www.KitGuitarsForum.com

Learn to Kit Build a Guitar. Learn to Scratch Build a Guitar. Learn EVERYTHING Guitars Here!
It is currently Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:43 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Help with strings
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 9:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1308
JLT wrote:
Diane Kauffmds wrote:
I need everyone to know I've been referring to steel strings, not nylon. Nylon strings last a very long time and in fact, I can only think of one time that I've had a nylon string break.


I can add something here, based on about twenty years of playing nylon-strung harps. Nylon strings do last a long time, but they experience the same "going dead" characteristic of steel strings ... they no longer have the same elastic properties. They begin to stretch asymmetrically, some sections stretching more than others. On a harp, this exhibits itself by sections of the string not vibrating with the usual overtones. On a guitar, it shows up when you fret a string and the note isn't in pitch, even when it's in pitch when the string is open (this of course assumes that with a new string, the guitar would be in pitch anywhere on the fingerboard). In either case, its a sign that the string is approaching the end of its useful life. I don't know if such asymmetrical stretching is characteristic of metal strings, but it wouldn't surprise me.

I've heard that, as a general rule, harp strings should be changed yearly or after a hundred hours of playing, whichever comes first. Professionals change their strings a lot more often than that, after about fifteen or twenty hours of playing.

Wow, thank you so much for responding. You're experience helps a lot with this discussion.

Steel strings will wear where they're fretted; they're vulnerable to moisture in the air and in our hands. Plus, sweat and body oils are acidic. Metal fatigue is also a consideration, especially if you constantly tune up or down. Unless you keep and play your guitar in a very controlled environment, the humidity alone will cause changes in string tension.

I consider changing strings to be a part of guitar maintenance. I rarely get more than 60 hours out of one set of strings, and this is on the high side. I don't wait for the strings to go dead before replacing them, because they're too prone to breaking. I want the best sound I can get out of my guitar and that means maintaining a good set of strings on her.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Help with strings
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 10:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm
Posts: 142
Diane, you mentioned that tuning varies with humidity. Is that ever true. I mistakenly left my Mini on a stand overnight one night last winter instead of returning it to its case with the soapbox/sponge humidifier. If the instrument lives in the case except when being played, tuning changes day to day are minor. Leave it out on the stand, substantial divergence. Made a believer out of me about humidification.

_________________
peter havriluk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Help with strings
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 10:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1308
phavriluk wrote:
Diane, you mentioned that tuning varies with humidity. Is that ever true. I mistakenly left my Mini on a stand overnight one night last winter instead of returning it to its case with the soapbox/sponge humidifier. If the instrument lives in the case except when being played, tuning changes day to day are minor. Leave it out on the stand, substantial divergence. Made a believer out of me about humidification.

You better believe it my friend! Humidity is my #1 concern with my guitar.

I've always been pretty obsessive about guitar maintenance. But, my husband moved the case containing my dread, placing it over a floor vent (in winter). Since I was concentrating on the classical guitar, I didn't notice the change in location, until about 6 weeks later. I took my dread out, to find a crack along the grainline of the solid rosewood back. To add insult to injury, I had been using a sponge based humidifier, but we'd just moved to WV, where the humidity often drops below 30% and as gets as low as single digits. The sponges will dry out in 2 days.

I fixed the crack, which was (luckily) a closed crack and tossed the humidifier in the garbage. I invested in Oasis humidifiers and in cigar box hygrometers (the type that the error can be programed out), for each guitar. I keep a weekly alarm on my phone to remind me to check all of the Oasis humidifiers, on a weekly basis.

I would love to keep humipaks in all of my guitars, but the low humidity dries them out in about 2 weeks around here and they're expensive to replace in 4 guitars.

It's safe to say I've gone from obsessive to downright OCD about humidity and maintenance.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Help with strings
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 3:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 4:59 am
Posts: 27
Well, I suppose that there has to be an advantage to living in the UK and this must be it. Humidity is NEVER an issue here, we don't even mention it and would have no idea what the local humidity is!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Help with strings
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 6:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1308
stevegullick wrote:
Well, I suppose that there has to be an advantage to living in the UK and this must be it. Humidity is NEVER an issue here, we don't even mention it and would have no idea what the local humidity is!

That's really interesting. I thought it would be an issue for you too. Humidity isn't as much of an issue if it's consistent. With a few exceptions, it swings wildly in the US on a daily basis, and the damage can be catastrophic.

My stepdaughter left her classical guitar to me. She lived in S. Florida where it's extremely humid, and she had no case. Her sister brought the guitar to her house, which is air conditioned. When I got the guitar 3 months later, the bridge had lifted, the top dished, the transverse brace cracked completely along its length, and 3 braces had fallen off. The minute I got the guitar, I was ready with a case and a humidifier, but the damage continued. I had 2 more back braces crack because, even with a guitar humidifier, it can be hard keeping the humidity above 40% in a guitar case here in West Virginia.

The humidity is a huge deal in the US. It even affects building.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group