5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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magie
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5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by magie » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:05 am

Having somewhat neglected my guitars for a while due to a tendon rupture in my left hand ... or should I say "string" rupture ? ... I opened the cases of my beauties yesterday and ... guess what ... they must have decided to socialize and suffer from the same illness ... :? ... most of the 4D and 5A basses ruptured.

I had this experience quite frequently with Aranjuez strings (as others here in the forum) but yesterday I found the Paulino Bernabe strings on my M10 ruptured too :shock: :cry: ... considering the set price ... this is really annoying!

However, some guitars had all strings intact. Those ones are all equipped with Aranjuez strings. When I re-stringed these guitars the last time I was very careful how to perform the procedure. I suppose that the re-string procedure is the main reason for different string-life in the case.

Let me give you some details.
It may be trivial to most of you, but for me it was and maybe still is a tough and expensive way of learning how to perform the re-string for an optimized string-life ... and there may be readers that are interested ... :wink:

1. Some websites give the advice to stretch the strings before mounting them to the guitar. This procedure is meant to support tuning stabilization. My experience is: Never stretch the strings prior to mounting them to your guitar!

2. If you have strings with a colored, somewhat thinner / more flexible end, you have to distinguish between (a) single-hole bridge and (b) double-hole bridge:

(a) For the single-hole bridge, use the flexible end at the bridge and make your knots / entanglements as usual (see picture). Use the thicker, uncolored end at the tuner.
Image
(The picture just shows what I mean with 'entanglement'. In this picture of my M10 after the last re-string I still have the thicker end at the bridge. If you use the thinner, colored ends at the bridge, remember that you need to knot an '8' also for the 6E string!)

-I will add a picture for the re-string with thinner ends at the bridge later.-

(b) For the double-hole bridge, use the thicker end at the bridge and use merely one string crossing for all strings (see picture) and add small knots at the ends of 3G, 2B and 1E.
Image

In both cases: Never cut the ends of the bass strings.

3. Connect the strings to the tuners as usual and again - don't cut the ends.
4. Tune carefully and don't rush.
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Best wishes from magie!

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joachim33
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by joachim33 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:55 am

I always cut my strings, at both ends. At the tie block, I cut them (after a few days of settlement) to prevent the loose end touching the sound board and causing buzzes. From your picture it seems that (some of) your trebles strings may touch the sound board.

I use the "flexible end" (e.g.Savarez) at the head stock and pull the string through the roller, that I have about 5 cm (2 inch) of slack on the string after fixing to the roller, before starting to wind it up. Since I can't stand the loose end hanging around my headstock I also cut that end, which removes (most of) the flexible end.

I never had a string breaking/slipping.

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joachim33
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by joachim33 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:07 am

Reading your post again, where did the strings break? How long did you have to leave your guitars alone due to your mishap? Did you monitor the instruments in some way during your break? How old were the strings when they broke?

It was discussed here before, that if you use the thin and at the bridge, sharp edges of the block are more likely to break (almost cut) it. The metal windings (of the normal parts of the string) protect the nylon core from edges the block may have. That is why I use the thin end at the roller and aim to cut it off, if the length of the string allows. So if the broke at the block, this might be the reason.

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magie
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by magie » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:28 am

The discussion of broken basses is as old as the forum I guess :lol:

I had them all - breaking between a couple of days and months. Sorry, I did not monitor this time. This time the guitars stucked in their cases almost a full year ...

I used the flexible ends at the tuner before (for a simple reason .. I didn't like the colored end at the bridge ... :roll: ).
The metal windings ripped off the core first and the core was cut afterwards. Cutting the ends means to cut off the fixing of the winding which IMO is critical for the string-life.
I still have the ripped strings ... I will take a photo later and show here.

I checked my bridges with regard to sharp edges a loooong time ago. No obvious problem here.

