Answer #1: Well, after 7 years, many strings would tend to have similar timbral characteristics. A set of nickel rounds that is seven years old may not sound that different from a set of flats, especially if they'd been played heavily.
Answer #2: Many of those who think that flats are all dead and thumpy (even when new or near new), would likely just answer yes right off the bat.
Answer #3: No.
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