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Tony’s Acoustic Challenge – The New Way to Learn Guitar Family Forums Community Support Help – Changed Strings and now having issues

  • Help – Changed Strings and now having issues

    Posted by speckpgh on May 18, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    So after 4 months of playing decided to try changing the the strings on my FG800… Got some D’Addario Light Phosphor Bronze strings, which best I could tell were the same guage as the factory strings, and changed the strings no issues (well physically getting them on and in tune anyway).

    Unfortunately the high strings now seem to have something off, when I strum them, particularly together, they almost sound sharp for a moment before they settle down and sound like I would expect them to.

    I have checked and adjusted the action, thinking perhaps they were too low and hitting frets, but no change. I have looked at all the frets, seeing if any have popped up or out of place, but best I can tell nothing seems to be wrong with them.

    Is there anything else I should look at or try? I am willing to take it to a luthier, but I have to believe its something simple that is the root cause and I’m just not able to figure out what it is… and its so annoying It actually is turning me off from playing.

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    speckpgh replied 1 year, 10 months ago 9 Members · 26 Replies
  • 26 Replies
  • Loraine

    Member
    May 18, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    Sounds to me like it just might be due to strings being a different gauge and possibly manufacturer than what you had on the guitar originally. Most factory setups on new guitars use a medupium gauge string versus a light string. Also, coatings on strings can make a difference too, Another thought is that neck is bowing.

    The only solutions I can think of is to call the luthier first and explain it and see if he’ll offer some free advice or suggestions and avoid the cost of having a set up done if not necessary; try a different set of strings (mids). You can look up what the original strings were that were on the guitar at purchase. Usually on manufacturer website or using Google search.; As a last resort, You can take it to the luthier.

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 19, 2022 at 12:24 pm

      @Loraine thank you for the feedback. I am not opposed too having a professional setup done, however when I inquired how long it will take last I was in the shop (before this issue began) I was told 2 weeks… and I’ll be honest I don’t want to go 2 weeks without playing guitar.

      My main goal is to play at my Mother’s 70th birthday this summer, entire family is getting together for a week to celebrate. I have never touched a guitar in any meaningful way before January of this year. Neither she, or any of my family know I have taken up guitar, so it will hopefully be a nice surprise. I am trying to get as much time playing as I can in before the big “debut”. I really don’t want to buy a 2nd guitar at this point, and don’t want to give up daily playing for 2 weeks, so I decided to forgo the setup. Looks like I may not have a choice now, this is so annoying that I don’t think I have much of a choice if I can’t figure it out… the B String in particular is like fingernails on a chalkboard when acts up.

      I hate to lose 2 weeks, I may have to buy a cheaper “fill in” guitar for that period, which isn’t the end of the world, but just hate to buy an even cheaper guitar for such a short time, because I know I won’t touch it again once I get the FG800 back… and I don’t feel I am far enough along to justify buying a “really nice” guitar yet either. Plan was put a year or two on this one and if still advancing and interested in it, then go buy a nice guitar.

      But as the saying goes… “Men plan, God Laughs”.

      • Loraine

        Member
        May 19, 2022 at 5:24 pm

        2 weeks without a guitar may seem like forever, but it’s like getting an all new guitar back. Try switching out the strings for a different gauge. One solution to buying a 2nd guitar is to look at resale shops. I bought 2 inexpensive guitars that way through Goodwill. You’d have a guitar to fall back on when these things arise. I’d give you one of them if you were nearby. That’s another option is to borrow one from someone or even rent one while your guitar’s in the shop.

      • speckpgh

        Member
        May 20, 2022 at 12:53 pm

        I wouldn’t mind 2 weeks in a different situation, but working against a very tight deadline that’s too much down time. I am going to stop by another shop this weekend in town and see if maybe they can help. I know whatever this is it has to be something minor that I am just not seeing… either that or somehow I truly did damage something that isn’t obvious.

      • jumpinjeff

        Member
        May 20, 2022 at 6:42 pm

        I had one more thought @speckpgh : make sure your string ball ends are seated on the bridge plate…? This would not cause the strings to make a sharp tone but you may get some extra unintended jangle if they are not snug on the bridge plate. You can check this if you have an inspection mirror or if not loosen your strings enough so you can get your hand in the sound hole and feel up underneath the bridge (I have XL hands and can get into most of my guitars); you will feel the bridge pins and then you can feel up to where the ball ends are and they should be in contact with your bridge plate. Look for a uniform feel beween you low strings and high strings. If you feel one or two of the balls are hanging into the guitar that may be some of it. Loosen your pin and pull up on the string until flush, reinsert pin, tune back up and good to go.

