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Restringing -- One at a time?


Tpot

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Hey Forum Folks,

 

Just wondering -- I've got a new Cordova Fusion 14 acoustic/electric (nylon strings) that I need to restring. I've heard that one should always replace one string at a time to avoid neck damage. I can do this, of course, but I'd prefer to take them all off at once because it's easier and makes cleaning the neck simpler. Will this really potentially damage the git or are the naysayers just paranoid? Does the same answer apply to a Les Paul? Thanks!

 

tpot

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Welcome aboard Tpot...I always change my strings one at a time starting with the low 6th string...I like to keep the tension on the neck at all times whenever possible...the only exceptions for me is during neck adjustments I'll loosen the 3rd and 4th strings, and during pickguard or pickup changes...I'm sure others will chime in and say they like to take all the stings off and clean the neck etc., but I have no problem keeping the neck clean with the strings on...I don't think there is a hard and fast rule but you may want to talk to your luthier and take his or her advice...IMHO.
Take care, Larryz
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About once a year I strip the guitar down for a complete cleaning, and neck oiling. Then all the strings come off, and the neck gets scrubbed with lemon oil and a toothbrush. Other than that, it is one string at a time.

 

"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."

 

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I cut all of the strings at once (after relieving the tension)and put the new ones on one at a time. I watched my luthier do it like that, (back when I needed one) and I been doing it like that ever since the 1960's on all of my guitars. never had any neck damage doing it that way.
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I do them all at once, It just makes repairs and cleaning easier. The Neck on most electrics will be just fine. The only one I did one at a time was anything with a floating trem. Also This gives you a chance to really inspect wear on the nut and bridge, I once took the strings off a gibson flying V and the nut fell right off. If I had done them one at a time it would not have fallen off and I may still be trying to find the cause of a weird buzzing.

 

Lok

1997 PRS CE24, 1981 Greco MSV 850, 1991 Greco V 900, 2 2006 Dean Inferno Flying Vs, 1987 Gibson Flying V, 2000s Jackson Dinky/Soloist, 1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio,

 

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I do it all at once, cutting them after loosening the tension, which is how someone showed me as a kid. I do usually double check the action and intonation and stuff after it's restrung, and I guess the one at a time method might eliminate that... hmmmm...

 

but yeah, people have watched me do it and said "no, that's gonna mess up the set up job..."

 

I guess like everything else there's different schools of thought. I do use string wipes now and don't change strings until they break or go dead... whereas up to 10 years ago - before I started buying strings in bulk - I had to change them before every gig or break a couple during the course of the night.

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I have about 20 guitars - some are collectibles. All are very well set up, maintained and in excellent playing condition.

 

I change three at a time, wiping down half of the fretboard, headstock, pickups and bridge area as I go. This seems to work for me. Never had any issues.

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After taking the tension off the strings, I cut them all off at once in the middle. That way I don't shock the neck. Other than that, pretty much OK to go. On a Les Paul style remember the stop bar is gonna fall! With all stings off I sight the neck since at that point, the truss has complete control. Usually it will be straight or have a very slight backward bow. Clean the fretboard and polish the frets if you want. Check the nut and bridge, good time to polish up the buckers, bridge and stop bar if you have 'em.

Put back on starting with low E. Some people do high E, or G next, to keep the pressure distributed around the neck. Some strings are even packaged that way now. Low E with G, so on.

My belief is if you have a truss rod, and the rod nut did not move, you will come back to your original position as long as your strings are same brand/style and same size across the six pack.

That's my experience, but I don't do this for a living.

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Change strings in 4 minutes :) I've lost the link temporarily, but they had an string winder on a cordless screwdriver.

 

found it..

 

http://www.music123.com//Music123---How-to-Change-the-Strings-on-a-Guitar-g25492t0.Music123?source=ZTP0B8&indiv_id=3458293

 

Now I'll admit I'm a one string at a time guy too. And I do a "under and over fold" for a lock too. But those pre-cut strings looked like they were locked in pretty good :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
I've been playing guitar for 46 years and have owned hundreds of guitars, electric and acoustic, and have been changing my own strings for as long. I've heard the one string at a time thing all my life but have never done it that way myself. I have asked luthiers that question and never had one tell me that you should worry about taking all the strings off at the same time. Everyone should know that leaving a guitar unstrung will definitely do damage eventually... but not in the time it takes to change strings! A much more important and often overlooked consideration in the care and feeding of your guitar is maintaining it at the right humidity level. Do that and you won't have to worry about how you change your strings.
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Taking off all the strings at one time won't damage a neck in the short term.

