What ARE coated strings ?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
MarkInLA
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What ARE coated strings ?

Post by MarkInLA » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:17 pm

Hi. Though there are droves of threads on string brands good/not good, I can't find a post explaining just what the coating actually is. Does the coating give it an electric guitar's flat-wound string sensation ? Or, is it for say, for preserving the silver coating under it ? Waz up wit dat ? M

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Christopher Langley
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by Christopher Langley » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:23 am

Generally speaking all coated strings have an anti-corrosive, ultra-thin clear-coat applied to them.

In theory this should make them last longer.

In practice, for many of us they seem to break down in about the same amount of time, so the extra cost is not justified.


The best thing I have found for improving string life is the simple wipe down! Since I've started wiping down my strings they don't corrode as badly.

I will say coated strings are good for guitars you know are going to sit, they will last forever if they aren't played on.. But if they are played, I find they face the same mechanical breakdown of windings as all uncoated strings. I think the clear coat wears off relatively quick.

Some players do have very acidic sweat and they pretty much must use coated strings.. so it does have a place. For these certain players it is a godsend, for me.. I never noticed enough of a difference, the coated strings never lasted extra long for me. Just average.

I speak mostly from experience with coated steel strings, mind you, but they seem even less popular among classical guitar players.

I have met at least a few guys who swear buy them. The music store loves to recommend them due to the extra price. :lol:
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MarkInLA
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by MarkInLA » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:33 am

Thanks much Christopher .. very clear explanation. I will likely steer away from them now.. M

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Christopher Langley
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by Christopher Langley » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:39 am

MarkInLA wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:33 am
Thanks much Christopher .. very clear explanation. I will likely steer away from them now.. M
They might be worth trying.. Especially on sale or in a bind. I just generally find their increased price to be not worth their so called increased life span.

Keep in mind I'm not very very experienced.. Someone else more experienced may yet chime in and recommend them!

I would put them on guitars I don't play often maybe before I learned about wiping down strings.. Now that I wipe down.. Nah.
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Michael.N.
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:01 pm

They are virtually all coated. . . . . except the strings that aren't coated, in which case they will very likely be a coppery colour, which is what is underneath the usual silver coloured strings. No, they aren't solid silver.
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bauersachs82
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by bauersachs82 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:27 pm

Christopher Langley wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:23 am
Generally speaking all coated strings have an anti-corrosive, ultra-thin clear-coat applied to them.

In theory this should make them last longer.

In practice, for many of us they seem to break down in about the same amount of time, so the extra cost is not justified.


The best thing I have found for improving string life is the simple wipe down! Since I've started wiping down my strings they don't corrode as badly.

I will say coated strings are good for guitars you know are going to sit, they will last forever if they aren't played on.. But if they are played, I find they face the same mechanical breakdown of windings as all uncoated strings. I think the clear coat wears off relatively quick.

Some players do have very acidic sweat and they pretty much must use coated strings.. so it does have a place. For these certain players it is a godsend, for me.. I never noticed enough of a difference, the coated strings never lasted extra long for me. Just average.

I speak mostly from experience with coated steel strings, mind you, but they seem even less popular among classical guitar players.

I have met at least a few guys who swear buy them. The music store loves to recommend them due to the extra price. :lol:
The only coated classical strings that I know of are the D'addario EXP's and they don't cost much more than regular Pro Arte's. The coating D'Addario uses is applied to the silver-plated copper and then wrapped around the nylon core. The top 3 strings are not coated and wouldn't need to be.

Like Chris said, if you wipe down your strings after playing (or better yet wash your hands before playing), you can prolong your strings life.

With that being said, I don't think I have ever had a set of strings actually corrode.

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joachim33
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by joachim33 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:53 pm

Hannabach 815 are anti corrosion coated as well.

bauersachs82
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by bauersachs82 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:07 pm

joachim33 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:53 pm
Hannabach 815 are anti corrosion coated as well.
I'm pretty sure that is incorrect.

