Aged strings.

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    Alison on #76868

    If I am to replace strings simply because of their age, should I do this so that they settle down BEFORE the harp is serviced ? None is frayed but some have become dried out, one or two are dull. Presumably I should replace a section, without keeping selected ones which ‘seem’ okay. As modern strings are of such good quality I rarely get frayed ones, so I usually only replace casualties. That technical site by Mike Lewis has really helped.

    Angela Biggs on #76869

    Yes. Replace the strings at least two weeks before your service appointment, which is about how long it takes a newly-strung harp to hold pitch reliably. There is some variation in that, but two weeks is usually safe.

    I was also skeptical about timed-obsolescence for strings, until I changed mine at about two years last winter. (The rule of thumb I’ve heard is yearly replacement for professionals, every-other-year for hobbyists/amateurs.) It made a huge difference. You don’t necessarily hear the strings declining in quality because it happens so slowly, but you’ll immediately notice how much better they sound once you get the new ones up to pitch. Happy harping. 🙂

    Tacye on #76870

    If you are changing strings which seem OK it can be worth while keeping the old ones for emergency spares. I find that putting a string back on the harp it keeps pitch faster than a new one as the knot is already pulled tight, so this can be worthwhile if one goes just before a concert.

    Carlin on #76871

    Tacye, how do you put on an old string back on a harp? I can never manage to put on a new string without enough spare length to hold on to while turning..

    Alison on #76872

    reusing an old string – yes it’s tricky so you have to hold the tip with pliers whilst you wind the tuning pin. I usually save old strings for a smaller harp, but it won’t want old dead ones. I understand the need now; that fresh strings will be like new clothes, but not looking forward to using up all my spares.

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