Advice on shelf-life of strings

March 1, 2005 at 06:09 AM · How many sets of strings do you buy at one time? I am wondering if I should buy two or three sets at a time, since I go through strings about every two to three months ? Is it bad to have them sit around for six months? How long do strings last when not used?

Replies (11)

March 1, 2005 at 06:13 AM · Greeitngs,

I don`t worry abotu shelf life but it doesn`t make sense to buy one set at a tiome if they are packaged and sealed. What happens if you get a dud and you are in the middle of a concert?Cheers,]


March 1, 2005 at 06:20 PM · I decide how many sets of strings to buy at one time by thinking about my budget.

March 1, 2005 at 11:30 PM · Greetings,

budgets are to be thought about and then ignored,



March 2, 2005 at 01:31 AM · Hi,

Shelf life only matters with gut strings as the core dries out and becomes useless (or the string itself if it is plain gut). With synthetics, it makes no difference.

As for budget, let me say this much... why are musicians willing to sacrifice sound for money? Makes no sense to me...


March 3, 2005 at 05:43 AM · Buri, I'm afraid I take your advice about budgets too often.

March 3, 2005 at 05:39 PM · If you want to buy an extra set or 2 I recommend D'Addario strings. They have special packaging for thier strings that prevents corrosion. You can keep them around for years and they will be as fresh as the day you bought them. Southwest strings has the best prices for them and they give you free standard shipping for string orders over $25.

March 3, 2005 at 07:17 PM · I always have a full set so that I don't find myself having to play a 3-string instrument until I get to go downtown. I'm wondering about that long see-through tube that came with my violin case for the purpose of storing strings. It's never been used, yet it must have a purpose. Is there some advantage to keep spare strings in these tubes? Is it so that they're not "curled up" as they are in their packaging, or to protect them from the environment.

March 3, 2005 at 08:57 PM · The string holder tube may be for those of us who use gut strings, the bottom one or two of which are sometimes more or less rigid, and can't be curled up like more modern strings.

I tend to buy one set at a time, and keep a couple of sets of broken-in but not completely destroyed synthetic strings in my string holder for emergencies. That's partly for budget, and partly as I tend to experiment a lot with strings, so I won't order two sets until I'm sure I like the current combination. (I'm currently on Eudoxas w Goldbrokat E, and it has served me well in one concert so far.)

March 3, 2005 at 11:15 PM · Hi,

Francis: I am currently on Eudoxas with a Golden Spiral E and I like them a lot too... what are your overall thoughts on the Eudoxas?


March 4, 2005 at 04:21 PM · I usually keep about 5 sets of Dominants in my case, and I often notice the G string turns a bit black; I think it oxidizes, but I don't know if this has a negative effect on the sound.

I wonder if high humidity affects strings?

March 6, 2005 at 01:43 PM · Hi,

Inge, the string tube is for gut strings that usually come (or came) seperately without enveloppes (Pirastro gut-core strings are like that). There is no real function for any other string unless you lose the enveloppe, I guess...


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