As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Simon the Pieman
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:48 pm

As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by Simon the Pieman » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:24 pm

Hi - I had to leave classical guitar alone for a long time due to never having any nails (I just played steel string & electric with a pick and simple pieces with finger tips), but for the last two years I have managed to maintain my nails, treated myself to a lovely luthier built guitar and now practice & play daily. I use d'Addario EJ46 or EJ46c strings. Now I am playing regularly, I have to change strings frequently. But I have noticed that it takes a long time for my strings to 'settle' to the point where I don't need to constantly retune during a playing session, or find that overnight they have all detuned. Irritatingly, however, by the time the strings seem to have settled.....it is nearly time to change them again due to wear and loss of 'sparkle' (especially on the 4th string). Moreover, if I ignore the wear for a bit and keep them on, they suffer from intonation issues that were not apparent when the strings were fresh.

I seem to be caught in this trap repeatedly. I'm not blaming the strings, as they are so popular with both good players and luthiers.

Maybe there is a humidity issue, but I live in a fairly temperate climate and my humidity gauge tells me that nothing extreme is happening.

I would be fascinated to know if other players experience the same issues described above - and if so, whether there is a 'fix'. Or indeed a recommended change of string brand. Thank you.

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Kent
Posts: 2536
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:40 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by Kent » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Simon lover of Pies,
Welcome to the world of classical guitar! This is rule 12 in the manual. Just about the time strings stay in tune, they are ready for a change.

fraim
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:22 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by fraim » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:28 pm

Kent wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:56 pm
~snip~
Just about the time strings stay in tune, they are ready for a change.
that about sums it up

Laudiesdad69
Posts: 1168
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:00 am

Simon, if you are playing everyday, how long do the strings last? I mean how many weeks do you get out of them? I play only about a half hour a day now, but when I was playing 2 hours a day, I would have to change strings about every three weeks. That's about 40 hours out of a set. I must admit that the D string windings are pretty skanky by that time.

Some times I change them sooner, like when the guitars strings are so stretched in that they stay in tune over night. I will change them so as to avoid a string possibly breaking. It doesn't seem to matter what brand I use. Dogal Diamante, Ramirez, D'Addario, and Savarez are all brands that I use. The Dogal Diamanté trebles seem to last the longest for me. but the D strings on all of the sets I use seem to last about the same.

Now that I am only playing a half hour a day, and sometimes not at all, the strings seem to last a good long time. I still have to change them about every six to eight weeks, due to the fact that they don't sound as pleasant after 6 to 8 weeks of being on the guitar.

Besides, D'Addario is cheap. If you have to change them frequently, at least they don't break the bank. I only use the Ramirez strings, which are hella expensive on one particular guitar, as it seems to make it sound extra good. Otherwise, it's usually D'Addario.

astro64
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:43 pm
Location: American Southwest

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by astro64 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:42 am

What is the big deal about tuning the instrument? Nylon is very temperature sensitive. Of course the guitar will be out of tune in the morning. Compared to playing piano we can't complain. We can always have the instrument in tune and don't have to hire a piano tuner to do the tuning, which then lasts for much less than the time to the next tuning...For a bit more stable tuning (after a longer initial period though), try carbon trebles.

Laudiesdad69
Posts: 1168
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:05 am

astro64 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:42 am
What is the big deal about tuning the instrument? Nylon is very temperature sensitive. Of course the guitar will be out of tune in the morning. Compared to playing piano we can't complain. We can always have the instrument in tune and don't have to hire a piano tuner to do the tuning, which then lasts for much less than the time to the next tuning...For a bit more stable tuning (after a longer initial period though), try carbon trebles.
Just that once the tuning stays super stable, it's about time to change them again. My guitar with the Ramirez strings on it is now staying in tune over night in the stand. I will probably change them soon. It's been about 8 weeks this time, now that I think about it.

Rob
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:41 pm
Location: San Francisco bay area

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by Rob » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:27 am

Temperature changes may be part of the issue of frequent retuning. The nylon strings and wooden guitar expand and contract at different rates as the temperature varies. I find tuning in the cooler morning differs from tuning in the warmer afternoon. (My inside temp is usually close to outside temp except in winter.)

Yvon
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:05 pm

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by Yvon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:06 pm

I use the cabone d'addario and they settle a lot faster then the regular nylon d'addario, one of the reason why I use these strings
Yamaha GC-31

MessyTendon
Posts: 1317
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:33 am

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by MessyTendon » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:44 pm

Try the coated strings...they last a bit longer if you like the sound.

Laudiesdad69
Posts: 1168
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:16 pm

Re: As soon as my new strings settle down, it's time to change them !

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:52 pm

For what it's worth, I have had good luck with Savarez Cantiga normal tension basses and Dogal Diamante trebles. I got 80 hours out of those strings before I had to change them, because of the d string. The trebles would stay in tune over night in the stand when I changed them. So they were probably about due anyway. And I didn't get any shredding that some other forum members have reported in other threads. I will be putting a set on my Ramirez today and I will report back about how many hours I get out of them.

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