Relative Durability of Guitar Strings

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Godlovitch
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:41 pm

Relative Durability of Guitar Strings

Post by Godlovitch » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:55 pm

After awhile, classical guitar strings go duller than when new, even if you wash them. The basses wear down more quickly than the trebles. A rep from one very well-known manufacturer of classical guitar strings told me that basses generally wear out 2 to 3 times faster than trebles. My own experience is that 4ths wear out most quickly. I speculate - and note, it's just speculation - it's because their windings are more delicate than the other basses and that they're depressed against the harder metal frets more often in much repertoire. There may be other factors, of course.

I've asked various parties whether any strings are marketed on the grounds that, e.g., they last twice as long as the competition. My responses haven't yielded any positive answers. Some have even suggested that that's just too 'subjective' a property to measure - as if the same couldn't be said for timbre, brightness, and other aesthetic properties of string sound.

It seems possible to devise a reasonably good set of empirical trials to test relative durability. So far as I know, none has been tried. Does anyone know (a) whether there are any strings marketed for their relative durability, (b) whether there is any good empirical evidence to account for growing string dullness, and (c) whether there have been any reliable and not merely anecdotal - one's relying merely on personal experience - tests of string durability? This could be a basis for someone's acoustic engineering thesis!
Thanks for your help.

User avatar
pogmoor
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8705
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:55 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Relative Durability of Guitar Strings

Post by pogmoor » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:07 pm

The D'Addario website says:
Multifilament Composite Core – D’Addario exclusive high-tech core material dramatically improves string life, tuning consistency and possesses a bold, more dynamic response.
I think that indicates that they are indeed "marketed for their relative durability".
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Paul Fischer (1995) and Lester Backshall (2008)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014), Ramirez Guitarra del Tiempo (2017)

Godlovitch
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:41 pm

Re: Relative Durability of Guitar Strings

Post by Godlovitch » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:29 pm

Thanks. Now I'm wondering whether some numbers can be attached to qualitative descriptions like: "dramatically improves string life". By how much? By which criteria? Which of the strings? And against what comparative lines?

Jeffrey Armbruster
Posts: 1527
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:16 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Re: Relative Durability of Guitar Strings

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:24 am

Too many variables. Some people have friendly acids in their finger sweat; some people don't. Some people dig hard with the right hand, some don't. Some have hard nails, some soft; some keep a clean fretboard...you get the drift.

Empirical data can't always tell the tale. Sometimes it's just numbers in a tumbler.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
Takamine C132S

User avatar
joachim33
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:21 pm
Location: Skåne

Re: Relative Durability of Guitar Strings

Post by joachim33 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:40 am

pogmoor wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:07 pm
The D'Addario website says:
Multifilament Composite Core – D’Addario exclusive high-tech core material dramatically improves string life, tuning consistency and possesses a bold, more dynamic response.
I think that indicates that they are indeed "marketed for their relative durability".
Their EXP range is marketed for even longer bass durability.

User avatar
joachim33
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:21 pm
Location: Skåne

Re: Relative Durability of Guitar Strings

Post by joachim33 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:03 pm

Hannabach has a "series 7004" durable D-string, that comes in tensions MT and HT. it uses a different alloy for the winding. The idea is to replace the D-string of the set you are using with this one.

Return to “Classical Guitar Strings”