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Thread: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

  1. #51
    Registered User Pasha Alden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Thanks Ivan and all. A final query: what do you all know about black diamond strings?

    Playing:
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    Crafter M70E acoustic mandolin
    Jbovier F5 mandola 2016

  2. #52
    Registered User JKA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasha Alden View Post
    Thanks Ivan and all. A final query: what do you all know about black diamond strings?
    Black Diamond strings on a catalogue guitar
    That pretty high cotton whoever you are
    You break one, you change one, that's as good as it gets
    You can play all year long on two or three sets...the late great Guy Clark RIP
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  3. #53
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Gee, are they still making Black Diamond strings? How quaint.

  4. #54
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    For what it's worth - another Cafe member posted on here quite a while ago about how much he liked Black Diamond strings on his Weber 'Fern' mandolin. Always willing to try new brands out,i bought a set,put them on & removed them within a half hour. They sounded dreadful on mine. No other strings have ever sounded so bad from the off.

    J74's (now EJ74's) are usually a very safe bet. It's not for nothing that they're ''possibly'' the most popular string set on the market. Another string that i've tried & still use on my Ellis,are GHS A270's,also very good sounding strings indeed.

    OK - Here's an offer that you can't refuse ! (well you can if you wish). I've used EJ74's on my Weber for over 6 years in the 8 years that i've had it, & they do sound good. I bought 2 new sets only a few weeks ago - however,i'd had DR MD11 strings on it before that,& i prefer the added 'punch' that they give. If you send me a PM or e-mail via the Cafe with your adress,i'll send you the 2 sets of EJ74's totally free of any cost to yourself. Please feel free to refuse if you'd rather try another string set,i won't take offence (why should i ?). I'm itching to get back to DR strings on my Weber,so you'll be doing me a favour,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
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  5. #55
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    In addition to Ivan's kind offer, I'll be in Knysna with my wife next February for a couple of days. I buy J74s in bulk and can readily spare a couple of sets.

    A fair drive from Grahamstown but if you can make it across I'll happily string it for you. Otherwise I can post them to you.

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Ivan - thank you for the idea of Blue tack to keep the loop on while stringing. I think I will use painter's tape, but that has been a recurring problem - put the loop on the tailpiece and while running the strings up and putting on the tuning pegs the loop comes off and I get to start over! Why didn't I ever think of that?!?! Such an easy fix for an annoying problem...

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Restringing isn't difficult, but here's a trick I use that make it easier. First, some vintage (and who knows how many modern) tailpieces hook the loop end on the end of the instrument, ie, perpendicular to the top. The string often then passes under part of the tailpiece, as in the pic below.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If yours is similar, it's helpful to pre-bend the string just up from the loop. Otherwise, you run the risk of kinking your string trying to get it tight, or more likely of it springing free of the hook, over and over, while you try to get it wound around the post. A 90° bend saves a lot of hassle.

    Incidentally, I found that pic on luthier Frank Ford's Restring Your Mandolin webpage. I recommend anything he has to say about stringed instrument tech.
    And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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  8. #58
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    The Weber t/pieces aren't too dissimilar to s1m0n's t/piece above,apart from being a cast item. I just push the strings through from the bottom,loop the loop over the string hook & then immediately apply a small piece of Blue-tack to keep it there. I did try bending the loops once,but the bent loop twisted around in my fingers making a tricky job even worse. The actual 'hooks' on the Weber t/pieces are hardly there & they can be a PITA to string up,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  9. #59
    Registered User Pasha Alden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Ivan and all the other folk here my thanks again. I got help from a guitar teacher. He restrung the mando perfectly. All he did not have was a sidecutter to remove the excess string. I am going to do that this morning. I was impressed. I am going to ask him to show me how to do it. Some tuning was even done and no problems with the bridge hence no intonation issues.
    Really very pleased. May I ask another foolish question: till where do I cut the excess string off?

    Playing:
    Jbovier a5 2013;
    Crafter M70E acoustic mandolin
    Jbovier F5 mandola 2016

  10. #60
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Pasha - If the mandolin is already strung up,but with excessive string length sticking out of the tuner posts,be careful not to cut them too close to the posts. Cut them a good 1/4" long & try not to 'push' on the strings. There's a lot of tension on those strings,& while i know that there's quite a bit of friction as well,i've cut the tag ends a bit shorter on mine if i've left them a bit too long (very rarely),& the string tension's pulled the tag end more into the string hole.

