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Tekboy

Corrosion

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I use Elixir Polyweb strings for acoustic guitar, because no matter how often I wash my hands, my fingers secrete something that eats strings. Under a magnifying glass, you can see the pitting and corrosion, and not just discoloration. I suspect that I am not the only one here with this problem, but a set of "normal" strings lasts about 8 hours of playing for me, before they start to degrade the brightness of the sound. I am a tone junkie, and it took a very long time to find my ideal sounding guitar. The problem is that the strings just don't sound all that "Gibson" with Elixirs. Is that just me?

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The problem is that the strings just don't sound all that "Gibson" with Elixirs. Is that just me?

It may be. Because I have no idea what strings that don't sound like "Gibson" means.

I was not aware that there was a "Gibson" sound produced from strings.

You're going to have to explain that one to me.

Perhaps I am just ignorant. :-k

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Many folks enjoy the 'new strings' sound and spend time and money changing strings often....perhaps for each performance....:blink:

 

Personally I am less picky and find several month old strings have played in and are stable for tuning etc

 

Makes sense for 12 string guitar in particular

 

Nylon strings also take several days to settle in, so will not be changed every week for example....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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It may be. Because I have no idea what strings that don't sound like "Gibson" means.

I was not aware that there was a "Gibson" sound produced from strings.

You're going to have to explain that one to me.

Perhaps I am just ignorant. :-k

Heck, it is more likely me who is ignorant. These Elixir strings tend to stay really bright for a long time, if I wash my hands every thirty minutes or so. I like the bright sound because I don't have to play as "loud" to get the tone I crave. I used to use Blue Steel strings on a Telecaster when I was playing for a living, and Martin strings on my acoustic guitar du jour. The Blue Steel were impervious to whatever it is that comes out of my hands, but the acoustic strings needed to be changed every week.

 

Maybe I need to do a spreadsheet or something to figure out the cost. I am on a limited income these days. :)

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I don't change my strings very often but I do take the time to clean them afterwards. I have the same issue with my hands. I'll wear out a bridge and tailpiece and dull them up pretty quickly if I play the guitar a lot.

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I wash my hand before I play a guitar. That helps the strings last.

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I love the sound of new strings, and I live in one of the corrosion capitals of the US, Florida, near the ocean. In fact I play on a quay over a salt water lagoon at a marina once a week for 11 years now. I also have a corrosive body chemistry even if not playing outdoors.

 

I checked out Elixir strings and first of all they sounded duller than the D'Addairos I'm used to. They sounded like older strings right out of the box. Then I called Elixir and found they only coat the wound strings, and since the unwound strings decay first, what's the use?

 

Since I gig for a living, I change strings often. It's a small price compared to what I make on gigs. --- But since I am an environmentalist at heart, I don't want to change them too often.

 

So I try to balance the two opposing philosophies.

 

I also realize the finer points of tone are lost on my audience. They do not have trained ears, there is usually ambient noise in the room, and what I thin perfect tone is and what any audience member thinks may by two different things.

 

So I don't obsess about the sound, but get more into the expression of my playing. That's what moves the listener. So I try to leave them on a little too long. How long really depends on how windy it is on our weekly yacht basin gig.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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My son has a similar issue with finger snot. Wash your hands prior to playing, keep a cotton cloth handy and do a quick wipe down of your strings after every other song or two. Takes a couple of seconds

Edited by Big Bill

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My son has a similar issue with finger snot. Wash your hands prior to playing, keep a cotton cloth handy and do a quick wipe down of your strings after every other song or two. Takes a couple of seconds

 

I will try wiping the strings more frequently. Thanks.

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My son has a similar issue with finger snot. Wash your hands prior to playing, keep a cotton cloth handy and do a quick wipe down of your strings after every other song or two. Takes a couple of seconds

 

I'm not going to disagree with you Big Bill, but I have heard advice to the contrary when using polywebs. Its well known than Scott Grove has acidic skin and uses Polywebs also.

 

If you have acidic skin, washing them wont help much. More than that, wiping the strings will abrade the coating. He pings (plucks) the strings hard to 'clean' them (though not on this vid link).

 

 

 

Tekboy: I often use polywebs because they last well, but prefer the sound of uncoated strings. I dont find a huge difference, but its there. Mr Grove also prefers the sound of uncoated strings.

 

BTW though the coating is only on the wound strings, the unwound strings are stainless steel and so still corrosion resistant.

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<...>

BTW though the coating is only on the wound strings, the unwound strings are stainless steel and so still corrosion resistant.

And that is why they are worthless to me. The unwound strings always corrode quicker than the wound ones on uncoated strings. For me the unwound strings are the reason I change the entire set. So why put up with duller low notes, who knows what absorbing through my skin, and a higher price when I'm going to change the set as soon as the high strings start to corrode?

