Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

  1. #1
    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Adamstown, MD
    Posts
    171

    Default Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    I can knit an Aran sweater with the wickedest knots the Irish can devise (and they do work at it!), but I'm having problems creating a loop end on a mandolin string. I may be missing something obvious -- I'm old enough for that ... but not so old as to be unembarrassed by the fact. First, the problem:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2494.JPG 
Views:	26 
Size:	602.8 KB 
ID:	191383

    My recently purchased 1890 Vinaccia came with strings too heavy for such an old and light instrument. To remedy this, I purchased a set of premium Savarez strings (G-28, D-20, A-10, E-7.5), designed for Julien Martineau who seems to like everything as light as possible. G & D are silver wound on a synthetic core, A & E are stainless steel. These strings do not come with a loop on the end. I didn't think this would be an issue.

    I've been to this thread and I've explored this winder used for Portuguese guitars. Oh, yes, and I've watched this Youtube video.

    It is all very clear as long I am dealing with wire that is not wound, i.e., the A and E strings. However, the wound G and D strings do not seem amenable to the simple techniques displayed in the links above. What am I missing? And keep in mind that, as you can see in the image I've attached (note that I removed the G strings in my initial, naive enthusiasm to get this done), both Gs (and Ds) have to loop on a single narrow pin.

    Any advice gratefully received!

    Joe

  2. #2
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    4,072

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    Hmmm, I think I did a video about this too:



    Works OK for me for wound strings, though I haven't tried the brand you mentioned.

    BTW most regular loop end strings have loops large enough to go over those Vinaccia style pegs.

  3. The following members say thank you to Tavy for this post:


  4. #3
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,729
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    I put a dab of solder on the wound string a few cm from the end, then clamp it with a vise grip just in front of that. I then unwind the outer and lay it back around the core in a longer twist, bend into the loop and use the excess outer to whip the core back on itself. then I give it a dab of solder near the original bit. I also have done it without solder just using whipping thread from my fly-tying kit.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  5. The following members say thank you to Beanzy for this post:


  6. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,131

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    Savarez site says: "Premium strings for mandolin are inspired by the strings of the 18th century and their so magical sound." Very interesting. But I wonder why they didn't design these with loop ends. As far as I can tell, their other strings for mandolin are ultra-light and probably would sound fine and have loop ends.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	argentine-1540_0.png 
Views:	10 
Size:	467.1 KB 
ID:	191388 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	argentine1540x.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	49.4 KB 
ID:	191389

    I haven't used those Martineau strings but I can't imagine a professional having to jump over hoops to put strings on his instrument. And what if he breaks a string in concert? Or am I missing something here?

    His fascination with the instrument extends to a keen interest in how it is made. For some years Julien Martineau has been working with Savarez, the world leader in guitar string manufacture, with the aim of developing new mandolin strings using the latest technological innovations: the instrument he plays was devised and built for him by one of the great stringed instrument makers of the present day, the Canadian Brian N. Dean.
    And from Brian Dean's site:
    Ask about the Modèle Martineau !
    As heard above, this mandolin is custom-designed for Savarez Cantiga ultra-light strings.
    I can't quite see what is going on with the tailpiece for the Martineau model from Brian's site but maybe there is some clue there?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MartineauModel-Labraid.jpg 
Views:	25 
Size:	679.1 KB 
ID:	191390

    Frankly, there are other quality strings that would sound great on your Vinaccia: Regular Savarez, Dogal Calace RW92b Dolce, and others by Optima and Fisoma, all with loops.

    But if you have your heart set on these Martineau strings, why not write to Savarez and ask what they suggest—or even to Martineau.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,340

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    drive a finish nail , in a piece of wood to form the loop around ,
    wind the additional 3 " of wire around it, the standing part of the wire
    gripped by a pair of Vice Grips..

    Prefer a gee whiz tool ? John Pearse 'string wizard' https://www.elderly.com/products/joh...-string-wizard


    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  9. The following members say thank you to mandroid for this post:


  10. #6
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Shutesbury, MA
    Posts
    536

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    Ha! Another knitter - yes'

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  11. The following members say thank you to Tim Logan for this post:


  12. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,131

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    I just wonder about the wound strings which unlike other mandolin strings have a nylon-like core similar I think to a classical guitar string. Am I wrong here— please correct me if I am.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  13. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  14. #8

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    With a syn core, no twisting method should work, but any non- slip knot, like a bowline, should do the job. Of course, that’s for the pegs you have; same thing on a conventional hook would just tear.

