The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for Warm Sounds

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Finding your new favourite guitar strings can be a tough task. So many strings are hugely popular and highly recommended, yet when you try them in your guitar, they just don’t quite sound right. This can be especially frustrating when you’re searching for something specific like a warm sound.

In this guide, we have provided a list of top quality acoustic guitar strings, perfect for warm sounds. We have also provided some extra tips you can try that are known for adding warmth to your tone.

Top 5 Warm Acoustic Guitar Strings

Guitar strings are very subjective and the same strings will sound very different when used in a different guitar. The only way you can really find the right strings for you is by trying a few sets out. The strings in the list below are highly recommended for warm sounds.

What Do We Mean by a “Warm Sound”?

Terms like “warm” and “bright” are really quite subjective when it comes to music, and it can be quite difficult to put into words what we mean by them! However, there are definitely other ways we can describe a “warm sound” to help explain what we mean:

  • Bass-heavy
  • Full sound
  • Mellow
  • Dark
  • Rich
  • Not piercing

Personally, These are the words I would use to describe a warm sound. Of course, your definition may differ to mine – and that’s fine – but know that this is what I mean by a warm sound in relation to this post.

What Makes Acoustic Guitar Strings Warm?

You may have noticed that most of the strings in out top 5 list are phosphorus bronze strings. Phosphorus bronze strings use a combination of 92% copper and 8% zinc which happens to create a warmer sound than an 80/20 ratio.

I haven’t explored the scientific reason as to WHY this combination creates a warmer sound, and I’ll leave that to the experts! However, when you’re looking for acoustic strings for a warmer tone, it’s worth keeping phosphorus bronze strings in mind.

This isn’t to say you have to use phosphorus bronze strings for a warm sound. The last strings in out list – the Thomastik-Infeld Spectrums – are not phosphorus bronze yet still have a warm sound. Thomastik-Infeld puts this down to mechanical filtering with silk inlay technology.

How Else Can You Get a Warm Sound?

Choosing strings specifically with a warm sound in mind is certainly one thing you can do. However, there are a few other things you can do to get a warm sound too:

  • Use a thicker and softer pick – Thin and hard picks usually produce a brighter tone. If you use a thinner pick, you should definitely consider switching to a thick nylon pick for a warmer sound.
  • Get a John Pearse armrest – This is another cool way of getting a warmer tone which I picked up from a post on acousticguitarforum.com. Strum a chord and then lift your arm off and listen to it ring. If you like the sound, pick up a John Pearse armrest which will produce the same effect.
  • Pick/pluck over the soundhole – Where you pick the strings can have quite a big effect on how warm the sound is. Try to pick the strings directly over the soundhole for the warmest tone.
  • Tune down – Tuning down half a step or so can give your guitar an extra boost of warmth. If you need to play in standard E tuning, you can always use a capo.

Conclusion

It can be difficult to find the right acoustic guitar strings, especially if you’re looking for something specific like a warm sound. Hopefully, this guide has given you some string ideas to add to your shortlist, along with some useful tips for creating that warm tone you’re looking for!

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