The effect of string quality on wood memory

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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Rick Yzaguirre
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Rick Yzaguirre » Sun May 21, 2017 10:38 am

My poor guitars must be scarred, they have been subjected to my crappy playing. I'll have to play some Beethoven to them so maybe they can forgive the trauma.

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petermc61
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by petermc61 » Sun May 21, 2017 11:11 am

I am avoiding playing all my guitars as I don't want to ruin their sound by the quality of my playing. It's the least I can do for them.

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Beowulf
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Beowulf » Sun May 21, 2017 2:13 pm

pogmoor wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 10:30 am
Beowulf wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 3:13 am
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that friction from movement creates heat and the increased energy in the molecules of the wood will affect the vibration characteristics of the wood.
An imperceptible rise in temperature will lead to an imperceptible change in the sound.
I doubt it is perceptible to touch, but that does not mean it could not be measured. Strings also warm up as they are played and the stiffness/elasticity changes. Increased temperature results in expansion and changes in the sound. As well, tuning must be adjusted. All I am saying is that as the soundboard vibrates it warms up slightly and this affects the stiffness of the wood/expansion of the top and results in perceptible changes in the sound. If an instrument has not been played for some time, this phenomenon is quite noticeable.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

daverkb
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by daverkb » Thu May 25, 2017 9:29 pm

Ha! There ought to be an award for writing like this:
  • “..based on the integral law of wood deformation under loading and moisture content and/or temperature changing, ...”

    “This model takes into account the formation of a quasi-residual frozen strains ...”
But on the other hand, you can always learn something from almost anything. For example, it might be a good idea to stay away from all ‘quasi-residual frozen strains.” Warm strains are probably okay. Also, before getting into someone else’s car, you might wish to inquire about residual memories – like has the car ever been driven or run off the road. If so, avoid all such cars. Ditto for airplanes.

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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Fri May 26, 2017 12:16 am

I better hurry up and change my guitar strings, as I tend to leave them on way too long! My last set I've left them on for about one year coming up in June. Thanks for the post.

Bill B
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Bill B » Fri May 26, 2017 2:56 am

pogmoor wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 10:30 am
Beowulf wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 3:13 am
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that friction from movement creates heat and the increased energy in the molecules of the wood will affect the vibration characteristics of the wood.
An imperceptible rise in temperature will lead to an imperceptible change in the sound.
Right. I would think if we were looking at the temperature to explain changes in the way it sounds, seasonal or environmental changes would be a much greater factor. Climate change would account for more than playing the guitar in this case.
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

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Beowulf
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Beowulf » Fri May 26, 2017 12:34 pm

Bill B wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 2:56 am
pogmoor wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 10:30 am
Beowulf wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 3:13 am
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that friction from movement creates heat and the increased energy in the molecules of the wood will affect the vibration characteristics of the wood.
An imperceptible rise in temperature will lead to an imperceptible change in the sound.
Right. I would think if we were looking at the temperature to explain changes in the way it sounds, seasonal or environmental changes would be a much greater factor. Climate change would account for more than playing the guitar in this case.
It would be an interesting experiment to take a spruce top guitar play it a few times and then record the sound. Then let it sit unplayed for 40 years and record the sound again. Comparing the sound to a brother/sister instrument that was played for 40 years would be illuminating. Sadly, this experiment is impractical. :mrgreen:
1971 Yamaha GC-10

Bill B
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Bill B » Wed May 31, 2017 3:31 am

Beowulf wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 12:34 pm
Bill B wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 2:56 am
pogmoor wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 10:30 am

An imperceptible rise in temperature will lead to an imperceptible change in the sound.
Right. I would think if we were looking at the temperature to explain changes in the way it sounds, seasonal or environmental changes would be a much greater factor. Climate change would account for more than playing the guitar in this case.
It would be an interesting experiment to take a spruce top guitar play it a few times and then record the sound. Then let it sit unplayed for 40 years and record the sound again. Comparing the sound to a brother/sister instrument that was played for 40 years would be illuminating. Sadly, this experiment is impractical. :mrgreen:
In this instance I was only talking about the effect of heat on the guitar, in particular the heat we assume is generated by playing the guitar, compared to other sources of heat that the guitar is subject to. I think it is incredibly obvious that the guitar is subject to more heat from the environment than from the mechanical process of being played. Any guitar in the real world that is. Hypothetical guitars are a different beast all together
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

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Beowulf
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Beowulf » Wed May 31, 2017 2:42 pm

