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Old 12-05-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
racertj5
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"Twangy" Strings - Time to change?

My strings seem to have become "twangy" I don't remember them being this bad before. Time for change?
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:21 AM   #2
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Every time you tune up do a quick intonation check, it only takes a few seconds. As soon as it drifts you change your strings.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:23 AM   #3
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Thanks Cath. I can't remember when I last changed these things. Granted I have 2 guitars that cycle between my dorm and home so I just recently started playing this one again. Also, pretty sure my intonation has been off by a little bit the way this is setup but I don't trust my tuner enough to try to fix it lol
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:26 AM   #4
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You don't need a very good tuner to check intonation. Buy a new set of strings, set the intonation and then keep your eye on it.

As for a tuner - do you have a smartphone?
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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Thanks again man. I have an Ipod touch. Also have a cheap tuner that can with my starter pack acoustic.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #6
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I'm an android man. If the Ipod has a built in mic, search the app store for a tuner app. I know nothing about Apple stuff but a quick search shows a few of them available.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
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^+1

I've been using "Cleartune" on my iphone for a year or so, you have to pay for it, but it's more than worth the small cost!
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:08 PM   #8
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If you are considering starting a thread to ask if you need to change your strings then you need to change your strings...

Cath - I've never heard, or personally noticed, that strings getting old affects intonation. Interesting. I'll have to watch for that. I assume this is a confirmed phenomenon for you?
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubetime86
If you are considering starting a thread to ask if you need to change your strings then you need to change your strings...

Cath - I've never heard, or personally noticed, that strings getting old affects intonation. Interesting. I'll have to watch for that. I assume this is a confirmed phenomenon for you?




Eagerly awaiting answer, as this appears to presume that strings stretch at different rates along their length...
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubetime86
If you are considering starting a thread to ask if you need to change your strings then you need to change your strings...

Cath - I've never heard, or personally noticed, that strings getting old affects intonation. Interesting. I'll have to watch for that. I assume this is a confirmed phenomenon for you?

Yeah, I had old strings on my guitar and the intonation was way off. Then I changed my strings and the intonation was good again. I actually adjusted my intonation with the old strings but they didn't intonate really well, no matter how I tried so I changed the strings and the intonation was different. Adjusted it again and now my guitar has good enough intonation.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby911


Eagerly awaiting answer, as this appears to presume that strings stretch at different rates along their length...

Exactly. I'll second the popcorn.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
Yeah, I had old strings on my guitar and the intonation was way off. Then I changed my strings and the intonation was good again. I actually adjusted my intonation with the old strings but they didn't intonate really well, no matter how I tried so I changed the strings and the intonation was different. Adjusted it again and now my guitar has good enough intonation.

Hmmm. A bit flimsy without any other evidence, but I'll accept this as Exhibit A. I'd like to hear a theory on the why though.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:24 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input. I found a free Ipod tuner that had good reviews so I'll try that and compare it to my other tuner and see what happens. Also, I know I need to change the strings anyway but I figured I'd check to make sure it would fix the issue rather then change them and find out I needed to do something else first
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:47 PM   #13
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I discovered the intonation thing when I was having trouble with my first guitar (ultimately I had to move the entire bridge about 5 mm). When the strings were old I'd run out of adjustment.
It does make sense though. As the strings get older they are no longer of uniform density along the length of the string due to corosion and mechanical wear against the frets. Pretty obvious when you think about it, huh? A thinner string is a higher pitch.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:22 AM   #14
racertj5
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These things need changing desperately but my intonation is spot on. Afraid to mess with it now lol
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
I discovered the intonation thing when I was having trouble with my first guitar (ultimately I had to move the entire bridge about 5 mm). When the strings were old I'd run out of adjustment.
It does make sense though. As the strings get older they are no longer of uniform density along the length of the string due to corosion and mechanical wear against the frets. Pretty obvious when you think about it, huh? A thinner string is a higher pitch.


No, not really.

I mean yes, of course mechanical wear and corrosion can and will affect anything susceptible to same, but I'm skeptical that the amounts that we normally see on guitar strings have a significant impact.

Maybe if your strings were 5 years old and crusty, but I can't see it with any reasonable cleaning and changing regimen.

I might buy that strings continue to stretch over time, which will (must, in fact) thin them out, but it should happen in a relatively uniform fashion along the length?

I've also considered that the 'picked' area may work-harden over time, causing it to have different resonant characteristics than the rest of the string, making intonation impossible.

I guess my point is I can see several mechanisms that MIGHT cause the phenomenon noted, but I can find nothing that supports any of them, excepting only anecdotes.

And perhaps it doesn't matter, because strings are cheap, so if you think it helps, change 'em?
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #16
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Well if they are going to stretch in a non-uniform way then wouldn't it happen throughout the life of the string? Inconsistencies in production, or any number of factors could contribute to that, but I just haven't ever noticed it. My intonation is pretty much static for months at a time, with many string changes and varying degrees of string wear.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:21 PM   #17
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Do you check the intonation every time you change strings? I do. It isn't uncommon to have to make minor adjustments.
Start checking it on a regular basis and you'll see I'm right, old strings drift.

Arby, the top E string is the one that drifts most. That is only 9 or 10 thou, so a very small dent or amount of corrosion amounts to quite a lot relatively to the thickness of the string. The fact that the thinner strings suffer more supports my hypothesis of non uniformity causing drift.
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