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Thread: Is this string about dead?

  1. #1
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Is this string about dead?

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    Note the color of the string to the left of the nut, then (panning right) the bare metal, then the continuing bronze color. And that lovely shred of covering sticking up.

    The other string in the course snapped on my yesterday as I was tuning it. and it snapped right at the same point.

    Two questions:
    1. Is this string about to go?
    2. Has anybody had this problem with D'Dario flat wound strings? These are EFT76s that have been on the instrument only a couple/three weeks.
    belbein

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    I see nothing wong. My worn-out strings lose tone and sustain, but are not any more prone to breaking. It's likely you tuned past the correct pitch and E strings always break if tuned a little bit too high.

    If you use a tuner device that displays frequency as well as note name, be sure to not go past 660 Hz.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Looks like it is too deep in the slot. Probably getting pinched.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Biggest question: What type of instrument IS this?

    IF mandolin, that looks like a flat-wound E, with round-wound G & D. Wound E-strings on mandolin are, in my experience, unheard of. Not sure if the A is flat- or round-wound, but wound A at all is very uncommon.

    Given the broken windings, the remaining E-string is either well past its expiration date OR is being used in a far-too-tight nut slot. Maybe that's the reason for the other E to break?

    As to the coloration (dark vs. bright) on the G & D strings, our individual skin chemistry varies widely, and some of us turn new strings dark in an hour or two, while others take weeks or months.

    Then again, if this is a mandocello or ocatve mandolin (given the wound high courses), then all bets are off. (Even mandolas, in my experience, normally have plain high A-strings.)
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    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    I have also never seen a wound mandolin E string.

    I also agree that nut slots should be investigated first as the potential culprit.


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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    I am guessing mandola or octave mandolin.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    WARNING WARNING:

    Many of the off the shelf string sets for mandola and especially mandocello are much too heavy!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    WARNING WARNING:

    Many of the off the shelf string sets for mandola and especially mandocello are much too heavy!!
    I have found the opposite to be true for my mandocello. I ended up buying a custom set of heavier strings for it.
    What is the scale length of your mandocello? Mine is 24&3/4"

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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    I have found the opposite to be true for my mandocello. I ended up buying a custom set of heavier strings for it.
    What is the scale length of your mandocello? Mine is 24&3/4"
    The D'addario J78 set uses 22 through 74. These will tear a 'cello to pieces almost immediately. The 74 is especially oversized.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    One of the off the shelf sets uses 74's for the fourth string. These will tear a 'cello to pieces almost immediately.
    The set I made has 75s for the C course and they've been on there for more than a year with no adverse effects. My set is 75, 48, 35, 22. I'm sure it depends on the particular instrument, and the scale length as well. For example, most people think the standard size C course that ships with the Eastman mandocellos is too small and suggest moving to at least 70s if not 74s or 75s.

  11. #11
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    If this is a 'cello the top string should be tuned to 220 Hz.

    I assumed we were talking about a mandolin, missed the set ID.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Getting back to the OP's original question, looking at the picture closely, and assuming it is a mandola tuned CGDA, it appears the the winding of the string is missing at the nut exactly. I'm also suggesting that the nut needs to be recut to properly accommodate these strings

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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    The set I made has 75s for the C course and they've been on there for more than a year with no adverse effects. My set is 75, 48, 35, 22. I'm sure it depends on the particular instrument, and the scale length as well. For example, most people think the standard size C course that ships with the Eastman mandocellos is too small and suggest moving to at least 70s if not 74s or 75s.
    An Eastman might be able to handle it. Put them on an old Gibson and you'll end up with a warped neck and a sunken top.

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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    An Eastman might be able to handle it. Put them on an old Gibson and you'll end up with a warped neck and a sunken top.
    Very true. Not many are able to lay their hands on a vintage Gibson mandocello though. I think most modern ones are more able to handle heavier strings, and in fact are made to.

