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zorrow

Stupid question: do guitar strings "expire"?

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I've never seen an expiration date on a string package, but I had an old set of D'Addarios around and just put them on a guitar. The package was sealed and they looked "brand new", shiny and all, but when I plugged the guitar, its sound became dull as hell, like it had lost a big part of its sustain. I tried a couple of fixes, refusing to blame the strings at first, but ended replacing them again by a new set... and now the problem is gone! Do guitar strings expire then? :unsure:

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Maybe oxidation.

Packaging does not prevent oxidation, it only slows it down

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Just personal experience...I have a nice collection of Steinberger headless guitars and basses; when they went "out of style" in the late 80's I ended up buying a large amount of Rotosound bass strings and D'Addario guitar strings, both double-ball end, and not "sealed" packages, just envelopes. I am still using the stash I bought then, and can't tell the difference between those NOS strings and newly manufactured ones. I think as long as new, factory packaged strings are kept dry and in a reasonably temporate climate, strings will outlive you.

Of course, I can't tell the sonic difference between a $5.99 cheapie guitar cable and a $75.00 gold-plated super conductive triple insulated, cryo-generated cable either, so don't totally trust my ears alone.

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I use D'Addarios too Ionel (grey all nickel 10-45's) but I've noticed you get the occasional set with a bad string or two straight from the pack with them. Never come across a set with more than two bad strings at a time, although I've never used anything too old either.

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I buy Roto Yellows in bulk & have had 1 or 2 baddies (marked) strings in the odd set...

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I'd think not. But as others have discovered. There's bound to be a bad string here and there.

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I occasionally buy the 25-set bulk box from D'Addario (regular 10-46s), and they seem to last just fine, but one box had a bad batch of high 'E' strings that would break at the ball. That was really aggravating, but they sent me 10 replacements when I whined about it.

I found an old set of Slinkys once - still in the sealed package - that had some rust on them. Threw 'em on and they sounded fine.

A dead one here or there is pretty normal, and as long as moisture isn't an issue where they're stored, they should last quite a while. But a whole dead set seems a bit odd.

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I got 5 strings in a sealed set of D'Addarios once.

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I got 5 strings in a sealed set of D'Addarios once.

For a 5-string bass, right? :lol:

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I got 5 strings in a sealed set of D'Addarios once.

For a 5-string bass, right? :lol:

Maybe that was the problem. :unsure:

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