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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Mark Roffe String Cleaning (33) RE: String Cleaning 25 Jul 99

I was of the same opinion as j0_77 until a couple of years ago. I thought that new strings had too much squeak, too much treble, and too much noise from left hand changing positions. Plus, I played mostly blues, and I liked my guitars funky. But a couple of years ago, I put a new set on and rubbed my hands over them a bunch, thinking it might speed up the aging process. Maybe filling in the grooves with detritus, skin flakes, oils and other pleasant things. It seemed to work. The next few sets, I didn't even bother with the rubdown, but noticed that I was starting to like the clarity of the new strings more. Now I'm at the point where I like the sound of brand-new strings the best. I had a talk with Martin Simpson about this - he claims to be cursed with corrosive skin oils that destroy strings in a matter of days, and suggests that if you're lucky enough to have chemically friendlier skin, your strings can last longer. He thinks that strings are as close to perfect as they will ever be when they first leave the factory. When first put on the guitar, they vibrate as they're designed to. But as they get flattened against the frets, they lose that characteristic and don't sound as good. I agree with that more, now that I'm playing better sounding guitars. The Goodall, for example, sings out with a longer lasting resonance when the strings are new.


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