This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

I made a test: how does the age of the strings change the sound of guitar and bass

Discussion in 'Production' started by ahjteam, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. ahjteam

    ahjteam Anssi Tenhunen

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    9,394
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Virrat/Helsinki, Finland
    We had to do a "laboratory test" on a free subject for our university class, and I did a test with my schoolmate Anu on the effect on the age of the strings. What happaned was that one of my strings snapped on my guitar, and the strings were like 2 months old, so we recorded a clip with both clean sound (with slight distortion on the amp) and with high-gain distortion and then changed the strings. With bass we recorded a clip with year old strings, then we boiled them in hot water for a good 20 minutes.

    Then we also analyzed the difference in the spectrum analyzer and noticed that in the 0-2khz area there was no major change at all, but on the 3-16khz range the clarity increased a lot, like on the 8khz region in the DI track the difference was as much as 8dB. Even if you can't see the difference in the spectrum, you could still clearly HEAR the difference, which is the main point of the test anyway.

    Files: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1338211/Kielitesti.zip (~52 mb)

    Order on the clip is (but I highly suggest that you import the clip into a DAW anyways for better comparison):
    old guitar strings - clean
    old guitar strings - distortion
    new guitar strings - distortion
    new guitar strings - clean
    old bass strings - clean
    boiled bass strings - clean

    Amps used: Mesa Dual Rectifier (Clean channel and Red channel) and 2x12" cabinet with V30's, Orange Crush 1x15" bass amp to Röde M3 mic to M-Audio ProFire 610. The playing and amp settings on the clips is irrelevant, as the settings and mic position were not changed and main point is just to demonstrate the difference in the sound.

    What I was surprised about was that even tho I didn't have much gain on the Red channel (about 1 o clock), the difference in the tone compared from old to new strings was really minimal. But I did have the tone setting on the tubescreamer at about 10 o clock, so that also helped in "evening" the sound of the new strings compared to the old strings.

    Comments?
     
  2. Beneath_the_Bliss

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    U.K
    interesting tests pal. I've always been told that you should always restring guitars before recording, but I've always been put off by using brand new strings for recording metal because I feel some of the tone is lost and it's alot harder to do pinch harmonics. I don't know if anyone else has had the same problem? oh, it's not like i'm using an anti-metal guitar either (Epi Les Paul Custom- EMG loaded)
     
  3. Sixstringmayhem

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Wait...you can boil bass strings to clean them?? This I did not know.
    Awesome test though, I underestimated how much difference new strings make
    thanks!
     
  4. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    To be honest if anything the opposite is true. Even after a few hours of playing strings start to lose high end and it can't be compensated for with eq. You just end up boosting high frequencies that don't have useful content anymore and end up getting more fizz.
    I change strings every day that I'm recording, sometimes twice a day if we're doing guitars for a long time.
    I've found guitar players tend to be a bit resistant to this as normally they keep strings on for weeks or months at a time, and they get used to the sound of the guitar with dull strings, so it becomes strange to them for their guitar to sound bright and actually have it's full frequency content. Makes such a massive difference in the mix though.
     
  5. jpsmithrocks

    jpsmithrocks Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    + 1

    while in the studio we change strings everyday and for live use usually every other show...
     

Share This Page