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This talk about old strings - not Gibson territory at all

#1 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 01:14 PM

As some may know, I'm not too keen on new strings. Broken in steel yes, , , and not seldom old ones do the trick.
On a good guitar older strings seem to merge with the box and at some point they generate something sublime together.

This was discovered after gettin' into scalloped and light-braced acoustics only 7-8 years ago - especially the (vintage) Gibsons.
Instead of goin' dead, they tend to find a life of their own, which slowly but surely speaks the truth about the guitar.
You really find out 'who' and what they are - and what you 2 can create as a deeper double-unit.

A to me unknown Mark O'Connor seems to more than agree.

Here is a moving example from this stunning player, who just reunited with his beloved oldie.
Definitely worth a visit in the cans.

1945 in 2017 ~


And here's the link to the Tube so you can read the story. Enjoy - https://www.youtube....h?v=QkbRAkpYclY
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#2 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 01:26 PM

Funny you bring this up, as I was just realizing my three old acoustics are wearing strings that are bordering on 6 mos. old. I'll be leaving them as is until I hear a noteworthy drop off. It might have to do with the fact that I've moved them all up to 13's, tuned D to D. All flat picked pretty much every day. It just got cold enough here in upstate NY to fire up the wood heat, so that should change the playing field. Usually, it's for the better, but it means the guitars have to stay put in the cool side of the house for a few months.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
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#3 User is offline   tpbiii 

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 03:09 PM

It is a common belief among my friends who own old guitars to prefer old strings. Also uncoated strings. We pretty well feel that way too. Some people have sweat that kill strings -- makes them go really dead. If you don't have that problem, strings sound really good on really good guitars for a good long time. Strings seem to sound best after at least one session IMO.

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-Tom
Never criticize a musician until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Then you will be a mile away and you will have his shoes.
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#4 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 05:23 PM

View PostE-minor7, on 31 October 2017 - 01:14 PM, said:

As some may know, I'm not too keen on new strings. Broken in steel yes, , , and not seldom old ones do the trick.
On a good guitar older strings seem to merge with the box and at some point they generate something sublime together.

This was discovered after gettin' into scalloped and light-braced acoustics only 7-8 years ago - especially the (vintage) Gibsons.
Instead of goin' dead, they tend to find a life of their own, which slowly but surely speaks the truth about the guitar.
You really find out 'who' and what they are - and what you 2 can create as a deeper double-unit.

A to me unknown Mark O'Connor seems to more than agree.

Here is a moving example from this stunning player, who just reunited with his beloved oldie.
Definitely worth a visit in the cans.

1945 in 2017 ~


And here's the link to the Tube so you can read the story. Enjoy - https://www.youtube....h?v=QkbRAkpYclY


That guitar would probably sound great with rubber bands on it. It's pretty stunning.

I have Sunbeams that are at least two years old on my SJ, and probably four years old on my L-OO. They still sound pretty good, if lacking a bit of clarity and sustain, but I've noticed that they're harder to tune to pitch. Electronic tuners seem to get swamped with overtones from old strings, and struggle to find the true pitch.
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#5 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 05:29 PM

That's impressive, Nick. I'm inspired. I'm gonna' hang with these strings 'til they go flat. You're right about that guitar, though. Rubber bands...
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
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#6 User is offline   PrairieSchooner 

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:26 AM

When I was gigging I changed strings at least every two-three days. These days, the strings on all my guitars are so old I can't remember the last time I changed them. I'd probably be surprised about how different they'd sound if I changed them. But I probably won't.
And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling. - George Carlin
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#7 User is offline   Boyd 

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:46 AM

View Postj45nick, on 31 October 2017 - 05:23 PM, said:

I've noticed that they're harder to tune to pitch. Electronic tuners seem to get swamped with overtones from old strings, and struggle to find the true pitch.


That's definitely true. Over the past couple years I've been changing strings less often, but after 8 or 9 months it starts to bother me that I can't quite get them in tune. I update a spreadsheet each time I change strings since I would otherwise completely forget how old they are. Of the three acoustics I play regularly, one had a string change in January, another in March and the third was changed in June.
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#8 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:29 PM

I have the pleasure of owning a 60's Hoboken era Guild F20, which has a rather bright jangly tone, a challenge for finding strings that calm down quickly. This time around the string change schedule carousel ( I spread sheet string changes too ), I took the 6+ month old Thomastik-Infelds off my Martin and put them on the Guild. To my delight they are the perfect match, with sharp but not overly bright articulation.