      • Cadgirl

        Member
        May 22, 2022 at 4:26 am

        @speckpgh , ask about renting a guitar or a loaner guitar while your guitar is in the shop.

  • Bill_Brown

    Member
    May 18, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Hi @speckpgh , I looked up the specs on the strings for the FG800, and they’re fitted with the D’Addario EXP11’s as the OEM strings. Don’t know if this helps you?

    I live in Plum, and I’m looking for a chance to get together with another TACer to do some kind of Jam session (COVID19 permitting), maybe meeting in a local park shelter ? You can message me if you’re interested.

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 19, 2022 at 12:06 pm

      Hi @Bill_Brown ,

      Thanks for the info on the strings.

      Happy to get together sometime. I’m near Carnegie

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 19, 2022 at 12:28 pm

      Bill I put D’Addario EJ16s on them which are the same gauge, but are phosphorus bronze, instead of 80/20… so I would expect a tinnier sound from them, but this is more than just slightly “brigher”.

      • Bill_Brown

        Member
        May 19, 2022 at 4:52 pm

        Hey @speckpgh , just a thought about the string replacement. First time I changed my strings, I noticed I had an issue with the B & hiE strings not being seated properly on the bone portion of the bridge – the spacing was slightly off – so I knew something was not right. There wasn’t any noticeable groove for those strings in the bone, so it was really hard to tell, other than the spacing between the strings was slightly off. I noticed it right away (didn’t play anything to hear if the sound was effected), but just wondering if your problem could be a result of what happened to me?

      • speckpgh

        Member
        May 20, 2022 at 12:49 pm

        I’m honestly not sure, but it definitely appears to be something I am going to try another guitar store in town and see if they can help me. Plan on stopping in tomorrow.

  • JoeT

    Member
    May 19, 2022 at 5:31 am

    Hello there “speckpgh” not sure if this is the root of your issue, but I have a couple of high end Martin’s where when I purchased them at times there was a weird twang while picking the open high E and B strings, I tried everything, changing strings, adjusting the action and adjusting the truss rod. Nothing worked until I started looking into “humidity” guitars have very thin woods and depending on your geographical location it could be a factor. I purchased a humidity meter and a humidifier, checked with the manufacture and boom issue went away. Hope this helps

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 19, 2022 at 12:08 pm

      @JoeT Thanks, I don’t think its humidity, haven’t had any radical changes there recently, and I have gotten it to be “better” but the B string in particular is still just annoying as all heck. I thought perhaps bracing had come loose or something since it was do drastic after the change and only on those strings, that perhaps something had come lose, but I don’t feel anything has detached or lose in the guitar when I examine it, but thank you for the suggestion.

  • jumpinjeff

    Member
    May 19, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Maybe they are sharp? Did you put your tuner on to see the degree of sharpness?

    All things equal they should sound the same as your old strings assuming your attack has not changed either. But then again "should and equal" are not what you have going on right?

    The suggestions that the strings may be different guage are valid. Strings with different gauge have different tension. This could lead to variation in your attack. I put in a link to youtube that is great to see what happens to strings as they are activated. Depending on how you attack the strings they do differnent things. The more precise your attack is,.. the less distortion your string will make.(The more they vibrate parallel to the fretboard verses perpendicular, including going round and round.) Not saying that is the issue but it may be part of it.

    I like @Bill_Brown ‘s research result and I would go as far as recomending putting those strings on your guitar and then work on you attack: meaning, can you find a way that does not induce the sound you don’t like…? That is the low cost way. If after that you still have issue take it in to a luthier show what the problem is and see what can be done.

    https://youtu.be/6sgI7S_G-XIhttps://youtu.be/6sgI7S_G-XI

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 19, 2022 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks Jeff, I have confirmed the gauge is the same.. though they are phosphorus bronze vs 80/20. There is no doubt that how hard the strings are struck definitely impact it, harder strum far more likely to introduce it than lighter, but even lighter it will happen.

