When to change strings

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Bill-stl
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When to change strings

Post by Bill-stl » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:43 am

I recently started playing again after a layoff of several years. Do strings go bad just sitting? They sound fine to me and don't show signs of wear, but I have never seen this discussed and was thinking of changing them just to see if new strings sound different.

Cincy2
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Re: When to change strings

Post by Cincy2 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:30 am

After that long a time, I would definitely change them. Being under tension for that long would affect intonation at least. Depending on the environment in which they were stored, there could be corrosion issues also.

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Laudiesdad69
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Re: When to change strings

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:43 pm

I just went through a set of Hannabach Exclusive MT that, although they have only been on the guitar for a little over a month, and show absolutely no wear on the basses, sound subdued and dull. This with less than 30 hours of play on them. In actuality it is more or less about 16 hours. They went dull just sitting there basically. They lost that special something that they had when I first put them on. I have had other strings which have kept their new sound, even though they sat in the case, on the guitar, for months without being played. But it ain't so with these strings.

I would definitely change your strings if they sat there for a year or two. Humidity and temperature changes won't do them any favors. I suggest that you tune it up and play a little on the old strings, just so you will be able to compare how good the new ones will sound after you put them on.

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oski79
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Re: When to change strings

Post by oski79 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:22 pm

Here's another tip. When I change strings, I mark the date on one of packages, and put it back with my supply of strings. It almost always surprises me when I my strings sound worn out, then I notice how long it's been since my last change.
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Bill-stl
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Re: When to change strings

Post by Bill-stl » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:44 pm

Thanks for the tips and information. I thought it would be a good idea to change them, but wondered if it be worth it. I'm not sure I have the ear to tell the difference, but it will be interesting to see. I will post what I find.
Thanks!

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: When to change strings

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:07 pm

The average life span of strings for professional players is 40 hours (playing time).
许理和·海牙·荷兰 Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
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joachim33
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Re: When to change strings

Post by joachim33 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:30 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:07 pm
The average life span of strings for professional players is 40 hours (playing time).
Where did you learn this?

Laudiesdad69
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Re: When to change strings

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:39 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:07 pm
The average life span of strings for professional players is 40 hours (playing time).
If only I could have got more time out of the Hannabach. I played about a half hour a day, and some days not at all, and the strings sound dull already. Oh well, I wouldn’t have known had I not tried them. But at 26 bucks for a bass set, I won’t give them a second chance. Back to the Cantiga set for me. They quality of the sound stays a lot longer.

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: When to change strings

Post by Erik Zurcher » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:23 pm

joachim33 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:30 pm
Erik Zurcher wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:07 pm
The average life span of strings for professional players is 40 hours (playing time).
Where did you learn this?
My friend and professional guitarist Fernando Riscado Cordas told me this. He restrings his guitar after 40 hours.
许理和·海牙·荷兰 Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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souldier
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Re: When to change strings

Post by souldier » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:33 am

oski79 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:22 pm
Here's another tip. When I change strings, I mark the date on one of packages, and put it back with my supply of strings. It almost always surprises me when I my strings sound worn out, then I notice how long it's been since my last change.
I keep extensive records on my computer as to when I changed a bass or treble set along with my impressions of their sound. I usually take notes various times throughout the life of the string set to record how I feel about them while noting the date. These records have proven to be crucial in deciding what strings to buy next or settle on since I often forget what my impressions were. It also gives me a good idea of the lifespan of different sets. It's also quite interesting how my impression of a string set can differ greatly across different guitars.
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