Best Acoustic Guitar Strings For Warm Sound

Finding the best acoustic guitar strings for a warm sound is not a lifetime pursuit. When you find the right strings, it makes life a whole lot easier. 
Sidekick Pick
D'Addario Phosphor Bronze
Runner Up #1
Martin Guitar MA550
Runner Up #2
Elixir Strings Phosphor Bronze

Finding the best acoustic guitar strings for a warm sound is not a lifetime pursuit.  When you find the right strings, it makes life a whole lot easier. 

Purchasing the right acoustic guitar strings is critical for identifying the sound you are looking for.  I can honestly say, I wish I would have found this post I am writing 20 years ago when I started playing acoustic.  What I have come to realize is the sound I am looking for has more or less to do with the brand and more of the actual composition of the guitar.

Sure, big brands bring the trustworthiness I need to pull the trigger on nice sounding guitars, but I have always wanted to understand exactly what my ear is hearing and the science behind it.  

Like you reading this today, I have always been drawn to the warmer sound of the acoustic.  In the beginning, I kinda thought all guitars sounded warm, so I really didn’t hear or understand the difference.  After twenty years of playing, your ear really starts to develop and you start to understand and pick up on some key elements that contribute to a good warm sound.  

What I love about acoustic guitars is that the sound is not engineered by effects or any other tone manipulations.  Now, I am not saying that I do not enjoy a good guitar pedal, because I really do.  But any recording expert would tell you, the best type of sound is a “real” one.  

The warm acoustic sound is something that cannot be manufactured (although many pedals get close).  It is something that is a direct result of the guitar’s make up and string selection. 

The last thing to consider for a warmer sounding guitar string is the gauge.  Although some will tell you that it really doesn’t matter, let your ear do the talking.  It is very clear to me that when I use higher gauged guitar strings, the sound changes.  The actual gauge of the string refers to the thickness of the string.  Strings that have a higher gauge are able to absorb the guitar’s vibrations at a higher level, which produces a higher frequency.  On the opposite side, strings that have a lower thickness cannot absorb the guitar’s vibrations and produce a lower amount of resonance between notes.  

Things To Look For In An Acoustic Guitar String For A Warm Sound 

There are certain things in an acoustic guitar that makes it sound warmer.  For example, guitars that are made out of mahogany have a much fuller and warmer sound than ones made out of maple.  This is simply because of the actual makeup of the wood.  The same principle applies to the makeup of strings.  

If you are looking for a warm sounding string, the number one thing to look for is the actual type of string it is and which family it comes from.  In principle, strings that are bronze plated are going to sound much brighter than strings that are brass plated naturally.  

Within the brass vs bronze spectacle, there is another option to consider - phosphor or 80/20.  80/20 will have a much brighter response than strings that are phosphor.  If you are looking for that warmer sound, go with the phosphor. 

The coating of the string is also very important and something to consider.  When looking for strings in the Elixer family, there are two main coating options for acoustic: Polyweb and Nanoweb.  

Nanoweb string coatings have more of a smooth feeling and have a brighter sound.  Polyweb sting coatings feel slick and fast and have a warmer sound.  When looking for a good acoustic guitar string that has a warm feeling and sound, think Polyweb. 

Sidekick Spotlight

Gibson Coated Phosphor Bronze

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Gibson Coated Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings (Medium)

Gibson is a brand that all guitar players are familiar with for good reason. Their products are world-class.  Their strings are no different.  With a phosphor bronze string type, you will get a very nice warm sound that is both full and dynamic. 

Because the gauge of these strings is medium, the strings will resonance longer between notes.  You can especially tell the difference if you implement a fingerstyle method. 

Sidekick Spotlight

Gibson Coated Phosphor Bronze

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D'Addario Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Medium

The D’Addario phosphor bronze acoustic guitar strings are another great option for those looking for a warmer sound.  The strings are wound corrosion phosphor bronze wire that has a carbon steel core

The medium string gauge is almost important because it implants a longer resonance path between each chord voicings.  This gives the sound of the guitar a much fuller and lasting sound.  

Other Great Products Below..

Martin Guitar MA550 Authentic Acoustic Medium Guitar Strings, 92/8 Phosphor Bronze

Like the other big-name guitar brands, Martin knows what they are doing when it comes to strings.  These strings feature a medium gauge (.013 - .056) which helps brighten the natural sound of your guitar, including the bass and tenor range.  

The string wiring is phosphor bronze, which has a higher response time for warm frequencies than your average 80/20 bronze.  

Elixir Strings Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings w NANOWEB Coating, Custom Light (.011-.052)

The Elixer Phosphor Bronze strings are a great option for a warm sound, and easy to play.  Because the gauge of the strings is thinner, expect to have an easier to time to voice chord shapes. 

The phosphor bronze wire type allows the much warmer tone that is great for singer/songwriter styles of music.  The nanoweb coatings have a slick and easy feel to them when chording and sound full.  

Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Medium (13-56) Acoustic Guitar Strings (P02144)

Ernie Ball Earthwood is another great option for a warm guitar sound.  The wiring is made up of 92% copper, 7.7% tin, 0.3% phosphorus wire, which allows for a much warmer tone.  

The medium gauge provides a greater resonance response due to the thickness of the string wiring.  This will create more sustain within each chord that is played. 

My Recommendation For The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings For Warm Sound

All of these strings will give you a really good warm sound on your guitar.  However, if you are asking for my recommendation, for me, I am going with the D'Addario Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Medium.  Not only do they sound great, but each time I put them on, I feel like the quality of the strings lasts the longest.