Issue with Strings On My Hardtail Guitar

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by justinrhoads80, Jun 14, 2019 at 8:30 PM.

  1. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    So this is about the second or third time this has occurred to me and I can't explain what exactly is causing it at all whatsoever.

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    So what seems to happen is that at the bottom of the string where the little ball is, the string at the end I guess begins to unwind?? I have no idea what is causing this at all. I am using Ernie Ball 10-46s so it is nothing real tight, action is low, and I am not doing anything crazy on the strings.

    The last time it happened which was two days ago, I was tuning it up to pitch and I noticed that I heard a kink and it went down in tuning and I brushed it off. I then continued in trying to tuning it up again hearing the same kink and it being downtuned.
    I looked at the bridge and i'm like shit it happened again.

    Any idea of what is going on??
     
  2. charveldan

    charveldan Well-Known Member

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    Switch to D'Addario.
     
  3. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    Switch to Dunlop.
     
  4. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    The regular D Addarios or the NYXL's? Those ones are kind of pricy

    What makes you say dunlop? I had a set of dunlops on here previously aswell.
     
  5. jstich

    jstich Active Member

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    I have been using regular Da darios fo many years and had zero problems like you listed. The NYXL are the more expensive version of D addarios.
     
  6. Neil Skene

    Neil Skene Well-Known Member

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    Can only be a manufacturing fault. You can wind the end on by hand and they won't move.
    Send them an email, they probably know this happened on the production line and might send you some strings.
    I really couldn't care less what brand of string I use as long as they "tune up" which all do.
     
  7. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Put the strings on and lock them at the tuners. Locking the string at the tuner is the most important.
    Watch the video ;

    Tune the strings to pitch then stretch them really good, this will knock them out of tune.
    Retune to pitch each string and stretch the string again.
    Repeat stretch and retune each string, over and over until it holds the pitch.
    After doing this, the string won't slip anymore.
    This is the Dan Armstrong locking string method.

     
  8. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    No need to do this as my guitar has locking tuners and I do that same method with the stretching so I am good there
     
  9. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Your'e not stretching the strings out enough....
    Pull on the string, pull it up off the finger board at least 1-1/2 inch.
    Then retune it.
    Repeat this over and over till the string holds pitch.

     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 at 4:14 AM
  10. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    When I first got my Les Paul, I had this exact issue with the Daddario 9-46s I'm using with my Floyd-equipped guitars (so I cut the ball end on these). Two gigs in a row, the high E string snapped at the ball end, on fresh sets of strings.
    So for the LP, I started using Ernie Ball RPS 9-46s. These ones are reinforced at the ball end. Never had an issue ever since. So I'd definitely recommend checking the RPS if you have issues with the strings unwinding or snapping at ball's end.
     
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  11. justinrhoads80

    justinrhoads80 Well-Known Member

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    Tis what I do. I watch that Gear Gods video every time to ensure I am doing it correctly

    Did you ever figure out what caused/ solution for the issue with the floyd guitars where it snaps at the bridge? I had that issue on my Jackson. Although it hasn't happened in awhile (knock on wood) I wondered if it was the string or if the block inserts on the floyd played a role in that string's demise
     
  12. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Strings breaking at the bridge with Floyds usually has to do with a burr in the saddle, or them being worn from friction with the string. Best way to deal with that is to use a small file to round and smooth the saddle where it is in contact with the string.
    But at some point, when it's too worn, you have to replace the saddle itself (that's where I am with my main Strat, which I bought new in 96 and went through around a thousand gigs-plus countless rehearsals and tens of thousand hours of practice with me -I'm planning on replacing the OFR soon, as it's very worn...it's in dire need on being refretted too).

    Gotta say I'm changing strings pretty often though, since I have a pretty heavy right hand attack, and only get about 4-5 3hrs gigs from a set until I start breaking strings (while cycling between the Strat and the Les Paul depending on songs through a set).

    But yeah, most of the time, when you snap strings at the bridge, it's usually an issue with the string sawing at the saddle.

