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Are flats supposed to be dirty?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by rabid_granny, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. I just bought a set of D'addario flats - this is the first time I've purchased flatwound strings. The strings are coated with a layer of dust/grime that still won't come off. I wiped all of the strings down several times with tissue paper but the grime is still there, mucking up my hands.

    Did I get a pack of bad strings or are flats supposed to be grimy or is it just the D'addarios?

    (Did I even spell D'addario correctly? Looking at the word makes my head spin.)
  2. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    New strings shouldn't be dirty and D'Adarrio is a reputable company. Return the strings.
  3. Listen


    May 19, 2002
    They shouldn't be dirty new, but they get dirty very easily when used.
  4. Yeah, the strings keep staining my hands a metallic colour. It's like a metallic dust. I'll return them tomorrow.

  5. Grrr...the store that I bought the strings from won't replace my strings or refund my money. They told me to contact D'addario.

    D'addario doesn't have an email address on their website and I have to mail my strings to New Jersey - no guarantee as to when they will respond or how they will compensate me.

    Now I'm out $50 bucks and a set of strings...

  6. bbp


    Jul 25, 2002
    chill out man, nothing wrong with the strings. i use chromes exclusively. just put a new set on the other day. here's what you do. take a little denatured alcohol on a paper towel or rag. run it back and forth over the string a few times. then wipe with a clean cloth. strings are now clean and shiny. this takes longer to write about than it does to do.

    my guess is this is residue left over from the plating process or something. in any event, it has nothing to do with the quality of the strings. just one of those things ya gotta do.
  7. I just need to vent. You have no idea how dirty these strings are. It's like a thick coat of grime that covers the entire string, for all four.

    Trust me, I spent a good 20 minutes wiping these strings down with Kleenex and it STILL stains my fingers A LOT (Imagine rubbing a gray charcoal pencil between your fingers).
  8. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    You should post the name of the store that won't make good on this purchase so that musicians in your area will avoid the place...a music store that won't make good on bad merchandise doesn't deserve the patronage of musicians.

    Go in when the place is busy and make sure people hear you when you say "WHAT ! You won't exchange a defective product ? What kind of disreputable establishment is this? "
  9. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Now for some info you can actually use. D'Addario is great about backing their products. Under the frequently asked questions section of the website, they should have a question about what to do in case of a string defect. There is an address listed. Mail your string/strings to this address with the packaging which contains a Q-Code on it. This allows them to tell which batch it came out of and why the defect happened. Put a brief explanation of the problem and your return address and they will replace the bad strings plus probably give you extra. I had a faulty E string in an EXL165 set and they sent a new string plus a whole new set. I don't think the music store is responsible for defective strings unfortunately.
  10. I saw that information the website right after coming back from the store. The guy at the store said I should complain to D'addario and big companies usually send a couple sets of strings back.

    But the thing that bugs me is that a lot can go wrong and I'll be out $50. It could get lost in the mail or D'addario's administration could just bungle the whole thing at their end. Why can't I just exchange the strings at the store?

    And I agree that the store isn't responsible for the strings because they were sealed. But why can't D'addario have a more convenient return policy? I'm going to add that to my letter.
  11. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    ANY reputable music store in the NYC area would exchange those strings....no questions asked.

    It's the same as if you bought a sealed pair of briefs and you opened them and they were SOILED (get it?). The store would take them back and give you a clean pair.
  12. sleazylenny


    Jun 20, 2002
    Mpls, MN
    Here's the deal. Music stores are in much better contact with the product companies. It's waaaay easier for them to return bad product for credit than it is for the customer to jump through the hoops. Your music store should've taken the strings back, no questions asked. Find another store.
  13. awesome


    Aug 14, 2002
    Mine were dirty aswell, but they sounded good so what's the problem?
  14. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Sorry to dig up this old thread, but I got a set of Labella flat wounds and they are doing the same thing. There is a lot of metal dust all over the strings and it is coming off all over my hands. I want to be sure that they aren't supposed to do this. They sound good, but they make my fingers grey and dirty.

  15. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My D'Addario chromes did this. Metallic dust stained the maple fingerboard until i washed it. Its normal i guess.
  16. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    They do this, just wipe em down when you first put them on and it'll be fine. Nothin wrong with the strings, they're just dirty from the factory.
  17. I think that it is a sign that you should not be using flatwound strings! But seriously, I find that most nickel round wounds do the same thing to my fingers as well. Its just oxidation that causes the coating on the strings to develop especially if the strings have just sat around for a long period of time. Also some people (like myself) have skin that is more acidic and reacts with the alloys in the strings, I also cannot wear any gold or silver jewllery for this reason. I also find that I do not have this problem with stainless steel strings, and my wedding band is platinum. So maybe try some stainless flats, or Rotosound Monel.

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