How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Laudiesdad69
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How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:54 am

I just put Ernie Ball Ernesto Palla (ha ha) clear and silver strings on my cheap, $200 Lucero LC200S. The strings had settled quickly, the basses most of all. After a couple of hours, the strings would stay in tune long enough to play for about 20 minutes before you had to tweak the tuning again.

The strings started out to be as clear as water. Good balance between the strings. Basses were a little tight sounding at first, but deep. After about 4 days, there's a certain sweetness and sensitivity in the trebles that wasn't there the first day. Sweet and lyrical. Clear like D'Addario, but with a hint of gold in the color of the tone. The basses have become smoother and a little deeper, and can sound good playing gently, or digging in.

How is it that they changed so much for the better after only a few Days? And how is it that these strings escaped my notice until now? It seems as if nobody is using these strings, really. This is the most dramatic change in character I have experienced with any string after settling. Why is that?

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joachim33
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by joachim33 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:37 pm

I have experienced this with essentially all sets I tried (Savarez, D’Addario), that the sound changes in the first few days, to become more stable after about 1 to 2 weeks. D’Addario are on the quicker side, while Savarez take longer. I pay most attention to the sound of the trebles. I had a set of Hannabach which I didn’t allow that much time, which I am now regretting. I may revisit them at some point in future.

I pass my judgment on the sound after 2 weeks from new until 2 month use (playing 2 to 1.5 h a day). There is s value to the time it takes me changing them - string sets requiring more frequent changes are out if interest to me. I just my last sets for 3 month. If it wasn’t for curiosity of trying something different they might have taken another month.

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filmic
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by filmic » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:03 am

Helpful! I just bought an old classical guitar from the Godin/LaPatrie line with a 'new set' of Pro-Arte EJ46 on it.

I'm tuning my guitar to a BOSS Chromatic TU 01. My guitar sounds tuned to the youtube tutorial guitarist's high end Cordoba when I play the full chords, but when I start with the arpeggios the B and G stings sound off.

The guitar has had the new strings for less than 6 mos. and it wasn't used. Just sitting in a hardshell most of the time. I've been playing on it, one hour per day for about a week now.

I see posted here that it takes a while for the strings to, what? settle? Is what I'm experiencing normal... thanks for any other insight.
Noobie here, for sure.

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dta721
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by dta721 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:15 pm

filmic wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:03 am
Helpful! I just bought an old classical guitar from the Godin/LaPatrie line with a 'new set' of Pro-Arte EJ46 on it.
...
The guitar has had the new strings for less than 6 mos. and it wasn't used. Just sitting in a hardshell most of the time. I've been playing on it, one hour per day for about a week now.
How old is old your Godin/La Patrie guitar? Are the tuning pegs original and still working? Perhaps a new set of tuning pegs helps? That said, it would take more than a week for the new EJ46 strings to settle on mine, YMMV.

Just a thought! :)

astro64
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by astro64 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 pm

filmic wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:03 am
Helpful! I just bought an old classical guitar from the Godin/LaPatrie line with a 'new set' of Pro-Arte EJ46 on it.

I'm tuning my guitar to a BOSS Chromatic TU 01. My guitar sounds tuned to the youtube tutorial guitarist's high end Cordoba when I play the full chords, but when I start with the arpeggios the B and G stings sound off.

The guitar has had the new strings for less than 6 mos. and it wasn't used. Just sitting in a hardshell most of the time. I've been playing on it, one hour per day for about a week now.

I see posted here that it takes a while for the strings to, what? settle? Is what I'm experiencing normal... thanks for any other insight.
Noobie here, for sure.
Yes, normal. Get used to tuning your guitar every 15 min, no matter how old the strings are.

Marshall Dixon
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by Marshall Dixon » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:14 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:54 am
I just put Ernie Ball Ernesto Palla (ha ha) clear and silver strings on my cheap, $200 Lucero LC200S. The strings had settled quickly, the basses most of all. After a couple of hours, the strings would stay in tune long enough to play for about 20 minutes before you had to tweak the tuning again.

The strings started out to be as clear as water. Good balance between the strings. Basses were a little tight sounding at first, but deep. After about 4 days, there's a certain sweetness and sensitivity in the trebles that wasn't there the first day. Sweet and lyrical. Clear like D'Addario, but with a hint of gold in the color of the tone. The basses have become smoother and a little deeper, and can sound good playing gently, or digging in.

How is it that they changed so much for the better after only a few Days? And how is it that these strings escaped my notice until now? It seems as if nobody is using these strings, really. This is the most dramatic change in character I have experienced with any string after settling. Why is that?
I'm going out on a limb here trying to answer this.

The pitch of a string is determined by length, mass and tension. The length is a constant on your guitar, so that leaves mass and tension as variables, one or both of which change with the age of the string, even if ever so slightly.

