Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

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MSEV
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:08 pm
Location: Omaha

Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

Post: # 2547Post MSEV
Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:48 pm

Ok, maybe this should be a more general topic, but I am talking specifically about my three acoustic guitars which are all Collings.
And the two older guitars haven't had the strings changed on them in years. I am not kidding, years.
I got a new Collings a couple months ago, so I got to play a guitar with new strings--it was/is glorious. One might think hearing that lovely sound of new strings on a Collings would get me to change strings on the two older guitars. But it hasn't. And to be certain, both of them sound mighty fine just the way they are.
If it matters to you, the new Collings is an 001A 14 fret, and it is a spectacular guitar. The Adirondack was warm and nice on the first strum.
The older two are also small bodied, both also short scale (obviously my preference).
The two year old is an 01AVN SB (western shade, rope, long dots) and I have never changed the strings. Its Adirondack top was harsh to my ear when brand new, and I did not really like that guitar. I Tone-Rited it for weeks on a couple of occasions to get it loosened up a bit, to get some better volume. I even took it back to my dealer and asked for his opinion. He said it was just fine (and, really, I've known this guy for over ten years and he shoots straight with me). So I kept it, and it has the same strings as what came with it. But over the last year or so, it has "opened up" to use the phrase we pass around that has more meaning for some of us than others. But it is a whole lot better and I am glad I still have it. It is dreamy. Single 0s can be rather amazing.
Number three is often considered my number one guitar, I have had it the longest (I think seven years) and it was custom ordered (pretty much like the others--I know what I want usually with guitars). I know that it has strings that are, I am embarrassed to say, going on seven years old. I know that because I changed them for my son's wedding which was seven years ago come September. This wonder of a Collings is a C-10 (mahogany with a German top), SSSB, with the darker burst, MOMs, flourish on the peghead, rope. It has a K&K mini in it. It is a keeper. I have had at least two other C-10s, one a varnish, and this one I have is a splendid example of Collings engineering. I almost sold it once, but grabbed some insight and did not let it go.
So, I have the new 00 with (still) new (sounding) strings. I have the two older guitars (the 01A and the C-10) with old (and even older strings). They are all three killer sounding just as they are, whatever their string condition. And they are killer looking. What a blessing to have three stellar looking and sounding Collings small bodies.
But let's get to the discussion issue: those two with old strings sound fantastic.
Perhaps there is something wrong with me (too lazy? happy with the current sound?) that I don't change those strings?
Heck, if I want to hear new strings, I just pull out the 00!
Thoughts?
Bob K
Omaha

pto
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:40 am

Re: Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

Post: # 2548Post pto
Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:09 pm

i love the sound of old strings on guitars. as long as they stay in tune. d'Ad p-b's is all i use. i don't play hard and i don't have chemistry problems as far as i can tell. of course, as the pbs turn color bigtime, then i make a change. usually...

jackorion
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:39 pm

Re: Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

Post: # 2550Post jackorion
Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:57 am

Well I'm not sure about 7 years but I have recently switched to 80/20 after years of PB and I find that I prefer the aged tone of the 80/20s to the aged tone of PBs - I think the 80/20s have a nice 'woody-ness' as they age.

I've also this week done something I've never done before which is put back on a set of strings after a string change - I tried some John Pearce new mediums and didn't like them at all so I put back on the Daddario EJ11 that had been on my OM2hT for about a month and they still sound great!

MSEV
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:08 pm
Location: Omaha

Re: Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

Post: # 2559Post MSEV
Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:49 pm

Ah oh. I noticed something funny sounding about my C-10, the one with the six plus year strings. I didn't like something about that sound. I may have to put on new strings...
Can I remember how?
Bob K
Omaha

JohnB
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:18 pm

Re: Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

Post: # 2562Post JohnB
Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:44 am

Bob--was about to write to ask if you're ever curious that the great sound of the older guitars is the age of the guitars, and, maybe, they might sound even better with new strings? But your last post seems to suggest you might be mulling something like that over. And, good luck remembering how to change strings. I somehow got through that puzzled moment after letting the strings stay on the guitars for just a couple of months? Years? Oh my.

Hokiebob
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:22 pm
Location: Mint Hill, NC

Re: Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

Post: # 2571Post Hokiebob
Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:34 pm

I used to be in a rush to declare my strings too old to play and change them out. A couple of years ago out of laziness I slowed that down. Not 7 years slow but closer to a year. I still love the sound of my guitars. My house stays at a fairly constant temperature and humidity so my guitars stay in tune for days even with the older strings.

MSEV
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:08 pm
Location: Omaha

Re: Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

Post: # 2575Post MSEV
Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:18 pm

I think part of the reason that the strings on the C-10 didn't bother me was because I wasn't playing it as much and only playing it softly. As I mentioned above, last week, it sounded off to me. I changed the strings yesterday. I did remember how to change strings, with one small hitch that I just had to think a second to remember how I did that piece (that is, how I leave enough string to have enough to wrap around the post but not too much).
The guitar sounds different, and, at least to my ear, better with the new strings. They're bright and new right now. We'll see how they are in a week or so.
Bob K
Omaha

Silly Moustache
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:58 am

Re: Collings Acoustics and Old Strings

Post: # 2604Post Silly Moustache
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:21 pm

Hi, I used to change strings on all my 6 string flat-tops every two months, 12 strings, mando and Dobro every three.
Things changed in 2017 when I had cancer treatment - got very weak, and lost my voice, and I couldn't think of playing for some months. In the caes the strings held out pretty well, looked dair, but when I did change thenm the difference was remarkable.

I Got back into things by the middle of last year, but apart from weekly get togethers with "the boys" and twice monthly club nights, not so much.
I changed to 3 monthly intervals and more for the even less used instruments.

This year, so far, every four months from November on.

Mostly standard EJ 16s (little'uns) and Ej17s big'uns.

Then, in March - lockdown! (I closed my club two weeks earlier).

It doesn't seem to make much difference noddling at home, but as soon as yu start to play them in a normal performance setting you perceivethe lack of ... whatever it is.

I've stocked up for 2021 - Brexit year, as I reckon non essentials will be difficult to find, or pay for. Prices have already gone up appreceiably.

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