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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:08 am 
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Posts: 1308
GHS Silk and Bronze (Med. Lt. 12-54)

Strings generously provided by: Strings By Mail,( https://www.StringsByMail.com )

https://www.stringsbymail.com/acoustic-guitar-strings-7/ghs-20/silk-and-bronze-587/

“GHS Silk and Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings are constructed of a Copper-Tin-Phosphor Alloy. The special blend phosphor bronze alloy wrapped over a silk and steel core produces a warm tone and soft feel. This results in extra sustain and reduced finger noise.” - content written by Strings By Mail. After testing Martin’s Silk and Phosphor Strings, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at GHS Silk and Bronze.

The strings arrived in a cardboard box, each string contained in a paper envelope. Packaging is a priority for me, and I was a bit surprised to see this box since all of the other GHS strings I’ve played, have been packaged in sealed plastic. The packaging provided no protection against air corrosion for the strings. If you look closely at the photos that I’ve taken, you’ll see corrosion on several areas of the treble “B” string. I also found corrosion on the strings at the wound grommet ends of the G and bass E strings. The reason I place such a high priority on packaging, becomes painfully clear. Read on for more information on this later in the review.

After stringing the guitar, it took about 48 hours for the strings to settle into tune. The strings left very little finger funk on my fingers, which cleared up the next day. I detest finger funk, so I appreciated this feature. They sounded very mellow and warm, with a simple melodic voice without complexity. The strings sounded okay, but not particularly inspiring. Unlike Martin’s Silk and Phosphor strings, the mids seemed almost absent. I waited for the strings to open up, but it never occurred. Because of their simple melodic voice, proper tuning is imperative. The strings are indeed lower tension, with a minimal amount of finger squeak. They were a pleasure to fret.

Since my hand surgery, I haven’t play as much as I usually do, and I didn’t use alternative tuning. In fact, I only put about 10 playing hours on the strings when the treble “B” string broke. This came as no surprise, given the corrosion I found and photographed on the string. In fact, I noticed that the strings were showing signs of wear, even before the string broke. They were not staying in tune and required constant tightening, which is a sure sign of string failure. Unfortunately, treble “B” broke before I could record a sample. However, if you click on the link at the top of this review, you’ll find a recorded sample of these strings. The strings retail for $6.99 at SBM

I knew that GHS had problems with their paper manufacturer using chemicals that caused corrosion, which is why I was surprised to see this packaging. My experience with this set of strings was extremely unusual. GHS strings have always been reliable on my guitars.

Strings By Mail wasn't notified by any of the affected manufacturers about the corrosive problem; they became aware of the problem after the DR Strings broke during my review. It's unfortunate that the string manufacturers didn't notify distributors of the problem.

I sent GHS an email with all of the information that I’ve given you. I got a response from Elizabeth Randall, GHS National Sales Manager. This is the content of the response:

“Yes we did have an issue with our paper envelopes, the paper manufacturer changed the way they bleached the paper causing a reaction with the strings. We have since gone to our new Nitrogen packaging. I will gladly replace these strings, just let me know which set it is, how many sets you purchased and your address. I will get them right out to you. We are sorry for the inconvenience - and thank you for letting us know and your loyalty.”

She also send me an email to let me know that she would contact their distributors, to replace any sets of strings that may be affected.

*Strings By Mail has addressed the problem to ensure that you receive strings in the new packaging. You can rest assure that you will get strings in the proper packaging, when you purchase from them.*

I appreciated GHS’s immediate response to the problem. When I receive the replacement set, I’ll string the guitar and do another review. I believe the lackluster performance of the strings was due to the problems with the corrosion. Also, if you purchase GHS strings, make sure that they’re packaged in the plastic packaging, and not cardboard. If you should have problems with corroded strings out of a package, contact GHS here: http://www.ghsstrings.com/pages/general-inquiries

The Good:

1. Very little finger funk
2. Minimal finger squeak
3. Low tension; good for those with disabilities or older guitars
4. Price-$6.99

The Bad:

1. Uninspired sound; muddled mids
2. Packaging, no protection against corrosion
3. Corroded strings
4. Longevity; strings sounded worn in short period of time
5. Longer break in


I will review these strings again when I receive the replacements

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