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greenie44
07-29-2017, 04:15 PM
Hi all -

This has happened to me 4 times in the past couple of months. I open my uke case to see a string has broken. All the ukes are better ones, and all have Oasis humidifiers in them.

I wonder if I am doing something wrong. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

robinboyd
07-29-2017, 04:17 PM
What type of strings are you using?

greenie44
07-29-2017, 04:24 PM
A variety. Low G on all of them, but some Chee-Maisel custom strings, some Southcoast strings. I think a set of Savarez on another.

robinboyd
07-29-2017, 04:29 PM
Oh, weird. It's probably not the strings then. Do you have a hygrometer to tell you the actual humidity in the case? Not saying that is the cause... Just trying to work it out...

dkcrown
07-29-2017, 04:33 PM
I have had this happen three times over the years. All three times involved different brands of wound strings, twice the G string and once a C. And the strings weren't what I would have considered old. Opened up the case and...Surprise! :(

greenie44
07-29-2017, 04:38 PM
Oh, weird. It's probably not the strings then. Do you have a hygrometer to tell you the actual humidity in the case? Not saying that is the cause... Just trying to work it out...

Nope. I live in Arizona, but the humidifiers are always full. Right now, the humidity in the room is around 26%, but I figure with the humidifiers it must be closer to 35%.

It's kind of a drag, since it's hard to replace single strings. I have had 2 As, a G (wound) and a C (wound).

robinboyd
07-29-2017, 04:47 PM
Hmm... Not sure if the humidity is the cause, but I've never had the humidity even approach that level of dryness at my place. Right now, the hygrometer in my hard case reads 60%, which is fairly standard. Swings between about 50% and 75%. Never had to use a humidifier for obvious reasons (bought one when I got a nice uke, but never had to use it).

Doug W
07-29-2017, 04:47 PM
This has happened to me now and again over the years with different instruments: guitar, mandolin and ukulele but never 4 times in a couple months. I never came up with an explanation as to why those other strings broke. Maybe you got are your inexplicable string breakages out of the way in a short stretch and now you are going to win the lottery.

DownUpDave
07-29-2017, 06:01 PM
I have had this happen three times over the years. All three times involved different brands of wound strings, twice the G string and once a C. And the strings weren't what I would have considered old. Opened up the case and...Surprise! :(

I have had the same thing happen to me with wound strings as well Dana. A Pono baritone, Webber, Kinnard and Collings tenors. I just put it down to defective strings.

kkimura
07-29-2017, 06:14 PM
Hi all -

This has happened to me 4 times in the past couple of months. I open my uke case to see a string has broken. All the ukes are better ones, and all have Oasis humidifiers in them.

I wonder if I am doing something wrong. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Check the lid of your case for marks made by the Oasis humidifier. The lid may be pressing down on the Oasis cap and string mount in a way that is stressing the strings.

Down Up Dick
07-29-2017, 07:33 PM
I had two or three Aquila "Reds" pop a long time ago, but, then, I quit using them and haven't had any further breaks.

I don't change strings much either. :old:

Croaky Keith
07-29-2017, 09:31 PM
I've had only one string go whilst in the case, in 18 months plus, of all my ukes, a 'Red' low G, I put it down to a bad string - maybe you've just been extremely unlucky with string batches. The other thing is, where do they break, is it in a consistent place, as that could determine where a problem lies.

wayfarer75
07-30-2017, 03:05 AM
Which strings break, where do they break, or has a knot slipped through the bridge and the string is intact?

Booli
07-30-2017, 03:46 AM
I had two or three Aquila "Reds" pop a long time ago, but, then, I quit using them and haven't had any further breaks.

Same here. Too bad too, REDS had a nice sound.

Not sure what would cause fluoro string to pop in the case, unless something on the saddle, nut or tuners is abraiding them and causing them to fray, and when the frayed strand start to peel off like little hairs, there is little material left to hold the tension, and then they just yield and break.

mmfitzsimons
07-30-2017, 03:56 AM
I went through a "ghost in the machine" string popping phase. I have two wound bass strings, but it wasn't always those, sometimes it happened in the case, sometimes out, sometimes at the bottom of the string, sometimes at the top. Once a string popped while the uke was sitting on the couch next to me—twang!

