Do strings go dead overnight?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Bill-stl
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Location: St Louis, MO USA

Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by Bill-stl » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:28 pm

Grabbed my guitar the other day and started my practice routine. Stretched, tuned up and started playing 1234's and basic chords (G7, C, Dm, A7). Everything sounded off. Checked the tuning with tuner, everything spot on, but still sounded off to me. Tuned by ear, same result. Decided it was my ears? Humidity was a little low, about 37-38% in the house so I put my Damp it in overnight, thinking low humidity was affecting my guitar. Next day, same situation so I changed strings . That seems to have fixed the problem, although they are still settling in and the humidity is back up to 50-55%. ( Got to love this St. Louis weather!)
Do strings go bad overnight? I am certainly a amateur with lousy hearing but I am perplexed that even though the strings showed to be in tune something didn't sound right. Kind of like milk the day before you know it is bad!
Esteve Fernandez Valencia

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Christopher Langley
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Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by Christopher Langley » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:05 am

Pretty much exactly how it happens for me too.

I think we just suddenly notice the strings are dead once they slip below a certain threshold.
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bacsidoan
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Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by bacsidoan » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:18 am

Strings deteriorate with time but not overnight. Your guitar tone and intonation can change with relative humidity, however.

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:05 pm

Interesting topic!

The full solid wood guitars subjected to dry and cold, warm and humid, or cold and wet environments,are they much greater factors that influence the playability than strings do?

My guitars' playability definitely suffer in the area of tone colours, projection and clarity during high RH level,also stiffer to play, the sound just didn't come right out from the box.

I was informed laminated guitars suffer less.

Are there any particular strings that work well under humidity swing?
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

MessyTendon
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Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by MessyTendon » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:42 pm

If they are Pro Arte EJ type strings then you can be certain they are corpses...rigor mortis of Pro Arte strings is immediately after tuning up :)

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andi33x
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Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by andi33x » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:29 pm

Chuah Hui Hsien wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:05 pm
Interesting topic!

The full solid wood guitars subjected to dry and cold, warm and humid, or cold and wet environments,are they much greater factors that influence the playability than strings do?

My guitars' playability definitely suffer in the area of tone colours, projection and clarity during high RH level,also stiffer to play, the sound just didn't come right out from the box.

I was informed laminated guitars suffer less.

Are there any particular strings that work well under humidity swing?
This is a really interesting thread because I also have these problems.
I cannot answer the string question but my experience is:
The problem occurs with many string types, carbon, nylon etc.
Cheap laminated guitars do not suffer (or only a little bit).

With non laminated guitars I only had nitro cedars and shellac spruces in my life.
The cedars suffered less than the spruces - it this the finish or the wood???

I know that the famous Hauser sometimes uses shellac for the top and nitro for the rest. Is this a trick to overcome this behaviour?
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar - maybe aside from that of two guitars (Frederic Chopin)

Bill-stl
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:33 pm
Location: St Louis, MO USA

Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by Bill-stl » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:45 pm

MessyTendon wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:42 pm
If they are Pro Arte EJ type strings then you can be certain they are corpses...rigor mortis of Pro Arte strings is immediately after tuning up :)
My strings were Pro Arte EJ 45N's. Trying some Augustine reds, now. FWIW, I play an Esteve Fernandes Valencia- solid cedar top, laminated sapelli sides and back.
Esteve Fernandez Valencia

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Michael.N.
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Location: UK

Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:13 am

andi33x wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:29 pm
Chuah Hui Hsien wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:05 pm
Interesting topic!

The full solid wood guitars subjected to dry and cold, warm and humid, or cold and wet environments,are they much greater factors that influence the playability than strings do?

My guitars' playability definitely suffer in the area of tone colours, projection and clarity during high RH level,also stiffer to play, the sound just didn't come right out from the box.

I was informed laminated guitars suffer less.

Are there any particular strings that work well under humidity swing?
This is a really interesting thread because I also have these problems.
I cannot answer the string question but my experience is:
The problem occurs with many string types, carbon, nylon etc.
Cheap laminated guitars do not suffer (or only a little bit).

With non laminated guitars I only had nitro cedars and shellac spruces in my life.
The cedars suffered less than the spruces - it this the finish or the wood???

I know that the famous Hauser sometimes uses shellac for the top and nitro for the rest. Is this a trick to overcome this behaviour?
No.
Historicalguitars.

MessyTendon
Amateur luthier
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Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by MessyTendon » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:02 pm

Try the Aquila Alabastro...they are bright and punchy on inexpensive guitars and it sounds like your guitar would be a good candidate.

Higher end guitars can tolerate the awful neutral sound of D Addario...and it's probably the case that great guitarists use them on expensive guitars because the guitar itself is so well balanced. But for us poor folks, we need strings to add color and life to an otherwise lesser guitar.

Your mileage will vary.

Bill-stl
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:33 pm
Location: St Louis, MO USA

Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by Bill-stl » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:33 am

MessyTendon wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Try the Aquila Alabastro...they are bright and punchy on inexpensive guitars and it sounds like your guitar would be a good candidate.

Higher end guitars can tolerate the awful neutral sound of D Addario...and it's probably the case that great guitarists use them on expensive guitars because the guitar itself is so well balanced. But for us poor folks, we need strings to add color and life to an otherwise lesser guitar.

Your mileage will vary.
I just ordered some D Addario Pro Arte in varying tensions! I am not happy with the Augustine Classic Red's I just put on. The annoying little buzz I was experiencing with the Classic Gold as I lift off the string is back. It had disappeared with the EJ 45 normal tension. I will put the Alabastro on my list to try.
Esteve Fernandez Valencia

jscott

Re: Do strings go dead overnight?

Post by jscott » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:45 am

I'm murder on strings. But I've never had a set go dead overnight. Mine just slowly become less loud and resonant over several weeks. A gradual depreciation of sound as nicks form on the trebles and wear shows on the basses at the frets.

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