The tone is smooth and even. I like this sound and will continue to use these strings.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Great size for drop tuning!

      By Mark

      from Georgia

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Easier To Bend
      • Good Tone
      • Long Life

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

          Straight out of the pack they have a harsh tone that quickly subdues. The sound is warm and very open but a bit stuck in the midrange. They actually do have a soft feeling which I like a lot, great for playing with all fingers. They last quite a bit longer than uncoated phosphor bronze but still not close to the lifespan of a coated set.

          I don't like the sound of these playing in the higher range of my guitar, they seem to lack some depth and the harmonics aren't nearly as vivid. I would recommend anyone to give these a try at the price I paid. Looking again I'm finding out the regular price is 4x what I paid! They don't last nearly as long as coated bronze even though they're the same price so unless you already know you love the tone and the tone is worth the price to you I would avoid these.

          I prefer the more dynamic tone of phosphor bronze.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Very good sounding strings.

          By Mike R.

          from West Trenton, NJ

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Good Tone

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Backup
            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

            I put these strings on my J45 when a set of Martin Lifespan needed changing. I did not know what to expect.

            These strings are very good sounding and have a really good feel. Even through the tension runs about the same as the Martin Lifespans, these feel easier to bend.

            The strings have a really nice woody tone, almost smoky. Not dull or muffled sounding at all.

            I cannot speak to longevity at this point.

            I usually use the Martin Lifespan or John Pearse, and sometimes DR Sunbeams. I would put the RETRO strings up there as far as tone and playability.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            The best string that I have ever used

            By Mr. Bluegrass

            from Southern Il.

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Good Tone
            • Long Life
            • Strong

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                I have been playing gospel and bluegrass since 1964 and I have used about every brand of strings. The retro seems to bring more out of Martin guitars than any other string that I have used

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Stellar Offering from Martin

                By OM Flyer

                from Austin, Texas

                About Me Experienced

                See all my reviews

                Pros

                • Good Tone

                Cons

                • None

                Best Uses

                • Concerts
                • Practicing

                Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                After trying a number of other strings, I put these on my Gibson J-35 and knew almost immediately that they were the ones. They start off bright, but just as their description says, they quickly mellow to a phenomenal-sounding string. Great note articulation, robust bass, warm sustain. I plan to try them on my other guitars, but they truly bring out the best in this sitka/mahogany dreadnaught.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                The best acoustic strings I've ever used.

                By JK Fraser

                from Michigan

                About Me Experienced

                See all my reviews

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Consistent
                • Good Tone
                • Long Life

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Backup
                  • Concerts
                  • Practicing

                  Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                  I love these strings on my Martin OM1e. They are crisp and clear, with a really pure tone. Most strings mask the natural sound of the instrument with a coating (elixirs) and make every guitar sound the same, add chimey overtones ( most PB strings), or sound dead as soon as you put them on (everything else). Martin Retro Monel strings just sound like your guitar. That's all. the best way I can describe them is woody, dry, pure, and balanced. They sound dramatically different on every guitar I've tried them on, bringing out the natural characteristics of each one. This isn't always a good thing. If a guitar sounds weak and flat, these strings will not compensate for that. If the guitar is boomy and unbalanced, these strings might take a little boom away, but they won't add jangle or brightness to it. If the guitar has weird overtones, these strings won't add to the overtones, but they will bring out the overtones of the instrument. All in all, you owe it to yourself to try a set and see what your guitar actually sounds like, especially if you are a lifelong elixir user. Finally I get about 4 weeks of hard use out of these strings in the summer, and 6-8 weeks out of them in the winter. Not bad for an inexpensive set of strings!

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Retros

                  By Jeff

                  from Colorado

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Good Tone
                  • Long Life
                  • Strong

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                      Put these on my Martin LX-1 and my Martin OO-X1 and these strings are about the best I've used in 36 years of playing. Great feel and great sound, even easy on the fingers.

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      My new favorite Strings

                      By talkgtr

                      from Atlanta

                      About Me Professional Musician

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent
                      • Good Tone
                      • Long Life

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                          I've used the Retros on two guitars, both Martin OOs, one all mahogany, the other spruce/mahogany and I'm overjoyed w/ the tone, response and volume of the Retros. I did one guitar about two months ago and the string still sound like I put them on yesterday. Excellent product.

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          The Way to Go

                          By wiregrass

                          from Montgomery, AL

                          About Me Experienced

                          See all my reviews

                          Ask me a question

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Good Tone
                          • Long Life

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Concerts

                            Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                            In the move to get more of a woody tone from high end guitars, monel alloy wraps have come back into the limelight. I have a great guitar that can be called a "cut through" axe because of its emphasis on highs. These strings balance it out and cause me to hear a warmer tone from it. They have a little bit of sparkle but not much, so you get good fundamental tones.

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Excellent Strings

                            By Country Dave

                            from Locust Grove, Oklahoma

                            About Me Professional Musician

                            See all my reviews

                            Ask me a question

                            Pros

                            • Strong

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Concerts

                              Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                              These strings made my D-28 sound like one from the 30's, rich deep low end and stinging highs, made me feel like I was performing with Bill Monroe, buy them, you will never use anything else.

