New Strings vs. Seven-Year-Old Strings. What’s the Difference?

How big a difference is there in the tone of a new set of strings and one that’s been on a guitar for the past seven years?

That’s what guitarist Jens Larsen wondered recently when he pulled out his Gibson ES-175, whose strings hadn’t been changed in seven years. Larsen, whose videos we’ve featured here, had been asked to play a recording session where he needed the guitar. He decided that he would record the sound of the guitar before and after a string change to compare the tone.

“I took the opportunity to make this video of how the difference is in sound through my setup,” he explains. “You’ll probably find it a bit surprising.”

Watch the video below and find out. You can hear the old set about 42 seconds in; Larsen plays with the new set at the 1:09 minute mark. Check it out and see what you think.

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.