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Strings that cause the least wear on frets/fretboard

#1 User is offline   iddude 

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:17 PM

Without considering how the strings sound on your SG; which string would cause the least wear on the frets/fretboard? Has anyone used Elixir strings; I think they're coated.[biggrin]

#2 User is offline   jimmiJAMM 

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:58 PM

Flatwound strings make for more comfortable playing and decreased wear for frets and fretboards. They also have a longer playable life because of fewer and smaller grooves for dirt and oil to build up in. On the other hand flatwound strings produce a less bright sound when compared to roundwounds and usually cost more. Not sure about coated strings but I would imagine they cause even less wear.
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#3 User is offline   KL 

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 02:19 PM

I don't really know. I don't worry too much about fretwear really. It's something that happens as part of normal playing. I've got guitars I've had between 15 and 25 years (some of which are old ie from the 60's or 70's and I've only ever needed to get one re-fretted (a 1966 J-45) and have one 1965 guitar that is about due for a re-fret, but I keep putting it off as I have a 1966 version of the same guitar that still has lots of life left in the frets. I use strings that I like the sound of and accept whatever wear results from normal playing. As for Elixirs, I don't personally like coated strings.

#4 User is offline   flyingarmadillo 

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 02:24 PM

Only the wound strings are coated on Elixers (or any other coated string) so it would only help the wear on three strings. As for conventional strings, nickel or nickel plate strings will cause less wear than stainless steel.

#5 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 04:26 PM

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Without considering how the strings sound


"Without considering how the strings sound"... that's the most important part of any guitar.

Just what are you getting at here, are you afraid to play your guitar because it might get some wear and tear on it? The only way to not get wear on the frets and fretboard is to put the guitar in it's case and slide it under your bed. If your going to be a guitar player, you need to set the guitar up with strings, action and such for the SOUND and PLAYABILITY your looking for, and suits your style. Dents, dings, scratches, fret wear, hardware pitting, forearm hazing and many other things are going to happen to your guitar, there's not a thing you can do about it.

You can't drive a car without tire wear, and you can't play a guitar without fret wear.

#6 User is offline   jimmiJAMM 

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 11:42 PM

Well said, L5Larry!
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#7 User is offline   iddude 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:16 AM

Thanks for the input on the strings; I'm hoping to find a string that in the long run, will cause less wear and yet sound great. I agree; no sense playing a guitar if it doesn't sound good!

#8 User is offline   Yew 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 12:55 AM

Hmm what about the ernie ball titanium covered ones?
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Feel free to use whatever I say about SGs, however I don't own one, never played one, and I'm not sure they even exist except in pictures. :-k


#9 User is offline   Dub-T-123 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 01:49 AM

To cause less wear, I think you would want strings made of metal that is as soft or softer than the metal of the frets.

So I'd recommend nickel or nickel wound strings.

According to this logic, titanium strings would probably cause pretty serious wear.

I'm not a fan of titanium strings anyways.
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#10 User is offline   Dub-T-123 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 01:50 AM

To cause less wear, I think you would want strings made of metal that is as soft or softer than the metal of the frets.

So I'd recommend nickel or nickel wound strings.

According to this logic, titanium strings would probably cause pretty serious wear.

I'm not a fan of titanium strings anyways.
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#11 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 02:48 AM

I've also heard that Stainless Steel strings are very hard on frets.

I've always used good ole nickel round wound D'Addarios on my Rock & Roll guitars. In 40 years of playing I HAVE worn the frets off two guitars. One I had refretted, the other I sold in "original" condition, and replaced it.

#12 User is offline   80LPC 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 04:32 AM

To reduce wear, you can try a pure nickel round wound set. The pure nickel wrap gives a mellower tone, so you might need to tweak the eq. The plain strings are still steel of course.

Avoid stainless steel strings, and keep your strings clean and free of corrosion which accelerates fret wear.

Fret wear also depends on how much you play, the habit of playing in the same positions, technique (for example the extra wear caused by tapping) and also how hard you press down on the strings.

The frets themselves make a big difference - are they 12% nickel (soft), 18% nickel (hard) ? EVO gold (hypo-allergenic), and stainless steel are both superior harder wearing alternatives.

Consider the fret profile also - narrow frets wear out sooner.

Dub, the 'titanium' electric guitar strings are actually misleading. The wound strings have a micro - enamel coating, and the plain strings have a titanium locking wrap to secure the ball end. Titanium is non - magnetic so true titanium strings are only used on acoustics and violins etc.

#13 User is offline   AlanH 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 06:45 AM

I've got a suggestion that will work better than anything else - guaranteed!


