I wrote earlier of my wanting to try the new Tony Rice Signature series Monel strings by Martin on my D-18. I was initially pleased when I put them on. Plugged-in they sound pretty good, an almost "woody" tone. In the sanctuary playing with our little praise band, they did just fine with the guitar plugged into my acoustic amp.
This past Monday, I played at a nursing home with a very open-formal-living-area type of room. And, it was carpeted. I dont plug into an amp in senior venues because of all the people wearing hearing aids. In the process of performance, I became somewhat frustreated because I could not hear the D-18 very well l . . . and I couldnt keep it in tune because I was strumming it hard in a effort to hear it better.
The experience upset me in a very strange way. Walking back to my car, I pledged to sell all my guitars and spend the money on a new hobby like a sharp knife collection.
That's not me. That doesn't sound like me at all. But I did go home sick that afternoon and slept for 13 hours . . . that could have had something to do with it.
For playing acoustically in a larger room . . . these strings are probably not going to cut it. They sound great, but they aren't bright enough for a larger room unless you plug it in to amp. I am sad about this because I have two unopened sets of Monel strings. Before I take them off the D-18, I am going to take my Guild Jumbo F-50R to play there next month. It has phosphor-bronze strings on it. I'm pretty sure the problem is the strings . . . but I need to make sure that it's not the room, or how I was feeling at the time. I've used the D-18 in every senior venue I've played at for the past two years with out any kind of failure. All those times though, I had phosphor-bronze strings on it.
Plugged in, Monel strings sound good, but you have to raise the treble a bit more than normal, and lower the bass just a bit. I LOVE the feel of them. I absolutely LOVE the feel of them. They feel great on the fingers, and picks just slide off the strings in this naturally smooth sort of way. But hearing my guitar clearly when I play, especially in a larger room, is essential to how well I sing.
We will see how it goes. There are some things still to check. IHowever, in the meantime, I will not be putting Monel's on any of my other guitars, until I get some answers, be it the truth or what I hope to hear. I guess there is a possible difference there.
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>