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rombsix

Posts: 7619
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

Bass strings smell bad 

Hi folks - I always used to keep my guitars in cases but more recently I started getting lazy and keeping them outside on the bed. The room conditions are controlled so humidity is in the range of 40 to 60% and temperature is in the range of 65 to 75 degrees F. Since I started doing that, I noticed that the strings smell really bad and after I play, my fingers stink of a rusty kind of smell. The strings don't look deteriorated and still sound fine, but the smell is something I have never had before when I would store the guitars in the cases all the time. I tried an experiment and got one of the stinky guitars and put it back in the case for a few days, and the stinky strings returned to normal with no more stinkage. Just wondering why this may be happening? Thanks!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 13 2018 19:57:43
 
gondorbell

Posts: 55
Joined: Mar. 10 2018
From: Finland

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

its https://www.webmd.com/allergies/multiple-chemical-sensitivity#1
or https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2074301/Woman-with-objects-fetish-marries-Eiffel-Tower.html
cin cin by the way i will look your stuff some day

Pietari, kippish

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 13 2018 22:28:18
 
gondorbell

Posts: 55
Joined: Mar. 10 2018
From: Finland

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

:D humour

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 13 2018 22:30:30
 
JasonM

Posts: 1827
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

Sounds like humidity. It’s been a wet season on the east coast after all and it spikes up to 70% in my house even with central AC. Maybe 60% humidity for sustained periods is enough combined with your brand of strings. I leave my guitar out of the case during the drier months with no string corrosion problems but it’s been so rainy I’ve been keeping it in the case all summer.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2018 0:46:20
 
Piwin

Posts: 3404
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

I've had this happen to me before.
It's the stinky string elves. I know they're common in the high slopes of the Sierra Nevada, and you can sometimes find them as far North as Jaen. But I'd never heard of them ever getting as far as the US. Maybe they got stuck in a suitcase from a friend of yours who visited Spain?
In any case, they're no trouble really. Either leave your guitar in the case, or, if you want to leave it out, put a cookie on the guitar before you go to sleep. That usually keeps them content and distracted from their usual shenanigans.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2018 7:26:57
 
tele

Posts: 1462
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

try silver strings or the ones that look like gold?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2018 12:28:04
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

Are we certain it’s not your upper lip??? Hmmmm???

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2018 19:08:23
 
rombsix

Posts: 7619
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to Leñador

quote:

Are we certain it’s not your upper lip??? Hmmmm???


I had other people smell my fingers. They confirmed the finding. Maybe it's their upper lips too.

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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2018 20:20:25
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3223
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

While I was a starving grad student in a previous geological era, when our Leonidas basses (bought in Mexico) sounded too dull, we would take them off, soak them in soapy water, rinse them, and let them dry out overnight. When we put them back on they might not have been quite as good as new, but they would improve significantly.

As a bonus, they never stank.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2018 23:24:09
 
RobF

Posts: 1236
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

I think tele might be on the right track in recommending experimenting with a different type of string. The presence of a “rusty” smell points to some level of corrosion and there may also be some bacterial or other kind of environmental reactivity going on that we’ll probably never solve.

Maybe try a coated string like an EXP on the guitar you’d like to leave out to be within easy reach? Also, a quick wipe with a clean cloth after playing might help.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 15 2018 1:49:30
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

I am aware about distinctively differing skin / perspiration / excretion types. There are some who let your strings corrode (in the case) after only one time of touching them.

From own use at least I have never experienced any effects other than wear. Apart from that, can´t imagine Augustine basses to ever develop a kind of smell.

If I may repeat myself while being even more convinced than ever before:
In view of me trying out diverse sets from several makers ... Apart from eventual delicate guitar builds which can´t take the pull; I really can´t see a benefit of using anything other than Augustine blue.

For me other stuff takes the joy of playing and sounding from me even on absolutely responsive guitars of perfect articulation.

In fact the slack and dull characteristics of alternative choice (that were left over in my closet) have made me neglect the guitars since a much too long time now (as A. blue can´t hardly be found here and if, at sheer incredible prices like equivalent to ~ 200 bucks).

And I can´t wait for a friend who´ll be arriving here next week with some sets of imperial / blue for to then get back to relishing the actual beauty of my instruments and be inspired again.

Like every other time, the maker who brought a goods to market first, keeps staying unreached example for its followers in the market niche.

Long live A. blue with a liveliness, brilliance and durability like no other -and without stink!