 

However, since a neck is a dynamic machine which under normal circumstances balances the tension pull of the strings against the back-bow of the neck truss rod, to leave them off for a length of time would result in a dangerous back-bow in the neck.

 

Releasing the truss rod would fix this problem - i.e. if you want to leave a neck stringless for any length of time, take the tension off the truss rod - it'll be fine. After all, they are mass-produced and we don't have necks destroying themselves while lying in stock - do we?

 

:D

 

Everything concerning the action & neck of a guitar/bass is about balanced tensions. Remove those tensions and the other has also to be balanced.

 

As has been said above, it's fine to remove all six strings once in a while & clean & polish things. Once the new strings are on & everything is balanced again the action will usually return to what it was in a few hours.

 

G.

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I always used to do "one at a time", but it's really not necessary... I've recently changed to "take em all of and give the fretboard a good clean" - actually much easier and better job.

 

Two tips:

1) Buy a string winder!

2) Once you've released the string tension, cut 'em! Easier to remove than unwinding all the way. :)

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I'll still stay a "one at a time" stringer. Why?

 

1. you can only CHANGE one at a time :) LOL

2. if i'm going to clean/oil fretboard, I do it with OLD strings on. They don't get in the way too much for my clean-up

3. luthiers nonwithstanding, I still believe loosening all strings at once can effect a neck, albeit problaby not much (but why mess with your setup (truss rod, intonation etc.)

 

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Hey Forum Folks,

 

Just wondering -- I've got a new Cordova Fusion 14 acoustic/electric (nylon strings) that I need to restring. I've heard that one should always replace one string at a time to avoid neck damage. I can do this, of course, but I'd prefer to take them all off at once because it's easier and makes cleaning the neck simpler. Will this really potentially damage the git or are the naysayers just paranoid? Does the same answer apply to a Les Paul? Thanks!

 

tpot

 

Hi tpot. Don't get caught in the neck damage paranoia. Neck damage caused by so-called "Improper Restringing" is an urban legend, PERIOD. I restring my guitars in the way that works best and most effectively depending of the type of guitar. From what can tell after 30+ years of playing and owning guitars most neck damages are caused by sudden impact(breakage), by excessive temperature and/or humidity changes (warpage) and by overtightening the truss rod (backward bend, torn truss rod). And, yes every now and so often you may have improper craftsmanship during the manufacturing process causing neck damage down the line. There is really nothing you could do about this one other than crossing yuor fingers and hope for decent customer service / warranty.

 

... just my 2 cents worth

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Probably depends on the guitar. With for instance a floating bridge tremelo ABSOLUTELY!!

 

I always go 1 string at a time. I used to just take them all off and restring, but that just throws it out of whack. Of course some guitars would probably be fine with that..

 

But why take the chance? I doubt it would cause damage to the neck. I just think you may possibly need to have a neck and calibration done after, if you choose to take all of them off at once. But perhaps it would be fine.

 

More likely it would be fine if it is a fixed bridge. I just kind of learned that at a certain stage and never looked back. It makes it so there is never any really drastic changes done to the tension/stability of the setup, and the instrument.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
From all of my years of playing and research, I have found that, for the most part, the idea that removing all of the strings at once will damage your guitar in any way, is a myth. More than likely it came about from people that owned guitars that had floating bridges like many archtops and violins. If you remove all of the strings at once, the bridge would fall off and some people have a hard time repositioning the bridge. If you change one string at a time with a floating bridge, the bridge stays put and your intonation remains sweet.
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Here's the skinny.

As mentioned above the primary reason for this idea has to do with some vibrato systems.

 

The only other affect possible is a very slight relaxation of the neck if all the strings were off & that effect would be very temporary & only affect the guitar holding tuning...but since new strings have a period of tuning adjustment anyway, that's a bugaboo (highly technical term, I know but look it up :laugh: ).

 

If there were any potential damage in removing all strings at once, no-one could get their guitars repaired, modified or adjusted in most ways.

The same would applly to many shipping situations, wherein the string tension is relaxed to avoid neck stress.

 

d=halfnote
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