Bill B wrote:
Wed May 31, 2017 3:31 am
In this instance I was only talking about the effect of heat on the guitar, in particular the heat we assume is generated by playing the guitar, compared to other sources of heat that the guitar is subject to. I think it is incredibly obvious that the guitar is subject to more heat from the environment than from the mechanical process of being played. Any guitar in the real world that is. Hypothetical guitars are a different beast all together
Yes, the degree of heat variation from environmental sources is much greater, however it is uniform over the entire soundboard. For example, when wood is aged in temperature/humidity controlled environments, the soundboard is not subjected to variations that depend upon the response of the wood fibers to movement. Playing the instrument results in changes due to the vibrational modes which are a function of density, grain, resin distribution, etc. I do think that movement patterns of the soundboard gradually consolidate and this affects the tonal characteristics of the instrument. My reference to heat from friction was simply to suggest a mechanism.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

Rognvald
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Rognvald » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:32 pm

When I bought my LoPrinzi Spanish Grand Concert from Agostino LoPrinzi before he retired, he told me as I was trying several different models in his shop that he could tell the personality of a player of a previously owned guitar by just playing the instrument: whether he/she was a timid player, normal or aggressive player and how much the instrument was played based on the response of the guitar. And, since wood is an organic material, it does have the ability to "morph" based on the number and type of vibrations it experiences. Why wouldn't the quality or type of strings effect its ultimate sound? I would posit that the value of the cellos owned by Rostropovich(1711 Duport Stradavarius and a Peter Guarneri of Venice) ,at the time of his death, had not only a value based on the reputation/builders of the instruments but also how he played these instruments that ultimately determined their real value. I don't believe this is Black Magic. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Laudiesdad69
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:53 am

Rognvald wrote: And, since wood is an organic material, it does have the ability to "morph" based on the number and type of vibrations it experiences. Why wouldn't the quality or type of strings effect its ultimate sound?
Of course strings are going to affect the sound of the instrument. But, I don't think that waiting to change your strings will have a permanent effect on the sound of the guitar. I mean, when your strings get worn and don't sound as good as when you put them on, it can all be right again by just putting new strings on. Of course I don't keep strings on a guitar very long. The are usually changed every 3 or 4 weeks, so I guess that I may never know for sure. This whole idea that old strings will somehow cause permanent damage to a guitar, is likely made up by the guys that sell us strings, so that we will buy more strings😆

Rognvald
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Rognvald » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:27 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:53 am
Rognvald wrote: And, since wood is an organic material, it does have the ability to "morph" based on the number and type of vibrations it experiences. Why wouldn't the quality or type of strings effect its ultimate sound?
Of course strings are going to affect the sound of the instrument. But, I don't think that waiting to change your strings will have a permanent effect on the sound of the guitar. I mean, when your strings get worn and don't sound as good as when you put them on, it can all be right again by just putting new strings on. Of course I don't keep strings on a guitar very long. The are usually changed every 3 or 4 weeks, so I guess that I may never know for sure. This whole idea that old strings will somehow cause permanent damage to a guitar, is likely made up by the guys that sell us strings, so that we will buy more strings😆

Hi, LD,
Wouldn't it be interesting to see a scientific study dealing with this issue? I do agree with you that string change might not have a permanent effect on guitar sound but I do believe the personality of the player does have an impact. Perhaps others with a more scientific background can provide additional information. Playing again . . .Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Rognvald
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Rognvald » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:45 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:53 am
Rognvald wrote: And, since wood is an organic material, it does have the ability to "morph" based on the number and type of vibrations it experiences. Why wouldn't the quality or type of strings effect its ultimate sound?
Of course strings are going to affect the sound of the instrument. But, I don't think that waiting to change your strings will have a permanent effect on the sound of the guitar. I mean, when your strings get worn and don't sound as good as when you put them on, it can all be right again by just putting new strings on. Of course I don't keep strings on a guitar very long. The are usually changed every 3 or 4 weeks, so I guess that I may never know for sure. This whole idea that old strings will somehow cause permanent damage to a guitar, is likely made up by the guys that sell us strings, so that we will buy more strings😆

Hi, LD,
Wouldn't it be interesting to see a scientific study dealing with this issue? I do agree with you that string change might not have a permanent effect on guitar sound but I do believe the personality of the player does have an impact. Perhaps others with a more scientific background can provide additional information. Playing again . . .Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Laudiesdad69
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:00 pm

[/quote]


Hi, LD,
Wouldn't it be interesting to see a scientific study dealing with this issue? I do agree with you that string change might not have a permanent effect on guitar sound but I do believe the personality of the player does have an impact. Perhaps others with a more scientific background can provide additional information. Playing again . . .Rognvald
[/quote]

I agree, wouldn't it be great if there were a scientific study on This? As far as the player goes, I wonder if a player had a very strong right hand, if their guitars would "open up" faster than say someone like me who, coming from playing electric guitars, has a softer technique and has RSI of the right wrist?

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guitarrista
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Re: The effect of string quality on wood memory

Post by guitarrista » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:43 pm

I summarized a scientific paper and linked to it on the first page of this thread.
Last edited by guitarrista on Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Konstantin
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