    When re-stringing,i put the string loop onto the hook & hold it there with a small piece of Blue-Tack so i've got both hands free. I then hold the loose end to the tuner post - say on an A or E string. I allow 2" past the post & then cut it off. I then push the loose end through the tuner post by about 3/8" & begin to wind on. As soon as the string is really 'kinked' around the post,it's pulling on itself & won't slip. On the un-wound strings,i like plenty of turns around the post = more friction = less slipping. On the G & D wound strings,i allow 1 1/8" to 1 1/4". Being wound,they have far more 'holding friction'. I've strung my banjo like that for 50 + years,also my guitar & now mandolin & i've never had a string slip or come off.

    One other thing that i always do is as soon as the string begins to wind onto the tuner post,i hold it down into it's nut slot.That way it always starts off where it's going to end up,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  11. #61
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasha Alden View Post
    May I ask another foolish question: till where do I cut the excess string off?
    There are a couple of schools of thought. The 60s folk thing was to cut with several extra inches and then coil the extra. It helps to scrape the string on one side with your wire cutters, like you're curling ribbon against the blade of a pair of scissors.

    The modern thing seems to be to cut the string pretty close - 1/8" or so from the post. This is tidier. The chief consideration is that strings, particularly treble strings, can be SHARP when cut, so you want the cut ends to point down towards the peghead, not up towards your fingers. It's a lot easier to bend long strings down than it is short ends. Bend them down first, then cut.
    Last edited by s1m0n; Oct-01-2016 at 2:42am.
    And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

    C.S. Lewis

  12. #62
    Registered User Rob Beck's Avatar
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    I suspect that as long as they have been installed correctly, it doesn't matter which approach you take. I cut mine as close to the post as I can to avoid spiking my fingers on them, and have never had an issues with doing it this way.
    Rob

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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    Gee, are they still making Black Diamond strings? How quaint.
    Yes they are still making them but they change every couple of years. Don't fall in love with them, they'll be something else tomorrow

  14. #64
    Gilchrist (pick) Owner! jasona's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Just restrung, and as always wonder why I hadn't because it sounds so much better!

    No blood until the last string, as I was marveling at how fast it was going with no sticks. Remove the last string from the post and right into the thumb! Ugh.
    Jason Anderson

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  15. #65

    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    ......

    My recommended method is the one that involves wrapping the string, under some hand tension, several times (3-4) around the tuner post before threading it through the hole in the post, to create a pre-formed wrap above a fully extended string. Then bring up the final tension, which involves only minimal cranking of the tuner knob, and cut off the excess length. Simple.
    +1 This is the absolutely best/fastest most fool-proof way to do it.

  16. #66
    Searching for the Sound
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    without reading the rest of the posts ... the below vid works well for me. I have it 'on' when I string, since I only restring every 6 mo or so...

    dang E string busted this time while bringing up to tension, but oh well...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2Hk34p2OBA
    - 2013 Eastman MD 505
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  17. #67
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    The video shows two ways to have string breakage. I prefer like sblock to wrap the strings around the post first then go thru the hole. The wraps are designed to help from string breakage and this way you have the correct wraps and very little turning of the tuner button. Putting it thru and coming back around allows a place where the string crosses and binds it in place, works well for slippage, but is a break point as the strings press against each other under pressure. This is similar to knot strength. Not having the wraps allows the potential of the tuner to also help cut the string, now made easier by the 90 degree bend at the tuner. I also hate taking this kind of string change off an instrument when working on them, it is much harder to take off and takes longer to put on and with no benefits.

    This is my opinion and if you use this technique, well, it's all about personal taste isn't it.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  18. #68
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    I've been putting it thru and coming back around for years, don't break strings and don't need tape capos or blue tack. I put the string thru the tuner first then hook on tailpiece. All my mandolins have trad tailpieces, I Knossos you can't do that with some of the newer, custom types.

  19. #69
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    I've used the "locking method" and also the "3 times around and then thru the hole" method over the years.
    I like both. Never have had any problem with string breakage with either method. (since I learned to notice which peg button I was turning. )
    Phil

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  20. #70
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    For years , I did a Cross over, technique

    Mandolin face up, pulling the loop against the hook [Gibson tailpiece]
    with my Left hand, so it would stay on the hook,

    string up and over my hand, put it in the hole
    with my right hand and turned the peg button RH.

    the detour up and over my Left hand , as i tightened the string, and progressively removed my left hand
    as the peg wound it up, resulted in about 3~4 turns around the capstan ..


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  21. #71
    Registered User Sakamichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any tips for restringing or replacing strings

    I'm new to mandolin, but well-experienced in guitar, and I highly recommend applying Big Bends Nut Sauce to the nut slots when replacing strings. A small amount on the bridge probably wouldn't hurt either.

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