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Is it ok to leave the strings off a guitar overnight?


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hey guys, i was just curious your thoughts on leaving the strings off the guitar for maybe 24hrs or so. I bought a bone nut and saddle for my epiphone hummingbird and took the strings off to see if the saddle fit. well, its the right length but its a bit wide, so i want to take it my my guitar guy tommorrow night after work and have him install the nut and saddle the correct way. i actually feel weird doing it but i dont want to waste new strings if hes going to take them off anyway. your thought......

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Its OK, say a luthier was replacing a bridge. The strings would be off for sometime whilst the glue dried etc....

 

Just ensure, as always no extremes of temperature or humidity

 

'Tis okay. I've played with folks who argued that they would never leave their guitars without tension on the neck. When I was younger, I changed strings one by one to keep the neck under tension. I reckon it makes some sense, given that the guitar is designed to be under tension. But I think the whole "keep the guitar under tension at all times" is just an urban myth.

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.

Interesting bit from the Gibson Guitar Manual (for electrics) - http://www.gibson.com/Files/Downloads/PDFs/Gibson/USA_Owners_Manual.pdf

 

Pg 25: "When changing strings we recommend changing one string at a time in order to maintain tension on the neck and bridge."

 

 

I guess Gibson got suckered in by the old urban myth. . B)

 

I tend to avoid removing all the strings, but on some occassions (like cleaning/polishing) I do.

 

.

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I think the overall fragility of guitars is extremely overhyped, you only need look at a few well known forums to see how many think the slightest thing is going to render their guitars useless. On the other hand maybe it's as simple as the well known forums being riddled with the more extreme OCD cases.

 

I find it quite ironic that the most valuable and sought after guitars out there have probably never seen any humidification control or general care practices in the first 50-70 years of their 'lives' yet still remain structurally intact, only to be mused over in forums these days on how best to keep them in sterile conditions these days to stop them disintegrating. ...and these posts are often cross posted with ponderings on how to get the best vintage tone. Some might deduce the answer could be staring them in the face.

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Maybe a lot of this has to do with materials used in vintage verses new builds. I have a 1978 Yari DY78 that is impervious to the elements. I rarely have to even hit the truss rod, I'm sure that it will live for an eternity. On the other hand I have a 2001 Taylor that has a finish crack near the cutaway that runs to the pickgaurd, (maybe 2.5 inches) because it was left out on stand (forgot to case it) one weekend when we went away a few years ago and the weather turned hot, humid and rainy.

 

My band mates Taylor 12 string has a finish crack that runs from the back of the bridge, down to the binding about the end pin. (he never cased it. ouch!) He's also got a 72 Guild 12 string that is structurally as sound as they day it was purchased, sitting in the corner of his basement, missing three or four tuning heads, and no strings on it. I am pretty sure if he replaced the tuners, restrung it, it would probably play fine... If I did that with my Taylors, it'd probably be the death of them.

 

Go figure huh??

 

I think with Taylor anyway, they tend to be a bit more finicky, The finishes I think are very thin UV Water based sealer, The tops seem thinner than say a Martin or Gibson acoustic. Plus, Taylor will not honor the warranty if they get it back and determine it was not properly maintained, so I think we tend to take that for what it's worth.

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I think the overall fragility of guitars is extremely overhyped, you only need look at a few well known forums to see how many think the slightest thing is going to render their guitars useless. On the other hand maybe it's as simple as the well known forums being riddled with the more extreme OCD cases.

 

I find it quite ironic that the most valuable and sought after guitars out there have probably never seen any humidification control or general care practices in the first 50-70 years of their 'lives' yet still remain structurally intact, only to be mused over in forums these days on how best to keep them in sterile conditions these days to stop them disintegrating. ...and these posts are often cross posted with ponderings on how to get the best vintage tone. Some might deduce the answer could be staring them in the face.

 

HAHA. indeed, wanting a vintage sound? Buy a new guitar and play it good for 25 years! And you are on ur way! Leave a guitar in its case and keep it in pefect condition all the time will not really age it imo.

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hey guys, i was just curious your thoughts on leaving the strings off the guitar for maybe 24hrs or so. I bought a bone nut and saddle for my epiphone hummingbird and took the strings off to see if the saddle fit. well, its the right length but its a bit wide, so i want to take it my my guitar guy tommorrow night after work and have him install the nut and saddle the correct way. i actually feel weird doing it but i dont want to waste new strings if hes going to take them off anyway. your thought......

