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Post new topic String 3 G# keeps breaking!! Please help.
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Author Topic:  String 3 G# keeps breaking!! Please help.
Don Barnhardt

 

From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2010 6:24 pm    
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Tony Prior, I'm sure you are technically correct. My inference was to keep the same string guage as E9. It worked for me years and years ago on a Fender 400 back before SGF. As I said It's something to try if all else fails.
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Gerry Simon


From:
Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2010 7:26 pm    
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I had that same problem a long time ago...drove me nuts. Tried emory cloth on my 3rd string bridge, no help...turned out 'then' it WAS the strings. I was told most of the string wire came from the same place, I think it was"The American Fence Company" or something like that??? but there was a bad batch and the 3rd strings of the different companies strings I tried would break. Are these a new batch of strings or did they come with an older guitar?? (Probably not strings but good luck anyway)...Gerry
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Rick Myrland


From:
Washington, D.C.
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2021 6:21 pm    
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Reviving an old but relevant post. I recently received two sets of Jagwire Lloyd Green series strings with the .115 gauge 3rd string. I went with .115 because I wanted to try the tonal differences, not because I had ever broke a 3rd string. I’ve used .11 Jagwire, SIT and Live Steel Strings on the 3rd and, again, never broke a string.

A few nights ago I put on the first set and broke #3–I was shocked. Frustrated, I let it sit and put my second .115 string on tonight. Again, it broke (and stung like hell, but now I have a battle scar). It snapped before I even had it up to tune. In fact, I did as suggested in this post and tuned to F# and let it acclimate before s-l-o-w-l-y edging it toward the G#: I got to about 437 or so and was working the B pedal when it snapped. I swear I’m putting the .115 on the same way I always installed the .11 string. The only thing that’s changed is the steel: I went from a Mulled RP to my newly purchased G2 (first time changing strings on this one).

The other 9 strings really chime and I’m very happy (this was my first go with the Lloyd Green series, I’ve always used the “standard” so to speak). Shortly before it broke I took a pic of the tuning post thinking “well, there’s no way I can break two of these, but just in case..”.



I thought I read it should be wound on both sides of the hole (was that Mickey Adams?) and this looks like I may not have, but again nothing changed in my (pathetic) string changing techniques. So why did I never break a .11? And, I should mention that I thoroughly cleaned and lubed the roller before putting any of the strings on, which is typically for me. One final piece of information: both broke at the tuning post, and the broke end looks like this:



Dear Abby, any clear ideas on what’s going on? Why am I breaking .115 strings when I never broke a .11?
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Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2021 8:00 pm    
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Who ever made the tuner put very large holes through the Capspan of the key. Check the hole edges for burrs.
You need to cut enough extra length on the string to put about 3 more wraps on the capspan and keep the string from putting pressure on the edge of the cross hole. I like to put 2 wraps on the smooth part of the shaft clear of the hole. If not, The string will break where the string bends on the edge of the hole.

I broke a 3rd string on stage 1 Friday night and made a quick replacement. Just put a couple wraps around the Capspan on the key. On Saturday I was running over some songs for Saturday night. The string broke on the edge of the key hole. The string wrapped over my bar hand and hit my right ring finger. OUCH, It hit the bone Felt like it stuck in the bone, took some effort to pull it out.
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Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2021 8:35 pm    
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Here is a picture of the strings 2-3-4 the way I get off the hole onto smooth shaft.

It is more work, But worth the time. sorry not real clear.
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Ron Frederiksen


From:
Van Buren, Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2021 9:43 pm    
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Try an 11.5 string instead of the 11,, I did and haven't broke another one yet
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2021 2:21 am    
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Bobby D. Jones wrote:
Here is a picture of the strings 2-3-4 the way I get off the hole onto smooth shaft.

It is more work, But worth the time. sorry not real clear.

The correct way round this problem..
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John Poston

 

From:
Albuquerque, NM, USA
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2021 7:48 am    
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Never had the problem on my emmons pp but was an issue on other guitars. Tried many string brands. Ever since I followed this video it's been fine.

https://youtu.be/zkdbQOwvi8w
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Tucker Jackson

 

From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2021 10:34 am    
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Rick, these guys are setting you right. Breakage at the post is usually caused by the string running over the lip of the hole.

