Rusty spots on bass strings

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
cartophile55

Rusty spots on bass strings

Postby cartophile55 » Thu May 24, 2007 8:43 am

The new D'Addario Pro Arte strings that I just put on my guitar 2 weeks ago have already developed some rust-colored spots on the bass strings. Instead of looking shiny & new they are looking tarnished and rusty. Is this the result of living in a damp climate (Sichuan, China)? Is there a solution to this, such as lightly rubbing the strings with oil to protect them from corrosion? Should I be worried? Please advise.

:roll:

Roger Jones
Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Kamil_D

Postby Kamil_D » Thu May 24, 2007 10:49 am

I haven't seen 'new' rusty strings yet. Anyway, I would not use any oil, it could damage the nylon fibres.

Kamil

dancorleone

Postby dancorleone » Sat May 26, 2007 9:36 am

Personally I'd take the strings back! Pro Arte are very good and reputable so I would have thought that should not happen within 2 weeks! I've started using a product called 'Fast Fret', its mineral oil based and is specifically formulated for string intsruments. It protects the strings, keeps them clean, brightens the tone and stops some of the fretting hand noises. Might be of use to you!

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Vesuvio
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Postby Vesuvio » Sat May 26, 2007 10:05 am

Hello Roger,

Here are a few links to previous discussions relating to this:

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?p=94489

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?p=23019

Do you wash your hands before playing? That can help minimise tarnishing and also help you to play with fewer squeaks. Keeping a cloth just for wiping your strings before you put yout guitar away can also help.

Best wishes, V
"There are only two things worth aiming for, good music and a clean conscience." Paul Hindemith

z4kn4f31n

Postby z4kn4f31n » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:09 am

Vesuvio wrote:Hello Roger,

Here are a few links to previous discussions relating to this:

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?p=94489

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?p=23019

Do you wash your hands before playing? That can help minimise tarnishing and also help you to play with fewer squeaks. Keeping a cloth just for wiping your strings before you put yout guitar away can also help.

Best wishes, V


I just said the same thing in another post a minute ago! Wipe the sweat from the strings before putting the guitar away. Also try a different set i was never satisfied by d'addario pro arte strings.

wolfgang

Postby wolfgang » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:41 am

I have those spots after a week of intense playing on D'Addario :wink: Nothing really helps, in my case Fast Fret didn't help either. Basicallly I don't care anymore. I just have to change strings a bit more frequently.

greets
Wolfgang

Nick Cutroneo
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Postby Nick Cutroneo » Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:44 pm

I go through strings about every 2-4 weeks, depending on how much I'm playing. So you could have just been playing a lot over the past 2 weeks. Also, washing hands, wiping down the fret board, all have something to do with it. Also, try other strings, I've had Hannabach on my guitar for a long time, and they are just now getting to the point where I need to change my strings (my basses have been on for about 3 weeks now, my trebles have been on since may...they are just starting to get unbearable)...

holmem

Postby holmem » Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:17 pm

I've had the same problem. In my case, the solution was to clean the whole fingerboard with alcohol when I change strings. A dirty fingerboard makes the strings dirty way faster than a clean one. I put a little bit of strong alcohol (80% or something like that) on a towel and wipe the filth away. If you try this beware because the alcohol mustn't touch the varnish; it can ruin it. I'm not sure but I guess that vodka or some other clear hard liquor could do the job.

-Z-
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Re: Rusty spots on bass strings

Postby -Z- » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:30 pm

well, it may sound strange but, could there be any reason why my D strings always get rusty??? Like, low E still shinning, A string a bit rusty, and D is dead meat, and this pattern repeats itself with every strings set I try. My current set has been on for a week and it has already started. I wash my hands before playing, clean the guitar after playing...

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guitarrista
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Re: Rusty spots on bass strings

Postby guitarrista » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:03 pm

-Z- wrote:well, it may sound strange but, could there be any reason why my D strings always get rusty??? Like, low E still shinning, A string a bit rusty, and D is dead meat, and this pattern repeats itself with every strings set I try. My current set has been on for a week and it has already started. I wash my hands before playing, clean the guitar after playing...


