October 3, 2005
I have been using Elixir Nanoweb strings on my new Collings MF5V mandolin.
One drawback that I've discovered with the design of the cool-looking Collings mandolin tailpiece is that, when securing the loop end of the string over the tailpiece post and then pulling the string through the corresponding hole in the tailpiece towards the headstock, the strings rub against the sides of the small metal holes, thus scratching (and possibly damaging) the delicate ultra-thin GoreTex coating on the wound G and D strings.
I thought about using pliers and crimping the loop ends of the strings to a semi-sharp point and inserting them into the metal tailpiece from the other direction, but I didn't know if this would fatigue the metal core and possibly cause breakage problems down the line.
Are there any Collings mando owners who hear that awful grinding sound when they pull a new set of strings through the tiny holes in the factory tailpiece?
Wouldn't it be better if Collings enlarged those string holes and lined them with some type of teflon bushing so that it wouldn't grind the new coated strings being slid through them?
I know that many mandolin players don't use coated strings but, it seems to me, that this tailpiece grinding could also damage the delicate windings of non-coated strings as well and may negatively effect their tone and longevity.
Is this tailpiece string abrasion issue also a problem with other manufacturer's metal tailpieces?
Am I installing my strings incorrectly?
Does anyone have any ideas on how to work around this problem I am having?