Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
lifewithasong
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by lifewithasong » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:40 pm

Hi Guys,

I wanted to start my new membership with a basic observation, and ask if there are ever any exceptions, in your experiences.

In all the years that I have been playing a nylon-string guitar, I have yet to try any new brand of string that did not need at least one full week for stretching out--is this a general consensus, or have I been missing something?

My habit has been to string up the guitar, bring it to tune--maybe a few times during that first session--then allow it to sit overnight, then re-tune these strings maybe two-to-three times each day until--voila--it always seems that by the seventh day, they are ready to go.

Thank you,
Greg
Esse quam videri

User avatar
Kent
Posts: 2505
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:40 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by Kent » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:43 pm

You could put steel strings on. That would solve the problem. 8)
The general consensus around here is when you no longer need to tune, it is time to change the strings.

lifewithasong
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by lifewithasong » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:18 pm

Gotcha.

Fortunately I've got enough steel strings on other guitars that I'm covered in that department. :lol:

What I'm really trying to describe is that it seems that the strings aren't ready to do what they're going to do best until the seventh day of the initial stretching, although I realize that they are continually stretching throughout the time we leave them on the guitar. Because of this I won't get into any serious playing on them until the seventh day. Otherwise, it just seems that they are stretching and changing too much to truly enjoy them or know what their particular strengths are.

Greg
Last edited by lifewithasong on Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Esse quam videri

User avatar
James Lister
Moderator & Luthier
Moderator & Luthier
Posts: 7026
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by James Lister » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:20 pm

You can speed up the process somewhat by tuning them more frequently, and also by taking them slightly above concert pitch (a semi-tone at most). I usually put new strings on guitars 2 days before taking them to a festival or exhibition - and they're always pretty stable by the time anyone gets to play them.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

riffmeister
Posts: 4122
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:15 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by riffmeister » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:39 pm

Try "titanium" style trebles, they come up to pitch much more quickly than nylon or carbon trebles. But you're still pretty much stuck when it comes to the wound bass strings.

I string the guitar in such a way as to minimize wraps on the tuning rollers and I also gently snug down each string on the tie block as I'm bring new strings up to pitch for the first time.....seems to hasten the stretch-in time. But it still takes a few days for new strings to really settle in.

User avatar
guitarrista
Posts: 835
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by guitarrista » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:47 pm

riffmeister wrote: I string the guitar in such a way as to minimize wraps on the tuning rollers [...]
This. Of all the things one can do, I have found minimizing the loops on the rollers makes the biggest difference. I guess this implies the whole length of the string stretches - the bits wound on the rollers too - so if you minimize those, you cut on the time of significant initial stretching.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

User avatar
James Lister
Moderator & Luthier
Moderator & Luthier
Posts: 7026
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by James Lister » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:07 pm

guitarrista wrote:
riffmeister wrote: I string the guitar in such a way as to minimize wraps on the tuning rollers [...]
This. Of all the things one can do, I have found minimizing the loops on the rollers makes the biggest difference. I guess this implies the whole length of the string stretches - the bits wound on the rollers too - so if you minimize those, you cut on the time of significant initial stretching.
Good advice - forgot to mention that.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

hesson11
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by hesson11 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:26 pm

Just a few things I've found helpful, if you haven't already tried them:

• I agree with everyone who mentioned minimizing slack. I pull the strings as tight as I can before starting to wind the rollers.
• I have found the Todd Tipton method of over-tightening strings when restringing to be very helpful: http://toddtipton.homestead.com/newstringsarticle.html
• I try to change strings when I'll be able to have the guitar within handy reach so I can tighten the strings every few minutes.
• Perhaps the biggest advantage I've experienced was when I switched to Aquila Alabastro strings. I'm constantly amazed at how quickly they settle in. Of course, it helps that they sound fantastic on my guitars, too!
-Bob

lifewithasong
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by lifewithasong » Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:35 am

Thanks guys! I appreciate each of your tips, and will certainly keep these in mind going forward.

Riffmeister, I've actually never tried titanium strings, although I have a Galli titanium first string from a few years ago--may have gotten it in a trade(?), but I can't remember. May have to try that one out for starters one of these days.

I am in a period of experimentation with different strings for this newer guitar that I've recently gotten. I'm really pleased with it, and thus far I've tried the following on it:
Knobloch Actives Nylon MT
LaBella Argento silver-plated (red pack) basses with LaBella 202 trebles MT
Pyramid sterling silver basses + Mari trebles MT
. . .and currently have a set of Ramirez MT settling in on it.

Hesson11: Tell me more about the Alabastros. I have a set of Cristallos here awaiting testing out (+ a few others I gleaned as interesting from reading this forum).

If I need to move this to the a new topic, just let me know, and I will.

Thanks again all,
Greg
Last edited by lifewithasong on Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Esse quam videri

vesa
Posts: 387
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:52 pm
Location: Sulva, Finland

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by vesa » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:15 am

I use Augustine Blue Regals and minimize the loops on the rollers. The fastests settleing(not the reason why I use them) set known to me. I usually change them day or two before the gig and no extra tuning needed during the concert even if an hour and a half in length. I would not be scared to change them the same day in need.
Vesa Kuokkanen

Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

User avatar
robin loops
Posts: 2949
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:57 am
Location: California

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by robin loops » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:03 am

7 days sounds like they are slipping at the tie off points as the settle in. I use D'adarrio ej45's and it normally takes them about a day to settle in but I prefer to give them two before doing any recording...
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

hesson11
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by hesson11 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:11 am

lifewithasong wrote:Hesson11: Tell me more about the Alabastros. I have a set of Cristallos here awaiting testing out (+ a few others I gleaned as interesting from reading this forum).
They were an absolute revelation when I first tried them. I like bright strings, and while the Alabastros are quite bright, they are bright in a dark-ish kind of way. I know that sounds paradoxical, but it may be the best I can do to describe them. The trebles ring very clear but also have a mellowness that tempers them. I think you have to hear them to understand them (assuming they work on your guitar something like they work on mine). They are also the loudest strings I've ever used, and I've used a lot. They're affordable enough to give them at least a shot. Also, there are several threads about them here, so if you do a search (or maybe even look down the category page a bit), you'll find many comments, some of which are quite similar to mine.
-Bob

Bill B
Posts: 1024
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:06 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by Bill B » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:16 am

Nylon strings do stretch, but they probably slip almost just as much. If you are really careful about tying them on both ends and keeping as few wraps as you can get away with on the roller, you should be able to get them to stay in tune pretty well the first, or maybe second day.
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

lifewithasong
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by lifewithasong » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:40 am

Thanks guys!

Greg
Esse quam videri

User avatar
spanishguitarmusic
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:58 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:35 am

I changed my strings on May 2 2016 this year and just at the start of July they have started to settle in and don't need to be tuned as much. The bases really took a long time to settle down. The strings were D'addario normal tension.

Return to “Classical Guitar Strings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 12 guests