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IanHenry

What's the Longest You've Kept a set of Strings on a Guitar?

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I have a 2014 Les Paul Traditional that still has the original Cleartone strings that it came with from new. I keep thinking that I should be changing them but there still good and I like them so I'm reluctant to take them off. All my other guitars have gone through numerous sets of D'Addario or Martin strings on them but these Cleartones just won't die.

 

Has anyone else had a set of strings on a guitar (that they use) that have lasted years?

 

 

Ian

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Hello Ian.

 

Rotosounds last maximum 6 months. But they hurt at that mileage. Elixirs did last 6-9 months for me.

 

Any other I have tried, died between 1-2 months.

 

Bence.

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Years ago when I was was just starting playing, I had a set of strings that had one of the high strings (a 'B' I think) that broke at the tuner above the nut. I didn't know any better, so I unwound some string from the tuner, twisted a loop in both and tied the two pieces back together. I played it like that for 6 months before I replaced the strings.

 

My hands don't sweat much, and I am fairly easy on strings. I go for years sometimes. Several of my guitars over a year old have the original strings on them (if they were good quality strings), two Gibson LPs (2 or 3 years), a Michael Kelly Hybrid Special (4 or 5 years), Yamaha Acoustic (4 or 5 years), there are others. I just don't feel the need to change them very often.

 

I have a bass that I bought 25 years ago (admittedly I don't play it often), I took it up to my local music store to lower the action and replace the strings. I asked him what strings I should put on it. He tried it and said the existing (original) strings still sounded lively.

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I just bought a 2008 Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500 yesterday that had been a shop demo guitar all that time. I took it straight to a bluegrass jam and the original strings sounded fine still. With that said, I replaced them as soon as I got home. The thought of hundreds of people's DNA embedded in the windings was kind of gross!

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Guest Farnsbarns

I have a half size Spanish guitar my father bought for my mother on their wedding day in 1967 (I think) which still has its original strings.

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I bought a classical guitar in 2005 and didn't change the strings until 2014.

 

My 1969 Gibson B45-12 still has the John Pearse strings I put on it in 2006. I have a new set of Elixirs for it, I just haven't gotten to it.

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My father's old Chinese Hofner violin bass copy still has the flatwounds that he put on it in the 60s.

 

I just changed the strings on my SG last week which were probably on there for about 3 or 4 years, and of course they were all black and dull sounding

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I don't think I've changed the strings on any of my 3 guitars for well over a year now because I've had a couple of spare sets gathering dust in their packs for a long time. One guitar is used daily, one several times each week, and one seldom. They are all strung with Elixir Polywebs which are becoming tricky to source so I might buy a dozen packs soon and hoard them (hey, my kids will probably inherit them...). There is just no need to change these things, they are all still shiny and playing/sounding really good.

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The longest periods of useful string life on instruments played regularly by myself were as follows:

 

- Electric guitar .012"-.054" roundwounds between May 2001 and October 2011, i. e. 10 years 5 months; replaced due to age

 

- Electric guitar .012"-.056" flatwounds between October 1985 and May 2000, i. e. 14 years 7 months; replaced due to change to roundwounds

 

- Electric bass .035"-.090" roundwounds between September 1994 and March 2013, i. e. 18 years 6 months; replaced due to change to heavier .045"-.105" gauge

 

Most of my guitars in regular use were last restrung in 2015 or 2014, three of them and all of my basses in 2013.

 

I have to say that my skin chemistry obviously is very string-friendly. A bandmate of mine kills strings of same make within a few minutes. Seriously, I'm not kidding.

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Well they do get duller over time....

 

My bass has had the same strings for over 20 years.

A set of Optima Golds lasted me a good 2 years.

And Thomastik-Infeld flats on one of my semis for over 4 years now - these still do sound good. But not like new.

 

Got some strings for Xmas so a multiple restring...early next year [biggrin]

 

HNY 2017!

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Depends on the guitar and its use I guess. Electric guitars that stay home can live with two sets a year generally. If they go out for gigs that changes to quarterly I'd say. I use Elixir polyweb strings on the acoustics and they can go a year I find, even with some gigging. That coating really sticks. [thumbup]

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I have a Oscar Schmidt acoustic I got 37 years ago and it has the same strings on it today. I've played it here and there and got it out several months ago and it still has the information tag when I received it tied to one of the strings, Do I hold the record? The high E string is now broke so I'm going to have to change them. Darn, Darn, Darn, Darn! msp_flapper.gif

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I have a Oscar Schmidt acoustic I got 37 years ago and it has the same strings on it today. I've played it here and there and got it out several months ago and it still has the information tag when I received it tied to one of the strings, Do I hold the record? The high E string is now broke so I'm going to have to change them. Darn, Darn, Darn, Darn! msp_flapper.gif

 

 

Too long, but not close to retired.

 

Save

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1483282697[/url]' post='1823523']

Too long, but not close to retired.

 

Save

 

Well, part of it is the Bridge pulled up and I need to get another one and replace it. I've had the strings loosened some. Funny, it's 2017 and same strings are still on it. When I did Tune it, the 1st E string broke but other then that for how old these strings are it really doesn't sound bad at all.

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is it a badge of courage to keep the same strings on for years?

 

I don't get it... the strings are really where the rubber meets the road... so,,, to me, it's important..

 

I have enough guitars that I actually started to track when I change the strings on a piece of notepad paper I keep in the cases. You may think that's crazy but I've got about 16 electrics, and since some of them may very well hibernate in their case for a while before I use them I'd like to see how hold the strings are and how long it's been since the fret boards had been hydrated.

 

I think I went one year on one of my strats, and 9 months on one of my acoustics (I use elixr nanowebs, while the show wear, they don't loose their tone) When I only had a couple of axes, I'd change strings a lot more often. and when it's time, I can feel it right away... D'Addario's are cheap enough where I don't mind restringing every 2 months or so on the electrics I use the most.

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1483545335[/url]' post='1824372']

is it a badge of courage to keep the same strings on for years?

 

I don't get it... the strings are really where the rubber meets the road... so,,, to me, it's important..

 

I have enough guitars that I actually started to track when I change the strings on a piece of notepad paper I keep in the cases. You may think that's crazy but I've got about 16 electrics, and since some of them may very well hibernate in their case for a while before I use them I'd like to see how hold the strings are and how long it's been since the fret boards had been hydrated.

 

I think I went one year on one of my strats, and 9 months on one of my acoustics (I use elixr nanowebs, while the show wear, they don't loose their tone) When I only had a couple of axes, I'd change strings a lot more often. and when it's time, I can feel it right away... D'Addario's are cheap enough where I don't mind restringing every 2 months or so on the electrics I use the most.

 

No, my wife bought the guitar for me at the other house and when I stopped playing for several decades it sat in its case. We've been in this house about 20 years. A while back I took it out of the case and noticed the bridge was pulled up in back. So I loosened the strings and thought about having the bridge replaced. I've never done that before and decided to check out the cost of the guitar to see if it was worth having it repaired. It's only worth a $120.00 new. I tuned it and you can tell it really has a nice tone besides it looks great. Now that I'm playing again I'm going to use this guitar as a learning experiment And since she bought it for me. I'll have to do some research to figure out how to take the rest of the bridge off without breaking the top. One of the tuning keys broke off also tuning it. As for the guitars I play everyday or so I change strings every month or two.

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That makes sense Retired.

 

about the bridge, I think Dan Earlwine has some tutorials on Youtube for many similar sort of repairs. He might have something to help with that bridge repair.

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