Try them out by all means, guys, if you like your axes to really sing.
Only make sure to avoid plagiarism.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 15 2018 13:52:10
 
rombsix

Posts: 7619
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

Augustine blue.


https://www.stringsbymail.com/augustine-classic-blue-mt-ht-classical-guitar-strings-full-set-1356.html

These ones?

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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 15 2018 16:10:37
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

Yes.
Or these https://www.stringsbymail.com/augustine-imperial-blue-mt-ht-classical-guitar-strings-full-set-41.html

Though having not noticed such myself, there have been a small number of users who found the "classic" trebles (contained in above posts standard set) either inaccurate in regard of intonation or too soft tactile wise. They then preferred the other two treble versions.

The range with Augustine trebles is "classic" (low tension), "imperial" (middle tension) and "regal" (high tension).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 15 2018 16:42:32
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

User reviews most accurately matching my experience since ~ 1975

quote:


I remember recording a bit of guitar for a project and then broke a string (they were really old strings). I bought package after package not able to get the same sound again...all these different brands. I couldn't believe how much it mattered...now I will only ever use these. This is what I was using, Augustine blue. Guitarists who listen to my classical recordings sometimes compliment me on my sound and I know I owe it in part to string choice :)
-

No complaints with string life or tuning, just an amazing sounding reliable string!
-


They are not soft feeling and have good definition in sound as far as nylon strings go. I used to work in a music store and tried all the nylon string types. Not all are created equal. These are my choice.
-


There is no comparison. Augustines are simply the best. Don't let their price fool you, they are an exceptional value. They make my guitar sound like no other. Warm, incredible sustain. They incredibly make me want to practice. They are aso very long lasting. And no, Over received no compensation for this review.
-


These are simply the best strings. I started with these in 1972, I've tried them on and I keep coming back to these. Although I'm not a conservatory classical guitarist, I play enough (Bossa, Jazz, and othe Latin) on my classic guitar to know what works. The bottom line is if you like a high tension String don't waste your time with anything else but these!
-

If you're looking for the best classical strings money can buy, then look no further than Augustine. The blues are a bit stiff for my liking, but they would be perfect for a Flamenco player or someone who likes to hammer and they sound very crisp & bright.
-


These are the only ones I use
-


Augustine.... enough said
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 15 2018 17:42:16
 
kitarist

Posts: 1491
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to Ruphus

OK FINE. You just made me order the Augustine HT basses.

I ordered just the bass set, not the whole thing, from here: Augustine Blue High Tension Classical Guitar Strings, Bass Set.

If I don't like them, I will hold you PERSONALLY responsible.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 15 2018 18:56:33
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

Me and Jorge Caballero.

Why just basses?
Me thinks it´d be olny better to have that Augustine feeling across the six.

These guys have always been a bit behind with marketing.
If there are visible differences with packages of plagiarism they could provide some hints on their website.

With such sets that I had once or twice, I remember noting slight differences with label and plastic foil.
And I beleive the trebles ends were not blue too. (Then again thinking them to have had colorless ones among orginal batches too.)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 15 2018 20:39:12
 
kitarist

Posts: 1491
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ruphus

Why just basses?


I use Savarez high tension Alliance KF ("carbon") trebles - these ones: Savarez Alliance 540J_Trebles HT Classical Guitar Strings, Treble Set - and have not found anything that even approaches their sound and feel [on my guitar] - and I've tried many different trebles. So I am happy with the trebles I have

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 15 2018 20:46:11
 
JasonM

Posts: 1827
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to Ruphus

I’ve been using Luthier 20’s for the last 2 years with no smelly basses. But I might have to try these Augustines - assuming the tension works for my guitar.

Reminds me, I have one of those tarnish cloths that you use to wipe down your strings. Might help, I’m too lazy to use it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2018 0:49:53
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

Those Savarez carbons must be very different from Savarez Corum 550J high tension nylon trebels that bored me to troubles, hehe. Still got at least one set of those.

I fancy, if I ever ending up as Robinson Crusoe in the Caribbean me could use them for fishing maybe, while the basses could serve for sawing off branches. That´s why I keep them and other brand new makes. :O)

I guess, as long as one´s sweat ain´t acidy, there is no need to wipe anything off.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2018 7:50:21
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

A friend brought with him three sets of Augustine blue. Actually me was wanting those with imperial trebles, but as he didn´t follow a link provided / purchased somewhere else, thinking lighter blue label to be same as the darker one, I am back to the old and trusted "classic" trebles.

Long, way too long, had I been staying away from the guitars, stringed with mediocre fish lines and wounded somethings. Uninspired and lacking groove.

