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guitarplaya2000

Guitar Strings Loses Intonation?

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On my JTV59, I continued using the D'Addario strings, but I upgraded them to the EXL115 (11-49 gauge) strings. I love the way they feel and the tone is phenomenal.

 

However, I noticed that almost within a week, my strings would start to corrode and lose its intonation! Is this normal? I tried what other guitarist suggested that Is supposed help preserve my strings - such as, using another brand of strings where each string is sealed to prevent corrosion (I don't like the feel of those strings), washing my hands or use hand sanitizer before playing, and use string lubricant. I've noticed though, that wiping the strings down after playing helps, but the strings still lose their tuning.

 

Eventhough a fresh set of strings feels wonderful and plays fantastically, changing strings is no longer fun. The way the jtv59 bridge is made, changing strings ( to me) has become a tedious task. Also, the cost associated with buying the 10 set "pro pack" every other month is adding up too quickly.

 

 

Like, now...I have to put on a new set and have my axe ready for Sunday's service; tuned up and ready. Any of you experience this? Who do you do to extend the life of your strings?

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Strings are always a tradeoff.

 

In my experience D'Addario strings tend to lose a little brightness after initial stretch-in, but not to an excessive degree.  I use D'Addario on all my guitars and tend to get two or three gigs plus a rehearsal or two out them.

 

If you want to see a string with a rapid decline, switch to Ernie Ball for comparison.  On the other extreme I've found Fender Super Bullet strings to be the most stable, although they start off duller than the D'Addarios and have a slightly different tactile feel to them.  Peavey stainless steel strings decay very slowly, but chew the living hell out of conventional frets (be warned).

 

All this being said, I am an R&B and vintage rock oriented player with all my impressions filtered through that lens.  If your musical style differs substantially from mine please take my input with a grain of salt.

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On my JTV59, I continued using the D'Addario strings, but I upgraded them to the EXL115 (11-49 gauge) strings. I love the way they feel and the tone is phenomenal.

 

However, I noticed that almost within a week, my strings would start to corrode and lose its intonation! Is this normal? I tried what other guitarist suggested that Is supposed help preserve my strings - such as, using another brand of strings where each string is sealed to prevent corrosion (I don't like the feel of those strings), washing my hands or use hand sanitizer before playing, and use string lubricant. I've noticed though, that wiping the strings down after playing helps, but the strings still lose their tuning.

 

Eventhough a fresh set of strings feels wonderful and plays fantastically, changing strings is no longer fun. The way the jtv59 bridge is made, changing strings ( to me) has become a tedious task. Also, the cost associated with buying the 10 set "pro pack" every other month is adding up too quickly.

 

 

Like, now...I have to put on a new set and have my axe ready for Sunday's service; tuned up and ready. Any of you experience this? Who do you do to extend the life of your strings?

You've just described every set of strings on earth.

 

String life varies widely...mostly dependent on the player, and the environment the guitar lives in. A heavy handed player who bends a lot and sweats battery acid, will plow through strings quickly. Humidity doesn't help, either. Personally, a week for a set of non-coated strings is about the best I can expect...always been that way. I switched to Elixirs a while back, as the longevity is considerably longer...easily 4x as long. Yes, they feel a little different, but you get used to it like anything else. The longevity is worth it for me...ymmv.

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You've just described every set of strings on earth.

 

String life varies widely...mostly dependent on the player, and the environment the guitar lives in. A heavy handed player who bends a lot and sweats battery acid, will plow through strings quickly. Humidity doesn't help, either. Personally, a week for a set of non-coated strings is about the best I can expect...always been that way. I switched to Elixirs a while back, as the longevity is considerably longer...easily 4x as long. Yes, they feel a little different, but you get used to it like anything else. The longevity is worth it for me...ymmv.

 

I remember my Elixirs going up to 5 months before a string broke, and the sound was exactly as bright as it was from day 1. Anytime past that, I will start to finally see some rust, but generally, the strings are shiny silver.

 

Sounds great, feels great.

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I've used Ernie Ball Slinkys for ~10 years + and always hit them with Fast Fret to give them a clean when done. 1 month is about their max limit (shorter during the summer). Elixir sent me a couple of mystery packs to test for a month and I have to say pretty nice. They haven't developed the "tacky" feel the uncoated ones will get and still sound fresh after a couple of weeks. The feel of the top strings did take a bit to get used to then after 5 minutes its no biggie.

 

A decent set of the thumb wheel locking tuners can cut the restringing chore time a bit if it is a real PITA for you. Pull it through, clamp it, tune it cut it.

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A decent set of the thumb wheel locking tuners can cut the restringing chore time a bit if it is a real PITA for you. Pull it through, clamp it, tune it cut it.

Or get a set of these, and shave even more time off the process...no more cutting, and no more puncturing yourself on sharp string ends. ;)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Waves-Auto-Trim-Tuning-Machines/dp/B0002E2NBI

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I have those Planet Waves locking tuners on my Variax 500 and they are great!  Stay in tune and string changes are a snap.

