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Author Topic:  I keep breaking 11s!
Baron Collins-Hill


From:
Maine, USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 6:56 am    
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Hi all,

I just got a new-to-me Zum Encore and keep breaking 11s. The first one I wound right up and pedaled it around and it busted straight away, so the second I tuned up and left overnight. That one lasted about a day. Now I've got a 10 on there because that's all I've got left in singles.

I want to get an 11 back on but wondered if there was something I was doing wrong, or if there is a different string brand or style I should be using? I've been using SIT Emmons.

Thanks!
Baron
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Baron Collins-Hill


From:
Maine, USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 6:59 am    
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Also, I've heard people bumping up there 11 to 11.5 or even 12. Can I do that with a different string brand? Should I stick with 11s?

Thanks,
Baron
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:19 am    
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Where are the strings breaking? (That's important information!)

Yes, I'd try a .0115 or a .012 and see if that helps.

Yes, you can use any brand, an mix and match as required. Your steel doesn't care about brand names, and neither should you.
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Baron Collins-Hill


From:
Maine, USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:24 am    
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The last one broke at the tuning machine post as far as I can tell.

Thanks,
Baron
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:26 am    
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Contact Doug. An .011 should work just fine on your guitar. I'd guess that you have a bad batch of singles.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:33 am    
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Baron Collins-Hill wrote:
The last one broke at the tuning machine post as far as I can tell.


You may need more wraps around the peg. I'd suggest no less than 7 or 8 wraps on string #3.
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Baron Collins-Hill


From:
Maine, USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:36 am    
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Thanks Donny, I'll give that a try!
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:38 am    
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Baron Collins-Hill wrote:
The last one broke at the tuning machine post as far as I can tell.

Thanks,
Baron


Back when I was playing E9 (I now downtune to D9) I had that same tuning machine post breaking problem then I watched the Mullen how-to vid on winding string 3 and it did the trick:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkdbQOwvi8w
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Doug Earnest


From:
Branson, MO USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:40 am    
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I have had a lot of "bad" 11s in the last couple of years. Not SIT brand. I started using 12s as standard a year or so ago.
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Kevin Fix


From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:47 am    
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You may want to check to make sure it is tuned correctly before the string pulls and after the string pulls. I can't remember when the last time I broke the third string.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 7:47 am    
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NOT ENOUGH INFO.


11's should pose no issue, any brand. It is imperative to know where they are breaking as it can define an issue.

Strings that break at the post, a few things,

1 - a burr or ruff edge at the post

2- the string bend at the post MOVED when you were tuning to pitch.

3- You are not tuned to 440 . That pesky 3rd string is an entity on it's own, but an 11 should pose no issues.

4- If it primarily breaks when you press the B Pedal , this may imply that the 3rd string pull is going beyond the G# to A. But the break can occur at either end.

Five or more wraps at the post and keeping the string TIGHT when winding is a typical routine. Make sure that the bend at the post is not moving. The string will break at the bend if it moves.

Strings that break at the ball end have a totally different issue.

Where are they breaking ?
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Last edited by Tony Prior on 26 May 2019 1:47 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Larry Baker


From:
Columbia, Mo. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 8:34 am    
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I haven't broke any 11's since using Live Steel Strings. Personally I like the stainless over the nickel.
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Fred Justice


From:
Mesa, Arizona
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 9:11 am    
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Baron, maybe you should have kept the little "Justice"
Naw, just kidding Laughing

As Doug stated, I too use .012 on my 3rd string, it just sounds better, last longer, and feels better as well.
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 9:32 am    
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To twist around what Kevin Fix said.......

If your guitar is set up for an .011, and you switch to an .012, you'll need to retune/readjust that pedal, or you will almost definitely break that .012 every time.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 1:23 pm    
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Larry Baker wrote:
I haven't broke any 11's since using Live Steel Strings. Personally I like the stainless over the nickel.


Being nickel or stainless has no bearing on the unwound strings. Only the windings are either stainless or nickel.
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Roger Crawford


From:
McDonough, GA USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 1:50 pm    
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Another vote for the method described on the Mullen site. I use a 12, but for tone and feel. I’ve not broken a third string since doing it this way.
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Greg Lambert


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 2:14 pm    
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Simple solution. The string must not be overlapped at the tuning key. My Derby did the same thing till I learned not to overlap the string.
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George Macdonald


From:
Vancouver Island BC Canada
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 4:12 pm     3rd string
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I've been using .012s for 15 years on my Carter [suggested by Al Brisco] when I bought it new. I almost never break break a string, and only change them every 6 months. I've been using SITs for a couple of years now and find them to be fine strings.
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Ken Metcalf


From:
Converse Texas USA
Post  Posted 26 May 2019 4:34 pm    
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Make sure you have a few extra winds on the 3rd string.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 27 May 2019 1:59 am    
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we still don't know where the strings are breaking. Kinda hard to advise what to do without more information.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 27 May 2019 3:42 am    
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Breaking at keyhead= bad strings or problem with winding around post.. check post for nicks, rough spots.. Do NOT overlap windings!

Breaking at changer end= Bad strings, rough spots, nicks or burrs on changer where it contacts strings.. Also check that the nut roller is free, but that is almost never the issue on any modern guitar..

Some strings even well known brands don't belong on a pedal steel... Ask what guys on this forum use when store bought guitar strings keep breaking.. Most guys like Livesteel or SIT. bob
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post  Posted 27 May 2019 3:53 am     3rd Breakage
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Never had that problem with my Encore, when I started using NYXL's Strings and a .012 for the 3rd. (Brands DO matter)

The possible issues that Tony P suggests are spot on.
Nickel v Stainless is not the issue here as they are Nickel.
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Baron Collins-Hill


From:
Maine, USA
Post  Posted 27 May 2019 4:59 am    
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Thanks everyone! I've got some NYXL 12s on order.

Baron
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Zum Encore 4x5
Quilter MicroPro M2 8"

Mandolin, Tenor & 6 String guitars,Clawhammer Banjo, PSG.

Free Online Mandolin & Fiddle Tune Lessons
http://www.mandolessons.com
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Greg Thompson


From:
Taumarunui, New Zealand
Post  Posted 27 May 2019 5:10 am    
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Mr. Green Mr. Green Let's know how you get on
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 27 May 2019 6:10 am    
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I've used an .012" on my steels for a long time - I like the bigger tone. My Encore accommodates them easily and I've experienced no breakages.
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