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New Strings


Kramer Ferrington III.

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Last night I changed my strings (new guage, brand) and I am not a happy camper. They sounded completely dead and clunky.

 

Now, I know that strings need to settle in and after playing them for about an hour or so, they were starting to sound a bit more reasonable.

 

With some strings, I notice that they sound a lot better the day after I put them on, others sound ok from the word "go".

 

My question is... is there any way of speeding up this "settling in" period? I stretch them and all that, but they don't always sound nice straight off. And secondly, is there some way I can tell which strings are going to sound ok straight off?

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Originally posted by Bluesape:

Dunno, Vince - I change strings as needed, middle of a gig, for instance, and haven't noticed this issue.

I never used to notice it either, until I started changing strings on a resophonic I have. The strings definitely sounded better the next day.

 

I'd say I was just imagining it, but Caevan's mentioned noticing the same thing on some of his guitars.

 

I'm sort of concerned about the problem because the strings I've always used (Fender Subsonics) seem to be discontinued (they are certainly getting harder to find) and I don't want to go through this "waiting 24 hours for the strings to sound good" thing every time I change strings.

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Never even heard of that situation but I`ve never owned that kind of guitar (if there`s a connection). Well experimenting with string brands shouldn`t be a chore- it sucks when they stop making them though, I used to like those gold-coated ones. I even still have a few sets but now they`re collectors items so I don`t use them. Fortunately I found a new brand that`s really good.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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I don't know... I just use Markley Blue Steels on the electrics (mostly becauee they last....) and Martin SPs on the acoustics. Play them for a few minutes and they're ready to go. Like the others, I don't have a resonator guitar so I can't address your specific issues, but.....

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by Bill@Welcome Home Studios:

Like the others, I don't have a resonator guitar so I can't address your specific issues, but.....

No, the resonator guitar's not the point. I'm changing the strings on an electric baritone, actually. It's just that I noticed it first on a reso.

 

The Fender Subsonics I've always used on the Bari work fine straight off, but these new D'Addarios I'm using sound as if they need a bit of settling in. They'll probably be fine by the time I go home though.

 

I'd love to know why that happens on some guitars. Maybe it's the strings, or just that the D'Addarios are in a heavier gauge. Still, it's disappointing.

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I actually prefer strings that have been thoroughly "scuffed in" (to use a car racing term). :)

 

I know a lot of folks get all giddy about new/fresh strings...

but I find that only after I stretch the crap out of my stings (so's they stay tune after you play a bit)...and after theyve gotten "scuffed in" some...

...do they sound more uniform and remain more predictable tuning wise.

 

Heck...even though I have about 40-50 sets of various brands always on hand...I'm just not a "string changing nut".

When I start to feel some serious fret bites on 'em...or they start to really sound dead...then I change 'em.

But with a dozen or more guitars...it takes a long time for me to "play out" a set of strings on anyone guitar.

I don't have sweaty hands...and I keep my guitars clean...so the strings never get cruddy and dingy looking.

 

Oh...I also switch back and forth from D'Addarios, GHS Boomers, Fender Pure Nickle, Ernie Ball Slinkies...

...and they all work and sound fine for me.

It's not that much of an issue.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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It seems that a set of strings just need to be "broken in" sometimes. I do have one question, Kramer: was the set of strings that you put on a set you had just bought, or was it a set that you had on hand for a while? I recently changed strings on my guitars, and at first the new strings on my '03 Fender Strat felt different, just a bit "stiff" or "tight". They still sounded good, and the action was still fine--they just felt different somehow. It was just a sensation, and after playing them a while, the sensation went away, and the strings felt fine. The new set that I put on was a set that I had sitting around for a while, and I have noticed that most all guitar strings (including my brands of choice) come vacuumed-sealed now (the set that I put on wasn't)--so it's possible that that might have had something to do with it. Anyhow, it was something that I hadn't really noticed before, and it's also possible that it was just my imagination. Or it may have been my fingers; I hadn't played for several days, and the evening before I had put skin lotion on my wife's feet, so perhaps I needed to build the ol' callouses back up again. But anyhow! As for having to change string brands because of the unavailibility of one's preferred brand, I can relate to that inconvience. I have for sometime been using Fender Phosphour Bronze 0.10 on my Ibanez V70CE-NT acoustic-electric, and over that past year I have been finding it increasingly difficult to find that brand in that gage; so I recently I decided to switch to D'Addario Phosphour Bronze 0.10 since I have heard very good things about them, and since they seem to be available everywhere and at a good price. As for the stings on my Strat, I use Fender Super Bullets (0.09-0.42), which sound good, which seem to last, and which continue to be available everywhere.