The timbre of a note is related to the fundamental and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc harmonics. These are what determine the character so as to seem louder and ring longer. (Ever notice how with some guitars the notes build up after the initial attack?) The string produces these harmonics sympathetically with the top. Maybe you could use the term "feedback loop" here. The top is responding to the partials with smaller and smaller areas of vibration which in turn influence the vibration of the string. I would conjecture that the overall sympathetic response is improved by the slight changes effected with the change in mass and/or tension that occurrs with the age (or the type) of the strings. That this is why some players mix string brands and types to a particular guitar.

I don't have any reference books handy, but I recall ("danger Will Robinson!") reading that lower order harmonics are also a factor in the in all this.

A good question is; do you get the same results on your other guitars with these strings?

Laudiesdad69
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:25 am

Marshall Dixon wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:14 am
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:54 am
I just put Ernie Ball Ernesto Palla (ha ha) clear and silver strings on my cheap, $200 Lucero LC200S. The strings had settled quickly, the basses most of all. After a couple of hours, the strings would stay in tune long enough to play for about 20 minutes before you had to tweak the tuning again.

The strings started out to be as clear as water. Good balance between the strings. Basses were a little tight sounding at first, but deep. After about 4 days, there's a certain sweetness and sensitivity in the trebles that wasn't there the first day. Sweet and lyrical. Clear like D'Addario, but with a hint of gold in the color of the tone. The basses have become smoother and a little deeper, and can sound good playing gently, or digging in.

How is it that they changed so much for the better after only a few Days? And how is it that these strings escaped my notice until now? It seems as if nobody is using these strings, really. This is the most dramatic change in character I have experienced with any string after settling. Why is that?
I'm going out on a limb here trying to answer this.

The pitch of a string is determined by length, mass and tension. The length is a constant on your guitar, so that leaves mass and tension as variables, one or both of which change with the age of the string, even if ever so slightly.

The timbre of a note is related to the fundamental and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc harmonics. These are what determine the character so as to seem louder and ring longer. (Ever notice how with some guitars the notes build up after the initial attack?) The string produces these harmonics sympathetically with the top. Maybe you could use the term "feedback loop" here. The top is responding to the partials with smaller and smaller areas of vibration which in turn influence the vibration of the string. I would conjecture that the overall sympathetic response is improved by the slight changes effected with the change in mass and/or tension that occurrs with the age (or the type) of the strings. That this is why some players mix string brands and types to a particular guitar.

I don't have any reference books handy, but I recall ("danger Will Robinson!") reading that lower order harmonics are also a factor in the in all this.

A good question is; do you get the same results on your other guitars with these strings?
Yeah Marshall, I got the same results with three low-end guitars that it tried them on. The results were good enough that I wanted to try them on my one and only GOOD guitar. And it was more of the same, except that the notes were louder, and I could hear all the little nuances, or unintended finger noise from the left hand. I played those strings for about a week and cleaned up my playing a lot.

Marshall Dixon
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by Marshall Dixon » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:10 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:25 am
Marshall Dixon wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:14 am
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:54 am
I just put Ernie Ball Ernesto Palla (ha ha) clear and silver strings on my cheap, $200 Lucero LC200S. The strings had settled quickly, the basses most of all. After a couple of hours, the strings would stay in tune long enough to play for about 20 minutes before you had to tweak the tuning again.

The strings started out to be as clear as water. Good balance between the strings. Basses were a little tight sounding at first, but deep. After about 4 days, there's a certain sweetness and sensitivity in the trebles that wasn't there the first day. Sweet and lyrical. Clear like D'Addario, but with a hint of gold in the color of the tone. The basses have become smoother and a little deeper, and can sound good playing gently, or digging in.

How is it that they changed so much for the better after only a few Days? And how is it that these strings escaped my notice until now? It seems as if nobody is using these strings, really. This is the most dramatic change in character I have experienced with any string after settling. Why is that?
I'm going out on a limb here trying to answer this.

The pitch of a string is determined by length, mass and tension. The length is a constant on your guitar, so that leaves mass and tension as variables, one or both of which change with the age of the string, even if ever so slightly.

The timbre of a note is related to the fundamental and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc harmonics. These are what determine the character so as to seem louder and ring longer. (Ever notice how with some guitars the notes build up after the initial attack?) The string produces these harmonics sympathetically with the top. Maybe you could use the term "feedback loop" here. The top is responding to the partials with smaller and smaller areas of vibration which in turn influence the vibration of the string. I would conjecture that the overall sympathetic response is improved by the slight changes effected with the change in mass and/or tension that occurrs with the age (or the type) of the strings. That this is why some players mix string brands and types to a particular guitar.

I don't have any reference books handy, but I recall ("danger Will Robinson!") reading that lower order harmonics are also a factor in the in all this.

A good question is; do you get the same results on your other guitars with these strings?
Yeah Marshall, I got the same results with three low-end guitars that it tried them on. The results were good enough that I wanted to try them on my one and only GOOD guitar. And it was more of the same, except that the notes were louder, and I could hear all the little nuances, or unintended finger noise from the left hand. I played those strings for about a week and cleaned up my playing a lot.
Ernesto Palla. Had to look that one up. Palla (paya) = song improvised to the tune of the guitar. I'll have to give them a try.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:56 pm

I believe that PALLA means ball. So Ernesto Palla is Ernie Ball in Espanol. I just laughed when I saw the package the firs time. Decent strings for around 5 bucks.

