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> The cheapest way to better tone…
Gabriel Leopardi
post May 22 2014, 05:08 PM
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...is to change your strings! Still many students come to me with old rusty strings. Even I notice that some student's guitars can't stay on tune right and the main reason is having old strings.

I have a short tour with my band this weekend so I've already changed strings on my Gibson.

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Did you change yours recently? Btw while you are at it, clean your fretboard with a cloth and your instrument will feel like new.

Do you know of any other “quick fixes” to improve your setup?


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fkalich
post May 22 2014, 05:28 PM
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are those the strings that you use exclusively (light top, heavy bottom)?

QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 22 2014, 11:08 AM) *
...is to change your strings! Still many students come to me with old rusty strings. Even I notice that some student's guitars can't stay on tune right and the main reason is having old strings.

I have a short tour with my band this weekend so I've already changed strings on my Gibson.

Attached Image


Did you change yours recently? Btw while you are at it, clean your fretboard with a cloth and your instrument will feel like new.

Do you know of any other “quick fixes” to improve your setup?

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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 22 2014, 05:33 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ May 22 2014, 01:28 PM) *
are those the strings that you use exclusively (light top, heavy bottom)?


I'm trying these ones and I must say that I'm very happy by now. I used standard 010 gauge but these new ones are much more stable for playing hard. Also, we are using E flat tuning with my band so this gauge fits better.


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PosterBoy
post May 23 2014, 06:07 PM
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I change my strings fairly frequently so I don't get a string break on stage.



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Marius Pop
post May 23 2014, 07:57 PM
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Cleaning your strings after a practice/work session helps a bit biggrin.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 23 2014, 08:14 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ May 23 2014, 02:07 PM) *
I change my strings fairly frequently so I don't get a string break on stage.


This is another good reason, have you ever broke string on stage?

It happened to me twice. I was using my floyd rose Ibanez so I had to change guitar in the middle of the song.


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Bogdan Radovic
post May 23 2014, 10:04 PM
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It is amazing how this aspect gets overlooked so often. I remember playing a really cheap jazz bass copy on stage and getting approached all the time by fellow musicians asking me how do I get that tone? Thinking now about it - I was regularly changing my strings at that time (usually once in 1 or 2 months), this is relatively frequent for bass. Even though that bass was a cheap one, it sounded really good as it always had brand new strings on. After some time I have discovered "Fast fret" strings conditioner/cleaner - it saved me so much cash on bass strings. I found a trick that if I apply it but NOT wipe it off immediately rather leave it overnight, that the chemistry will eat all the dirt over night and I would get "new strings sound" in the morning (at least to some extent).

You guitarists have it easy - bass strings are so much more expensive sad.gif
If only changing the strings process was not so complicated/boring...


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Todd Simpson
post May 23 2014, 10:38 PM
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Great point!! Just giving them a good wipe with a cloth can extend their life and keep them sounding better smile.gif

QUOTE (Marius Pop @ May 23 2014, 02:57 PM) *
Cleaning your strings after a practice/work session helps a bit biggrin.gif


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jstcrsn
post May 23 2014, 11:12 PM
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I am the worst , since I stopped playing live,I change strings when they break
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SeeJay
post May 24 2014, 12:09 AM
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New strings for sure.

Even little things like adjusting your pickup hight can bring some new life into a guitar. If you are decent at soldering, changing around some of the internals for better quality ones can be great.

I love buying little accessories and stuff. Nothing will make my day like spending less than 20 bux on something that will really help out.

Anyone mention cables? My longer cables are beaten to crap and crackling in places. That can be a inexpensive tone improvement (it can also be a VERY expensive purchase. :0 )


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Spock
post May 24 2014, 02:02 AM
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I did this to one of my guitars and it really does work. My silver PRS that has a painted neck. Although since the grain is so light on the paper, I think it is time to do it again.


I would suggest anyone try it. You may want to check it on the neck of a guitar that is not your "go-to" just to see, but I really liked the way it felt.

This isn't really for tone, but it is such a nice feel it's fresh like new strings - which could help playing and could help tone.



This post has been edited by Spock: May 24 2014, 02:03 AM
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Cosmin Lupu
post May 24 2014, 12:33 PM
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I usually change my strings once every 2 months on each guitar and after each practice session I like to wipe the strings a bit. Even if I use coated strings, it's not too much trouble to bring in the cloth a little bit wink.gif

The coated strings have been a good choice as they last longer and in the final life stage they are decent strings, not rusty and hard to play.

Anyone else here liking coated strings? If not, why? smile.gif


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Spock
post May 24 2014, 12:49 PM
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Yes - I use to use Elixirs on all my guitars and basses. After a while I put on just some cheap old Boomer's and liked the brightness of them.