They are silver plated and that is where the confusion is coming in here and the one comment above. Most classical strings are silver plated copper. There are some that are completely silver wrapped like the La Bella Argento.

A coated string is still silver plated copper, but it then has an additional polymer applied to the strings to make them last longer.

But I did forget about the Sevilla strings. They have special polymer coating also.

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joachim33
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by joachim33 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:40 pm

bauersachs82 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:07 pm
joachim33 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:53 pm
Hannabach 815 are anti corrosion coated as well.
I'm pretty sure that is incorrect.

They are silver plated and that is where the confusion is coming in here and the one comment above. Most classical strings are silver plated copper. There are some that are completely silver wrapped like the La Bella Argento.

A coated string is still silver plated copper, but it then has an additional polymer applied to the strings to make them last longer.

But I did forget about the Sevilla strings. They have special polymer coating also.
http://www.hannabach.com/en/strings/815-silver-special

Clearly stated in Hannabach ‘s product description.

bauersachs82
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by bauersachs82 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:19 pm

joachim33 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:40 pm
bauersachs82 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:07 pm
joachim33 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:53 pm
Hannabach 815 are anti corrosion coated as well.
I'm pretty sure that is incorrect.

They are silver plated and that is where the confusion is coming in here and the one comment above. Most classical strings are silver plated copper. There are some that are completely silver wrapped like the La Bella Argento.

A coated string is still silver plated copper, but it then has an additional polymer applied to the strings to make them last longer.

But I did forget about the Sevilla strings. They have special polymer coating also.
http://www.hannabach.com/en/strings/815-silver-special

Clearly stated in Hannabach ‘s product description.
That is not clearly stated at all. It's translated poorly to English. This sentence below from their site doesn't even make sense.

"Precision-round (100% uniform round without irregularities or deviations) and higher silver-plated and against corrosion coated bass strings."

As I said before, plated and coated are getting mixed up here. I don't see any mention of them coating the strings with a polymer in the way that D'Addario, Elixir, or Cleartone do.

The 600 Silver-Plated strings make a similar claim but they are more specific that they are silver plated. " - Specially silver-plated, tarnish-proof wound bass strings - wrapping material."

As Michael.N said above, almost all strings are "coated"(plated) with silver. That silver plating helps with corrosion. A coated string is something more. They are coated with a Teflon type material. Elixir strings, for example, is actually a small part of a much larger company (W. L. Gore & Associates) that makes polymers for the medical industry. They are the ones who invented Gore-Tex.

Elixir coats the entire string. D'Addario EXP coat the actual silver-plated copper and then the wrap it around the nylon core.

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joachim33
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by joachim33 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:30 pm

It says “plated and coated”. To me that is pretty clear.

If you go for their German site it reads “... und höher versilberte, zusätzlich gegen Korrosion beschichtete Basssaiten.” In this context I would translate the German “zusätzlich” as “in addition”, making it clear that there is a coating in addition to the silver plating.

bauersachs82
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by bauersachs82 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:42 am

joachim33 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:30 pm
It says “plated and coated”. To me that is pretty clear.

If you go for their German site it reads “... und höher versilberte, zusätzlich gegen Korrosion beschichtete Basssaiten.” In this context I would translate the German “zusätzlich” as “in addition”, making it clear that there is a coating in addition to the silver plating.
Thanks for the translation. I was never aware that these were coated and I have used them 3 or 4 times. Ha

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pogmoor
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by pogmoor » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:24 pm

Looks like Hannebach regard their strings as being ale to talk :shock:
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bauersachs82
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Re: What ARE coated strings ?

Post by bauersachs82 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:02 pm

I did confirm with Hannabach that they do use a polymer on the 815 Silver Specials. They have been doing it for decades apparently and have never marketed it as other brands do. They put just enough coating on the strings to protect them but not too much to affect the tone or feel negatively.

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