#1
Uber-noob.

As the title says. I was given a guitar when I was a wee lad many years ago, but never really picked it up. 9 years later I find it in my closet and decide to give it a go. 1 year after that I'm still a scrub, but constantly getting better. I'm just now realizing that I've never broken a string, and never had a string change. I'm playing on decade-old Fender budget guitar starter pack strings.

Upon this realization I decided to not be horribly cheap and bought a couple of packs of strings--some D'addarios and Elixers and Ernie Balls to get a feel for which ones I like. Now, I need to know...

How messed up is my neck gonna be? How dramatic of a difference will new strings be in tone and playability? I essentially learned how to play the guitar on these 10 year old rusted and grimey things. What kind of differences can I expect to see?

Yes yes, I'm terrible at life.
Last edited by Seref at May 17, 2010,
#2
some people like old strings
some people like new strings

i like new strings

i use products to keep my strings clean

i think the tonal differences are noticeable

neck will be fine

leave 2 - 4" of slack
over under tie off
stretch stings before final tune up


#3
new strings will sound bright and extremely different than 10 year strings.
neck shouldnt be messed up at all, and should only require minor setup which you can probably forgo (but why not just look it up and do it, imo)
they will probably play smoother because theyll have no grime on them, but it may vary with string choices
rusted and grimy? they will play infinitely better and much more responsively.
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#4
id take the guitar into a local shop to get a setup done on it, and get them to change strings while they at it. that way they can set the action and intonation and everything nicely. clean the frets and fret board aswell. dont cost too much either.
#6
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
some people like old strings
some people like new strings


Well, I personally like old strings, but 9 years is probably a bit much

I just hate the first week or 2 after changing them. After maybe a month or so they hit a sweet spot for me and I'll ride em for a good 5-6 months if they'll last.

TS, as said before, your neck should be fine, and besides the tone being a bit brighter and the strings not feeling nasty, it really won't be too much different
#7
They'll sound worlds better. More punchy and bright. Your neck will be fine as long as you didn't get strings very thick (anything around 12-50 ish would be pretty drastic). When you change the strings don't take them all off at once just so you can keep some pull on the neck. I'd advise giving the frets & fretboard a quick rub down with a damp cloth as well while some of the strings are off.

And optimally you're strings can be changed every 3 months or so. You can hold off for even longer with those coated Elixer's though.
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#8
With it tuned up lay a straightedge along the neck, there should be a miniscule gap under the straightedge at the 5th fret. You can use one of the strings as a straightedge by fretting the string at fret 1 and 13. Tightening the truss rod will created a bigger gap, loosening it will reduce it. Always worth checking.
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#9
I went through a similar situation, while it might not have been 10 years, it was probably 7 or 8. I got a half-size acoustic when I was like 7, never touched it. Then when I was really getting into guitar (I had an Ibanez GIO starter pack), I dug out that old acoustic. The thing is shit of course, the wood is warped and whatnot, but I still restrung it for the hell of it. What a difference in tone with new strings, and what a different feel. Same goes for electric. I probably didn't change the stock strings on my first Ibanez for over a year because I didn't know how. Lol.
#10
i usually replace mine when i either want them to sound uber bright again, or if after wiping them down they are still _really_gross. or a string breaks.

edit: never any kind of time limit for me. its always an ad hoc thing and i never remember when i changed them last for the life of me
'87 Fender Strat
Oscar Schmidt Archtop
Laney LC15R
#11
Quote by HKSR33
id take the guitar into a local shop to get a setup done on it, and get them to change strings while they at it. that way they can set the action and intonation and everything nicely. clean the frets and fret board aswell. dont cost too much either.


Agreed. Ten years is a lot of changes in humidity and temperature and a lot of dust accumulating. Get a tech to set up the guitar.
#12
Quote by jpnyc
Agreed. Ten years is a lot of changes in humidity and temperature and a lot of dust accumulating. Get a tech to set up the guitar.


I'm gonna completely disagree here. Not the fact that it needs a setup, but that you should get one.

It's a squier affinity... and being 10 years old still doesn't make it worth more than 30-50 bucks. There's no good reason to pay the worth of a guitar for a setup (which still won't make an affinity play great).
#13
i agree with doing a setup yourself, save the cash and learn how to setup a guitar at the same time.


its a very zen thing for me when i change strings and clean the guitar up and methodically put new ones on, stretch them and check the setup.


then rock the F***ing thing as soon as its in tune.
'87 Fender Strat
Oscar Schmidt Archtop
Laney LC15R
#14
Quote by josephde
It's a squier affinity... and being 10 years old still doesn't make it worth more than 30-50 bucks. There's no good reason to pay the worth of a guitar for a setup (which still won't make an affinity play great).


Will start by saying that I play my friend's American Standard Strat quite a bit.

My Squier's a cheap guitar, but it's not really all that bad. Solid alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard. I think when it was bought it was one of the more expensive Squier models rather than the crap plywood ones. It feels and plays fairy nice save for some dangerously jagged fret edges. I see a lot of people say "X guitar isn't worth fixing" or "X guitar isn't worth modding." But completely honestly--I've been planning to rip everything out of this guitar and replace it with higher quality electronics and hardware. I really like the neck and body and with the right parts it will easily be comparable to to my friend's American Standard. Hell, it might even be better. Graphite nut, locking tuners, full shielding, heavy duty trem block? Fender doesn't even do that much for their own line.

Also worth mentioning is the old Squier Bullet Strat. It was a $99 HSS (I think) Strat with a Bullet pickguard. It was one of the most popular modding platforms of the time--the quality was excellent for the price and for a few extra bucks on mods the guitar could be a monster. In fact it's for this reason that Fender stopped making the Bullet Strats--people were buying them in bulk for modding and fixing up.
Last edited by Seref at May 17, 2010,
#15
Quote by Grimriffer
^ you don't need all those rituals with a floyd)


What are you talking about? Every stringed instrument no matter what requires a set up.
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#16
Quote by Seref
Will start by saying that I play my friend's American Standard Strat quite a bit.

My Squier's a cheap guitar, but it's not really all that bad. Solid alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard. I think when it was bought it was one of the more expensive Squier models rather than the crap plywood ones. It feels and plays fairy nice save for some dangerously jagged fret edges. I see a lot of people say "X guitar isn't worth fixing" or "X guitar isn't worth modding." But completely honestly--I've been planning to rip everything out of this guitar and replace it with higher quality electronics and hardware. I really like the neck and body and with the right parts it will easily be comparable to to my friend's American Standard. Hell, it might even be better. Graphite nut, locking tuners, full shielding, heavy duty trem block? Fender doesn't even do that much for their own line.

Also worth mentioning is the old Squier Bullet Strat. It was a $99 HSS (I think) Strat with a Bullet pickguard. It was one of the most popular modding platforms of the time--the quality was excellent for the price and for a few extra bucks on mods the guitar could be a monster. In fact it's for this reason that Fender stopped making the Bullet Strats--people were buying them in bulk for modding and fixing up.


Not saying its bad or trying to knock the guitar. I'm just saying that to pay more than the worth of the guitar on a setup is absolutely foolish. Especially when it can be done pretty easily on your own for free.

It's a completely different story to put money into swapping the pups/electronics. I'm all for buying a guitar cheaper than your budget and swapping the electronics. You'll def get more bang for your buck. Now, in this particular case, I don't know that I would, just because you're starting off with a really low-end guitar. I wouldn't find it unreasonable though.
#17
Not knowing how to setup your own guitar is like owning a car and not knowing how to check the oil and water, you might get away with it but you are being a dick.
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