The only correlation I could figure was fairly quick temperature changes, such as when in transit to my buddy's house inland, where the outdoor temp might climb 15 degrees in 10 miles, or even like around sunset on a hot day, when the cool winds blew in.

Or maybe it was a ghost... I'd probably need the Mythbusters squad in here to run tests to know for sure. Seemed like every one of my musicians friends managed to come up with a different "string theory"...

I do know that the problem abated after I upgraded to one of the newer Oahu hardshell cases, and started keeping it in a shady spot. But I also ate a grilled cheese sandwich that day, for all I know the butter on my fingers kept the strings insulated from further ghost attacks...

I feel your pain. After a while I didn't even want to tell my uke friends when another string broke, because they all looked at me like I must be doing something wrong, haha...

ALing
07-30-2017, 06:00 AM
This used to happen to the A string on my guitar. The problem resolved after replacing the saddle. I don't remember the explanation given to me but it had something to do with the saddle getting either worn or nicked from the string tension.

Henning
07-30-2017, 09:39 AM
Nope. I live in Arizona, but the humidifiers are always full. Right now, the humidity in the room is around 26%, but I figure with the humidifiers it must be closer to 35%.

I recognize this sad part with humidifiers, but donīt you think that is a little worrying low humidity level? :confused:

greenie44
07-30-2017, 02:22 PM
I recognize this sad part with humidifiers, but donīt you think that is a little worrying low humidity level? :confused:

Thanks everyone, for the helpful suggestions. First of all, my bad on the humidity reading - it's actually 37% in the room, which probably makes inside the case closer to 45%. I have not popped the same string on the same uke twice so far, so probably not there. (I had that problem once on a cheap Chinese uke, but it turned out there was a burr in the tuning mechanism.

These strings pop at the bridge, consistently, and it's only my better ukes - the laminates have not have this problem.

I will check the case, but since two of the poppers (who do not play harmonica) were the G and A, that would leave that cause out.

The search continues!

Thanks again.

- Rick G.

sam13
07-30-2017, 03:36 PM
I opened my Pono Baritone case this morning and the wound low D string had popped on me.

I think it might have happened before as well. But not recently.

I was going to change them, but now will for sure. Lol.

Pueo
07-30-2017, 03:59 PM
This has happened to me three or four times over the last 8 years or so, no rhyme or reason,
no common ukulele, no root cause ever found.

librainian
07-30-2017, 07:23 PM
It has happened three times to me in the last couple years always on a wound string. Two were baritones, one was a tenor. One set was southcoast, one was worth, the last was a Mya Moe custom Bari set. No rhyme or reason. If there is a commmon denominator, I can't find it. But it was on the saddle every time. I polish my saddles with a diamond fret file and then with stew Mac fret eraser to a very smooth finish. Wounds will tend to wear a small groove on bone in particular. My breaks have happened regardless of a very smooth bearing surface.

I guess I'm not surprised the break tends to happen at the break point either the nut or the saddle. Toss a coin, it's probably 50/50 one or the other will be the break point regardless. They spend more time in the case than out, so it's statistically more probable when the random break happens it will be while slumbering in a case.

DownUpDave
07-31-2017, 02:36 AM
It has happened three times to me in the last couple years always on a wound string. Two were baritones, one was a tenor. One set was southcoast, one was worth, the last was a Mya Moe custom Bari set. No rhyme or reason. If there is a commmon denominator, I can't find it. But it was on the saddle every time. I polish my saddles with a diamond fret file and then with stew Mac fret eraser to a very smooth finish. Wounds will tend to wear a small groove on bone in particular. My breaks have happened regardless of a very smooth bearing surface.

I guess I'm not surprised the break tends to happen at the break point either the nut or the saddle. Toss a coin, it's probably 50/50 one or the other will be the break point regardless. They spend more time in the case than out, so it's statistically more probable when the random break happens it will be while slumbering in a case.

Andrew, you get my vote for most logical reasoning. The "break" point angle says it all. As does the fact they spend much more time in the case so statistically thats where it would break.

Booli
07-31-2017, 03:03 AM
slightly off-topic, but are there no wound uke strings or wound classical guitar strings that have a solid fluorocarbon core, as opposed to the silken nylon hairs that seem so common?

Seems to me that these 'hairs' are the weak point and he silverplated-copper winding only or usually, gets injured/indented over time from the frets themselves, and that if the core was fluoro, and not getting direct abrasions due to being wound, that these strings might last longer...

