After playing for 37+ years, I thought I know where all the big battle lines are drawn: which elements contribute most to tone, etc. But here is an issue I had never come across, and had honestly never thought about: when you first put on the strings, they detune a bit as they settle on the guitar. A common practice is to “stretch” the strings - use your fingers to physically pull on the string, without adding pull on the guitar neck (!), to try to take the play out of the string, and minimize the number of tune-ups required before the tuning is stable.
When you do that string-change stretching, are you: a) “taking the elasticity out of the guitar/string system”; or are you b) “plastically deforming the string”?
Well, all this geekery and more is available in this thread on the Acoustic Guitar Forum: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=408089
Many posters state that this is a topic often discussed on this guitar 'board, and isn’t it amazing some folks think one of those options is true when it simply can’t be. In my years hanging out on guitar 'boards I don’t recall coming across this topic, but maybe my eyes selectively glazed over until now
Enjoy the geekery. For those wanting to be spoiled:
In that thread, various engineer guitarists scoff at the notion of plastic deformity - humans can’t stretch the metal in strings, and if they could, would damage the string! Hah-hah, you silly fool! You are taking the elasticity out of the system as the string ball end settles against the bridge saddle/pin, etc.; pulling the wraps tighter on the peghead, etc. That is the only effect being experienced, silly non-scientist guitar player! Again, I had no idea. I did kinda assume that some stretching of the metal was a factor in this, but…apparently I just typed something stupid.
In the spirit of fighting ignorance, I offer this OP