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My fourth string broke a few days back, and fortunately (?) the breakage was near the bridge so I was able to fix it without having to buy a new one. The thing is it's been almost a week and even though my fourth string is tuned spot on, it doesn't sound right. Technically it is a D, but it doesn't sound like a classical-guitar D, it is sharper as if it's acoustic.
I tried an old string and I got the same results. Any help?

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  • If by “sharper” you mean “buzzy,” then the string is probably damaged somewhere besides where it broke, likely something to do with the wrap. Best to invest in a whole new set. – wabisabied Oct 11 '20 at 18:58
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    Personally, I'm in the "if one breaks, replace the whole set" school for strings. – Dave Jacoby Oct 12 '20 at 2:28
  • When a string breaks, the entire length is suspect. They're dirt-cheap. Buy new ones. – Carl Witthoft Oct 12 '20 at 15:26
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To complete on @LaurencePayne 's answer: from the info you give I would assume you are talking about a classical guitar (edit: I now see the tags…), which strings are not ball-ended. If not, you would not have been able to put it back.

If that is correct, you took some length from the peg to compensate the amount you lost. Doing so, you brought some "fresh" string in the playing area where it actually vibrates. By "fresh" I mean unoxided, it does not mean that this part of the string is actually "like new": if the pegs are small, it is likely that the string has been affected by being wrapped around it.

Anyway, the fact is that you now have a string with two different resonating characteristic: the already played part, and the part you brought from the peg. This will surely sound different (how exactly, hard to say) than the previous string.

In all cases, if the string was worn to the point of breaking (and it's not even the treble E!) that it might be worth changing it, like Laurence said (or even the whole set for a more coherent sound, like @Tetsujin said ;) )!

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Does "sharper as if it's acoustic" mean something about the tone-colour? I guess this is an electric guitar then? Are the pickup poles individually adjustable? Perhaps the string's just worn out. A worn-out string typically sounds duller rather than 'sharper' though.

Go on, lay out for a new string!

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    Lay out for a new, matched set. – Tetsujin Oct 11 '20 at 16:23
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    It broke near the bridge, but still able to put it back... Maybe safer to assume this is a classical guitar (with no balls at the end of the string)? Which would now sounds more like an acoustic (steel strings) guitar? In all cases, a new string/set of the way to go! – Tom Oct 11 '20 at 18:59
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It's a wound string on a classical guitar, by the clues. There's most likely a problem either with the winding, or the core - or both, that isn't easy to find, visually. As a stop gap, with no spare (why not?), maybe it's better than not having a D string at all, but the sensible thing to do is replace with a new one.

If that new one makes the others - especially the bottom three - sound dull, then replace all three. If the top three sound o.k, they won't need changing. Run a finger along their lengths, under the strings. Any lack of smoothness there is saying 'replace me too'.

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Try changing the entire set of strings, something to do with mechanics of a string getting older or younger than the rest of the strings, This is an odd problem? New string, tuned, should work fine, I know!!

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