Old Strings VS New strings

mdubya

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
22,937
Reaction score
41,496
Strings are only "old" when the wound strings start to develop wear against the frets. JMHO.

Otherwise, it is just a marketing ploy to guilt you into changing perfectly good strings.

Some strings last twice s long as others. They are worth the extra cost, also IMHO.

YMMV. :hippie:

Now, if you have guitars sitting around unplayed long enough to oxidize, that is a different story. Or if you are a sweaty bastid. :p

Ultimately, whatever works for each individual is best.
 

smk506

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
5,885
Reaction score
10,965
Strings are only "old" when the wound strings start to develop wear against the frets. JMHO.

Otherwise, it is just a marketing ploy to guilt you into changing perfectly good strings.

Some strings last twice s long as others. They are worth the extra cost, also IMHO.

YMMV. :hippie:

Now, if you have guitars sitting around unplayed long enough to oxidize, that is a different story. Or if you are a sweaty bastid. :p

Ultimately, whatever works for each individual is best.

Yup, one of those things with many variables too;

You can get super long life out of flat wounds.

Not playing guitar while enjoying a tasty, but sticky, peanut butter and honey sandwich.

Not resting your guitar strings down on hard corners.

Stuff like that, it all makes a difference.
 

Jymbopalyse

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
8,121
Reaction score
18,537
Strings are only "old" when the wound strings start to develop wear against the frets. JMHO.

Otherwise, it is just a marketing ploy to guilt you into changing perfectly good strings.

Yup. The wound strings and oxidization are guitar strings kryptonite.

This is where the wear comes in. I know a few people whose sweat is so caustic, they have to change their strings after (x) hours of playing. And make effort to wipe down their fretboard..


Otherwise, it is just a marketing ploy to guilt you into changing perfectly good strings.
For sure. How often do you change piano strings ??
 

pmonk

Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
3,624
Reaction score
3,652
Since I never wipe my strings after playing, old means grunge and rust.
 

sonar1

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2011
Messages
21,297
Reaction score
76,289
Generally I’ll change the set when one breaks, unless I have a playing opportunity upcoming and want to be sure one doesn’t break then.
Acoustic sets get dull, but I only play electric guitar anymore. I need power steering.
 

keys88

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
136
Reaction score
237
I can definitely hear a difference when strings start to get old on an acoustic. But yeah, with electrics it's more of a feel thing.
 

Spooky88

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
9
Yeah, on a couple guitars I change the strings when they sound "lifeless" this can happen after a month of playing. However my "main" guitar ( a Warmoth partscaster) sounds best with strings "broken in". My last set lasted 5 1/2 years of hard playing. Keep in mind they never broke I just wore through the winding on the d string at the 3rd fret. The previous set of d'addario XL lasted 4 years and had never broken either. I expect the 10 pack I bought in 1992 will outlast my playing.
 

Six6String6

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
268
Reaction score
362
I do notice a brightness to a new set of acoustic strings but for what ever reason not on my electrics. Perhaps the nature of the amplification from the pickups hides it. And the brightness on the acoustic goes away quickly, or my brain forgets about it.
But I’m 100% sure that the notion of putting on new strings on a weekly/monthly/whatever schedule has been invented buy (see what I did there?) the greedy string manufacturers.
 

Bluesman1956

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
66
Reaction score
37
Can you hear a difference??

I notice a flater less vibrant sound and also tuning issues with worn strings. But it varies with use and keeping the strings clean with Fret Fast after use goes a long way to extending the life of strings. Keep them in their cases also help.
 

LeftyGtrPlr

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
45
Reaction score
37
Yeah, on a couple guitars I change the strings when they sound "lifeless" this can happen after a month of playing. However my "main" guitar ( a Warmoth partscaster) sounds best with strings "broken in". My last set lasted 5 1/2 years of hard playing. Keep in mind they never broke I just wore through the winding on the d string at the 3rd fret. The previous set of d'addario XL lasted 4 years and had never broken either. I expect the 10 pack I bought in 1992 will outlast my playing.
I have had a set of d'addario NYXL's on one of my guitars for over 2 years and I swear, they sound better with age. Not changing until I break a string.
 

dasherf17

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
664
Reaction score
332
Strings are only "old" when the wound strings start to develop wear against the frets. JMHO.

Otherwise, it is just a marketing ploy to guilt you into changing perfectly good strings.

Some strings last twice s long as others. They are worth the extra cost, also IMHO.

YMMV. :hippie:

Now, if you have guitars sitting around unplayed long enough to oxidize, that is a different story. Or if you are a sweaty bastid. :p

Ultimately, whatever works for each individual is best.

I agree with the wear issue...I'm not a big fan of new string "brightness"...that's for practices...I like them "worn in" (sonically) a bit. Then, I can "think"...
Before I tore apart the "76 Firebird to refinish I hadn't changed the strings since the middle '80s...that was after a month of off and on use at gigs (not my main guitar). Not a pretty sight...
 
Last edited:

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
385
Reaction score
342
I can hear an audible difference after a month of playing. The strings start out with a snappy pronounced attack and end up with a dull attack and no snap. That's about as good as I can explain it.
 

BRMarshall

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
316
Reaction score
317
For me, electric strings hold up well and I don’t notice a dramatic change in tone with new. Acoustic, as others have mentioned, are a different animal. A dozen or so years ago I was playing out weekly - acoustic guitar and singing - always changed strings in the morning or day before. Except that one time when I was busy/lazy - strings were only a week old. Middle of a song in second set - snap. Lesson learned. Always put on new strings before a performance.
 

Spooky88

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
9
I'll add that I prefer active pickups over passive pickups. The higher headroom you have with a set of EMG pickups more than makes up for the loss of string "snap" as the strings age. To me it's a bit like having some slight compression on the guitar.
 

Latest Threads



Top