It may appear from the pictures but I carefully avoid any contact bewteen the strings' ends and the solid top. They would buzz my head off :lol:

As I said, for the time being I had my best experience considering string-life with the procedure above.
No guarantee that this works with others here in the forum as well ... :wink:

Edit:The Bernabe strings broke about 10 cm away from the bridge. The Aranjuez strings broke close to the bridge.
Best wishes from magie!

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prawnheed
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by prawnheed » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:38 am

If the strings are not breaking at the bridge or tuners, then it has nothing to do with the way you are stringing the guitar. It's just a weak spot on the string that is failing under tension.

I guess if you are really clumsy you could cause the weak spot by kinking the string, but otherwise the cure is to use different strings or change them more often.

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joachim33
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by joachim33 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:58 am

If this happened during a year of not looking at the guitars, I wouldn't make to much of it. Prawnhead mentioned, if the break is well separated from the bridge/headstock, it is not that likely that the way you fixed the strings causes the issue. I more or less agree with this.

I am not sure there is any fixing of the winding to the nylon core. So far I assumed there wasn't. I leave about 5 to 7 mm of loose end after the knot. My strings stay on the instrument for 2 to 3 month (around 100h of playing). By delcamp-standards that seems a long period. So my cutting of strings does not seem an issue which limits me.

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magie
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by magie » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:23 pm

I checked the torn PB strings. Actually they did break close to the bridge. There is a 4inches length where the metal cover fully unwound hence it looked as if the weak point was farer away from the bridge.

I guess the nylon core break comes first and the tension forces the metal to unwind then.
2018-01-25_17.13.17.jpg
I am very careful with my strings.
If they are o.k. for a couple of months it is o.k. for me. But a couple of days is too short ...

Yesterday it was kind of shock ... open first case .. 4d and 5a broken, second case 5a is broken , open 3rd case etc. .... :?

Experiences may be different ... at least for the moment the above procedure works out better for me.
Maybe it's just coincidence ...
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Best wishes from magie!

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prawnheed
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by prawnheed » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:36 pm

magie wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:23 pm
...
I guess the nylon core break comes first and the tension forces the metal to unwind then

....

Maybe it's just coincidence ...
Yes. All the tension is carried by the core. The windings add weight, but as you can see, they do not directly contribute much at all to the strength of the string.

I think so, but there are other advantages to stringing properly.

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joachim33
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by joachim33 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:34 pm

magie wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:23 pm
I checked the torn PB strings. Actually they did break close to the bridge. There is a 4inches length where the metal cover fully unwound hence it looked as if the weak point was farer away from the bridge.

I guess the nylon core break comes first and the tension forces the metal to unwind then.

2018-01-25_17.13.17.jpg

I am very careful with my strings.
If they are o.k. for a couple of months it is o.k. for me. But a couple of days is too short ...

Yesterday it was kind of shock ... open first case .. 4d and 5a broken, second case 5a is broken , open 3rd case etc. .... :?

Experiences may be different ... at least for the moment the above procedure works out better for me.
Maybe it's just coincidence ...
I am not sure I understand your situation. I first understand that the strings broke during the time you stored them. Now you sound as if they broke within a few days after putting them on. If the latter I would also be frustrated.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:51 pm

What’s your break angle look like. Can you post a pic?

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magie
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by magie » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:42 am

joachim33 wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:34 pm
I am not sure I understand your situation. I first understand that the strings broke during the time you stored them. Now you sound as if they broke within a few days after putting them on. If the latter I would also be frustrated.
I had several occasions with string breaking ...
I love the sound and really would like to keep that brand, but ....

...from couple of days to couple of months.


This time I had the desire to play my guitars after a lengthy interruption due to my tendon rupture and ... found almost all bass strings broken in the case ... this was frustrating because only one of my guitars was playable ... :cry:


I wonder indeed ... why DO THEY BREAK IN THE CASE AND NOT DURING PALYING :?: :?:

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:51 pm
What’s your break angle look like. Can you post a pic?
What do you mean by 'break angle'?
Best wishes from magie!