The other possible cause is a bad batch of strings, which is likely given this a new problem and you haven't changed installation method. Immediately popping two or three in a row -- same brand, bought at the same time -- means they were likely from the same manufacturing batch. Jagwires are ridiculously durable strings, but bad batches of all brands happen occasionally. And .0115 is fine. There is no universe where you would have total failure with that gauge, but total success with a string only .0005 thinner.

Still, going forward, it's a good idea to use more wraps. Sometimes, there doesn't even have to be a burr there. That lip can cut through a string if it was milled a certain way. Meanwhile, on other guitars, routing over the lip doesn't cause a problem. Still, I would avoid it.

And, yes, that hole does look especially large, so I would cut that 3rd string extra long to permit a lot of wraps. On a regular guitar, it's recommended to cut the 3rd string twice as long as the others since it's so thin and hard to get off of that lip, but you'll maybe need even more... whatever it takes to get it off to the side of the hole.


Last edited by Tucker Jackson on 19 Feb 2021 10:57 am; edited 6 times in total
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2021 10:45 am    
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Ron Frederiksen wrote:
Try an 11.5 string instead of the 11,, I did and haven't broke another one yet


Ron - He is breaking .0115 strings when he didn't have the problem previously with .011 strings.
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Rick Myrland


From:
Washington, D.C.
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2021 11:36 am    
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Tucker: I looked at some of the other pics and see that they have a lot more wrap than I do. I went about 2 and 1/2 posts beyond the third (rather than the usual 2) and thought that was enough, but obviously not. Oddly I thought too much wrap would be a problem, turns out just the opposite. I just ordered 5 more .115's from Live Steel Strings--I assume I can get this right sometime in the first four!
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Tucker Jackson

 

From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2021 1:48 pm    
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Bud Carter recommended cutting the strings 2 posts beyond the one you're installing it on. But for the 3rd string he recommended four posts-worth. You have to mark the string with your thumbnail and slide it back to do that measurement since there obviously aren't four posts beyond the third string to do that measurement.

Given how quickly your strings broke, I think you were just dealing with a bad batch of strings. I have Jaguar 3rd strings in the same gauge as yours that have lasted over 100 hours. Or more. They shouldn't break quickly, and in succession, especially if you've never had a hole or burr problem prior to the current batch of strings.
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Thomas Stone


From:
San Francisco
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2021 8:43 pm    
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Quote:
...Jeff Newman used .012. His opinion was that they were larger, therefore less likely to break...


That's an understandable misconception, but still not correct. For a plain steel string of a given length tuned to a given pitch, the tensile stress on the string in pounds per square inch is independent of the string diameter.

If you increase the string diameter, the string's cross-sectional area goes up, but the tension required to get it up to the desired pitch goes up at the same rate, so nothing is gained.
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Rick Myrland


From:
Washington, D.C.
Post  Posted 20 Feb 2021 6:20 am    
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Quote:
If you increase the string diameter, the string's cross-sectional area goes up, but the tension required to get it up to the desired pitch goes up at the same rate, so nothing is gained.


So, not that it’s an option, but theoretically if you tuned it to G and raised it to G# would you have less breakage? Both my strings snapped while engaging the B pedal to get to the A.

And, while I’m at it, let me ask this: when you engage the a pedal does the entire string stretch, including the section wrapped around the post, or at some point does the stretch fade as the strings begin to wrap tighter and tighter around the tuning post?
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Thomas Stone


From:
San Francisco
Post  Posted 20 Feb 2021 11:09 am    
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Quote:
So, not that it’s an option, but theoretically if you tuned it to G and raised it to G# would you have less breakage? Both my strings snapped while engaging the B pedal to get to the A.

I think the main point of slow tuning or pulling on the speaking length of the string is to settle all the windings around the tuning post. If you don't do that, you will likely have to retune the string several times soon after it is installed.

Quote:
And, while I’m at it, let me ask this: when you engage the a pedal does the entire string stretch, including the section wrapped around the post, or at some point does the stretch fade as the strings begin to wrap tighter and tighter around the tuning post?