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Thanks everyone for the varied input. I've used Elixirs a few years back, but I couldn't get used to how they felt to my fingertips. However, I did appreciated their longevity. I didn't think I've changed them out as often as I did with non-coated strings; and I didn't even play the guitar that often as I do now. But now, since I am apparently "sweating battery acid" ( :D  thanks for that one, cruisinon2), I will have to give them a try - one more time after I've consumed my bulk of pack non-coated strings.

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guitarplaya2000,...

 

When you change the gauge, you change the tension, when you change the tension,

it has an affect on the set-up, the affect on the set-up affects the intonation. Take it to

a Line 6 authorized service, that does guitars, and have the set-up checked and if

needed, adjusted.

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Thanks everyone for the varied input. I've used Elixirs a few years back, but I couldn't get used to how they felt to my fingertips. However, I did appreciated their longevity. I didn't think I've changed them out as often as I did with non-coated strings; and I didn't even play the guitar that often as I do now. But now, since I am apparently "sweating battery acid" ( :D thanks for that one, cruisinon2), I will have to give them a try - one more time after I've consumed my bulk of pack non-coated strings.

Elixirs come in two flavors..."polyweb" and "nanoweb". Don't ask me what that actually means, but practically speaking the polyweb coating feels a bit more slick (slightly slimy, actually) to me, than the nanoweb ones, which I prefer. Also, the polyweb coating seems to "shed"...actually flakes off the strings where the pick strikes them. Didn't care much for that....nanowebs don't do that at all for me. As always, ymmv.

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guitarplaya2000,...

 

When you change the gauge, you change the tension, when you change the tension,

it has an affect on the set-up, the affect on the set-up affects the intonation. Take it to

a Line 6 authorized service, that does guitars, and have the set-up checked and if

needed, adjusted.

 

Why can't we have a setup with a trusted professional guitar tech? If they're not messing with the electronics and it's bare bones basic setup, there's nothing to worry about.

The only thing I'd worry about, maybe, is if the guy was using, say, steel wool on your guitar, because that could short out the electronics if it flew into the cavity.

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That is always the case when changing from the factory gauges on a lot of guitars. Ibanez are my favorite examples as the old RGs are factory set for 9s go slap so 11s on there and its chaos and mayhem until you reset the trem and probably hit the truss. That is with a Floyd, now with a regular nut you have to start looking at the nut if you have the "pings" (you know when tuning and you hear a "ping") as the thicker gauges probably don't jibe with the narrower nut slots (graphite lube will help BTW).

 

A mass produced guitar has to be homogenized a bit so mere mortals can afford them. 

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Why can't we have a setup with a trusted professional guitar tech? If they're not messing with the electronics and it's bare bones basic setup, there's nothing to worry about.

The only thing I'd worry about, maybe, is if the guy was using, say, steel wool on your guitar, because that could short out the electronics if it flew into the cavity.

Why wade into this cesspool again? The company line will never change...

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"is if the guy was using, say, steel wool on your guitar"----

Odd that you should mention that one. One guy wanted to make his black 59 look like a 53 Les Paul

and used steel wool on the finish. Poor solder job on the pick-ups and nicked two piezos with steel wool.

I had to redo the solder job and replace two piezos. 

 

----------

 

Another guy went to his corner luthier, because he didn't want to got the extra mile-and-a-half to the authorized

service center. The so called luthier told him he had a twist in the neck so he saved the frets. Problem was there

was no problem, the guy changed the gauge on his strings,... the set-up was off, the pick-ups were too close to

the strings,so he got warbling when he used piezos and Alt Tune.

 

He voided his warranty, had to get a new neck out of pocket,.... and all he originally need was an adjustment on his set-up.

 

-----------

 

It might be the same song and dance, but the authorized service center knows the product, the guy on the corner,

... typically doesn't. It's for your own good.

 

Got more horror stories if you like,... but I've got to get back to repairing guitars. I could write a book this stuff if I had the time.

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There you have it folks...all luthiers are awful, and will butcher your instrument if not "authorized". How did guitars ever get fixed before the Variax?

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Once again I'm incorrectly quoted, and it's been twisted into something that it's not.

If all luthiers were awful, there would be no authorized service centers to do guitars for us.

Therefore the incorrect characterization of what I said is inoperative.

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I quoted no one. I highlighted the underlying implication...but I'll play along and rephrase anyway.

 

All unauthorized luthiers are awful and will butcher you're instrument. Better? Actually, it's the exact same sentence, just inverted...though I suppose it does flow a little better this way.

 

Yeah, you see the worst case scenarios...great. But we all know that are plenty of folks out there, for whom there is no local "authorized" service center. Shipping it any distance can cost as much, if not more than the cost of a set-up. Continuing to preach that competent, yet "unauthorized" luthiers don't exist, is not "helping" those who find themselves in that situation. It just gives them something else, if you'll pardon the pun...to fret over.

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Better,... though I don't know about all. "All" is a bit harsh, overstated perhaps.