I stayed with Elixirs on my baritone until I sold it and still have them my basses.
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klasaine
post May 24 2014, 04:53 PM
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For me, a broken G or D string signifies that I've gone too long w/o a string change. Or if I see a 'kink' (slight bend) in any string. That will affect tuning really badly. Depending on what type of music I'm playing on what guitar I may not change strings for years. I've never changed the strings on my baritone and I bought in the 90s - I don't bend on it. Many classical guitarists keep the treble strings on for a long time and only change the bass (wound) strings.

*Related to another thread ...
If you pick up a guitar in a shop and it tunes up easily and sounds good - even with old strings and a crappy setup - that's a GOOD guitar.

This post has been edited by klasaine: May 24 2014, 04:54 PM


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Guido Bungenstoc...
post May 24 2014, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 22 2014, 04:08 PM) *
...is to change your strings! Still many students come to me with old rusty strings. Even I notice that some student's guitars can't stay on tune right and the main reason is having old strings.

I have a short tour with my band this weekend so I've already changed strings on my Gibson.

Attached Image


Did you change yours recently? Btw while you are at it, clean your fretboard with a cloth and your instrument will feel like new.

Do you know of any other “quick fixes” to improve your setup?

Good Thread; Gabriel!
Sometimes I have students who never change their strings for YEARS!!! I'm perplexed sometimes because they have really expensive instruments but don't wanna spend only a few bucks for a set of strings.
If I'm telling them that I change my string almost every 2nd/3rd day. they don't believe it, haha
But for me it's really important to have a fresh sound, specially for the open harmonics. Other wise they won't come out really well( Remember my Jeff Beck lesson where I point it out how important this is!)
And I hate it when the strings feel so sticky from sweaty hands. That's the reason why I don't like to play on instruments of other people as well, ..........you never know where they had their hands before..... biggrin.gif
Beside this I change my strings before every gig & rehearsal too, of course.

This post has been edited by Guido Bungenstock: May 24 2014, 06:22 PM


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Todd Simpson
post May 24 2014, 06:33 PM
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I had my Dean Razorback neck sanded down as this as it would go without exposing the truss and IT IS A MIRACLE of an improvement. The neck wood was "unfinished" on the back which I've found I really prefer. Then it was sanded/reprofiled down to be more similar to an IBANEZ neck. It's THE FASTEST DEAN I"VE EVER PLAYED!!! If anyone has a neck that feels thick, take it to your luthier and ask him to reprofile it. It makes a TON of difference.
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QUOTE (Spock @ May 23 2014, 09:02 PM) *
I did this to one of my guitars and it really does work. My silver PRS that has a painted neck. Although since the grain is so light on the paper, I think it is time to do it again.


I would suggest anyone try it. You may want to check it on the neck of a guitar that is not your "go-to" just to see, but I really liked the way it felt.

This isn't really for tone, but it is such a nice feel it's fresh like new strings - which could help playing and could help tone.



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Guido Bungenstoc...
post May 24 2014, 07:34 PM
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I also like the natural wood finish of my music man guitars. They just have that perfect profile for me and feels totally comfortably.
BTW I just checked out the new D'Addario NYXL Stringss and it's like they're saying: STRUM HARDER • BEND FURTHER • STAY IN TUNE BETTER
Wow, what an improvement, they just sound incredible good, punchier and lots of sustain........!!!
After playing these D'Addario EXL120 for many years, I won't return!
Try them out!!!

This post has been edited by Guido Bungenstock: May 24 2014, 07:35 PM


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Mudbone
post May 24 2014, 08:56 PM
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I actually like the way strings sound after they have been worn in, but only with distortion. They lose some of the top end but it seems like they "growl" more.

When it comes to clean tones I prefer new strings because they sparkle biggrin.gif


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Azzaboi
post May 25 2014, 02:15 AM
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I hate old, old string... but also hate brand new... they need a good hour to stretch on in, bends and retunes, add a little of your own sweat, then they are sounding sweet! That's when the harmonics start to squeal but still stay in tune!
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Cosmin Lupu
post May 25 2014, 08:47 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ May 24 2014, 07:56 PM) *
I actually like the way strings sound after they have been worn in, but only with distortion. They lose some of the top end but it seems like they "growl" more.

When it comes to clean tones I prefer new strings because they sparkle biggrin.gif


Agreed - I also like the sparkle but I dislike the feeling of new when I play some riffage. They need a day to settle in smile.gif At least for me smile.gif

Guys, if you were to sum things up, how much money do you spend on strings each year?

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: May 25 2014, 08:48 PM


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