 

But that's just me.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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And that is why they are worthless to me. The unwound strings always corrode quicker than the wound ones on uncoated strings. For me the unwound strings are the reason I change the entire set. So why put up with duller low notes, who knows what absorbing through my skin, and a higher price when I'm going to change the set as soon as the high strings start to corrode?

 

But that's just me.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

 

But are your uncoated strings stainless steel as the Polywebs are?

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Wouldn’t it be a bad idea to use stainless steel strings on nickel/silver frets anyway?

 

Not a fan of Elixir over here.

Edited by Dub-T-123

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But are your uncoated strings stainless steel as the Polywebs are?

Yes. The thing about Stainless is that there are different grades of Stainless.

 

The more chrome put into the steel, the less it corrodes, but there is a price to pay for that as it becomes less sensitive to magnetic fields. There is a point where the amount of chrome approaches 10% and it is very resistant to corrosion but you can't stick a magnet to it.

 

So in order to have tone, you can't have too much chrome in the stainless.

 

For me, spending extra money on Elixir strings is exactly like throwing it away.

 

Of course that's just me, with an acidic body and playing in the salt air of sub-tropical Florida. YMMV

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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Yes. The thing about Stainless is that there are different grades of Stainless.

 

The more chrome put into the steel, the less it corrodes, but there is a price to pay for that as it becomes less sensitive to magnetic fields. There is a point where the amount of chrome approaches 10% and it is very resistant to corrosion but you can't stick a magnet to it.

 

So in order to have tone, you can't have too much chrome in the stainless.

 

For me, spending extra money on Elixir strings is exactly like throwing it away.

 

Of course that's just me, with an acidic body and playing in the salt air of sub-tropical Florida. YMMV

 

Insights and incites by Notes

 

I see. Unlucky!

 

Yes I am aware of stainless grades. In the aircraft industry, it always used to be referred to as 'corrosion resistant' for accuracy. Never stainless.

Salt air too eh? I hope you dont have any aluminum hardwear then.

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On 5/17/2019 at 4:13 PM, Hall said:

I wash my hand before I play a guitar. That helps the strings last.

It's the complete opposite, actually.

I wipe them off after playing, that helps.

I go through two sets a month when I play every day.  It's either that or a costly re-fret way too soon.

 

 

Edited by Pinch

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6 minutes ago, Pinch said:

It's the complete opposite, actually.

I wipe them off after playing, that helps.

I go through two sets a month when I play every day.  It's either that or a costly re-fret way too soon.

 

 

Yeah, I get it.  But having clean hands to begin with, in my experience, seems to keep the stain off quite a bit longer than when I don't wash them first. I do wipe it down after playing, as well as the face of the guitar where my right arm comes in contact with the body.

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Just now, Tekboy said:

Yeah, I get it.  But having clean hands to begin with, in my experience, seems to keep the stain off quite a bit longer than when I don't wash them first. I do wipe it down after playing, as well as the face of the guitar where my right arm comes in contact with the body.

Each to their own. Basically, what happened was I got too anal about my guitars so I washed my hands beforehand, and I was later told that what I was actually doing was removing the skin's natural, I dunno, grease. Just a friendly word of caution.

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4 hours ago, Pinch said:

Each to their own. Basically, what happened was I got too anal about my guitars so I washed my hands beforehand, and I was later told that what I was actually doing was removing the skin's natural, I dunno, grease. Just a friendly word of caution.

 

Quite right, though I was reluctant to mention it, because lots of players will immediately think 'yuk, dirt!'

But dirt is just misplaced matter. And sometimes it becomes mere opinion whether it is misplaced or not. It takes 30 minutes of playing to make my strings feel slick and right. Its just natural body oil. While others will clean the hell out of the it, then get the same effect by using some concoction like 'fast fret'.

Whether you have oily skin or acidic skin, you cant stop up your pores. I suppose you could try surgical gloves?

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Surgical gloves? Nah! I just play, and when the strings start wearing, I put another set on.

I wipe them down after the gig, but that's about it.

The strings are a consumable part of a tool I use to make my living. When a carpenter's drill bit wears out, the carpenter replaces it. When a taxi drivers tires wear out, they get replaced, when a reed on my sax gets soft I slap a new one on and when the guitar strings get dull, a bright sounding shiny set goes on.

It's just the way it is.

Insights and incites by Notes

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The surgical gloves thing was not entirely serious NN. 

I wonder if it would be possible to coat fingers instead of the string?

 

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On 6/2/2019 at 5:10 PM, merciful-evans said:

The surgical gloves thing was not entirely serious NN. 

I wonder if it would be possible to coat fingers instead of the string?

 

Forehead grease. I'm serious.

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