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Author Topic:  String Change Woes
Michael Hill

Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:34 am    
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I'm working on my first full string change. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. The string sets I have are from Ernie Ball. My guitar is a GFI Ultra with a stock setup.

On string 2, the string was sliding off the changer as I tuned it up. I quickly realized the ball end of the string was not where it was supposed to be. Hope I don't do that again...

When I got to string 6, I found it was a wound string. I wasn't expecting this as the old string was plain. Later when I went to tune my B pedal down, it came up very flat. I tried bringing it up to pitch but I found that it eventually started pulling the open string sharp.

I wouldn't mind trying the wound 6 but not if it's going to require significant setup changes. From the little bit I know, my guess is that I need my B pedal to have more travel for the 6th string. The first thing to try would be a different hole on the bell crank. Does that sound right?

I also have a -2 lower on RKL and a split using a 3rd pull rod.

I had no complaints with the old plain 6th string so maybe I should just pick up a few plain single strings to replace the ones that came with Ernie Ball sets. What do you think?
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Scott Duckworth

Etowah, TN Western Foothills of the Smokies
Post  Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:51 am    
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Is you will use a triangular makeup sponge between the changer and body after you put the ball end on the changer, it will hold it in place.

As for wound vs unwound, you are seeing the difference it makes. If you have a plain string and change to a wound, you will have to retune the pedal and may have to very well change the bell crank hole.
(1) E6 Rogue lap steel, (1) A6 Rogue lap steel, Li'l Izzy, Zoom MS-50G Effects Pedal into a Berhinger mixer and Harbinger V2112 speaker(s).

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I may, in fact, be nuts. However, I am screwed onto the right bolt... Jesus!
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Georg Sørtun

Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:54 am    
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A GFI Ultra can raise a wound 6th string to A, but can barely lower one to F#. A have wound 6th - .022W - in perfect tune on mine, but making it work flawless was a mechanical balancing act.

Unless you want to move rods on the bellcrank and changer, you'll be better off with a plain 6th string.
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Jerry Overstreet

Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 12 Jan 2018 11:56 am    
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I think you have diagnosed the issue correctly. If you have a lot going on that string, your best bet is to go back to the same gauge plain string you were using.

A wound string takes different mechanical geometry and will cause you to have to make adjustments on every other change you have on that string if you alter that.
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Lane Gray

Topeka, KS
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2018 6:20 am    
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I prefer the tone of the wound string.
You can either adjust the pedal stop, or change which hole you use on the bellcrank.
You can either play trial-and-error with bellcrank locations or call GFI in the morning and ask for their rodding suggestions for B pedal with a wound 6th.
Most modern guitars should be able to drop a wound 6th to F#, but it's right on the edge of feasibility. On my Zum I had to use different rodding and add travel to the knee lever.
In my personal opinion, the tone of the wound string is worth making the adjustment. It will also be a LOT more resistant to cabinet drop.
2 pedal steels, a lapStrat, and an 8-string Dobro (and 3 ukes)
More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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