Yes - even if the coating on the wound wire of each bass string is the same thickness (don't know if this is the case - maybe the one on the D-string is less), you might still get the D string to rust first because it is likely that you get to play it more frequently (i.e. more fret-pressing "events" which rub-off the coating a tiny bit each time) than E-string.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Re: Rusty spots on bass strings

Postby pogmoor » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:17 am

I think it's common to find the D string wearing quicker than the A and E strings - after all it's thinner and less robust. I generally use Royal Classics Basspaks for my bass strings. Not only are they good strings but they come with a spare D, so I can use two D strings in the time I use one of the other two.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008) and Paul Fischer (1995)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014)

pksmith11
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Re: Rusty spots on bass strings

Postby pksmith11 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:32 pm

I kill d'addario bass strings in about 3 days. My hands just corrode them for some reason. They turn my fingers green and the sound starts to go dull. Some people's hands just don't agree with certain silver alloys on strings i guess. 2 good options to try for bass strings, assuming they sound good on your guitar, are D'addario EXP and Savarez Corum. Both last a few weeks for me, and much longer for others.

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bacsidoan
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Re: Rusty spots on bass strings

Postby bacsidoan » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:02 pm

cartophile55 wrote:The new D'Addario Pro Arte strings that I just put on my guitar 2 weeks ago have already developed some rust-colored spots on the bass strings. Instead of looking shiny & new they are looking tarnished and rusty. Is this the result of living in a damp climate (Sichuan, China)? Is there a solution to this, such as lightly rubbing the strings with oil to protect them from corrosion? Should I be worried? Please advise.

:roll:

Roger Jones
Chengdu, Sichuan, China


The plated silver on your strings reacts with sulfur in the polluted air to form silver sulfide, AKA, silver tarnish. To prove that it is the case you can use Hannabach pure gold strings which will last a little longer, but the softer gold plate material will also wear out faster. They are also much more expensive.

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Re: Rusty spots on bass strings

Postby pogmoor » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:27 pm

bacsidoan wrote:The plated silver on your strings reacts with sulfur in the polluted air to form silver sulfide, AKA, silver tarnish. To prove that it is the case you can use Hannabach pure gold strings which will last a little longer, but the softer gold plate material will also wear out faster. They are also much more expensive.

In the case of guitar strings I think the primary source of sulphur will be organic sulphides in sweat - especially if you are a garlic eater (an effect that hand washing will not reduce very much). I'm not sure that tarnishing of the silver plating is that important, though. Unlike the rusting of iron or steel, which weakens the metal, the tarnish layer on silver remains uniformly thin and has little effect on its structural integrity. Guitar bass strings wear because of the mechanical effects of stopping the strings against the frets.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008) and Paul Fischer (1995)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014)

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bacsidoan
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Re: Rusty spots on bass strings

Postby bacsidoan » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:58 pm

pogmoor wrote:
bacsidoan wrote:The plated silver on your strings reacts with sulfur in the polluted air to form silver sulfide, AKA, silver tarnish. To prove that it is the case you can use Hannabach pure gold strings which will last a little longer, but the softer gold plate material will also wear out faster. They are also much more expensive.

In the case of guitar strings I think the primary source of sulphur will be organic sulphides in sweat - especially if you are a garlic eater (an effect that hand washing will not reduce very much). I'm not sure that tarnishing of the silver plating is that important, though. Unlike the rusting of iron or steel, which weakens the metal, the tarnish layer on silver remains uniformly thin and has little effect on its structural integrity. Guitar bass strings wear because of the mechanical effects of stopping the strings against the frets.


The best way to find out is by looking at the untouched segments of the strings (A & D) at the headstock. Air pollution will affect those areas more. I agree with you that the silver tarnish should not affect the tone nor the durability.


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