Also, IIRC, Aquila has some classical strings that have the nylgut core, but I've not seem them for sale as singles, and only as a full set for classical guitar...

One other thought, there were some microwound strings, with nylon wrapped over nylon, by Guadalupe, Magma and Kala, and other than excessive string-squeak/finger-noise being a detriment, I wonder if these strings could substitute in for where we might use a normal metal-wound string on the uke, and maybe not be as vulnerable to breakages...

just some food for thought....

bearbike137
07-31-2017, 04:00 AM
If the string is breaking at the saddle - the top of your saddle is too sharp. Its an easy fix with fine grit sandpaper.

lelouden
07-31-2017, 08:17 AM
I have several of the hygrometers around where my ukes are https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008JL1M4A/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1. A very cheap way of knowing your levels. They are small and can be kept in the case. I too am in Arizona and don't even use the cases unless Im traveling (shame shame! yep, Im a risk taker!)

Right now with the monsoon I am around 35-45% in my rooms. I do try and run a room humidifier but they are loud and DH turns it off. All that terrible info and I have yet to have anything other than a Aquila Red pop.

Rick are you traveling with those ukes? If so, maybe they haven't settled in the case long enough before being taken out and over time they have had to much stress?

I love the Aquila Reds sound on my Outdoor Uke that I keep in the mountain but I haven't had luck with them. However I am going to try it again with the Reds. This time I am going to loosen the tension on the strings after I play and see if that makes a difference. I just watched a vid showing that you keep the string over your finger at the nut when you tighten the tension on the Reds so they don't get friction damage and I am going to smooth out the grooves on the nut just to see if I can save them from this happening again.

Maybe you should loosen the strings before you store them in the case.

greenie44
07-31-2017, 10:13 AM
Thanks everyone. I did check my LdfM, and there was an indentation where the Oasis humidifier hung off the strings, and the C string popped on that one. So I am calling that one solved. BTW, what would people recommend as an alternative to the Oasis in the soundhole?

The others I will currently write off to MOL. (Mystery Of Life) And thanks for the suggestion, Linda, but it feels like that is an impediment to playing the ukes, since it would take a couple of minutes to tighten them again. . Maybe it's not and I should get over myself <g>.

Booli
07-31-2017, 11:16 AM
... BTW, what would people recommend as an alternative to the Oasis in the soundhole?...

Since being a sort of cheapskate at times, for this past winter, I took some smaller ziplock sandwich bags and used a hole punch to put about a dozen holes in the bag, and then a standard kitchen sponge cut in half, soaked and then squeezed 'just' a bit until the dripping stopped then inserted into said bag.

Put bag into soundhole with ziplock parallel to strings, and over-under strings to hold in place.

As per Caliber IV hygrometer, calibrated by 40% salts-method, this cheapo DIY setup keeps humidity at 55% for about 7-10 days in a tolex-covered hard wood case in a room that has RH @ 27% during the winter

Removal and re-wet of sponge was easy, just dont get the bag wet on the outside or the wood on the back of the uke will get wet, as will soundhole label.

Local grocery has an 8-pack of sponges for like $3-$4 and a box of small 20 ziplock bags is another $4 or so

BTW - the ZIPLOCK part acts to hold the bag within the strings, other bags without ziplock will require the use of a paper-clip which I have found will rust and also possible pinch the strings causing a flat-spot from the tension of the paper-clip.

Thing is, this is SUPER cheap, like maybe $1 per humidifier and 5 mins time to make one, and they work perfectly fine, but you have to manually check every 5 days to make sure sponge is not dry.

Hope this helps! :)

greenie44
07-31-2017, 12:04 PM
Hope this helps! :)

From one cheapskate to another! I like it - and it's really not much more trouble than using the Oasis. Just have to check the sponge a bit more frequently. Thanks, Booli!

SoloRule
07-31-2017, 12:17 PM
I opened my Pono Baritone case this morning and the wound low D string had popped on me.

I think it might have happened before as well. But not recently.

I was going to change them, but now will for sure. Lol.



Simon I remember you sent me a video the last time that happened. I believe it was also the baritone !
For me was the strings snapped in the middle on the blackbird when I was on vacation It was so annoying. Traveled all that way to have an unplayable three strings uke