Today, I took down a far from worn set (Hannabach silver HT. Though far from close to the real thing, me thinks these used to be better in the past) and dressed up the long craved for King of strings.

Augustines to my experience are the only ones that allow you playing away right after stringing, with merely re-tweaking in between. Which to me is appearing like a small physical wonder, considering that they are the most durable in the same time. -As it just comes to me; maybe it is only consistent, that strings may hold pitch faster based on the same circumstance that makes them lasting. (Less of stretch / giving in.)

Anyway, stringed, roughly tuned, and there you go. My favorite axe is back to its whole merits. (Even laymen had remarked months ago that the instrument sounded exceptional, however that there was some restriction in sound which ought to be coming from the strings! -Without me having mentioned anything about it, mind you.)

Crisp and growling again. And that unique pliability evenly across six! Haptic response and vitality under the right hand. Yummy!

The brand has changed the packaging and introduced a weird pairing confusing yours truly a bit. And once again the trebles have no blue ends, besides.

Further, the low E in this set was just long enough to barely get it around the roller. Which, after only decades, made me finally realize how the loosely wrapped ends of the basses actually are meant to be used. Took the not yet wound up string off again and turned it around.

Used to think those loose ends were aimed at threading at the bridge (with the stiff part ending right at the dorsal side of bridge hole. Only that that part of the string would be way too long / ending up with excess there.)

Instead it makes sense to have the flexibility for arranging the one-time twist at the roller (with the 'knot' still ending up in the stiff region [you want as little of windings around the roller as possible anyway]), while the stiff end is of better use at the bridge.



Whatever. This has been a decade of trying out other makes.
Unless a guitar actually required less of tension (which would probably be best covered with this very brand again) no other produce for me ever again.

Nothing matches the beauty of the blue set. Not even nearly.
Me had been on the right strings for the first 30+ years already. -And used to be relatively content already with student level instruments back then, now suspecting the dissatisfaction of many in the community to be partially based on string choice.

Strings that come along like nylon stockings and can´t bother a guitar to wake up and sing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 16:44:17
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3388
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

quote:

I always used to keep my guitars in cases but more recently I started getting lazy and keeping them outside on the bed


Never lay a guitar on a bed - very, very bad luck if you do that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 20:59:30
 
rombsix

Posts: 7619
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

Never lay a guitar on a bed - very, very bad luck if you do that.


Why? LOL

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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 21:23:31
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3388
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

quote:

Why? LOL




cuz it makes yer strings smell!

I think I heard somewhere maybe Camarón would freak out if someone laid a guitar on a bed 'cos of bad luck... I can't actually remember if it was Camarón or where I heard of it from.... but sort of makes sense in case someone sits or lays on the bed and breaks the guitar.

I think there is also a superstition in Spain about laying hats on beds being bad luck, so maybe it is just the guitarists version of that?!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 22:38:35
 
edguerin

Posts: 1563
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

quote:

Never lay a guitar on a bed

Reminds me of the prodigious octopus, that could play any instrument it was given within but a few hours...
When they gave him an Irish bagpipe it didn't work.
So they asked him why he couldn't play it.
"Play it?
Gee, I was trying to lay it."

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El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2018 16:26:15
 
rombsix

Posts: 7619
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to edguerin

quote:

"Play it?
Gee, I was trying to lay it."




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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2018 2:42:09
 
jalalkun

Posts: 276
Joined: May 3 2017
From: Iraq, living in Cologne, Germany

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to rombsix

I would also speculate the type of fingerboard wood dictates how fast the bass strings deteriorate/oxidate and thus start to smell. my lowcost steel string guitar made very good elixir strings stink like after a month and on my Höfner classical guitar (played savarez for a long time, then changed to luthier 20) they usually took a little longer, about 3 months or so. yes, i'm a lazy string changer. oddly enough, I don't remember when I changed strings on my new guitar, maybe in august or maybe even july... and they just now started to produce a slight rusty oxidated smell, barely noticeable and only after a longer session of playing. it might be the strings, might be the fretboard wood, might even be the frets and what they're made of.

EDIT after carefully reading other replies: it might be your fingers ya zalame!!! clean all that sweat and gunk off man

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2018 22:17:22
 
rombsix

Posts: 7619
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Bass strings smell bad (in reply to jalalkun

quote:

it might be your fingers ya zalame!!! clean all that sweat and gunk off man


No way! It was definitely just the humidity. When I started to put them back in the cases, the same stinky strings (and same fingers LOL) went back to being non-stinky.

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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2018 22:57:14
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