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

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
hesson11
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Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by hesson11 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:54 am

spanishguitarmusic wrote: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.
Two months?! Something's wrong there. You might want to try some of the hints given above.
-Bob

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

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:16 am

hesson11 wrote:
spanishguitarmusic wrote: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.
Two months?! Something's wrong there. You might want to try some of the hints given above.
-Bob
Thanks for the suggestion! I will have to look at the hints given above! :merci:

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

Post by Jack Douglas » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:15 am

When I change strings I remove the old strings one at a time bass E first, never loosening and cutting the string. I put the new string in the tie block first, carefully using one loop on the basses and insert the other end in the rollers. I pull most of the slack out of the string and then I tie the string at the tuning roller. As I tighten the string I press the string downward in the groove between the saddle and the tie block. I have a finger on my one loop keeping the part where it goes under the string on the back side of the tie block. I tighten every new string up to almost pitch before going to the next string. On the treble strings I use the single loop on the g string a double loop on the b string and a triple loop on the e.
After all the strings have been replaced I play and tune the guitar repeatedly until it begins to stay for a short period in tune. I do not cut the loose ends until the next day. The second day I bring the guitar up to pitch and play until it gets out of tune and repeat several times. I then cut the excess ends of all the strings and continue playing and retuning until it stays in tune through an arrangement. Generally, I'll have a second playing session and this time the strings stay pretty much in tune. After the second day the strings may be out of tune when I take the guitar out of the case, but getting it back in tune is quick and easy. By the third day I'm liking the new strings and don't have any issues. Augustine Regals are my favorite treble and they hold their tune quicker than other trebles I've tried. Augustine Classic (blue) basses are quicker than most other basses. Knobloch Actives full set and Pyramid Sterling Silver basses/nylon trebles are my other easy and quick to stay in tune strings. After reading a couple of the comments I'm going to order Aquila Albatross trebles. I use high tension trebles, sometimes medium high. Which tension Aquila should I order?
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petermc61
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Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by petermc61 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:34 am

Hi Jack

I presume you mean Aquila Alabastro. Go for the normal tension (set 19C), they should have enough tension for you. Don't punish yourself going higher. They are nice strings.

Regards
Peter

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

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:41 am

robin loops wrote: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...
I changed my D'Addario EJ45s on 3 July. Today is 14 July, and they are still going noticeably flat, despite my tuning and playing daily. In my opinion, this has nothing to do with slipping. The 6th string does not slip and I tie the first string so that it cannot slip (three twists on the bridge). All strings are still stretching. My experience is that that is completely normal. The Aquila strings on my ukulele do not stabilize any faster.
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Jack Douglas
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Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by Jack Douglas » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:13 pm

petermc61 wrote:Hi Jack

I presume you mean Aquila Alabastro. Go for the normal tension (set 19C), they should have enough tension for you. Don't punish yourself going higher. They are nice strings.

Regards
Peter
Thanks, Peter. I'll order a set or two today.
Jack
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John Stone
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Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by John Stone » Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:01 pm

lifewithasong wrote:it always seems that by the seventh day, they are ready to go.
Not sure what you mean by "ready to go." I find strings to be stable enough for critical use (like recording or performing) after 2 days. They still go slightly flat and need to be tweaked now and then, but it's not a problem. Maybe playing for several hours every day expedites the process. I use Savarez Cantiga and Cristal nylon strings and secure them properly at both ends. Securing them properly to ensure that there's no slippage is probably key.
2001 Manuel Velazquez
1977 Ramirez 1a
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They said, "You have a blue guitar, You do not play things as they are." The man replied, "Things as they are / Are changed upon the blue guitar."

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

Post by robin loops » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:18 pm

The tie offs are a big factor. The strings themselves do not continue to stretch (substantially) for a week or two. if that were the case taking a week to settle in would be a universal problem. If strings take more than a couple of days to settle in, it's caused by bad tie offs (not enough wraps cause slippage / too many cause compression as the cross points squeeze down on the string underneath (btw three wraps on a bass string is overkill). At any rate, it is possible for strings to settle in in a day or two, so for those that think it's normal to take a week or two, I highly suggest trying to figure out what you're doing different... Unless of course you already do everything 100% perfectly... In that case it's just that you have really crappy luck and every set of strings you buy is defective...
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
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Lawler
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Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by Lawler » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:00 pm

It varies a lot depending on the string make/model. Bass strings are rarely a problem for me re stretching, past the first couple hours. It's the trebles. Savarez Alliance 540R trebles (fluorocarbon) take about a week to become solidly pitch stable. The guitar I use them on, I'll restring and leave in its case for a week, just tuning it up to pitch daily. On the flip side, Savarez 520 trebles (nylon) have always held their pitch well for me after just a few hours on the guitar. I just put Dogal NR127A trebles on a guitar and they were very good re being pitch stable quickly. I also like the Aquila Alabastros.

The only time I've had a problem with treble string slip at the tie block or rollers was when I changed strings with oily fingers. So I generally use a little rubbing alcohol on a towel to remove skin oil from my hands before changing the treble strings. No issues ever with bass strings slipping - just the normal slight movement during the initial tightening as they're cinching up on the tie block. Like others, I'm also careful not to get too many wraps around the roller but not because of slipping issues. It's to avoid the string wraps binding at the end of the roller where it meets the peghead, or doubling over its previous wraps and having an inconsistent surface to grip.
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Jack Douglas
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Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by Jack Douglas » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:15 pm

Jack Douglas wrote:
petermc61 wrote:Hi Jack

I presume you mean Aquila Alabastro. Go for the normal tension (set 19C), they should have enough tension for you. Don't punish yourself going higher. They are nice strings.

Regards
Peter
Thanks, Peter. I'll order a set or two today.
Jack
Peter, I just ordered them. I'll let you know how I like them when its time to change strings. Thanks again.
Jack
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Luuttuaja
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Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by Luuttuaja » Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:09 am

James Lister wrote: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
Hi,

So it is entirely safe to tune new strings (I Have D'addario Pro Arte EJ45, normal tension) a semitone above normal the first time you tune them? I'd like to try that next time I need to change strings.

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petermc61
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Re: Length of time for allowing new strings to fully stretch out. . .

Post by petermc61 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:42 am

Yes, I routinely tune strings a semi tone higher, but only one string at a time. Keep retuning over the first 15-20 minutes and when they seem to be holding pitch go to the next string. Once they are all ok leave the guitar a few hours or overnight. They will be a bit flat but not too much. Tune them up and they should hold pitch far better than strings that were never tuned a little high.

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

Post by veetguitar » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:52 am

There is a way of overstretching strings that works quite nicely for me.
Like this the whole process is shortened considerably.
I change strings one by one. The new string will be tuned a full tone above its intended pitch (b and g string even three semi tones). You just let the string settle for 15 minutes and tune to the proper pitch.
In order to not destroy your guitar by too much total tension on the bridge you have to make sure that maybe one or two strings are loosened while you are doing this. Just roughly the combined tension should stay the same. And if you are not yet experienced with this method, better stay on the lower side.
It is as if once the string is stretched to some maximum extend (which is higher than its asigned pitch) it almost does not act like a rubber string and stays in tune so much better.

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