      The B string seems to be the worst culprit.. I did fiddle with it some more and got it less, but its still there, and oh so annoying. But thank you for the feedback and I will check out the video.

  • N-lightMike

    Member
    May 19, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    Hummmm, this is interesting @speckpgh .

    So, I would take this guitar into the shop and tell whoever is at the counter what’s going on. I don’t know about your local shop, but when I have had a confounding problem that was possibly an “easy” fix, someone would start checking it out on the spot. It would go into the luthier only if they couldn’t figure it out. This sounds like you might not have gotten the string into the bridge hole properly and/or the bridge pin isn’t seated correctly… maybe. Or the saddle slipped out? Or maybe the nut moved? I’m stretching here, but it maybe something that can be found without a lot of difficulty for someone with experience.

    Anyway, just my random thoughts. I hope you get it fixed. I hope you can find a rental, or one you can borrow, or an appropriate, inexpensive one. Something like that?

    MG 😀

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 20, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks I plan on stopping into a different store this weekend with the guitar to see if they can help.. whatever it is it has to be minor, unless somehow i “broke” something, which I can’t see how I did, but who knows, and nothing is “obviously” visibly wrong that I can tell.

  • Bill_Brown

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Hey @speckpgh , let us know what happens, because all of us guitar geeks need to know (lol), but seriously, we’d like to know👍

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 25, 2022 at 12:22 pm

      Well so far nothing new shop looked at it and said nothing wrong.. and of course couldn’t make it happen or the room had too much background noise to pick it up.. but as soon as home and playing noticed it again… So will be trying again.. .planned on getting a new nut and saddle put in anyway, so will take it back and have them replace the bone, saddle and strings and see what happens.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by  speckpgh.
      • Bill_Brown

        Member
        May 26, 2022 at 7:09 am

        Hey @speckpgh I know it would be a little far for you, but I go to N Stuff Music in Blawnox. Those guys there are fantastic IMHO and several are really good with acoustic guitars. Anyways, what if you just get a new set of strings (D’Addario XP11’s) and start again?

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by  Bill_Brown.
      • speckpgh

        Member
        May 29, 2022 at 9:34 am

        Well that’s what I am going to do, just going to have it professionally restrung and have a replace the saddle and nut with faux bone as well while its in the store. At Hollowood Music in McKees Rocks most likely but thank you for the suggestion

  • JoeT

    Member
    May 21, 2022 at 11:27 am

    Hey there @speck, just a quick thought, do you have an inspection mirror? If you do have a look inside the sound hole and make sure the the ball end of the strings are right up against the bottom side of where the bridge is located, wedged by the bridge pin.

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 25, 2022 at 12:27 pm

      Joe,

      No I don’t have a mirror, but I am tending to think its either that (ball not seated properly) or something with a fret… I have found if I absolute JAM on the B string right up against the 3rd fret, it doesn’t happen, but if I make a 4 finger G I can’t obviously get my ring finger right up to the fret because pinky is in the way, it seems to start, but if I put ungodly amount of pressure on the B string in that position it tends to go away… so its like the sweet spot in the B string went from being serviceable to about 1/2 the fret length with reasonable pressure to maybe 1/4 of the way with very high pressure…

      I’ll pick one up. This was my first suspicion, that the ball wasn’t set tight against the soundboard.

  • Carol-3M-Stillhand

    Member
    May 22, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    @speckpgh lots of great advice already but one thing to check is if your saddle slipped out while you were changing your strings, it’s possible to place it back upside down or backwards… or even not re-placed at all… (TBH, I have actually done this myself)🙄

    Also if your bridgepins are loose/not seated properly, could also wreak havoc. It can’t hurt to take it to your local luthier to give it a quick check- it might turn out to be something quick and easy to adjust. Hey let us know what fixed the problem, it would be interesting to hear the end of the story 🙂

    • speckpgh

      Member
      May 25, 2022 at 12:28 pm

      Carol,

      Thanks I did look at the saddle its definitely not upside down, or backwards, the intonation point (or whatever its called) is properly under the B string. Thank you for the suggestion though

  • Kitman

    Member
    May 27, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Hi @speckpgh . I am a bit late to this discussion. Lots of great advice, perhaps you may want to check the tuner for the B string. I’ve had tuners become a bit loose before and when this happens the string will not stay in tune. Just a suggestion.

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