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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Yes, I tend to forget that there are now modern mandolas and 'cellos being built in significant numbers.
    For most of my life, the only things that were available were old Gibsons.
    So I will amend my statement to "Warning, many of the off the shelf sets are too heavy for the older instruments."

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Has anyone noticed that the string in question has had its outer windings loosened and the bare core only is in the nut slot? That can't be right.

    Oh, I see EdHanrahan noted the windings.

    FYI: D'Addario EFT76 set is for mandola. It would be nice if the OP checked in on his question, though I have seen quite a few rabbits lately on my lawn.
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    My indication is the D string once the winding has hit the fretwire so often the winding is a c not an o and falls off.. its time..
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    As Ed and Jim noted - and the OP implied when he mentioned the strings are EFT76 - it's a mandola. But that still doesn't explain why the A string is wound. Well, mostly wound. It's coming unwound. It's not dead, but it's badly wounded ... er, badly wound ... er, yeah, it's almost dead. Soon it will go the way of its missing mate. Yep, time to replace.
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    It's not dead........it's just pining for the fjords

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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Sorry not to have responded. Yes, mandola. These are D'Dadario flat wound strings and they're all wound. Except the ones unwinding.

    I did wonder whether the nut slots were causing the problem, given where the problem was occurring. I hate to recut The nut slots given that this was a first use of this kind of string set and I may never use them again. If I did recut the nut slots, then later went back to the smaller guage strings would I have to replace the nut because the slots would be too wide?
    belbein

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    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    On and on...

    It's easy, just Change Your STRINGS!
    If you doubt them change them.
    I know it's a hassle but there's nothing like fresh, sparkly, crisp, new strings.
    Buy Mapes-they are better, cheaper and you can order anything you like.

    If you gotta ask you gotta change. Trust the Force.

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  25. #22

    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    This string has shuffled off it's mortal coil and gone to join the choir invisible, this is a dead string.

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  27. #23
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    Sorry not to have responded. Yes, mandola. These are D'Dadario flat wound strings and they're all wound. Except the ones unwinding.

    I did wonder whether the nut slots were causing the problem, given where the problem was occurring. I hate to recut The nut slots given that this was a first use of this kind of string set and I may never use them again. If I did recut the nut slots, then later went back to the smaller guage strings would I have to replace the nut because the slots would be too wide?
    You've really got to make a choice to go with one or the other. The alternative is to keep using strings that don't fit and won't function properly.
    The current situation has you tuning a string by tensioning the inner core, but leaving the outer windings stuck in the nut slot until fatigue causes them to fail.
    Once unwound the outer windings lose their grip on the inner core so they begun to unwind along the remaining length.
    The only way I can think you might be able to combine the two would be to wind the outer wrappings tight again, then solder them to the core, leaving just the core to pass through the slot, (would the solder heat cause fatigue and have the strings fail anyway?) , but what a rigmarole by comparison with setting up the nut properly for the strings you prefer to use. If you like the sound of the wound strings, then you really need to set the instrument up for them. in the unlikely event of wanting to go back to plain gauge strings, then better to do the job properly again, but hang on to the wider slotted nut for any future changes of mind.
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  28. #24
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    Default Re: Is this string about dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    ... I hate to recut The nut slots ...
    It isn't just the nut slots.

    Intonation, those offsets at the saddle, normally varies for wound vs. plain strings. Look at your mandola's bridge/saddle compared to a typical mandolin's. You'll see that higher-pitched strings are a bit shorter than lower-pitched ones, except that the -usual- lowest plain course (2nd on mandolin, 1st on mandola) is normally longer than the highest wound course. Since your current strings have the 1st course wound, that implies that the 1st course should be the shortest of all, and it's currently not.

    So if you're dedicated to a wound 1st course, you should also need a new nut to keep the intonation in line. (Granted, I've met folks w/ wound mandolin 2nd course who found the intonation "not objectionable", but ...)

    If it were me, OTOH, I'd just go with the simple solution of finding a more standard mandola set with a plain, non-wound 1st course. In the grander scheme of things, new strings are cheap, especially when some of the current ones are obviously shot.
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