Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Patrick delBosque

Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by Patrick delBosque » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:08 pm

The dreaded string ding, caused by catastrophic failure of the string to stay tied to the darn bridge. I have two on my Alhambra Luthier Rio, one came with it when I bought it and I put one on myself when the 1st string broke while putting on new strings. Today I put on new strings for only the second time since purchase and though I didn't get string dings (having protected the bridge area) I ended up having to tie knots in the first four strings to get them to hold in place when put under tension. I've never had to do anything but the usual double twist thing with any of the 5 classical guitars I've owned previously (all WAY cheaper than this one though).

Is there something with the design of the bridge or the tie block with some guitars that would make them more prone to this problem, such as the angle of the string or whatever?

Thanks Luthiers!
Patrick

User avatar
Section_10
Posts: 638
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:39 pm

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by Section_10 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:43 pm

Where exactly is the string breaking? Is it still tied or has it slipped? What type if strings? Check the angle of the bridge itself, is it a sharp bridge or very well rounded?

LBrandt
Posts: 754
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:40 am

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by LBrandt » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:10 pm

What, exactly, is "string ding"?

Gerald Erickson

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by Gerald Erickson » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:35 pm

I'm assuming your strings are slipping and wacking the top behind the bridge. That particular guitar may have larger than average holes drilled in it, 2mm is kinda the norm. Less string break angle and a narrow width of tie block could possibly be issues too. Any extra friction is your friend.

David LaPlante
Luthier
Posts: 1372
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 3:30 am
Location: Albany NY

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by David LaPlante » Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:15 pm

At the bridge I always do:
-Three winds on the G string
-Four on the B
-Five on the E
Make sure the final wind is down against the back of the tie block and leave around 1" of "tail" as well (this can always be clipped) for any possible slippage.
A bit of cardboard taped behind the tie block on the top is good insurance and protection from one's fingernails as well.

These days I'm using the 18 hole bridge design on my guitars which I think eliminates the potential for this entirely.

User avatar
LVR
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:49 am
Location: Mountains of Central California

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by LVR » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:21 pm

Kenny Hill, who ought to know, told me that if strings are going to slip, it will be in the 1st 3 days, so he advised leaving a long tail on the trebles ( at the bridge of course) and putting a knot in this tail. After 3 days you can cut it off. I've heard people on this Forum advise melting a big lump into the string end, but I'm afraid to bring a flame that close to the guitar. I've never had a string slip but anything that can happen to anyone can happen to you, according to Socrates, (who ought to know.)
The basic thing about playing the guitar is the pleasure you get from it. There's nothing wrong with pleasure is there?
Julian Bream

Norbert
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:44 pm

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by Norbert » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:40 pm

I believe one melts the end of one's string before installing it, well away from the guitar.

OldPotter
Posts: 1683
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:31 pm
Location: Channel Islands

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by OldPotter » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:24 pm

For LBrandt,
a "string ding" is a small dent in the soundboard near the bridge, usually below. Its caused by a string being catastrophically released, either through breaking or slipping. It leaves a small string shaped mark. Enough to make you swear.

Regards Tim
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain

Derry

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by Derry » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:32 pm

have tied knots in the first two and melted a ball of the G for many years,,

after you see that first grove cut by that string tail whipping lose it does grab your attention,,

if you don't like the knots try turning the tail under three times before placing tension with a good inch+ tail,, when you know the string is holding, cut the tail off for appearance if it is a concern,,

Derry

akulangpo

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by akulangpo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:14 pm

I had the same problem in the past but thought of getting a plastic folder...cut one side to the size of bridge (width and lenght. This way the top is projected from string accidents. No more string burns...I call them. And...the melted ball at the tip really, really keeps the strings in place.

aku

Tom Kelso

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by Tom Kelso » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:29 am

Could someone post a pic of what the end of a string that has been treated with heat (melted) to prevent slippage looks like? Thanks.

User avatar
James Lister
Moderator & Luthier
Moderator & Luthier
Posts: 6996
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by James Lister » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:45 pm

Tom Kelso wrote:Could someone post a pic of what the end of a string that has been treated with heat (melted) to prevent slippage looks like? Thanks.
There are pics of this in my instruction page for tying strings on 12-hole tie blocks here (near the bottom of the page):

http://www.jameslisterguitars.co.uk/Lis ... _block.htm

You can melt the end before installing the string if you're nervous about a flame close to the guitar top - then just thread the string right through from the other end.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

quixilver
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:22 am
Location: Indonesia / Singapore

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by quixilver » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:54 am

OldPotter wrote:It leaves a small string shaped mark. Enough to make you swear.
Yeah... that's what I did !
I followed the stringing instruction video by Otto Vowinkel on Youtube to make a "melted ball" at the string end before insert it into a loop on the 12-hole tie block. Everything looked normal in the morning, until I found the 1st string was slipped out and left a deep 2-3mm long mark on the soundboard when I opened the case last night. The string was broken right at the "melted ball". I guess the burning effect had weakened the nylon's structure and the ball could be just snapped when the string was pulled at certain tension.
FYI, they are Savarez Cantiga New Cristal Normal Tension (510CR) strings.

Anyway, James' instruction to create an extra loop for the treble strings is a better idea instead of just resting the string end underneath the tie loop.

fingerstyle1952

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by fingerstyle1952 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:55 am

Some of these solutions are interesting (leaving a tail on the trebles, or melting a ball end), but they seem to be risky on a french polished top. I like the idea of 12 holes in the bridge as being less likely to mar the finish.

User avatar
Alexandru Marian
Luthier
Posts: 3164
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:02 am
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Are Some Guitars Prone to STRING DING?

Post by Alexandru Marian » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:11 am

I never trusted heat balls. One extra loop as per James' instructions is the safe way to go for a 12 hole.

Return to “Luthiers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bftobin, CommonCrawl [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 36 guests