When changing strings

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Sasquatch51

Post by Sasquatch51 » Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:13 pm

jarods wrote:hello again, please take care of your guitar...to enlarge the holes it is a decision, and you have to be sure and very securely about the bridge , the soundboard and what about a luthier can advise you...
But in this case, if you'll do it, I think it'll be better to use a flexible cable with short drill (stuck :idea: ) at the end , and to turn very slowly (instead an aligned tool). But this is my own opinion...nevertheless the axis of the hole must be parallele to the soundboard , with a no bad slope to prevent the drilling :idea:
Fortunately, my guitar was with nearly the diameters to pass twice the strings (bass 1th and 3 th particularly). I do not use drill or like that, but i enlarge with an old 1 th string little by little, then i doubled the string. Notice my holes were nearly the good diameter (2 x 1,1 mm) for the basses.
I know somebody, who has 4 guitars as mine, from the same firm...He did the same job on each hole with strings, and some sharpened iron stem tool or drill manually with extreme precaution :idea: ; but as a precautionous handyman you have to work...
This method is interesting as i mentionned, and you will recover a positive & sensible result on the quality 's sound, as positive as the guitar is expensive.
In france very few luthiers did the method with 12 holes...i think to drill 6 new holes (near the existant :!: ) is very dangerous whithout the advise and the specific job of a luthier.
BTW : as the pic 1 show, i prefer this kind of bass attach, more pretty (but not possible for trebbles in this case...)...
Yeah, enlarging the existing holes would not be nearly as risky as drilling 6 new holes for sure.

By the way I checked the possibility of using the flexible cable on a Dremel, but the collette (chuck) that affixes the bit to the cable drive is too big in diameter to allow the proper (completely level) angle on the bit. There's just not enough clearance from the top of the guitar to the holes in the tieblock. You have to make an extended bit using some sort of stiff tubing. Brass tubing is stiff enough (copper just won't work) and it's easy to find at hobby stores.

As I said, I'm not recommending that anyone do this. It's a huge step and it has it's risks, especially if you're not particularly handy with woodworking and using woodworking tools. I'm just saying that if someone has a 6-hole block and wants a 12-hole block...it is definitely possible, and this is a way to accomplish it.

jarods

Post by jarods » Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:22 pm

Sasquatch51 wrote:...............You have to make an extended bit using some sort of stiff tubing....... Brass tubing is stiff enough (copper just won't work) and it's easy to find at hobby stores......

As I said, I'm not recommending that anyone do this. ......
i agree with you ...:okok:

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Vito Simplicio
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Gr

Post by Vito Simplicio » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:25 pm

Hi Sasquatch51,

This was very generous of you to go to such lengths to put your instructions together for everyone!

Gratefully,

Vito

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Post by Moderato » Sun Aug 12, 2007 1:16 am

These meathods seem nice if you have time to spare but I've been using the simple approach for years and it has never failed me. 1 loop for the bass strings, 2 loops for the trebles and 3 loops for the high E. Same thing at the tuning heads. When done cut off the excess and it looks nice and neat.

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Re:

Post by Paul » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:22 pm

Sasquatch51 wrote:The less slack you have in the string when you install it, and the tighter your loops at the tie-block, the quicker the strings will settle in. Resist the temptation to pull on the strings to "stretch" them. This can cause inconsistencies in the string diameter along the length of the string,resulting in intonation problems. Just let them settle in normally.
I'd never heard this before. I shall try to remember this next time I restring.

Very good post, by the way, although I'll stick with the chickens and melt a ball before stringing on the guitar.

Paul

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Re: Re:

Post by Vito Simplicio » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:58 pm

Sasquatch51 wrote:The less slack you have in the string when you install it, and the tighter your loops at the tie-block, the quicker the strings will settle in.
This is so true. I learned this a couple of years ago when I first joined this forum and it has made a difference.

Vito
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Classical Guitar Forum

wedge

Re: restring

Post by wedge » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:17 pm

I melt the string ends before I put on the guitar. I've followed this procedure, and it seems to work well; I'm not sure why, but the extra twists of the string (see part 3) do help (I would think 3 would be enough, but no):

http://www.cgsmusic.net/Lessons/ "How to Change Classical Guitar Strings"

at_leo_87

Re: restring

Post by at_leo_87 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:07 pm

an alternative to jarods methods would be to use beads at the end. the only tricky part is finding beads with the appropriate diameter so the string doesn't slip through even with a meaty, thick knot.

the additional break angle gained DOES produce a difference in sound/volume though you might not actually like it.

domzo

Re:

Post by domzo » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:13 am

Sasquatch51 wrote:
You will need:

A pair of diagonal wire cutters or a pair of toenail clippers (I usually use toenail clippers), matches or a lighter (optional), some index cards or posterboard or some other kind of thin carboard, some Scotch Tape, a pegwinder is very handy but not absolutely necessary, and something to support the guitar and protect it's finish while you work.
This is an old post, but the complexity of it made be chuckle. I offer an alternative more Zen-like approach:

You will need:

New strings. :D


...and if you're really feeling protective of the guitar you can sit the empty string pack behind the bridge.