Marshall Dixon
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by Marshall Dixon » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:11 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:56 pm
I believe that PALLA means ball. So Ernesto Palla is Ernie Ball in Espanol. I just laughed when I saw the package the firs time. Decent strings for around 5 bucks.
Ernesto = Ernie
Pelota = ball.
Ernesto Palla = good marketing.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:55 pm

Ha ha😁 it cracks me up!

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filmic
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by filmic » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:27 pm

dta721 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:15 pm
filmic wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:03 am
Helpful! I just bought an old classical guitar from the Godin/LaPatrie line with a 'new set' of Pro-Arte EJ46 on it.
...
The guitar has had the new strings for less than 6 mos. and it wasn't used. Just sitting in a hardshell most of the time. I've been playing on it, one hour per day for about a week now.
How old is old your Godin/La Patrie guitar? Are the tuning pegs original and still working? Perhaps a new set of tuning pegs helps? That said, it would take more than a week for the new EJ46 strings to settle on mine, YMMV.

Just a thought! :)
My guitar is a 1997 Kamouraska Concert Etude. I don't need to tune it that often. The B yeah, it's a problem in comparison to the rest of the tuning pegs. Yes, I need to have new tuning peg sets put on, for sure cause there is a bit of play when tuning. The tuning is certainly not as linear and smooth as it was on my Cordoba C5.. Thanks! thanks for all the feedback!

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dta721
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by dta721 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:22 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:54 am
I just put Ernie Ball Ernesto Palla (ha ha) clear and silver strings on my cheap, $200 Lucero LC200S. The strings had settled quickly, the basses most of all. After a couple of hours, the strings would stay in tune long enough to play for about 20 minutes before you had to tweak the tuning again.
...
How is it that they changed so much for the better after only a few Days? ... This is the most dramatic change in character I have experienced with any string after settling. Why is that?
Based on what you described and confirmed that the results are consistent on all other guitars you have, my guess is this is just the characteristics of the Ernie Balls strings, relatively quick settling time; it could be that simple, or too simple to be pleasantly surprised? :)

I found an article on the physics of everyday stuff - guitar, which provides some insights to pitch as a function of mass density and tension and guitar overtones, or string harmonics, worthy of your attention:
http://www.bsharp.org/physics/guitar
:chitarrista:

Laudiesdad69
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:13 am

dta721 wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:22 am
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:54 am
I just put Ernie Ball Ernesto Palla (ha ha) clear and silver strings on my cheap, $200 Lucero LC200S. The strings had settled quickly, the basses most of all. After a couple of hours, the strings would stay in tune long enough to play for about 20 minutes before you had to tweak the tuning again.
...
How is it that they changed so much for the better after only a few Days? ... This is the most dramatic change in character I have experienced with any string after settling. Why is that?
Based on what you described and confirmed that the results are consistent on all other guitars you have, my guess is this is just the characteristics of the Ernie Balls strings, relatively quick settling time; it could be that simple, or too simple to be pleasantly surprised? :)

I found an article on the physics of everyday stuff - guitar, which provides some insights to pitch as a function of mass density and tension and guitar overtones, or string harmonics, worthy of your attention:
http://www.bsharp.org/physics/guitar
:chitarrista:
Interesting what I could read of it. The print was so small and I'm on a tablet🤔 I will try to read in on someone's computer. Thanks.

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dta721
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Re: How is it that strings can change so much after a few days?

Post by dta721 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:07 pm

Hi Laudiesdad69,

As you would agree from reading this article, it does not provide direct answers to your questions. However, understanding how strings work to produce the desired pitches (frequencies, E, A, D, G, B and E) and their overtones (harmonics) would help explain those Ernie Ball strings' settlement, possibly others too, on how they reach equilibrium, a big word for stabilizing :)

Here is my take on your observations, also out on a limb:

- All strings are subjected to the same tension as designed and specified (e.g. low, normal, hard/high, extra hard/high) by manufacturers when strung on a guitar;

- Their designed pitches are thus solely a function of density mass, as tension is presumably the same, unless you mix normal tension for trebles and high tension for basses, or even go crazy on mix and match individual strings. Note that mixing tension levels AND manufacturers would further complicate the issue as they don’t usually have a common standard for low, normal, high tension! That said, when all strings (of different tensions) are stabilized, I'd say they are of the same tension with their intended pitches;

- As the strings are initially strung, pardon the pun :) , there will be changes in tension -as a variable due to (i) settling at the bridge and the tuning pegs, (ii) individual string stretching until stabilized; and (iii) how rigorous the break-in process performed by you; and (iv) perhaps other factors unknown to this humble poster at this time.

Your positive impression with Ernie Ball strings may be because of something else though (cat iv). Your level of expectation may have been just so different from other brands; it could be similar to your attention to your first child, which wanes in time to your 2nd or 3rd child. In this case it is a reverse, you paid much more attention to this latest addition to the family, the Ernie's balls :D !

Just stirring the pot! :D

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