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View Full Version : Octave Pair wound low C string breaking, a lot



hollisdwyer
11-18-2014, 02:21 PM
I know that wound strings are more susceptible to breakage than unwound but I was wondering if the fault layed with myself instead of the strings.

A couple of days ago the wound low C snapped about a half inch in front of the saddle on my MM 6 string tenor. It was about 8 weeks old and didn't have a lot of play time. I would have expected it to break somewhere along the frets, although the frets are in very good condition (I polished them with 0000 steel wool after I received it from the original owner). So I changed it two days ago with another wound low C from a OEM spare set that I had. This morning I awoke to find that one snapped also. This time at the knot on the bridge behind the saddle.

Can anyone suggest if it is just the stars in poor alignment this week for me or if there might be something that I might be doing wrong when re-stringing? I do a usual double twist after feeding the string through the hole in the bridge. Also I don't use a thumb, finger picks or a plectrum.

SteveZ
11-19-2014, 02:56 AM
I know that wound strings are more susceptible to breakage than unwound but I was wondering if the fault layed with myself instead of the strings.

A couple of days ago the wound low C snapped about a half inch in front of the saddle on my MM 6 string tenor. It was about 8 weeks old and didn't have a lot of play time. I would have expected it to break somewhere along the frets, although the frets are in very good condition (I polished them with 0000 steel wool after I received it from the original owner). So I changed it two days ago with another wound low C from a OEM spare set that I had. This morning I awoke to find that one snapped also. This time at the knot on the bridge behind the saddle.

Can anyone suggest if it is just the stars in poor alignment this week for me or if there might be something that I might be doing wrong when re-stringing? I do a usual double twist after feeding the string through the hole in the bridge. Also I don't use a thumb, finger picks or a plectrum.

Could just be a bad batch of string. It happens, but not often. As the breaks occurred at different parts of the instrument, sounds like a "batch" issue, presuming the strings were from the same manufacturer.

I'd change string brands for the next string exchange and see what happens.

hollisdwyer
11-19-2014, 03:30 AM
I plan do just that, thanks.

Rakelele
11-19-2014, 03:59 AM
Perhaps there is a sharp edge on the bridge and/or the saddle? I faced that problem with a couple of instruments, and I could solve it by sanding down the slot just a tiny bit with a an old wound string (moving the string back and forth).

hollisdwyer
11-19-2014, 04:17 AM
I guess the bridge could have an edge. I'll examine that closely with a loupe to check it out. The first break happened well in front of the saddle and there are no sharp edges there to cause a break.
I had noticed that there were marks on the string that lined up with some of the frets and I would have expected the break to happen at those places because of repetitive string/fret contact.

The reason I asked the question was that I wondered if there was a special way to handle wound ukulele strings that is different from unwound strings.

SteveZ
11-19-2014, 04:33 AM
I guess the bridge could have an edge. I'll examine that closely with a loupe to check it out. The first break happened well in front of the saddle and there are no sharp edges there to cause a break.
I had noticed that there were marks on the string that lined up with some of the frets and I would have expected the break to happen at those places because of repetitive string/fret contact.

The reason I asked the question was that I wondered if there was a special way to handle wound ukulele strings that is different from unwound strings.

Not really. Mixing two materials to make one string just shortens the longevity. The alternative is to use unwound strings, but that usually means having to widen the nut slot and often widen the saddle slot as well due to the increased diameter of unwound strings.