Rob Graft

Re: restring

Post by Rob Graft » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:38 am

Thank you for this illustration, now I can start saving money by changing my own strings lol.. :D

sgreen

When changing strings

Post by sgreen » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:10 am

It is not the first time that I read the advice on the internet not to remove all strings at once, as here,

http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/ ... trings.htm

Does it really traumatize the neck and sound board, and how detrimental is it for the the overall longevity of the instrument? I like to keep my fingerboard clean, and I clean it very methodically each time I change the strings, but how is one supposed to keep it clean when only one string can be removed at a time. You comments, observations, advice appreciated.

- sgreen

Tarbaby (1953 - 2016)

Re: When changing strings

Post by Tarbaby (1953 - 2016) » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:48 am

Hi sgreen.

I'm certainly no expert, but I don't think it matters that much.

I've had a few guitars and had to take them to a luthier for various repair jobs. What do they do? They take all the strings off and have at it. They should know best, huh?

I saw a clue in the site you mention that I've highlighted:
Removing all the strings traumatizes the neck and sound board. How? The strings exert a total force of 75 to 90 pounds of tension on the sound board and neck. If you release all the tension, the wood flexes. After reinstalling the strings it takes several hours for the sound board to flex back to optimal shape. Thus, you'll notice a lost of volume and tone until the sound board returns to normal.
Good lord, it takes several days for the strings themselves to sink in!

He seems to be saying that "the soundboard will flex back to optimal shape"

I try not to worry about it. I like to clean my guitar when changing strings, too. :wink:

Alan

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Re: When changing strings

Post by pogmoor » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:02 am

That page by Peter Kun Frary has been cited before, and by searching on changing strings singly I found this thread, viewtopic.php?f=43&t=33905&hilit=change+strings+singly which includes a post by James Lister citing his advice in the Frequently Asked Questions thread:
James Lister wrote:5. Should you change all your strings at once?

YES or NO!

Seriously though, there have been a few heated discussions about this on the forum. Suffice to say, some believe that removing all the strings at once (and hence all the tension) can in some way damage the guitar. Others believe that this is complete nonsense. If you take all the strings off, it allows you to clean the fingerboard, and the top between the soundhole and the bridge. If you change them one at a time, it may save some time in tuning up.
Look here for the FAQ thread.

BTW I change my strings one at a time, but this is just so that tuning them is easier - until the last string I've always got an existing string to tune up to :)
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)

sgreen

Re: When changing strings

Post by sgreen » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:31 pm

Tarbaby wrote: I've had a few guitars and had to take them to a luthier for various repair jobs. What do they do? They take all the strings off and have at it. They should know best, huh?
I guess their rational is that luthiers do not work on the same instrument as often as you change strings.

Tarbaby wrote: Good lord, it takes several days for the strings themselves to sink in!
Exactly.

- sgreen

GuitarVlog

Re: When changing strings

Post by GuitarVlog » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:13 pm

This is from William Cumpiano's 15th newsletter on his website:
CAN RESTRINGING HURT YOUR GUITAR?

Dear Bill,

I am having what's turning out to be a rather heated debate with a few of my friends on the topic of re-stringing an acoustic guitar. They are saying that you should NEVER take off all the strings at once, but rather change them one at a time. They think that removing all the strings at once is somehow detrimental to the guitar. Having built a few steel-strings from your book, I say "hogwash".Take off all the strings if you want. It won't hurt a thing.

A note from you on this topic would settle it once and for all.




I doubt it. But it seems that everybody that promotes this myth is hard-pressed to suggest any factual justification as to why it is indeed bad to do so.

The myth most likely originated from a skewing of what is indeed sound advice on all TAILPIECE instruments (violins, cellos, arch-top guitars): if you take all the strings off, the bridge falls off! That good advice jumped from one instrument to another and became poor advice on flat top guitars. The skewed information just got handed down uncritically from teacher to student over the years and became enshrined as a Truism. By the way there are dozens of similar religiously-held myths among players/teachers/makers. Like, never cut the strings. It damages them. I should try to list them all some time.

I also love listening to the "reverse engineering" a justification for a myth by its proponents! That is, starting with a myth, and then creating an elaborate set of highly logical and credible reasons why it must be true. Let me know the "reasons" your friends made up to support it, please!

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