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Author Topic:  Fresh strings on lap, how often?
Steven Pearce


From:
Port Orchard Washington, USA
Post  Posted 12 May 2021 6:36 pm    
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I’m wondering how often you change your strings. Or do you keep em till they break then replace the broken ones? I been called wasteful because I put fresh strings on every other show (when we were playing shows😎, that’s back in June!). Anyway, and maybe it’s my ears, but after awhile strings seem to go flat. Not out of tune, but dull.? 22 1/2 “
I use Ernie Balls, in sets I put together:
18P
22P
28
38
48
62

I’m just wondering...thanks.
Steve
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 12 May 2021 7:10 pm    
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i keep them on for years, but after all the hassle of changing them...it is really nice to have a new set on.

if the sustain and the pitch is good...leave them alone. broken in strings stay in tune better. its when the sustain starts to impede things that they should be changed.
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Eric Dahlhoff


From:
Point Arena, California
Post  Posted 12 May 2021 8:41 pm     Re: Fresh strings on lap, how often?
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Steven Pearce wrote:

I use Ernie Balls, in sets I put together:
18P
22P
28
38
48
62


Steven, what is the tuning for those strings you're using? I'm guessing "D" or "E"? I ask because I'm trying to figure out a set for a new lap in "D" tuning.

I try to change strings once a year (whether they need it or not) Embarassed
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 12 May 2021 9:45 pm    
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On electrics I’ve read comments from people who like to change strings between sets, from people who say once a week, and from people who say that they like their strings to be “broken in” and don’t change them unless they break.

Acoustics seem to be less forgiving. The strings on my Dobro seem to die after only a couple weeks. On my electrics I don’t change them unless I change the tuning or something happens to them.
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Current Tunings:
E B E G# B D and G B D G B D (6 string)
E B E G# B D E and D G B D G B D (7 string)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
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Glenn Wilde

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 12 May 2021 11:58 pm    
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On my guitars with flats, i never change the wound strings once the tuning is established for that guitar. Acoustics get strings when they start sounding dead, electric's with rounds, same.
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 5:10 am    
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I'm not sure which is the bigger factor but:
1. I'm lazy/parsimonious
2. I don't mind the sound of long-dead strings

As long as they don't get rusty or corroded, they stay on! I like a warmer tone anyway, my tone pot is rarely full on (whereas on conventional guitar/bass I never use the tone pot, always full on).

Edited to add: think I've heard Meg Lovell is similar...preferring old strings for the tone. We go for different sounds/styles but I am similar.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 6:27 am    
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"Fresh strings on lap, how often?"

Seldom (if ever) for me. The only time I would ever renew 'em is if one broke, or if I wanted to set the instrument up in a different tuning that required different gauges. The older the better for me. I'm not a fan of fresh stings on an electric lap steel. Fortunately, they don't stay fresh for long.

Pedal steel? Acoustics? An entirely different situation. I'll change 'em all if one begins to exhibit tuning issues.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 7:20 am    
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This product seems to freshen up and clean the strings.
And they make the bar slide smoother over the strings.

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Tim Whitlock


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 8:46 am    
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I don't like the sizzle of new strings for lap steel. I like 'em old and mellow like me. Cool
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 9:07 am    
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I don’t change them often but when I do it usually makes me happy. I like the sound.
On my old tricones, I used to change the strings once a week and the 3rd string every other day.
One thing I notice is that my plain strings get dents in them, which makes me want to change them when I discover this. So, dents and dullness are the two motivating factors, no specific timeframe.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 9:11 am    
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Mike,
If you're getting dents, you need to ease up on those hammer ons! Laughing
Erv
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 9:37 am    
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Tim Whitlock wrote:
I don't like the sizzle of new strings for lap steel. I like 'em old and mellow like me. Cool


Just how mellow are you Tim?
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 3:37 pm    
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Whether you change them every set or every other Christmas, remember - no-one can make you!

The acid test for me is if a string can't seem to get in tune whether you tighten it or loosen it, then it's lost the will to live and should be allowed to go.
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
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Marc Bell


From:
Surat Thani, TH
Post  Posted 13 May 2021 7:10 pm    
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Regarding Erv's post about Fast Fret, yes brilliant stuff. Keeps my plain strings non rusted for well over a year in the tropics vs a week tops without it.
A neat trick when the fast fret stick gets a bit dry is to drop in a fair few drops of mineral oil and let it soak in, and your fast fret is as good as new. They always seem to dry out long before physically wearing out. my guitars now all smell of cherry blossom too!

edit to add, the only benefit I notice when using a new set of strings as opposed to strings lubed and preserved with FastFret is harmonics are easier to get.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 14 May 2021 6:36 am    
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Marc,
Yes, it's surprising how much gunk you can wipe off the strings after you've used the Fast Fret. Very Happy
Erv
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Steven Pearce


From:
Port Orchard Washington, USA
Post  Posted 14 May 2021 9:44 pm    
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Hey Eric, that one is in D. I play with a thumb pick and bare fingers with this band, and I’m not gentle with this steel. So strings get that thud pretty quick.
I love C6th and A6th Western swing and Hawaiian music, and played with picks and an easier touch, the strings on that steel will stay forever.
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