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Old 02-09-2018, 01:55 PM
Billkwando Billkwando is offline
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Default Does proper humidity have a detrimental effect on string life?

Just curious. Since I got my Taylor Academy 10 (yuk it up, lol) I've learned about humidification. Since my mandolin hangs on the wall for convenience, and my rack of electrics never make it back to their cases, I said "screw it" and dug out our console humidifier from the closet, and have been doing my best to keep my basement at the Taylor-recommended 47% humidity.

In reality, it's been anywhere from 41% to 51% (my hygrometer has a high and a low, with a 36 hour span) but usually around 43ish, most days. My humidifier is adjustable, with an auto-shutoff, but I can only regulate (it to the percentage-ish) when I'm home, looking at the hygrometer.

What I'm wondering, since I tend to rotate playing my electrics rather than grab one, grab another, grab another (though they all stay out, in the rack) I'm wondering if it would be a mistake to, say, restring all my electrics at once, since I know some of them aren't going to get played much for a month or more.

I've always believed that people juice is what kills strings, which is why I always wash my hands before I play......but I was wondering if maybe air juice kills them too? (LOL )

Within the humidity parameters outlines above, of course.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Last edited by Billkwando; 02-09-2018 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:38 PM
Von Beerhofen Von Beerhofen is offline
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Corrosion on metals is the effect of moisture in combination with oxygen. No oxygen no corrosion as far as I know. Acid has the highest corrosive effect whereas sweat normally has a higher PH (acid) then water and therefore accellerates corrosion. Anti corrosive and coated strings are ofcourse less susceptible. Washing your hands before playing is a must if you want to prolong stringlife.

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Old 02-09-2018, 03:55 PM
HodgdonExtreme HodgdonExtreme is offline
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If you are maintaining a 40-50% relative humidity, your strings will stay fresh for a long time while not being played.

...as long as your not pumping Chlorine, Bromine, Fluorine (or any of the other group 17 halogens) into your guitar room...
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:58 PM
HodgdonExtreme HodgdonExtreme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Beerhofen View Post
Corrosion on metals is the effect of moisture in combination with oxygen. No oxygen no corrosion as far as I know.
Oxygen is the best known oxidizer (and how it got its name), but not the only oxidizing agent.

Most any substance with Oxygen in it can be an oxidizer, plus all of the group 17 halogens...

You can literally burn (burning is rapid and aggressive oxidation) iron in a Chlorine atmosphere.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:58 PM
Billkwando Billkwando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Beerhofen View Post
Corrosion on metals is the effect of moisture in combination with oxygen. No oxygen no corrosion as far as I know. Acid has the highest corrosive effect whereas sweat normally has a higher PH (acid) then water and therefore accellerates corrosion. Anti corrosive and coated strings are ofcourse less susceptible. Washing your hands before playing is a must if you want to prolong stringlife.

Ludwig
Hello friend!

OK, so my strings will be ok as long as my basement is a vacuum chamber?

I always appreciate when folks take the time to reply to my questions, but I fail to see how your reply has much of anything to do with what I asked. I proactively mentioned that I always wash my hands.

On coated strings: I put coated D'Addarios on my wife's Washburn acoustic, at thrice the price, and they didn't last any longer than regular strings, even with all the hand washing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HodgdonExtreme View Post
If you are maintaining a 40-50% relative humidity, your strings will stay fresh for a long time while not being played.

...as long as your not pumping Chlorine, Bromine, Fluorine (or any of the other group 17 halogens) into your guitar room...

That's more like it! I think my house is halogen-free? LOL

I just didn't know if the strings would go bad from simply sitting in those conditions. I like having them ready to play, so I can just grab them, and not have to take a trip to the work bench to engage in string winder fu.

The Taylor I got had new strings from when it was sitting around in the store (I could tell from the ebay pics they were new), and they still sounded great even though the guitar had been up for sale for a while (and lasted about a month after I got it)......but I have a feeling it came from a much drier environment.

Part of the reason I asked is because I know the electrics need changing (except for my Rick 360, which got new strings last week), but I didn't know if it was because I played them until they were dead and just didn't realize, or if they "became" dead during the time they were sitting unplayed.



Edit: Just read that according to John Hall of Rickenbacker, maple instruments should be kept at 35% relative humidity! *smacks forehead* I think I'm just going to forget I read that....

Last edited by Billkwando; 02-09-2018 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:50 PM
Von Beerhofen Von Beerhofen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
Hello friend!

OK, so my strings will be ok as long as my basement is a vacuum chamber?

....
Yeah but you won't,
You see, it's not that hard to come to a conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HodgdonExtreme View Post
You can literally burn (burning is rapid and aggressive oxidation) iron in a Chlorine atmosphere.
Which bar has a chlorine atmosphere?

Ludwig
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:12 PM
Athens Athens is online now
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Default Strings

Does humidification degrade strings?

Even if it does, strings are cheap, guitars are expensive.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:22 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Yes, higher humidity in the air will have an effect on the string life of uncoated strings. Back when I still lived in Missouri and then Illinois, my strings never lasted as long during spring and (especially) those hot, muggy summers.


whm
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:39 PM
Billkwando Billkwando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Does humidification degrade strings?

Even if it does, strings are cheap, guitars are expensive.
Yes, but the point was that I didn't want to string a guitar that I'm not going to play for a month, only to discover when I finally go to play it that it needs new strings again anyway.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:09 PM
Von Beerhofen Von Beerhofen is offline
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Perhaps I'm missing something here but a guitar with new strings needs to be played, if you're not going to play it for a month don't put new strings on and keep the old ones untill you decide to play it, then put new ones on.
Well that's how would do it anyway. A guitar with new strings sounds best when the strings are fresh, not when they're already on for a month.

Ludwig
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:56 PM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Beerhofen View Post
Perhaps I'm missing something here but a guitar with new strings needs to be played, if you're not going to play it for a month don't put new strings on and keep the old ones untill you decide to play it, then put new ones on.
Well that's how would do it anyway. A guitar with new strings sounds best when the strings are fresh, not when they're already on for a month.

Ludwig
You'll get a fair amount of disagreement on that one. Some like strings to be good and "worn in" for that "tone". Depends on the string as well. Martin Retros sound very good with three to four weeks on them and beyond. So do certain of other brands in PB. YMMV.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:47 AM
Billkwando Billkwando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Beerhofen View Post
Perhaps I'm missing something here but a guitar with new strings needs to be played, if you're not going to play it for a month don't put new strings on and keep the old ones untill you decide to play it, then put new ones on.
Well that's how would do it anyway. A guitar with new strings sounds best when the strings are fresh, not when they're already on for a month.

Ludwig
Well that really was the question, whether strings "new" on the guitar (unplayed) is the same as strings "new" in the pack (also unplayed, lol).
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