This is a tough one to prove scientifically, but it is my belief that the stress in the string is constant all the way from the changer to the tuning post. Then the stress -- and consequently the stretch -- gradually decreases as you go along the windings around the post. This is due to the distributed frictional force between the string and the post, resisting the string pull. So the stress reaches a relative minimum where the string takes a kink to go through the cross-hole. That kink represents a severe stress concentration so, at least in theory, more windings equals less stress at a vulnerable point.

By the way, the above is a good argument for keeping the tuning posts clean and free of any oily or greasy film. You *want* friction between the windings and the post so that the stress level in the string is relatively low by the time it hits the severe stress concentration of the above-mentioned kink. If the post surface is in effect lubricated, that desired friction is going to go down. (By the way, if you use a solvent to degrease your posts, be sure to use one like naphtha that's safe around whatever finish your guitar has.)


Last edited by Thomas Stone on 20 Feb 2021 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ricky Davis


From:
Buda, Texas USA
Post  Posted 20 Feb 2021 11:56 am    
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Yes if it is always breaking at the tuning key post; my experience is: NOT ENOUGH WRAPS!!!
For the 3rd string I use a .012 for my 24" scale Sho~bud(longer scale if you don't use Jagwire or D'addario; don't even try a .012..ha..go .011.5 or .011, and always wrap at least 2 wraps on the outside of hole and at least 7 wraps other side of hole up the post. NEVER HAVE BROKEN a string tuning it right up and stretching out with pedal and fingers.
You're ONLY making the string more stable by wrapping more. Stability is a key on both sides of the string tension(Finger and Roller).; I don't know the length where to cut; been doing it so long my eyeballs just know; oh and I never cut the string first....always wrap it on; then cut.
Ricky
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Helmut Gragger


From:
Austria
Post  Posted 14 May 2021 10:42 am    
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Folks,
If I understand correctly, you guys lock the string in the post by putting wraps on both sides, which will squeeze together.

On standard guitar, I used to lock the strings by threading the excess piece of wire *backwards* across the point, where the useful string exits the hole. This kind of locks the string like a vise.

This method is kind of recommended for standard guitar that uses a vibrato system, because they claim that any excess windings may cause the string to return non-true due to partial unwinding at the post. With this method you can keep the excess windings minimal, just enough to get it clamping.

I did this on my new DeVis, and this worked on all strings, except the high G#. As soon as I pedaled to A, boom it goes at the post. Twice.

The fact that it has to go over that winding it has to clamp may blow it, if this string is really so sensitive to edges.

I admit that 0.011 strings on guitar are tuned up to an E, and is a hell of a heavy string to bend by hand. But an A.... Whoa!

And yes, I had this on my previous guitar (Sho-Bud), with the same string, and when I bought George-L´s, that was the end of it.

-helmut
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Roger Crawford


From:
Griffin, GA USA
Post  Posted 14 May 2021 11:13 am    
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Do a quick trip to the Mullen website. They have a great piece on how to wind the third string. I’ve never broken one since I started using this method.
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Helmut Gragger


From:
Austria
Post  Posted 14 May 2021 11:15 pm    
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Thanks. I looked there, well made site.
What they say is what has been outlined above basically.
I‘ll try that, but before I‘ll inspect that post under an enlargement glass and give it a polish.
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Helmut Gragger


From:
Austria
Post  Posted 20 May 2021 7:26 am    
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I´d like to bring to your attention (since I have not seen it mentioned here) that GHS produces a "High Break String" labelled "pg" (in this case, 0.011pg) that is obviously made out of a more durable steel.

Chances are, you have already mounted some of those without recognizing the difference.

S.I.T. make similar strings, same name.

Jagwire have amongst their single strings a 0.011ST and a 0.011 1/2 ST. Since those two are the only ones I would tend to believe that those are a similar special quality. They don´t even offer a "standard" quality, since they are dedicated to PSG strings.

Those strings are made for the higher torques found on pedal steel guitars and should help to further alleviate the 3rd string problem, together with the precautions mentioned above by you folks.

I do not like to have simple things like strings shipped form the other end of the globe, so I looked with a local maker, Pyramid from Germany. They have handmade steelwound strings which I will evaluate.
I hade ordered the standard quality, and all work well, except the third. After talking to them they send me a 0.011 EXTRA STAHL QUALITÄT. I will let you know.

