Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
ButtChin
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Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby ButtChin » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:42 pm

Hello all! I recently got a 1993 Ramirez R3 for Christmas, and it really seems to be a well balanced and excellent sounding guitar.

It had been untouched for most of its life - the sound hasn't even really opened up fully yet, and because of this it had strings that were very old. Naturally, I wanted to replace them, and conveniently, I found a set of new Augustine Reds in the case. I say new, but I really mean unused. They must have been around 15 years old.

I rushed to put them on, and they seemed quite stiff and were missing the D string, so I took them off and just bought some D'addarios to use for the time being.

Could that old pair of Augustines have damaged my guitar? They seemed quite stiff. Am I just being paranoid?

Also, I want to put high tension strings on my guitar because those are what I normally use. Should I be worried about those hurting my guitar? I know I'm most likely being paranoid but I think it's safer to ask than to worry.

astro64
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Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby astro64 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:31 pm

I have kept strings for years before putting them, but never for 15 years. Perhaps the nylon does get more brittle over such long periods. Either way, strings are cheap, no need to pinch pennies to use an old string set. High tension nylon strings will not damage a well constructed guitar, the R3 should be fine.

ButtChin
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby ButtChin » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:18 am

astro64 wrote: Either way, strings are cheap, no need to pinch pennies to use an old string set.


Thanks for easing my paranoia a bit astro.

I know I probably shouldn't have bothered, but I didn't have any other strings and was too excited about a new guitar at the time; hindsight is 20/20.

Bill B
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Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby Bill B » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:25 am

I can't imagine how they would be any more likely to damage your guitar because of their age.
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby Waddy Thomson » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:56 am

The strings might be more likely to break, vs harming the instrument.
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drmlyung
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Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby drmlyung » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:01 am

Bill B wrote:I can't imagine how they would be any more likely to damage your guitar because of their age.


Old/aged strings are a little more brittle/stiff. (nature of chemical compounds) They break a little more early/easily, and might leave a string ding as they break, if one does not pay attention.

Bill B
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Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby Bill B » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:13 am

In an article titled "Nylon and Teflon" by ayesha Roy which you can find on the www. at https://prezi.com/b_q-22maqjof/nylon-and-teflon/, you can find the statement "....Nylon also does not deteriorate with age, which is one of the great reasons of using the material..."
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

Bill B
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Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby Bill B » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:36 am

Probably a better article is one I just found about aging tests on nylon parachutes that said it takes 70 years for a 50 percent loss in tensile strength. so clearly it does deteriorate, but it takes quite a while. they were heating and cooling it alternately, as well as testing it in various humidities and with different atmospheric chemicals.
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

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

Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby Bill B » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:52 am

so I was trying to find a chart for the tensile strength of nylon strings but came up with nothing. Does anybody know what the normally expected breaking point for new augustine red strings would be?
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

vesa
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Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby vesa » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:55 am

I usually buy strings in bulk and when I change to an other label it results in many left over sets which I then have used 15-20 years later with no issues at all (oldest was 32 years old).
If the strings are kept in their packages, dry and away from the sunlight they will last,
if not eternally, a very -- -- very long time.
But if you are not sure about that, change them - they cost nothing.
Vesa Kuokkanen

David Rubio ws. E. B. Jones 1979
Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

ButtChin
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Putting old (and unused) strings on a guitar

Postby ButtChin » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:57 pm

What about the wound bass strings? They also seemed to be quite stiff.


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