    (as a side note, if you break too many strings, maybe have a look at what pick you're using, back when I was using Jazz III about 15 years ago I was breaking lots of them, went to softer picks and worked on my right hand technique a bit and things got better...still destroying lots of picks though, 6-8 Dunlop Ultex .90 on average for a 3hr show, but that's better than breaking strings)
     
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  13. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    The funny thing is:
    That players are "locking the string," but then fail to stretch the string out enough....stretch, retune, stretch retune, until the string stops slipping.
    This is what they are completely missing.

    If you did this:
    you would not need locking tuners, or a locking nut at all.

    This is probably not the brand of strings. It's the way that the strings are installed that makes them slip.
     
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  14. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing is, when I came across the title on this thread my first thought was.. 'I wonder if he's having the same problem I've been having with the ball ends unwinding'?
    Well curiosity obviously got me & sure enough, you're having the same issue I've been having over the past 4-5 yrs with certain guitars & tailpieces having the damn ball ends coming loose & unwinding!

    Now truth be told, I've had this happen with D'addario strings just as regularly so I'm certain they aren't any better than the Ernie Balls you're complaining about with this same ball end issue. Hey, whats the chance some of these string companies get string material from the same factory?

    I have noticed it happens much more frequently on certain bridges. The Most Notorious bridges that consistently bring this issue on for me are Kahler Vibrato style bridges on my 78 Les Paul & 86 Flying V & the one SG that is set up with a Stetsbar Vibrato. I can count on the E strings slipping loose on those guitars. But, I've had them also come unwound on My Gibbys with Vibrola tremolo's AND.. I've also just straight up pulled the high E strings wound end loose on Les Pauls with stop bar tail pieces when doing serious bend work! So wtf eh??

    Why this started happening this frequently at this point in time wqith multiple string manufacturers is a reason I just can't say with authority or certainty. But... I have come up with a way to stop & or prevent it from happening that works on all the guitars I use!

    Now when I string up these more string problem prone guitars I get a little solder into the ball end string winding & it stops the unwinding / loosening issue dead in its tracks. Ya just got to be fast & efficient with the soldering or the string will snap in two from the excessive heat from the soldering iron. I've also taken to ordering 10 packs of E & B strings for XTRAS because of the unwinding issue & the ease in which a string can get roached taking solder to it if I'm not quick & precise enough.

    That's the best I got brother. I don't got the reasons why but I can guarantee you the soldering trick on the ball end windings will definitely work at solving your problem & last until your next string change as well.

    Now, back to playing!
     
  15. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, definitely. Stretching new strings is necessary no matter what bridge or tuners you use, as it has to do with them adapting to being put under tension.
    Locking strings at the tuner helps with them slipping at the tuner (which is where locking tuners help, they make string changing faster too), but won't prevent them from getting caught at the nut or saddle, either (and where either lubricating the nut or using a self-lubricating one help, though a well-cut nut gets you a long way towards tuning stability).

    But yeah, no matter what new strings need to be stretched until they stay in tune.
     
  16. Neil Skene

    Neil Skene Well-Known Member

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    From what he explained, it sounds to me like the eye or (the crimped ball on Fender bullets) on the string in the bridge is coming off because the string has not been wound or crimped properly.
     
  17. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's why I mentioned the Ernie Ball RPS, which are reinforced at the ball, and thus less prone to breaking at the tailpiece.
     
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  18. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Having worked on many many guitars for decades...
    that type of defect is extremely rare, almost unheard of.

    99.9% of these tuning problems are caused the way the strings are put on and tuned. (strings are not properly locked / stretched out properly).

    If you do it like I said above, this solves it almost 100% of the time.
    In fact it's hard to recall any time it didn't solve it...
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 at 7:27 AM
  19. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Your photos don't show...

    First place to look is where the strings 'seat'
     
  20. Neil Skene

    Neil Skene Well-Known Member

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    The fact that he took photos suggests he saw some kind of unraveling down there, just a guess though.
     

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