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Luxe by Martin Kovar Strings
 
A warm-sounding and easy-playing set of strings made with a nickel-cobalt alloy.
September 20, 2023
 

Martin Guitars is one of the world’s leading string makers. Made in the company’s Mexican manufacturing facility, Martin strings are available in many different varieties, with sets for steel-string and nylon-string guitar, ukulele, mandolin, banjo, and acoustic bass guitar. Martin has now expanded its offerings with a new set of Luxe by Martin Kovar strings, which are available in custom light (.011–.052), light (.012–.054), and medium (.013–.056) gauges. For this demo, I put a light-gauge set on my Martin Custom Shop OM, played them for a few days, and then headed to the Peghead Nation video studio. 

Kovar is a nickel-cobalt alloy with a silver-gray appearance. Martin claims that the material has a natural corrosion resistance, and on the new strings, the wrap wire is matched with Martin’s SP core wire. The strings are very flexible, and remind me of Martin’s Flexible Core strings (check out my demo of the Tommy Emmanuel Signature set). On my guitar (which has a standard OM scale of 25.4 inches) at standard tuning tension, the strings have a softer, more flexible feel than other light-gauge sets. Playability is superb, aided by the fact that the light-gauge set’s overall tension is slightly lower than most at about 164 pounds. 

On my OM, the strings had a lovely, warm tonal quality that lacked the high-end zing often heard from a new set of phosphor-bronze strings, but they weren’t as dark sounding as nickel-wound electric sets can often be on a flattop. The result was a rich and well-balanced quality that sounded especially nice when I strummed it with a pick. While the strings hadn’t been on the guitar for an extended period of time when I shot the demo video, the tone seemed virtually unchanged from the time I first put the strings on the guitar, and my playing included an hour-long performance that included several songs in alternate tunings. 

Overall, the new Luxe by Martin Kovar strings are a welcome addition to the company’s string line. Whether you are looking for a warm-sounding set, trying to tame a guitar with a bright character, or need easy playability, the Luxe by Martin Kovar strings are definitely worth checking out!

Martinguitar.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
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