Review: Martin Lifespan SP Strings

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Martin’s new Lifespan SP acoustic guitar strings provide players with the natural feel and tone of traditional bronze strings, but give you the added lifespan of coated strings. The strings are “treated” with Cleartone proprietary technology that repels dirt and oils that can dull the tone of your strings.

When I took the Martin string challenge at Summer NAMM 2011, I couldn’t tell a difference in tone or feel between Martin’s treated and untreated strings. They also had a set of a competitor’s “coated” strings that offer extended string life, which I found significantly dampened the tone of the guitar. The Lifespans have the feel of traditional bronze acoustic strings, while the competitor’s coated strings felt unnaturally smooth.

The new strings come in either Bronze or Phosphor and gauges of .11, .12 or .13. I put a set of the .12 Bronze set on my Martin D-18V and immediately noticed a fuller, brighter tone, compared to the coated strings I’ve used in the past. I’ve only had the strings on for a few days, so I can’t comment on their extended life, but I can say that I am happy with the overall tone and feel.

So if you’re looking to get some more life out of your natural-feeling strings, or if you’re tired of the slick feel of coated strings, be sure to check these out.

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