It's quite simply really; just buy more guitars then you can rotate playing them so none of them are subject to excessive wear. You'll get the pleasure of owning many guitars and you can play one while you admire the rest.

Oh, and if you tend to play one style of guitar more than another then just buy more of that model. Also, if there is a guitar you are just not picking up and playing; if it's due to a fault, repair it and if you don't like the feel/style, sell it and buy something you do like.

Alan


Alan

Guitars:
Yamaha SE350; Gibson SG Faded; Epiphone Wildkat; Charvel USA Pro San Dimas Style 1 -2H; Gibson Les Paul Studio '50s Tribute Humbuckers; Ibanez RG 1570 Prestige; Peavey Millenium BXP4 bass

Sold:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus with JB and Jazz; Epiphone Les Paul Studio Deluxe with 490R and 490T; Kramer Pacer Classic 2010

Amps:
Peavey Royal 8 Valve King; Peavey Backstage 50; Ashdown Tourbus 10W bass amp; Zoom H4 recorder/effects

Pedals:
Digitech Bad Monkey (Overdrive); EH Pocket Metal Muff Nano (Distortion); Marshall Regenerator (Modulation); MXR Carbon Copy (Delay); Artec SE-GEQ (EQ/Tuner)

Sound clip: http://soundcloud.co...nhgtr1/alankob2
Video: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=c9rI5yP4v_k
Club: http://forum.gibson....ker-model-club/
Reviews: Wildkat; Pacer Classic
Useful restringing vid I found: http://www.youtube.c...B&v=Oclc4MHWbzw

.......

#14 User is offline   jimmiJAMM 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 06:59 AM

Quote

If you tend to play one style of guitar more than another then just buy more of that model.

Alan


Good point. That's why I've got three SG's.

Each one with its own look, sound, feel and dare I say it... distinctive personality.
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GEAR 1965 Harmony Rocket H59 1967 Gibson SG Standard 2007 Gibson SG Standard 2006 Martin DR Acoustic Peavey Classic 20 MXR Phase 90

#15 User is offline   80LPC 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 07:48 AM

Guitars grow on trees, but money does not. [biggrin]

#16 User is offline   AlanH 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:24 AM

80LPC]Guitars grow on trees, on but money does not. [biggrin, said:




Well, you do have to make these sacrifices to keep your frets in good condition.


Right, I'm off to the Garden Centre to find some seeds for that tree: Gassus abatus. This may well be the solution to keeping the wife happy.


Alan

Guitars:
Yamaha SE350; Gibson SG Faded; Epiphone Wildkat; Charvel USA Pro San Dimas Style 1 -2H; Gibson Les Paul Studio '50s Tribute Humbuckers; Ibanez RG 1570 Prestige; Peavey Millenium BXP4 bass

Sold:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus with JB and Jazz; Epiphone Les Paul Studio Deluxe with 490R and 490T; Kramer Pacer Classic 2010

Amps:
Peavey Royal 8 Valve King; Peavey Backstage 50; Ashdown Tourbus 10W bass amp; Zoom H4 recorder/effects

Pedals:
Digitech Bad Monkey (Overdrive); EH Pocket Metal Muff Nano (Distortion); Marshall Regenerator (Modulation); MXR Carbon Copy (Delay); Artec SE-GEQ (EQ/Tuner)

Sound clip: http://soundcloud.co...nhgtr1/alankob2
Video: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=c9rI5yP4v_k
Club: http://forum.gibson....ker-model-club/
Reviews: Wildkat; Pacer Classic
Useful restringing vid I found: http://www.youtube.c...B&v=Oclc4MHWbzw

.......

#17 User is offline   iddude 

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 01:50 PM

Thanks to all that have responded to my string question. As a middle aged guy; maybe it's ridiculous for me to be concerned about this string wear issue. I think the response by 80LPC sums it up well for me, "Guitars grow on trees, but money does not." Most of us work hard to pay for our Gibson guitars. I have a full time job, but my part-time custodian jobs that I have had for years pay for mine. Maybe I will start by trying some nickel strings and will be pleased with the sound and the amount of wear that occurs over time. If things get tough and I have to sell one of my guitars, I would like to think that I would get more for my guitar(s).

We all make decisions on how we take care of our instruments. Obviously if you make a living playing the guitar or gig on the weekends (I wish I was good enough!), I think it would be unrealistic to think you wouldn't have more wear and the occasional ding. It's going to happen. I also agree with Alan H.; maybe I should just spread the wear around on my current guitars; and "work" on getting another!

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