New strings


#1

I changed my own strings for the first time, putting on D’Addario exp16. Previous strings were D’Addario, also, but don’t remember which ones. The tuner says the strings are in tune, but somehow the chords just don’t “sound” right. Is it just me needing to get use to a new set, and kind, of strings? Should I take it in to the guitar shop?


#2

without knowing what specifically sounds “wrong” with the chords it’s hard to say.

Couple things…

Double check that your tuner is in standard pitch (440). I have had my tuner change pitch on me when accidentally bumped before.

you can also check that the guitar is in tune with itself by chiming the strings against each other.

chime 6th string at 5th fret against 5th string at 7th fret. - should be same note with no vibrations
5th at 5th against 4th at 7th
4th at 5th against 3rd at 7th
6th at 7th against second open
5th at 7th against first open
second at 5th against first at 7th

It is possible that you have gotten use to the way a dull sounding set sounds and are put off by all the strings ringing as they should. I would double check everything and play it a while longer before bringing it in to anyone. Are there any other, more experienced guitar players you could have paly it to see what they think, or guitar repair places close? It never hurts to stop in and ask them to take a look at it.

Hope this helps.

hope this helps.


#3

Make sure too that you’re going back and re-checking the tuning of each string. Until they get “settled in” they will tend to keep stretching a bit, especially the wound strings. You can tune one up to pitch, and then 20 seconds later it’s down a bit. It usually takes a day for mine to finally stabilize…I have to keep checking them each time I play.


#4

I’ve heard some guys say that not all strings intonate the same. Different string thickness, like coating or a thicker gauge could throw intonation off. Again just what I’ve read.

My guitar does what you describe and I think it needs the nut adjusted. If I tune the strings open, then fret the low E at the third fret it’s sharp. I think I’ve got it figured out now, some strings I have to tune a little flat and some I have to tune sharp to get it to sound right. It’s a pain though.

I think it’s either the nut or the saddle. This is my first guitar with a saddle that’s not compensated. I don’t know.

Is your action high at the nut?

They say you can check this by capoing the first fret, then tune the guitar and see if it sounds better making chords. Basically eliminating the nut. I’ll see if I can find that thread.

Here ya go:
acousticguitarforum.com/foru … p?t=259427


#5

— Begin quote from "canyonhiker"

You can tune one up to pitch, and then 20 seconds later it’s down a bit.

— End quote

Good point max. It takes some time for the strings to settle in. When I put new strings on, as I bring them up to pitch, I stop about a note flat and stretch each string individually by bending the strings and/or grabbing the string at the twelfth fret and puling it out a bit. That helps a great deal with the initial stretching issues, but doesn’t eliminate them.


#6

— Begin quote from "TNTaylor414"

If I tune the strings open, then fret the low E at the third fret it’s sharp.

— End quote

That’s not uncommon, and typically the B string needs to be tuned a smidge flat for the 3rd fret d note to be on. Lowering your action helps this, but if that is not sufficient, you can also put a little compensation into a straight nut.


#7

— Begin quote from "mreisz"

That’s not uncommon, and typically the B string needs to be tuned a smidge flat for the 3rd fret d note to be on. Lowering your action helps this, but if that is not sufficient, you can also put a little compensation into a straight nut.

— End quote

Yep, you’re right Mike. Low E and B a little flat and I like to tune the G string just a little sharp. Seems to give it a little growl with that G sharp.

I’ve only recently started to hear it more with the D’Addario EJ17’s. Great sounding strings, IMO.


#8

I would say that EJ17s are the strings others are judged by. I like them quite a bit. I generally do coated nowadays, but I still have some (and some EJ16s). I need to try their coated strings.


#9

— Begin quote from "mreisz"

I would say that EJ17s are the strings others are judged by. I like them quite a bit. I generally do coated nowadays, but I still have some (and some EJ16s). I need to try their coated strings.

— End quote

I recently switched to the EJ17s and to me, they sound the same (and last as long as) the Martin MSP4200s I had been using on my HD-28. And they are cheaper!


#10

EJ16/17s are a popular sale item too. I have gotten them multiple times for $4. I had a competition for “most improved” between group lessons. Everybody voted and everybody received a vote, so it didn’t kill me to give away 5 sets.


#11

When I got my new(used) guitar last year, I went through a bunch of strings to find what brand/type fit them best. Although the D’addario EXPs had a bright, crisp tone; I found that they caused the most pick wear. I had more pick wear from using those strings for a week, then other brands caused in about four months. That may not sound like a big deal, but I got a blue chip pick. It also made me wonder if those strings wear down frets and nuts faster also.


#12

Thank you, everyone! I appreciate your help. It’s good to have contacts with more experienced musicians. I’ll try your suggestions, and see which helps.


#13

— Begin quote from "KGM"

I had more pick wear from using those strings for a week, then other brands caused in about four months. That may not sound like a big deal, but I got a blue chip pick. It also made me wonder if those strings wear down frets and nuts faster also.

— End quote

:astonished:
Thanks for the head’s up. I don’t know that I have seen any wear on the BC pick in two months. Maybe they put a bit of carbide or diamond dust in the coating for those EXPs?


#14

— Begin quote from "KGM"

I had more pick wear from using those strings for a week, then other brands caused in about four months.

— End quote

Your welcome, Mreisz. I should have said “noticeable” pick wear. After a couple months of using the pick, most of the wear came from the EXPs but all the wear in total, was negligible. It made me wonder if those strings have more friction than other coated strings. I remember liking them for fingerpicking, because I could feel them more.


#15

I used the EJ 17’s for several years and they were the best strings that I tried that gave me the sound quality that I was looking for. However in the past few months both me and a couple of others that I pick with and use them agree that they have made a change in the manufacturing process or quality of steel and they just are not as good as they used to be. I changed to the martin lifespan and am very satisfied with them except for the cost. Expensive little buggers. I buy a few packs at a time when they are on sale.
Just my 2 cents on the matter.


#16

Thanks again, everyone! Apparently they needed to “settle in,” or else it was just me. (Wouldn’t put it past the latter. :unamused: ) Anyway, the strings are doing fine now.


#17

— Begin quote from "TNTaylor414"

Yep, you’re right Mike. Low E and B a little flat and I like to tune the G string just a little sharp. Seems to give it a little growl with that G sharp.

— End quote

That’s what we call fine tuning and is what I do after using the tuner. Very good point.