                              (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Martin Retro Series Strings

                              By All for the Kingdom

                              from Springfield, MO

                              About Me Experienced

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Intonation
                              • Good Tone
                              • Soft Feel

                              Cons

                              • Not Great For Fingerstyle

                              Best Uses

                              • Concerts
                              • Practicing

                              Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                              This is the first set of the Retro Series strings I've tried. I like the tone and the soft feel for fingerstyle playing. I thought the strings made a
                              bit too much noise when playing with my fingernails.
                              Not as quiet as some strings.
                              My only real negative comment is about the customer service at Musician's Friend. When you order strings, why can't they tell you up front that the strings are on back order, instead of finding out after the fact, after the order is completed. Then you get an email saying, "Sorry, the strings you ordered are on back order." Took a month to finally arrive.

                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Retro Rave Review

                              By Wiltz

                              from North Carolina

                              About Me Experienced

                              See all my reviews

                              Pros

                              • Good Tone

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                  My 2001 Martin D-18 has NEVER sounded better.

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  Willing to give them another try

                                  By Chris

                                  from Myrlte Beach

                                  About Me Professional Musician

                                  See all my reviews

                                  Verified Reviewer

                                  Pros

                                  • Good Tone
                                  • Great feel.
                                  • Very comfortable on the fingers.

                                  Cons

                                  • Breaks Easy

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                    I read lots of great reviews on these strings so I decided to give them a try using my Backstage Pass points. I put the strings on and really liked the tone. More than that, I really loved the feel of them. They had a softer, more "slinky" feel which to me made them easier to play. I had been having a lot of pain in my fretting hand after a gig and after my first gig with these--no more pain! I would have kept using these strings but during my second gig with them, I broke two strings. I decided to switch back to Elixirs PB for now, but I liked the Retros so much before they broke I'll probably give them another try in a few months when the gigging season ends for me.

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Best sounding guitar in 30 years

                                    By Ferrell

                                    from Hooks, Texas

                                    About Me Experienced

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                    Been playing for 50 years. Finally got a Martin 3 months ago. Came with the lifespan strings. Sounded muted. tried uncoated 12s, too bright. Was looking for that "Martinmellow tone". Got it with the retro 12s. Tone of Dcpa4 can only improve as it ages. Great mellow tone. Found my favorite string. Considering putting retros on Takamine ef314sc.

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Let your guitars tone shine!

                                    By rokdog49

                                    from Ohio

                                    About Me Professional Musician

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Consistent
                                    • Good Tone
                                    • Long Life
                                    • Strong

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Backup
                                      • Concerts
                                      • Practicing

                                      Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                      The Retros are great string for all Mahogany guitars or guitars with Mahogany sides and back.
                                      They truly help you get that "Woody" tone.

                                       
                                      4.0

                                      Interesting String!

                                      By Jacob Ramage

                                      from Meridian, MS

                                      About Me Professional Musician

                                      Verified Reviewer

                                      Pros

                                      • Good Tone

                                      Cons

                                      • Squeaky
                                      • Tough on the Fingers

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Concerts
                                      • Practicing

                                      Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                      The tone from these strings is pretty incredible. I have used coated Elixir's for the majority of my playing, but found the tone of my acoustic (Martin 00L-17 in whiskey sunset) to fall short of how it used to sound when I bought it. I've tried numerous gauges and numerous coatings/Brands. I have found that light strings are the best for my small bodied guitar. I do have two complaints: The squeak is real, and the strings are pretty rough on the fingers. I'm not a baby, but the roughness is noticeable. I do like the tone from these strings. I can deal with the roughness for good tone.

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Keeler!

                                      By hairpuller

                                      from santa rosa, ca

                                      About Me Experienced

                                      See all my reviews

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Good Tone
                                      • Look cool!

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                          Changed out the factory strings on my CEO-7 and love the rich deep tone these have given it! The sustain is ridiculous. Not sure how long they will last, but so far so great!

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          Bright, crisp and excellent tone

                                          By Butch

                                          from UT

                                          About Me Experienced

                                          See all my reviews

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Good Tone
                                          • Strong

                                          Cons

                                            Best Uses

                                            • Blues, slide and solo flatpick

                                            Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                            For my Martin, a good beefy set of bright strings really bring out the tone quality of the instrument. I recommend the Retro set with the .012 E. These strings stand up well to heavy picking, percussive hammers and tapping, and have lasting power (surpassing D'Angelicos and the other long-life Martin strings.

                                            I traditionally liked light gauge strings (still do on my Taylor 12 string) but these strings are a good match for my 6 string stuff- loud and expressive.

                                             
                                            5.0

                                            Love These Strings!!

                                            By JP

                                            from Troy, NY

                                            About Me Experienced

                                            See all my reviews

                                            Ask me a question

                                            Verified Buyer

                                            Pros

                                            • Good Tone

                                            Cons

                                              Best Uses

                                              • Concerts
                                              • Practicing

                                              Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                              Put these on my Blueridge 000 as an experiment. Loved the way the strings got out of the way of the guitar's tone. I felt like the guitar was not just a vehicle for the sound of the strings, but just the opposite. Plus, they felt and played great. Excellent tuning stability. Ordered two more sets and couldn't wait for them to arrive. Slapped them on my Gibsons, a J-45 and J-100). Wonderful!! Again, the sound of the guitar coming through. Never buying anything else.

                                               
                                              5.0

                                              Great Sounding Strings

                                              By Thomas

                                              from North Carolina

                                              About Me Experienced

                                              See all my reviews

                                              Verified Buyer

                                              Pros

                                              • Good Tone

                                              Cons

                                                Best Uses

                                                • Backup
                                                • Practicing

                                                Comments about Martin MM12 Retro Series Light Acoustic Guitar Strings:

                                                I had been wanting to try a set of these monel strings on my Martin D-16. I am not disappointed. They have great mellow tone. Time will tell about string life.

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