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Thread: strings unwinding please help!

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    Default strings unwinding please help!

    ok so i am having a problem with my E and A strings unwinding at the saddle of my floyd rose when I pull up on the tremelo arm.
    i inspected for burrs on the saddle and block but didn't find anything. touched them up with some 400 grit anyways.
    still having issues.

    i am using 10-52 slinky strings in standard tuning.
    am i putting too much tension on the strings when i pull up all the way?
    from doing research it seems like heavier strings are for lower tunings but i like the way the extra tension feels
    should i switch to 10-46 or is there something else going on?

    i didn't have this problem when i was using 9-46 strings but as I started playing every day i started feeling like they were too light.
    obviously i could just go buy a set of strings and try it but ive already burned through a couple packs because of this issue and i am about to head to work

    so any input on this topic will be greatly appreciated!
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    Ultimate Tone Member metalchurch79's Avatar
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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Shouldn't be the gauge of strings being the problem. I'm trying to think what that could be since you already found one culprit and corrected that. Perhaps you aren't tightening them enough?
    Do you have them seated far enough in the saddles? Are they straight and even and not cocked off to one side?
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    Tone Member DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default strings unwinding please help!

    Ernie Ball Slinky? You know what? It's the strings. I played in a band for 6 years with a guitarist with two different guitars, a PRS Studio, and a Brian Moore, and every night his strings would break at the saddles. He used EB strings. I'm a luthier, so like you, I checked the saddles, didn't see anything, but used some 600 grit on them. They were perfectly smooth. The strings still broke or unraveled. Later he switched to DR and didn't break any more strings.

    I normally use D'Addario XLs in .009 gauge. Sometimes 10s. I never break strings. One day I had an extra set of EB Slinkies laying around, so I put them on one of my guitars. Within two days the D string broke at the saddle!


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    Last edited by DavidRavenMoon; 06-19-2017 at 12:11 PM.

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    Senior Member majewsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    I was breaking strings as often as once a week, then I changed saddles to Graph Tech. Now I break 1 or 2 strings in 6 months (and not necesseraly at the saddle).

    Also if the wound string as you are saying tend to unwind try the RPS slinkies, they're made with extra wrapping around ball ends to prevent that.
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    Ultimate Tone Member metalchurch79's Avatar
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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    I use d'addario as well, and I usually string them with the ball ends @ the tuner, and I did try EB's and had the G break on me at the tuner, as I was tuning up, so that was the last set I tried. (Only got them because the store was out of stock). My problem was different than the OP's, so I can't relate to his problem personally. (Tuners vs Saddles, and wound E/A to my G)

    Good call and it could very well be the brand, idk.
    Ive never broken a string with D'addario, even sets that should've been changed out long ago...
    Last edited by metalchurch79; 06-19-2017 at 12:25 PM.
    Charvel Jake E. Lee mutt - Seymour AH1-BJ Holdsworth/1v
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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    I load mine with the ball ends at the tuners as well. I have never encountered this problem before. Ernie Ball strings break more often than D'Addario strings in my experience.

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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Interesting points. I've read that Lately people have been having problems with eb strings. On a side note I haven't broken a string in over a year. I change them about once every 6 weeks on this guitar. I play this guitar almost every day for a couple hours. It's just the unwinding that is the problem. I'm going to try a different brand and I'm also going to use a straight set of 10s instead of 10-52 (heavy bottoms). String recommendations??


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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    On a side not like I mentioned above I never had this problem with 9s with the heavy bottoms and I was way more aggressive with my tremolo. That's why I was thinking a 52 gauge string just couldn't handle me pulling all the way back adding all that extra tension


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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Also in reply to someone that said I wasn't tightening them enough, if that was the case they would slip out if anything overtightening would cause this imo. And I make sure the strings go in straight. I've this guitar for almost 4 years and I am quite comfortable saying I am stringing it up correctly. I can provide pics after work if you think it's important


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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    have you tried putting them in "backwards" (ball end toward tuners?)

    I have no problem with Super Slinky 9s.
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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    If the blocks are too loose, yes they will slip out entirely. If they are too tight, they will crush the string, but stay in place. If it's in between, the block will grip the outer winding, allowing the string to pull out of itself.
    I wasn't implying that you didn't know what you were doing, only trying to help out with ideas.

    Try another brand of strings and see if that helps you.
    Charvel Jake E. Lee mutt - Seymour AH1-BJ Holdsworth/1v
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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    I've had similar issues with just about every brand at one time or another over the years. I usually switch brands or suppliers for a while until the bad batch is used up.

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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by metalchurch79 View Post
    If the blocks are too loose, yes they will slip out entirely. If they are too tight, they will crush the string, but stay in place. If it's in between, the block will grip the outer winding, allowing the string to pull out of itself.
    I wasn't implying that you didn't know what you were doing, only trying to help out with ideas.

    Try another brand of strings and see if that helps you.
    Wasn't trying to come off as arrogant just a little frustrated with this issue lol


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    Toneologist VinceT's Avatar
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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    As others have said, try D'Addario. EB strings are the only ones I've ever had unwind on me.


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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    One rule I use is tighten the string with the force of the index finger. Same thing in the nut. Strong enough to put the right torque, light enough not to break anything.

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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    Ernie Ball Slinky? You know what? It's the strings. I played in a band for 6 years with a guitarist with two different guitars, a PRS Studio, and a Brian Moore, and every night his strings would break at the saddles. He used EB strings. I'm a luthier, so like you, I checked the saddles, didn't see anything, but used some 600 grit on them. They were perfectly smooth. The strings still broke or unraveled. Later he switched to DR and didn't break any more strings.

    I normally use D'Addario XLs in .009 gauge. Sometimes 10s. I never break strings. One day I had an extra set of EB Slinkies laying around, so I put them on one of my guitars. Within two days the D string broke at the saddle!


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    Oh cool, I use a Brian Moore, too. I think this is why Ernie Ball made 'reinforced strings'. I don't know if they still make them, but they had like double the windings at the ball end. Apparently this was a problem with their regular strings.

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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Last time I had a string break was around 5 years ago on a Charvel with a Kahler using Ernie Ball Super Slinkys. I've since switched to D'Addario almost exclusively for Acoustics and Electrics (did try a Martin set of Silk & Steel on my Acoustic) and haven't had a string break yet.

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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Solder the strings for an inch BEFORE cutting the ball end off.

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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by treyhaislip View Post
    Last time I had a string break was around 5 years ago on a Charvel with a Kahler using Ernie Ball Super Slinkys. I've since switched to D'Addario almost exclusively for Acoustics and Electrics (did try a Martin set of Silk & Steel on my Acoustic) and haven't had a string break yet.
    Doing pull ups with the trem reaching maybe 3 full tones up is not the same thing like your usual bending. Strings undergo heavy stress.

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    Default Re: strings unwinding please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by greekdude View Post
    Doing pull ups with the trem reaching maybe 3 full tones up is not the same thing like your usual bending. Strings undergo heavy stress.
    Except that I never did that with my Floyd and Kahler Charvels. Aside from a couple of dive bombs goofing off during practice, my tremolo usage was only for very light vibrato.

    And...I switched to D'Addario playing the same gear and didn't break any strings after the switch.

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