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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 2314
Newtone Master Class Double Wound Acoustic Guitar Strings (Med-Lt 12-52)

Strings generously provided b:y Strings By Mail (http://www.StringsByMail.com


I’m a big fan of Newtone Heritage strings, so when I received the set of Newtone Master Class Double Wound strings from Strings By Mail, I had high expectations. Newtone wraps phosphor bronze, twice over a round core, giving their strings a unique sound and feel. I’ve read a lot of good things about the Master Class of strings, so I was anxious to string the guitar and give them a go. Newtone has once again, exceeded my expectations.

The strings came in a plastic envelope with the strings wound together; although the packaging wasn’t sealed, the strings had no signs of corrosion. They had a smooth, substantial feel to them, when I strung them on my 00-12 fret guitar. They put a lot of funk on my fingers for the first 3 days, which cleared up. The strings quickly came into tune and stayed in tune. In fact, they stayed in tune without variance, solidly on each note.

I always check the tuning when I take the guitar out, then double check it after playing for a few minutes. It’s rare that I don’t have to tweak the tuning. The Master Class strings are unique in my experience, because once I made the initial tuning correction out of the case, the strings stayed absolutely and firmly in tune, without even a hint of variation. Unless there was a substantial change in humidity, I didn’t adjust them at all.

There is a reason for strumming each string as hard (or loud) as you would normally play, when tuning your guitar. The string tightens more when you strum harder, slightly sharpening the note. When first strummed, most strings will vibrate faster, settling quickly into the note. This is called string harmonics, which can add to the overall sound, as long as the variation is small and brief. They can also cause a lack of note separation and muddiness. But, the Master Class Double Wound strings stay FIRMLY on the note, without variation. It doesn’t matter how hard or soft they’re played. I thought my Snark tuner was acting up, so I double checked with another. The Newtone Master Class Double Wound Strings are the most precise strings I’ve ever played. If you’re as persnickety about tuning as I am, these are your strings.

Newtone states that the double winding of phosphor produces a warm sound. In my experience, sacrifices are made in the mids and trebles with warm strings. Note separation and projection can be lost. Calling them “warm” is a misnomer. They produced a rich and lush bass response on my 00, but the mids and trebles weren't stifled by any means. The note separation and definition are by far, the best I’ve ever heard. Given their proclivity for firm tuning, the Newtone Master Class Double Wound strings projection was extraordinary, casting a sweet, lingering mixture of notes, almost perfect in form. They’re a fingerstyle player’s dream come true; chords come alive. If you’re looking for a set of strings to play different styles of music on a small bodied guitar, the Newtone Master Class Double Wound Strings are made for you. I doubt you could do better.

They produced a moderate amount of finger squeak when I first strung the guitar, which disappeared after about 2 days. The strings are regular tension as opposed to low tension, so drop tuning isn’t an issue. If you have a physical problem with your fretting hand as I do, then they can be a bit harder to fret. I’ve put about 25-30 hours on the strings, and they’re still holding that incredible perfect tune; I have no doubt that they’ll last much longer. Priced at $14.49 (at Strings By Mail), they fall into the mid price range. Given their incredible performance, they’re a great buy.

The Good:

Clean after initial finger funk
Articulate, bright with lots of bass warmth; balanced
Ideal for fingerstyle as well as strumming
Ideal for small bodied guitar (not for fragile vintage guitars)
Tunes precisely and stays precise
High enough tension to withstand extreme down tuning (B on 6th string)
Tuning held up beautifully to humidity changes

The Bad:

Packaging could be better

newtone master class double wound for Feb 2016 Review.jpg

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