 

It's fine....

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I think the overall fragility of guitars is extremely overhyped, you only need look at a few well known forums to see how many think the slightest thing is going to render their guitars useless. On the other hand maybe it's as simple as the well known forums being riddled with the more extreme OCD cases.

 

I find it quite ironic that the most valuable and sought after guitars out there have probably never seen any humidification control or general care practices in the first 50-70 years of their 'lives' yet still remain structurally intact, only to be mused over in forums these days on how best to keep them in sterile conditions these days to stop them disintegrating. ...and these posts are often cross posted with ponderings on how to get the best vintage tone. Some might deduce the answer could be staring them in the face.

 

PM, I couldn't have said it better. I had a conversation with a guy on another forum about humidity and he told me he had given up talking about it since he was so ridiculed about the lower limits that a guitar could take and still not suffer any damage. Sorta like electric players and their amps with biasing and tube matching, etc. 50 years ago, players just threw whatever tubes they had in their amps and played away without any catastrophic events occurring.

 

Oh, well, it does give us nerds something to talk about, doesn't it..... [biggrin]

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I think the overall fragility of guitars is extremely overhyped, you only need look at a few well known forums to see how many think the slightest thing is going to render their guitars useless. On the other hand maybe it's as simple as the well known forums being riddled with the more extreme OCD cases.

 

I find it quite ironic that the most valuable and sought after guitars out there have probably never seen any humidification control or general care practices in the first 50-70 years of their 'lives' yet still remain structurally intact, only to be mused over in forums these days on how best to keep them in sterile conditions these days to stop them disintegrating. ...and these posts are often cross posted with ponderings on how to get the best vintage tone. Some might deduce the answer could be staring them in the face.

 

I'm not so sure this is correct. Yes we find valuable vintage guitars that probably never had any care observed about humidity. But those are the ones that survived. How many ended up in pieces? What's the ratio between the two? We probably have no way of knowing.

 

I have a Martin D-18 I bought new in 1970 which has many cracks. I didn't know anything about humidification till recent decades. I always wondered why the action seemed to vary at times. I am pretty sure the guitar would be in a lot better shape had I understood the problem back in the 70's and 80's.

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and yet these badly treated samples trade for several times the price of a new and structurally better (arguably tighter) example of the model. They're the most revered, long applauded for the way they sound, cleated cracks and all manner of warts included.

 

Why do most of us think a guitar who's seen a bit of slap & tickle down the line sounds better, sound more open, more dry, more woody an all other loose descriptions? Don't get me wrong I'm not advocating people mistreat or neglect their guitars, to each his own, I'm careful enough with my own too.

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'Tis okay. I've played with folks who argued that they would never leave their guitars without tension on the neck. When I was younger, I changed strings one by one to keep the neck under tension. I reckon it makes some sense, given that the guitar is designed to be under tension. But I think the whole "keep the guitar under tension at all times" is just an urban myth.

 

 

 

here is a good way to look at it: how do they build them? The strings are the last thing to go on the guitar. so, about a month that guitar moves through the factory, getting a finish sprayed, buffed, dressed out, etc with NO tension on the neck. If leaving it overnight without strings would ruin it, then they wouldn't exist in the first place. ALL of them would be destroyed due to their own manufacturing process.

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here is a good way to look at it: how do they build them? The strings are the last thing to go on the guitar. so, about a month that guitar moves through the factory, getting a finish sprayed, buffed, dressed out, etc with NO tension on the neck. If leaving it overnight without strings would ruin it, then they wouldn't exist in the first place. ALL of them would be destroyed due to their own manufacturing process.

Indeed. I still change strings one at a time--unless it's time for some major cleaning. But I think that the paranoia with which my buddies and I used to fret over leaving a guitar with tension slacked for the few minutes that it takes to change strings, wipe down the fretboard, polish the frets a bit, and clean the bridge was just a wee bit over the top.

 

I wonder--two of the guitars I owned back then had to be refretted and needed their fretboards planed (one twice). I was playing very regularly and we're talking a number of years between fretjobs, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with the fret wear. But I also suspect that my not cleaning the fretboards and polishing the frets properly contributed. Just my .02.

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