They may be twenty dollar strings but if they last a couple years I'm good.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
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#9 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:47 PM

View Postjedzep, on 07 November 2017 - 06:29 PM, said:

I have the pleasure of owning a 60's Hoboken era Guild F20, which has a rather bright jangly tone, a challenge for finding strings that calm down quickly. This time around the string change schedule carousel ( I spread sheet string changes too ), I took the 6+ month old Thomastik-Infelds off my Martin and put them on the Guild. To my delight they are the perfect match, with sharp but not overly bright articulation.

They may be twenty dollar strings but if they last a couple years I'm good.

Yes, interesting - there are so many possibilities and variations to explore.
Of course I'm not out to bash the pleasure of a new set of strings, but the fresh sound can be overwhelming and actually inhibit a lot of nuances in a guitar.

Have to say my 2012 H-birds are surprisingly good with old steel. Also though the bass looses crisp timbre and general power.
Spent a lot of time chasing the original sonic flavor they had when I got them - back then I kept delaying the first exchange.
And now 12 months after putting Gibson Masterbuilts 80/20 on them again, it's as if we/they're close.

No doubt McMaster's 2 45's sound incredible, but I would have preferred to hear them with somewhat faded wires.
Not least because Buc knows something about what right-hand-feel and fingertips do for tone.


You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#10 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:55 AM

At no additional cost to my fellow old string lovers, I would be glad to break-in new strings and mail back to you in a few months. Thom-I's only please.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
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#11 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:13 AM

View Postjedzep, on 12 November 2017 - 10:55 AM, said:

At no additional cost to my fellow old string lovers, I would be glad to break-in new strings and mail back to you in a few months. Thom-I's only please.

Yow man - I would then boil them and begin to rock. .
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#12 User is offline   62burst 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 12:26 PM

View Postjedzep, on 12 November 2017 - 10:55 AM, said:

At no additional cost to my fellow old string lovers, I would be glad to break-in new strings and mail back to you in a few months. Thom-I's only please.

An enterprising soul, there. Perhaps you could branch out and also offer a guitar "breaking in" service? Adirondack tops, extra.

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#13 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 12:44 PM

Yep. Could make a killing just on shipping and handling. Will boil strings for a nominal fee. Distilled water extra.
I may not be good lookin', but at least I ain't got no money.
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#14 User is offline   JuanCarlosVejar 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 02:23 PM

I discovered the benefits of old strings a long time ago.
Being a maple lover in my opinion maple + old strings go very nicely together!

My Costello has new strings on it and sounds sweet as is ... I will have to wait a while and see how everything goes down.





JC
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#15 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 04:14 PM

.
Perhaps the appreciation of the sound qualities of older strings is directly related to the age of the user. . B)


.
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#16 User is offline   jedzep 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 04:24 PM

Yeah...like muscle cars.
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#17 User is offline   Mafy31 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 04:36 PM

torrefied strings ... coming soon
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#18 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 05:22 PM

View PostBigKahune, on 12 November 2017 - 04:14 PM, said:

.Perhaps the appreciation of the sound qualities of older strings is directly related to the age of the user. . B)

Hahe, , , touché - precious guitar philosopher-ship right there.
You can hardly have brand new steel on yourself. .

You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#19 User is offline   livemusic 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:20 PM

Sheesh, that guitar sounds fantastic. Might have something to do with the fingers as well lol.
~~~
Bill

1956 Country Western, natural
1968 J-50, natural
1992 J-30, all-mahogany
1993 Gospel, sunburst
1994 Gospel 100th Anniversary, natural
1995 Gospel w/Gibson Accuvoice pickup, natural
2004 WM-45, sunburst
2010 J-45, sunburst
2011 Jackson Browne Model A, sunburst
2016 J-45 1942 Legend Limited, Torrefied, sunburst
Too many more (other brands)
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#20 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:30 PM

View Postlivemusic, on 12 November 2017 - 08:20 PM, said:

Sheesh, that guitar sounds fantastic. Might have something to do with the fingers as well lol.

Yes, it does - and he plays it like a sticking his hand into a velvet glove.
But thinking about it, listening and watching again, wouldn't a 1945 have snow-flake inlays. . (no, I'm wrong)
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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