What causes string life deterioration?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Jelly Roll Horton, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    55
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    If you are using a Strat-trem or a Floyd-style bridge the mechanical stress seems to torture the string at this point quite a lot. Its like bowing back and forth a piece of metal constantly.
     
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  2. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta

    This could be a decent conversation, but I think you're getting a bit heated given the bold and large type letters. I'd be happy to address every one of your points, but not like this.
     
  3. MotorCentaur

    MotorCentaur Synchromatic

    557
    May 11, 2016
    Seattle

    I never said that..


    "I think that the works about Material Resistance of precursors like Galilée (1638), Robert Hooke (1678), Leonhard Euler, Thomas young (circa 1750), Poisson, Lamé, Saint-Venant (circa 1820-1850) are serious enough and still valid to make a parallel between a rod, a cable and a guitar string under tensile strenght and the resultant material fatigue."

    Then that explains why cable bridges are always collapsing? s/


    "PS : I did not mentioned tangential efforts like bending, hitting the strings with a pick, which incerases momentarily but repetitively the tensile strenght, along with bending and shearing work, these variations increasing the fatigue stress on the string"

    I believe that falls under the "playing". Part of which also applies to pianos, which do not suffer such short term degradation, "hitting the strings with a pick (felt), which incerases momentarily but repetitively the tensile strenght,..., these variations increasing the fatigue stress on the string."

    Cheers, it's been fun.
     
  4. MotorCentaur

    MotorCentaur Synchromatic

    557
    May 11, 2016
    Seattle
    No more so than your insulting tone
     
  5. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    OK gents, let's cool things off! There's no reason for this level of anger.
     
  6. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    ?????

    Yes. Over for me...

    A+!
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  7. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    When I think about it, it's a minor miracle that strings hold up as well as they do. Striking a string with a pick is a fairly forceful and abrupt event. I've seen players that use a penny as a string, and not break strings; and I would opine that there's very little compliance to be found in a penny, so the string is taking the entirety of the force involved.

    Of course, steel is a miracle material. Steel has made much of our modern innovation possible, because of its amazing strength and its elasticity. Steel guitar musical instrument strings are a significant part of what has made the guitar what it is today. Imagine what it was like before steel strings. Without steel strings, magnetic pickups would be useless. It's pretty amazing that a person can buy a D'Addario 0.009" plain steel string for 70 cents, but I did just that as recently as last week.

    Creating a truly closed system is a tall order. At some point, some other factor will intrude; an earthquake, a breach of the vacuum, a temperature fluctuation or something else. I suspect that a string tuned to pitch would last a long time without breaking, in the absence of any other factors, but I would imagine that to be much more valid if the test had hundreds of strings, to prevent one fluke from skewing the results.

    Extra wraps don't provide much, if any, in the way of anchoring and the potential for binding is significant.

    The fact that the Van Halen style whammy work can be done at all, without strings breaking, speaks volumes about the ability of strings to absorb abuse, when tuned to pitch.
     
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  8. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    If you were to mount that unplayed corroded string it would break.
     
  9. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    In any particular order?
     
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  10. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Closed system/tall order: No matter how you pin it down when you stretch it, you're stressing it. But I guess that's part of the point. You could do a single clamp point at each end and stretch it to pitch and see what happens. (In a hermetic atmosphere). I suspect you will have to keep stretching/tuning it to pitch until one day, it breaks. Then you would want to tabulate where it broke and I'd bet most of the breaks would be at the clamp point.

    Extra Wraps: I suppose it might decrease the given stress at the hole of the peg and spread it out and potentially decrease breaks? But the increased time in getting a string to settle out is not worth it.

    Van Halen/Abuse: I just replaced CV Axles on my wife's Subaru. The camber bolts are super hard and required 169 lb.ft of torque. They're not very big but they support the weight of the car plus all the instantaneous shear forces that come up through the wheel and typically never need replacement. And they cost $5 each.
     
  11. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    No one is arguing it's tension alone, but tension in combination with the corrosive effect of sweat, physical abuse of bending and scraping against frets, and very high local stresses at the nut, bridge, and tuning pegs. Not all of those factors are in play in a piano... so you present somewhat of a false comparison.
     
  12. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    What the hell are your frets made of? Most people complain about strings damaging their frets :)
     
  13. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
    LA-ish
    String deterioration is like Nam. No rules.
     
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  14. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Almost certainly it would break at the clamp point. Almost every string break I’ve ever seen was at or near the bridge, with the remainder being at the machine head.

    I don’t think that extra wraps accomplish anything positive. Ultimately, the stress will be transferred to the point where the string goes through the shaft of the machine head.

    169 lb. ft! That’s a bit of torque for an automotive bolt.
     
  15. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    Strings are designed to deteriorate so we have to buy more... :)
     
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  16. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    I didn't read the whole thread as I get bored with arguments.

    So let's switch gears: Last night I ordered some goop that is supposed to clean and lube my strings and make them last longer. Not as expensive as one set of cheap strings so if it does extend the life probably worth it.

    Not some off-brand potion, I actually ordered the D'Addario XLR8. It only added a few bucks to the price of their ProWinder tool I want to try.
    I just now read it says it treats the fretboard, that's a great idea! I live in a crazy-dry desert climate and wanted to moisturize my fretboards more often than only when I replace the strings.

    XLR8 | Accessories | D'Addario (daddario.com)
    May have been discussed already but what do you all think?
     
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  17. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I have no idea what that stuff is but I don't see how adding a lubricant to strings won't make it less resonant, but I'm not a chemist. Then again, I'm pretty sure I don't want to have to understand chemistry just to maintain my guitar.

    As I used to say, shampoo and conditioner combos are made for people without too much hair to worry about, or are just lazy and want to believe the hype. It neither cleans nor moisturizes as well as stand alone products.

    And to bring my "contribution" to this thread full circle, I have now gone 14 months using only vinegar to wash my hair. Less itchy scalp, less gross build up of "product". And yes I have a LOT of hair. @MTurner, curious if you're still doing this.

    @Randy99CL , for moisturizing the fretboard, I suggest purchasing food grade mineral oil. Its cheaper than any guitar product, harmless to you and your gear, doesn't stink and won't wind up with build up as ALL moisturizers do. Maybe I don't understand how it works or is used, but moisturizing a fretboard by lubing strings seems very indirect and inefficient. I just wipe on some mineral oil during sting changes, then wipe off.
     
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  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I tried that, but people kept mistaking me for a salad. :)

    A while back, I had some fruit flys hanging around and could do nothing about them. I tried various insect-WMDs to no avail, then my sister suggested putting out some apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish detergent, in a shallow container. Literally, ten minutes later, no more problem.
     
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  19. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    Oooh. That’s harsh.
     
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  20. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I thought so too.
     
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