Strings for acidic hands?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
PaulHimSelf
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Strings for acidic hands?

Post by PaulHimSelf » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:25 am

Are there strings specifically designed for guitar players who have acidic hands?

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:17 am

Hmm, I think potholers (used to) have acrylic(?) harnesses and ropes instead of nylon due to the battery acid, but that's probably all changed now.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:00 am

Not that I know of. Normally our skin is slightly acidic, part of it's defence mechanism and is known as the acid mantle layer. Presumably it's the silver coating that is oxidising/reacting rapidly? Some people do seem to have trouble wearing jewellery made of silver. Copper strings are available i.e. without the silver coating. Otherwise wiping down the strings after playing might help. Perhaps wipe down with a very mild alkaline solution to nuetralise any acidity.
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Intune
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Intune » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:16 am

Tom Humphrey once told me that the Assad brothers had very acidic hands, which he attributed to heavy smoking, and because of this had to change strings quite frequently -- another reason to quit smoking!
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:17 am

Interesting how I didn't even think of the bass strings - just the nylon ones!
However, bass strings are ephemeral, so there's not much point in worrying about acid. Maybe that's why they didn't occur to me?
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

PaulHimSelf
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by PaulHimSelf » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:24 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:00 am
Copper strings are available i.e. without the silver coating.
Are you referring to the gold plated ones? If so, I didn't find its tone satisfactory.

PaulHimSelf
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by PaulHimSelf » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:28 pm

Intune wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:16 am
Tom Humphrey once told me that the Assad brothers had very acidic hands, which he attributed to heavy smoking, and because of this had to change strings quite frequently -- another reason to quit smoking!
Perhaps this is my case. Though I quit smoking a long time ago, my medical says that my acidity is high. Like the Assad brothers, I have to change strings often. If I practice everyday and use it twice a week for a gig, I need to replace the strings twice a month just to maintain the tone.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:46 pm

PaulHimSelf wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:24 pm
Michael.N. wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:00 am
Copper strings are available i.e. without the silver coating.
Are you referring to the gold plated ones? If so, I didn't find its tone satisfactory.
No. Virtually all wound classical guitar strings are made of copper that is plated with silver. You can buy strings without the silver plating. Aquila do them. Whether they are to your liking may be a different matter, they aren't quite as 'ringy' as silver plated wound nylon strings, which probably has more to do with the core material rather than the plating.
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:57 pm

You might try a creme that helps control sweaty hands. I have some but I keep forgetting to use it! I have the same problem--I have to change strings every two weeks (30 hours or so). Since you're in the Phillipines, sweat may be an issue?
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PaulHimSelf
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by PaulHimSelf » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:32 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:46 pm
PaulHimSelf wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:24 pm
Michael.N. wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:00 am
Copper strings are available i.e. without the silver coating.
Are you referring to the gold plated ones? If so, I didn't find its tone satisfactory.
No. Virtually all wound classical guitar strings are made of copper that is plated with silver. You can buy strings without the silver plating. Aquila do them. Whether they are to your liking may be a different matter, they aren't quite as 'ringy' as silver plated wound nylon strings, which probably has more to do with the core material rather than the plating.
Thank you! I will try to search for those strings.

Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:25 pm

Acid sweat is usually a problem with steel strings. The silver, copper od classical bass strings are resistant to body acids, and the nylon is impervious to body acids and salt.

But if you have a problem with premature wear and oxidation, since you can't fix your sweat a pragmatic approach may be to use less expensive strings for practice, and switch to "concert quality" strings for performances. RJ45s are quite cheap to my thinking, but I hate the dull sound. Nonetheless, I'll use them when my budget is feeling the pinch. On my Gore, I spend the big money for Hannabach 815 basses even though they wear out rather quickly. On my cheaper guitars, I use whatever is on sale! Usually I find Savarez 500CJ HT a good cost compromise.

Good luck and I wish you success in your guitar escapades!
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2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
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Cloth Ears
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Cloth Ears » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:15 pm

I also have acidic sweat. It is certainly worse on steel electric guitar strings, but it also corrodes the silver/copper to some degree.

Since I play guitar daily, I find that the fret damage kills the high frequencies in the D string in a couple of weeks on my CG anyway, so my advice is change basses regularly for optimal tone. As I have stated before, I get through flamenco basses far faster than that. Oh well, its cheaper than drinking or smoking :-)

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:00 am

You might try switching to D'Addario exp 45 or exp 46 strings. Strings by mail has them in bass only sets or as full sets with nylon trebles. The exp coating keeps your strings from damage due to acids in your hand, and I have found that they last a really long time compared to others I've tried. When I use other basses, I have to change them more often. I'd say they usually last about three times as long. I don't see the oxidation I usually see on the basses relatively fast otherwise.

There is also a product called "Finger Ease" that has been around since the 70's. You spray some on a cloth and wipe it on the bass strings and then wipe it off. It coats them and leaves them feeling slick. Doesn't last too long though.

brian
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Re: Strings for acidic hands?

Post by brian » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:04 pm

+1 for the d'addario EXP
i'd burn through d strings,
and A & E strings almost as fast.
been using EXP's since they came
out and problem solved.
if at first you don't succeed try again.
then quit.
there's no use being a damn fool about it.
-w.c. fields

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