Martin Marquis 12 String…Aural Pleasure!

Aug 25, 2010 (Updated Aug 26, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Bright, Warm

Cons:Treble strings a little loud when new.

The Bottom Line:

Martin Marquis are a great choice to bring out the tonal character of your twelve string guitars.


Twelve stringed guitars are fascinating to me, they have always been. There are some really great ones like the Martins & Taylor's and there are those that possess marginal quality, yet can be enhanced with the right strings to sound interesting and inspire creativity. Such is the case with the Harmony H 1270. The jumbo mahogany back and sides can sound really warm if coaxed and that can be accomplished with a good bronze string like the Martin Marquis for 12 strings.

I like the full-bodied tone of this guitar and while I recently picked it up for a song, (no pun intended) it has the potential to play much like a higher priced comparable model since it has dried properly and was taken care of in a case in a moderate temperature yearlong. This instrument is a good candidate for collectible status and thus deserves to be played and heard in the character that it was intended.

The Martin Marquis are phosphor bronze strings with a silk wrap on the ends that reduce wear on bridges and plates and seat tighter. I have read some feel there is a difference in tone compared to the Marquis sold before they were silk wrapped in that they eliminate a tinny feel, although I really can't agree. I do know that when you put new strings on they take a week or so to wear in and get to the real character of the string as they break in. The Marquis have a bright and lush sound when new but develop into an even ordered tone that quiets the treble strings, reining in the higher register ring or sustain though I feel the Marquis have great sustain when worn in. They also have a distinct clarity allowing you to almost distinguish each of the twelve strings as you play.

The Martin Marquis are set up as follows:

E - .010/. 010
B - .014/. 014
G - .023/. 010
D - .030/. 012
A - .039/. 018
E - .047/. 027

Phosphor Bronze is manufactured with a copper/tin alloy and are close to the gauge that I play on my six strings. Bending is easily facilitated making it a natural for duo work with or without a pick. They are smooth to the feel and tightly wound making them easy on your fingers. You can solo on them with minimal wind squeal. Chords blend nicely with even dispersion and moderate sustain.


I have to say the Martin Marquis are a great addition to any 12 string to make it sound as good as it can. I have tried a number of strings and have to say the Martin Marquis are as good as the best strings for a twelve on the market today.


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