Aging of strings

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Alex65
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Aging of strings

Post by Alex65 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:16 am

Just wondering if I still could use strings that are very old. I recently started playing CG again and I still have strings lying around from the old days. Not complete sets though. My best guess is that I bought these about 20 years ago. I use D'addario EJ46 and still do these days.
Cheers, Alex

Jack Douglas
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Re: Aging of strings

Post by Jack Douglas » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:58 pm

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. From my recollection there were about three main brands of strings at that time D'Addario, Hannabach, and Augustine. There were other less known strings. I'm not an expert, but if your strings have remained in their original packets, why not.
There have been improvements to strings so your string diameters and quality may be somewhat different.
Put em in and if they don't work, buy new ones.
A hidden benefit may be that you have partial sets and some experimenting with mismatched string brands and tensions may reward you with unexpected results.
Hauser III 2014!

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Aging of strings

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:42 pm

Well take the basses out of the packets, if they have badly tarnished with time and look like they're already used up, they will probably sound bad. Trebles should be fine.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

Alex65
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Re: Aging of strings

Post by Alex65 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:01 pm

The basses have aged badly over time as far as I can tell, I will give the trebles a try.

PeterDutton
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Re: Aging of strings

Post by PeterDutton » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:27 pm

What happens if I keep playing on strings that are a year old? To me they sound warm and less noisy, the down side is I have to retune often but not a lot. I do love the sound of a brand new set though...

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Aging of strings

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:52 pm

PeterDutton wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:27 pm
What happens if I keep playing on strings that are a year old? To me they sound warm and less noisy, the down side is I have to retune often but not a lot. I do love the sound of a brand new set though...
One problem with playing on really old basses is that there are aspects of left hand technique to do with avoiding squeaks - if the strings are too old your hand has no incentive to work on those techniques. Its quite common for somebody in this kind of situation to put new strings on for a performance of some kind but then find it virtually ruined by all the squeaking. Moral of the story is to aim to replace your basses before they lose their capacity to squeak.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

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joachim33
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Re: Aging of strings

Post by joachim33 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:21 pm

Alex65 wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:16 am
Just wondering if I still could use strings that are very old. I recently started playing CG again and I still have strings lying around from the old days. Not complete sets though. My best guess is that I bought these about 20 years ago. I use D'addario EJ46 and still do these days.
Cheers, Alex
Strings are cheap, in particular the vanilla EJ46. The time you need to change them should carry some value - you could use it for playing. Put the old strings into the round file (aka. the bin). I would just not bother.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Aging of strings

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:04 am

Just go and get a new set of EJ46. What were they, like 6 something a set at SBM. My local music store ( my favorite on ) has them in stock for like $8.99, and at Guit Cntr they are $7.99 (6.00 a set if you buy the 3-pack). You may save that much in the time you would spend if you had to change the strings twice.

Alex65
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Re: Aging of strings

Post by Alex65 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:18 am

Guess you guys are right, why bother as I have also new sets lying around. But I was also curious about it. Also somewhere next week it is 'new guitar day' so I prob won't go testing the old strings on it. Thanks.

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