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why different tone?

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(@txpilot)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

I've been playing for about 3 months now and everything is going good. I broke a string tuning the other day and when I was picking up new strings I couldn't remember if I had Martin extra light strings or light ones. I bought the light ones, but I had extra lights on there before.

Now my guitars tone sucks, it has a strong metallic sound now. With the extra light strings it sounded great, especially for a cheap guitar. I was wondering if its because of the change of the strings, or did I screw something up (that being entirely possible seeing its only the second time I've ever changed strings). If I did something wrong, any ideas about what might cause it to sound weird?

Thanks, John


   
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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

It's probably just the new strings. The do have a much sharper edge than older strings, which will subside with time. If your old strings were well past it, they would sound very flat and dull compared to your new strings - give it a day or two for the new ones to settle down.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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(@chilly-well-water)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 10
 

I say what greybeard said. I have a friend that says strings never sound better than when they were just put on. I think they sound too bright then and think they sound best after about a week of playing.


   
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(@manitou)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 121
 

They sound great after a week of playing, but its impossible to have it be reliable. Personally, I love the sound of a floyd rose with strings that are just starting to rust... But, you need to find a sound with new strings you like because, you can always get new strings, If I had to play my floyd strings till they rusted before a gig... You get the idea im sure. Consitency is the main thing I think, and the tone deadness... with an extra .2 gauge on strings, isint that like an extra 20lbs on the guitar neck? That is enough to actually alter the shape of an accoustic, and that could alter tone I believe.

SHUT UP ABOUT IRON MAIDEN SOLOS AND GO PRACTICE!
-Manitou


   
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(@greybeard)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

with an extra .2 gauge on strings, isint that like an extra 20lbs on the guitar neck? That is enough to actually alter the shape of an accoustic, and that could alter tone I believe.
It shouldn't make any difference if the guitar has a truss rod.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

with an extra .2 gauge on strings, isint that like an extra 20lbs on the guitar neck? That is enough to actually alter the shape of an accoustic, and that could alter tone I believe.
It shouldn't make any difference if the guitar has a truss rod.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Might not make any difference to the neck curvature if you have a truss rod and adjust it, but tone is a different matter. Different string tension DOES affect the preload (downforce) on an acoustic guitar top, which significantly affects its vibration. Different string gauges have their own innate tonal differences, too. Physical strings are never ideal strings. Ideal strings have only tensile elasticity, and have absolutely no bending stiffness. If you've coiled or uncoiled strings, you know this isn't the case with real strings. They're pretty stiff and springy. Although heavy gauge strings are stiffer than lighter gauge strings, tuning them up to the same pitch causes the tension to go up faster than the bending stiffness. The audible effect of bending stiffness in strings is to make every higher "partial" or "harmonic" of the string progressively sharper relative to the fundamental frequency of the string. It's more noticeable on the light strings, which are slacker at the same pitch. The more closely one approaches the breaking tension of a string, the more nearly in tune all of its harmonics are. That is, they're more nearly true harmonics of the fundamental. Additonally, slacker, lighter strings go up in pitch more when they're plucked hard (which "bends" them farther to each side as they vibrate, stretching them more tightly and causing their pitch to go up) than tighter, heavier strings do. You can easily hear this. The note is sharper right after the pick attack and goes flatter as it decays. It always happens with vibrating strings, but more noticeably with light, slack ones. So yes, the tone should be expected to change when you use different string gauges, on both electric and acoustic guitars. Most people prefer the tone of heavier strings. Not all.
:D

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@thedonutman)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 22
 

if you want to speed up the process, you can make your hands really sweaty and greasy and play the strings, that will totally kill the brightness and the "new string sound"


   
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(@shredgeek)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 36
 

They sound great after a week of playing, but its impossible to have it be reliable. Personally, I love the sound of a floyd rose with strings that are just starting to rust... But, you need to find a sound with new strings you like because, you can always get new strings, If I had to play my floyd strings till they rusted before a gig... You get the idea im sure. Consitency is the main thing I think, and the tone deadness... with an extra .2 gauge on strings, isint that like an extra 20lbs on the guitar neck? That is enough to actually alter the shape of an accoustic, and that could alter tone I believe.
Thats how I like my strings too..it's like a sweet spot right as they start to tarnish. I go so far as to rub orange oil on mine to get them there quicker. I don't know why this works but it does for me and it tends to keep them in that state longer. Maybe I'm just weird though :)


   
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