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

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

Post by Beowulf » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:51 pm

A number of factors and if more than one...it's getting close to time. Over many years of playing with different string sets, I'd say 2-3 months at most.
Factors: difficult to tune accurately (particularly D and g strings); retuning necessary 2-3 times during an hour of playing; wear areas (at frets) appearing on D and then A strings; roughness on treble strings; loss of responsiveness to variations in attack; loss of life as in, "These strings feel dead and I really have to dig in to get my guitar out of its depressed mood... :( ; loss of interest in playing is a sign that I have waited too long! :shock:
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Gorn
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Gorn » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:21 pm

I'll change strings as soon as they sound dead to my ears. Of course, treble strings last longer, but what should I do with all the remaining trebles - go fishing? :wink: When the basses are done, I'll usually change the trebles as well.
Momentarily, I've strung up »Harley Benton Superior Classic Coated HT«. I'm sure it's an OEM of »RC strings professional RC-10« (which I bought at the same time, so I could compare directly). Basses stay brilliant for quite a long time, but they tend to show fret marks pretty quick on D and A. I move the basses 1 cm after 10-15 playing hours and will try to do it a second time, if the sound is still o.k.
I always start winding at the roller, fixing the string like shown on the picture. 2 or 3 windings give enough headroom to move the string by 1 inch or so. The string won't slip out of the roller, even when unwinding it completely.

Image

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

Post by souldier » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:44 pm

My determining factor is the bass strings. When bass strings sound dull and muffled, lacking depth, power and vibrancy then I change them. Depending on the brand and how often I play, this can last anywhere from 1-2.5 months. Trebles can outlast basses. Sometimes I change sooner if I am not happy with a certain set and want to try something new. Generally these days I've settled on some favorites so I don't need to do a whole lot of experimentation.

Something important to keep in mind is sometimes the environment (temp/humidity) changes the sound of the guitar and you might wrongfully attribute it to poor sounding strings. Nail condition is also important.
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Kurt Penner
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Kurt Penner » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:10 pm

I change them when they "sound like wet socks."

KP

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

Post by Adrian Allan » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:32 pm

I will be controversial here and state that the changing of treble strings has never made that much difference to my ears. I use carbon strings, and I have to ask - does that brightness ever really wear off, and if not, why change them?

Bass strings obviously wear out, but I use Oasis strings, which really are excellent and can last a month or more.
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Adrian Allan
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Adrian Allan » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:33 pm

It would make sense to sell strings with 2 sets of basses and one of trebles in each pack.
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

es335
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by es335 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:43 am

Adrian Allan wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:33 pm
It would make sense to sell strings with 2 sets of basses and one of trebles in each pack.
Michael Troester Selection strings are available as 9 string set where two bass sets are paired with one treble set! :wink:

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

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:52 pm

es335 wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:43 am
Adrian Allan wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:33 pm
It would make sense to sell strings with 2 sets of basses and one of trebles in each pack.
Michael Troester Selection strings are available as 9 string set where two bass sets are paired with one treble set! :wink:
that makes a lot of sense to me
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

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

Post by Patona » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:18 pm

I change my strings when the colour of the sound is gone and the sustain is short. But only the bass strings. The trebles live up to a year. I clean the bass strings in between times with a wet rag with denatured alcohol. After that the sound is even better for me. These tip I became from a violin builder
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Kenbobpdx
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Kenbobpdx » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:28 pm

I usually decide to change them sooner than I actually do. Its a time issue. I often change them at least monthly.
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Rasputin
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Rasputin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:06 pm

Someone really needs to invent an autowinder that works with strings 4 or 5 time the normal length - they are secured as normal in play but at scheduled intervals in the dead of night the winder - which lives in the headstock - releases them, pulls a new length of string through and resecures it. The inventor would just have to come up with an alternative way of securing the strings. I would certainly live with a dooberry on the headstock to accommodate the extra string and, possibly, the winder itself.

Easier with a 12-string if you just had the string go through the bridge and loop back on itself, perhaps. I am not sure why they normally use two separate strings when you would think one would do. Perhaps it would stick at the bridge/saddle and the tension would be unequal on the two sides.

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

Post by bear » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:44 pm

either when they break or have spurs
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Adrian Allan
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Adrian Allan » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:10 pm

Can anybody answer the question I hinted at a few posts back?

Do carbon treble strings really wear out - and if they do, do they become less bright in tone?

I'm not really convinced there is much to wear out.
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Rognvald
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by Rognvald » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:24 pm

"For me, I change them not long after the guitar stays in tune perfectly,in a stand, overnight. " Laudiesdad69


Laudie,
This may not always be a good litmus test since temperature and humidity variations will quickly change the tension on the strings. If you trust this approach, try leaving it in your humidified guitar case overnight where condtions will be somewhat more stable. But remember, always trust your ears! I hope this helps. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

astro64
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Re: When do YOU decide it's time to change strings?

Post by astro64 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:52 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:10 pm
Can anybody answer the question I hinted at a few posts back?

Do carbon treble strings really wear out - and if they do, do they become less bright in tone?

I'm not really convinced there is much to wear out.
I have never seen them lose intonation or lose brightness. They may get rough on the 1st string, but e.g. a 3rd string carbon on one of my guitars has been on it for years and still sounds fine and intonation is still spot on.

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