You always seem to have knowledge, maybe look into becoming a service center.

 

Lets just say that,...  the authorized ones will know more about how to deal with a Variax in

ways that others won't.

 

I know some good luthiers who don't know beans about electronics (they're the first to admit it),

and there are those who are the opposite (know circuits, but don't know lutherie). Then there

are those I know, who know both, and they are really good.

 

For this post, it's intonation. An authorized service center will have access to service info,

the guy at the corner shop that we don't know, make assumption about it being like a Fender

or Gibson,... will guess at it.

 

 

So back on point, intonation,.... changing string gauge changes string tension, and so affects the set-up,

which includes intonation. Take it in for a check and adjustment at an authorized service center

that will know what to do with our product.

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I agree with bringing it into a sh*t luthier and getting your guitar botched is something you need to be weary about, but that's why you look for a GOOD TRUSTED luthier.

I went to Guitar Center and they talked about a setup, as well as a local guitar shop were a guy was like "I do simple setups because I kinda know how to do them", you think I'll trust those people?

 

You go to a trusted luthier and flat out tell them to just adjust action, truss rod, intonation, and other basic stuff, it is not going to harm the guitar. 

 

Why do you think the guitar comes with a set of hex keys? So you can adjust the guitar if you need to, because, it would be retarded if doing something that basic would void the warranty, because, again, this is basic stuff that is both in regards to maintaining a guitar, and setting up to personal preference.

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Yes, well said,... for an end user, start from spec, then adjust from there to the climate of

their area, whether action is adjusted to taste, how they like the tension on the tremolo,... etc.

 

I've watched a couple GC guys and other companies local in my area, some of them are pretty

good, others are newbies with potential. A couple of those stores have a full on guitar repair bay

and know what they're doing,... they're pretty good.

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guitarplaya2000,...

 

When you change the gauge, you change the tension, when you change the tension,

it has an affect on the set-up, the affect on the set-up affects the intonation. Take it to

a Line 6 authorized service, that does guitars, and have the set-up checked and if

needed, adjusted.

Thanks, I've never had it fine tuned after I received the guitar in the mail. She sounded pretty good just out of the box, but that sensitive G string was (and still is) a tad sharp; even with 10s installed.

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For this post, it's intonation. An authorized service center will have access to service info,

the guy at the corner shop that we don't know, make assumption about it being like a Fender

or Gibson,... will guess at it.

Guessing at intonation? Words fail me. So the laws of physics cease to exist when it's a Variax? What magical tools do the authorized shops have to tackle Variax intonation? Crystals, magnets, Druid robes, 17 secret herbs and spices? Tune in next week folks, and we'll discuss turning lead into gold. [Fun Fact #26: Guitars never play in tune at Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, or the Giza Plateau...nobody knows why. I blame Common Core standards. ;)]

 

Intonation is adjusted in exactly the same manner on every guitar on earth. 12th fret, fretted notes compared to 12th fret harmonic. Fretted note sharp? Vibrating length of the string needs to be longer, adjust saddle away from nut. Fretted note flat? Shorten the string, saddle moves toward the nut. I don't care how fancy the electronics are. Physics is physics.

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I use Ernie Ball strings. I agree with your point about changing strings on the JTV-59. Who ever came up with that bridge is a moron. What I do when I change strings is put a capo on 12 fret after I get the string in at the bridge. Then I do the normal at the tuning peg, tight the string and take the capo off. Give it a try next time you change strings. A lot less hassle and you can change strings in about 5 minutes.

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The strings that came fitted on my 59 lasted ages , I was really surprised at how long they kept their feel and tone , but eventually I changed them for Ernie ball 10's , they lasted 2 rehearsals and 1 gig, so changed those for some rotosound strings ( were on offer at the time ) and they lasted a little longer but so far I haven't found any strings that lasted as long as the factory fitted ones

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The closest authorized service center to me is 4 hours away. I got mine from Sweetwater and it wasn't set up too bad out of the box. I just get some fret buzz from the 6th string. I tried raising the saddle for the string but it doesn't seem to help much.

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The closest authorized service center to me is 4 hours away. I got mine from Sweetwater and it wasn't set up too bad out of the box. I just get some fret buzz from the 6th string. I tried raising the saddle for the string but it doesn't seem to help much.

Truss rod likely needs loosening a bit. 1/8 of a turn at a time, counterclockwise as you're looking end-on at the headstock. It'll need some time to settle in after adjusting. Might take a day or two.

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I've never had much problem with rust or corrosion on string but I do wipe them down a lot.

What I've started doing on my JTV59 is use some good masking tape to hold the end of the string in the bridge while I run it through the tuner and tighten it up.    I still want to get locking tuners, but in the mean time this helps quite a bit

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Did those fit a jtv59 exactly with no drilling etc?

Not a clue. I've got a 69 with a Warmoth neck on it. If they don't fit, somebody else makes a set of locking tuners that will. It's easy enough to remove one and measure the hole...pretty sure the Planet Waves need a 13/32" diameter.

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