When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Lsulit
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When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Lsulit » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:41 pm

I'm looking at my strings and they are looking a little beat up after 2 weeks. Sound "okay" still, no problems with tuning, etc. I still haven't figured out the "aha" moment when to change them (except when one breaks of course). I play about 2 hours a day. Wanted to hear your thoughts on optimal timing.

celestemcc
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by celestemcc » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:53 pm

Depends on SO much, but mostly on the strings. Some last longer than others. When I was playing a lot in college, I'd change every 2 weeks or so (using Augustines, some 35 years ago). Strings are better now and I don't play as much, I change my Hannabachs roughly mothly or when they start to sound dull or the intonation is wonky. In a word: Your Mileage May Vary! :)
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Alan Green
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Alan Green » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:46 pm

Hannabach here too - every three months on my stage guitars

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:28 pm

Ideally, when they no longer make me go "wow what a guitar!" the moment I play that first tuning-check chord.

Realistically, when I get a round tuit :shock: .
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celestemcc
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by celestemcc » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:36 pm

Hannabach here too - every three months on my stage guitars
Three months, wow!! I was using the 815s and just tried my first set of 200/900. Which do you use -- I want to try those! :D
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richtm
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by richtm » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:29 pm

To be honest I am going more from visual signes... If the core filaments of basses are almost visible, I have the last chance to change my strings. If the trebbels are having dulls on their surface... In terms of sound they then are already overdue.
I am using different brands, such as D'addario, Hannabach, Savarez or RCstrings. A lot of people say that one has a much higher lifetime.
I can't say that. Lifetime to me depends also on each guitar, on the kind of tension lelvel used(low tenseion, medium tension or high tension). Sometimes these definitions don't correleate fully between the brands (at least that is my feeling).
Strings is a feature-length topic.
I am curious what you guys are saying... :discussion:
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martin_z
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by martin_z » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:18 pm

Well, I got my first classical guitar in February, and just replaced the strings for the first time...and that was an interesting hour...!

And now I know why I should have done it much earlier. Sounds like a new guitar!

I'll probably change them every couple of months in future. Seems like a reasonable compromise between the hassle of changing them, the price of a new set of strings, and the wow! factor of the new strings.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:29 pm

I change strings when I have the feeling that they go dead, which happens two to three times faster than with treble strings.

Or when I want to try another brand or tension or other combination between trebles and basses.

But I never keep dead strings on a guitar (and that depends very much on the brand: e.g. Augustine which I actually like quite a lot, go dead quite quickly - well, Augustine black start out dead, and thats why I don't use them, though they would a perfect tension for some guitars. Also Savarez Alliance basses tend to sound dead quite quickly in my experience. Savarez Cantiga basses keep up a long time for me.).
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Rognvald
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Rognvald » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:42 pm

I change strings when they lose projection and begin having intonation/clarity issues. It's different on each set of strings and the guitar on which they're played. Playing again . . . Rognvald
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Contreras
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Contreras » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:07 pm

Hannabach 812 medium. As with others above, it's more of an auditory cue than a visual one. I would never play a bass set as far as wearing through the winding. Sometimes a shiny spot is enough to make me reach for the string winder. Trebles - as soon as there's any roughness under the right hand, that equates to a loss of clarity. I like the guitar to sound its best all the time.
Usually around 3 - 4 weeks
Last edited by Contreras on Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kevin L Benbow
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Kevin L Benbow » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:18 pm

martin_z wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:18 pm
Well, I got my first classical guitar in February, and just replaced the strings for the first time...and that was an interesting hour...!

And now I know why I should have done it much earlier. Sounds like a new guitar!

I'll probably change them every couple of months in future. Seems like a reasonable compromise between the hassle of changing them, the price of a new set of strings, and the wow! factor of the new strings.
It will get much easier with time.
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rojarosguitar
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by rojarosguitar » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:17 am

Contreras wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:07 pm
Hannabach 812 medium. As with others above, it's more of an auditory cue than a visual one. I would never play a bass set as far as wearing through the winding. Sometimes a shiny spot is enough to make me reach for the string winder. Trebles - as soon as there's any roughness under the right hand, that equates to a loss of clarity. I like the guitar to sound its best all the time.
Usually around 3 - 4 weeks
The wear happens most on D string. I use to shift the D-string towards the bridge when I start to notice indentation in the windings . This prolongates the life of the D-strng so that it can be used as long as the other two basses, otherwise the D-string alone would determine when to change bass strings.
To be able to shift the D-string I leave the full length of the string and don't cut them shorter behind the rollers, as I do with the other two bass strings.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

botswanajohn
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by botswanajohn » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:13 pm

Quite apart from the sound issue, which is probably the big factor for most people, wear by the frets on the underside of the bass strings, especially the D, should be carefully monitored. Wear on the string will wear the fret. Shifting the string a bit as Rojarosguitar has just suggested, will help reduce the fret wear.
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Laudiesdad69
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:06 pm

For me, I change them not long after the guitar stays in tune perfectly,in a stand, overnight. This usually takes a few weeks for me. I usually don’t play more than an hour a day, though. By the time I get to changing them though, the d string is usually showing little nicks in the winding.

I have never tried Rojarosguitar’s trick of sliding the string down and re-tying it. As I don’t use any of the floppy, loose wound end of the string (I cut it off) there isn’t a lot of string left to work with on the d.

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georgemarousi
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by georgemarousi » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:52 pm

Basses: 1 per month approximately, when the oxidation is at many areas, so it becomes difficult to slide the LH.
Trebles 1 per 3months approximately. When my nails of RH when slided across the strings find small gaps.

tip: for D and maybe for A too, reversing it at the first 30-40% of it's good life ( that is before oxidation ) helps extend it's good life.
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