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Ask the Experts

09/30/2010 05:00PM ● Published by Style

Q: I recently started playing with my dad’s old acoustic guitar and am unsure how often I’m supposed to replace the strings and/or what strings I should use?

A: I have played with guitarists who change their strings every three weeks. Personally, I have played strings over a year old, and they’ve still sounded great. I think the true answer considers lots of factors: types of strings (steel or nylon), corrosion, fatigue from frequent or hard play, and the guitar set-up itself. My best recommendation is to bring the instrument in to your local music store, let them strum it, and have them give you their best advice.

­— Jonathan Cantin, Manager
Main Street Music

263 Main Street, Placerville
530-622-1357

Q: What’s the best way to clean and care for a diamond?

A: The good news is diamonds are very hard and resistant to chemicals so you can clean them with anything. You can use a mix of ammonia and water at home – just rinse well so the skin on your finger doesn’t get irritated. My only caution is don’t use toothpaste...it won’t hurt the diamond but it will dull gold and platinum. The best way to take care of your diamond is to bring it to a professional jeweler twice a year to be cleaned and have the setting checked for security; most jewelers will do this for free.

­— Charles Stephens
Randolph Jewelers, Placerville
530-622-3787
randolphsjewelry.com

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