Robert J. ("Bob") Welch III

 

"If you were the only person who ever lived, God still would have sent Jesus His only Son to die on the cross for YOU, because that is how much HE LOVES YOU!"

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Strings may change a bit with time/oxidation/dirt...etc...

...but if your guitar sounds one way today...and another way tomorrow...

...chances are it's not mostly the strings.

 

Wood is much more susceptible to daily climate changes than the metal stringsand maybe thats where the daily sound differences are coming from?

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by The Lone Chicken:

It seems that a set of strings just need to be "broken in" sometimes.

Yeah, I think it's that too. Leaving them to stretch overnight counts as "breaking in", I guess.

 

 

Originally posted by The Lone Chicken:

I do have one question, Kramer: was the set of strings that you put on a set you had just bought, or was it a set that you had on hand for a while?

Hard to say. I only received them last week through the mail, but I have no way of knowing how long Elderly had them in the shop.

 

 

Originally posted by The Lone Chicken:

I recently changed strings on my guitars, and at first the new strings on my '03 Fender Strat felt different, just a bit "stiff" or "tight". They still sounded good, and the action was still fine--they just felt different somehow. It was just a sensation, and after playing them a while, the sensation went away, and the strings felt fine.

Yeah, I know that sensation. To me it's like opening a fresh deck of cards. "Crisp" is the word I'd use :)

 

 

Originally posted by The Lone Chicken:

I have noticed that most all guitar strings (including my brands of choice) come vacuumed-sealed now

They DO? :confused: I haven't noticed much. Some D'Addarios do, but most strings I use still come in those little paper envelopes.

 

 

Originally posted by The Lone Chicken:

As for having to change string brands because of the unavailibility of one's preferred brand, I can relate to that inconvience.

It's a real drag. I've never met anyone else who plays baritone (people usually say things like "Oh, so you're a sax player!") and so I have to have my strings specially imported for me (or I order them online, which is about the same) I'm always worrying that one day nobody will make baritone sets anymore and I'll have to have sets made up specially for me. Tried it once and it's a slow and hit or miss process.

 

 

ANYWAY: moral of the story. An evening after changing the strings, they feel fine. :D

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Kramer, have you heard "One Quiet Night" by Pat Metheny? That CD, which came out about 3 years ago, is a solo venture that Pat recorded one night at his apartment in NYC. The reason I believe you would be interested in this recording is that Pat played every song (including a remake of his "Last Train Home") on an acoustic baritone guitar. A very challenging and yet relaxing listen.

 

An increasing number of string manufacturers are now vacuum-sealing their product; Fender, I believe, began doing theirs within the past half-year.

 

As for your "moral of the story", I totally agree: after one evening, a new set of strings will be just fine. I do believe that sometimes we do pay too much attention to and fret over little things that usually do work themselves out...I know I do sometimes. :D

Robert J. ("Bob") Welch III

 

"If you were the only person who ever lived, God still would have sent Jesus His only Son to die on the cross for YOU, because that is how much HE LOVES YOU!"

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I like flatwounds. As dead out of the box as they'll be in 5 years. I've played guitars with 30 year old flats on them before, and they sounded like my most recent set of flats. How's that for predictable?

Dr. Seuss: The Original White Rapper

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WWND?

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