-Helmut
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John Sluszny

 

From:
Brussels, Belgium
Post  Posted 20 May 2021 7:54 am    
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Here is how I do it with my Carter U12's 3rd string...and other strings too.
https://www.steelguitar.com/strings.html
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Dan Beller-McKenna


From:
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Post  Posted 20 May 2021 12:26 pm    
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Weird timing. I hadn't looked at this thread because I don't break strings. Maybe one or two a year, and usually because I am loosening and retightening a string to work on some issue or another.

Make that, I usually don't break strings.

But last night I had a twilight zone like experience with the third string. As I get the final touches dialed in on my recently acquired Carter, I decided that I need a little slack on the third string B pedal raise because I was having trouble clearing it entirely when I was on the A pedal alone. I lowered the pedal a little, but that didn't get me there, so I decided to move the 3rd string pull rod higher on the five-hole bellcrank (two slots).

While I had the guitar flipped over, the String broke while I was disengaging the pull rod. Okay, I probably was impatient and didn't back off the nylon tuner far enough, thus raising the string too high when pushed in the rod to get it off the dog-bone in the bellcrank. My bad. But after I made the switch underneath, I flipped the guitar over and threw on a new .011 (SIT) which is what I always use. As soon as I got the string up to pitch, *snap!* I used my usual method: Bud Carter four post lengths, bring it up slowly from E-G#, stretch the string manually a few times along the way, cross over the shaft. Weird. Slapped another on; same thing. Strings both broke between the roller nut and the post. FWIW, both were from the same package (SIT always packs to .011s). Bad batch? Tried another SIT with different packaging, so not from a similar batch. Same thing!!!

Mind you, I've probably strung up a hundred+ .0111/3rd strings in the past decade and never had one break (including on this guitar). I finally got the fourth try to work, but I had to bring it up to pitch over the course of an hour or so, pedaling multiple times at each stage (as I leaned away from the steel in terror). Now it's fine. Played it a bunch this morning and it tunes up and, most importantly, hasn't snapped.

So what's going on???? I can only think of two things, one of which I am guessing would defy the laws of physics. Namely, could making the pedal action shorter and stiffer (i.e., creating more tension in the pedal feel) create more tension in the actual string raise? I strongly doubt it, but I was a guitar-playing bum in high school and never took physics. A far more likely possibility is that I was crossing the string over on the shaft (CAPSTAN!) among the last wraps, rather than after the first wrap or two. I noticed I was doing this because it looked like there was less length to the left of the hole than on other tuners (probably just an optical illusion). So, on the last .011 I put on, I made a point of crossing over after the first couple of wraps. Hard to believe that could be so critical, but that's all I can think of.
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basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 20 May 2021 12:34 pm    
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Dan Beller-McKenna wrote:
A far more likely possibility is that I was crossing the string over on the shaft (CAPSTAN!) among the last wraps, rather than after the first wrap or two. I noticed I was doing this because it looked like there was less length to the left of the hole than on other tuners (probably just an optical illusion). So, on the last .011 I put on, I made a point of crossing over after the first couple of wraps. Hard to believe that could be so critical, but that's all I can think of.


That's it in a nutshell !!
Also changing the stroke length of the pedal increased the SPEED of the change. (under normal conditions)
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Helmut Gragger


From:
Austria
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2021 10:20 am    
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Just wanted to come back on Pyramid strings.
I use stainless steel wound strings on the PSG, with the 0.011 in "EXTRA STAHL Qualität", which would be akin to SIT´s and GHS´s "0.011pg" strings.

This made the difference.

I did of course stick to the recommendations you guys made. All other strings I wound up my usual way without any special ado and no problem.

Pyramid have a website (at least the page for steel guitars) that does not do justice to the quality of their strings, besides the fact that they are very well priced.

It is kind of funny, because the demand for steel guitar in Germany is so small that their marketing is hinging on the collaboration with a player that is long dead and was only known locally. His instrument had a small local market segment for a while, but after his demise the company, who bought up the name, had abandoned PSG.

So the particular pages appear not very informative and somewhat old-fashioned. Not very helpful for my taste.

I wrote to them, they were very appreciative and showed interest to improve their page upon the remarks I made.
We´ll see.

Have fun.

-helmut
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