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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:03 am

magie wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:42 am
joachim33 wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:34 pm
I am not sure I understand your situation. I first understand that the strings broke during the time you stored them. Now you sound as if they broke within a few days after putting them on. If the latter I would also be frustrated.
I had several occasions with string breaking ...
I love the sound and really would like to keep that brand, but ....

...from couple of days to couple of months.


This time I had the desire to play my guitars after a lengthy interruption due to my tendon rupture and ... found almost all bass strings broken in the case ... this was frustrating because only one of my guitars was playable ... :cry:


I wonder indeed ... why DO THEY BREAK IN THE CASE AND NOT DURING PALYING :?: :?:

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:51 pm
What’s your break angle look like. Can you post a pic?
What do you mean by 'break angle'?
I mean what is the angle that the string makes over the saddle to the holes in the tie block. If it is too steep, the strings windings will pull apart where they contact the saddle. Take a picture of your bridge from the side, showing the slope of the low E string going over the saddle. It's one of those things that will be readily noticeable in a picture.

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magie
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by magie » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:08 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:03 am
I mean what is the angle that the string makes over the saddle to the holes in the tie block. If it is too steep, the strings windings will pull apart where they contact the saddle. Take a picture of your bridge from the side, showing the slope of the low E string going over the saddle. It's one of those things that will be readily noticeable in a picture.
O.K. I understand ... since 5 different guitars are affected I have to post 5 pics ... :)
Will give it a try this afternoon .
Best wishes from magie!

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joachim33
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by joachim33 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:58 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:03 am
magie wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:42 am
joachim33 wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:34 pm
I am not sure I understand your situation. I first understand that the strings broke during the time you stored them. Now you sound as if they broke within a few days after putting them on. If the latter I would also be frustrated.
I had several occasions with string breaking ...
I love the sound and really would like to keep that brand, but ....

...from couple of days to couple of months.


This time I had the desire to play my guitars after a lengthy interruption due to my tendon rupture and ... found almost all bass strings broken in the case ... this was frustrating because only one of my guitars was playable ... :cry:


I wonder indeed ... why DO THEY BREAK IN THE CASE AND NOT DURING PALYING :?: :?:

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:51 pm
What’s your break angle look like. Can you post a pic?
What do you mean by 'break angle'?
I mean what is the angle that the string makes over the saddle to the holes in the tie block. If it is too steep, the strings windings will pull apart where they contact the saddle. Take a picture of your bridge from the side, showing the slope of the low E string going over the saddle. It's one of those things that will be readily noticeable in a picture.
I understand the string breaks (nylon core) occurred an inch or more away from the bridge. I am not inclined to believe there is an issue with the set-up of the instruments. In particular since many instruments are involved - it doesn’t make sense that all of them have a bad break angle.

Also Aranjuez strings are fairly common. If they snap at such a rate, someone would have reported here before. How about a bad batch? How did you source them (e.g. single bulk purchase)?

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joachim33
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Re: 5A and 4D Bass strings don't like being in a dark case ...

Post by joachim33 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:17 am

magie wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:42 am
joachim33 wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:34 pm
I am not sure I understand your situation. I first understand that the strings broke during the time you stored them. Now you sound as if they broke within a few days after putting them on. If the latter I would also be frustrated.
I had several occasions with string breaking ...
I love the sound and really would like to keep that brand, but ....

...from couple of days to couple of months.


Aranjuez strings are still on my list to try. Which ones are you using?

If it matters: I have been using Savarez sets mostly in the past 1.5 year. Not a single string break (touch wood). Not that I want to convert you to anything. But changing strings is a bit of a waste of time. I had issues with D-string lifetime (pressure sensitivity) of EJ45c and Hannabach 815 MT - I had to change them after about 20h and was getting frustrated.

A set of Corum Alliance Red came to my rescue. I played them 6 weeks before I changed them out of curiosity for a set of Cantiga New Cristal Red. I kept those for 2 month. In my experience Savarez Basses take a fair amount of punishment, though I work on left hand pressure.

I plan to try a set of Hannabach 815 LT next (sitting here for a year).

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