  15. The following members say thank you to Richard500 for this post:


  16. #9
    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Adamstown, MD
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    a nylon-like core similar I think to a classical guitar string -- Jim Garber
    With a syn core, no twisting method should work -- Richard500
    All stands revealed. 500 kudos to Jim and Richard for solving this conundrum.

    I could go the bowline knot route, but the double courses of G and D, with only a single peg for each pair would end up being too bulky.

    Until I can figure out another solution, I'll have to follow Jim's suggestion and simply move on with my life and get new strings with the usual loop on the end.

    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

    Joe

  17. #10

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    Mentioned non-slip knots because the loop can be any size, so there would be no crowding at the peg. The knot part can be any distance away, even topside. Just don’t ask me about knitting.

  18. The following members say thank you to Richard500 for this post:


  19. #11
    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Adamstown, MD
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    To put a finish to this:

    Thanks, again, to Richard who will appreciate the bowline knot my luthier used:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2497.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	400.2 KB 
ID:	191467

    Next time I'll do it myself. I believe there will be a next time because these strings sing on this mandolin. Only trouble is that the G and D go out of tune even as I am playing so that I have to constantly fiddle, so to speak, with the tuners. Granted new strings need to stretch ... but either the syn core or the knotted end seems to exaggerate this. I'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

    Joe

  20. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,131

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    Nice that they sound great but if you break one string and it is the one underneath you have to change both. Good luck.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  21. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  22. #13
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    near Boston, MA
    Posts
    521

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    I applaud your dedication to the sport !

  23. The following members say thank you to Frankdolin for this post:


  24. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Edmonds, WA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    I think your lower strings are going out of tune because the knots have more stretching to do before they settle in. I’ll bet it will take a week or two of playing an hour a day before they are stable. Glad you found a solution!

  25. The following members say thank you to Rob Meldrum for this post:


  26. #15
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,527

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Nice that they sound great but if you break one string and it is the one underneath you have to change both. Good luck.
    Nah, just loosen the intact string enough to slip the loop off the peg, replace the broken string, slip the other's loop back on and re-tighten. Theoretically, it should work -- not that I've actually done it...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  27. #16
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,340

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    I'd think 4 long strings doing an out and back around each of those 4 buttons, for a unison pair,

    with a tuner on each end would solve it with simplicity ...
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  28. The following members say thank you to mandroid for this post:


  29. #17
    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Adamstown, MD
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    mandroid, I actually did consider that option ... but ... naaah! Thanks.

    Joe

  30. #18

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    And...those strings are not only going to stretch, and stretch, but as they are (unknown material) probably stranded stuff, they may be very good indicators of room humidity. For those interested, making a simple hygrometer from one could add to the information pool.
    A string hygrometer consists of a frame, a pointer and a small weight.
    Up to fairly recently, a human hair from one specific ethnicity was the active sensor in hygrometers.

  31. #19
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    2,248

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bartl View Post
    To put a finish to this:

    Thanks, again, to Richard who will appreciate the bowline knot my luthier used:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_2497.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	400.2 KB 
ID:	191467

    Next time I'll do it myself. I believe there will be a next time because these strings sing on this mandolin. Only trouble is that the G and D go out of tune even as I am playing so that I have to constantly fiddle, so to speak, with the tuners. Granted new strings need to stretch ... but either the syn core or the knotted end seems to exaggerate this. I'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

    Joe
    If you look closely at the photo you posted, you'll see a hairline crack that had developed in the back, running horizontally, straight through all four of the white string pegs. This is not good, and small openings of that crack under tension will send things out of tune. It might even lead to a more catastrophic failure down the line, so beware. Also, particularly on the G strings, it appears to me like the bowline knots have not been fully pulled tight in all their loops towards the free end -- I can see additional slack there. Failure to pull a bowline knot fully tight before string installation can lead to the strings going flat, as the knots tighten themselves up.

  32. #20
    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Adamstown, MD
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    Thanks, sblock, for the warning. Indeed, it looks like a hairline crack, but in reality it is an etched line for the purpose, I imagine, of correctly aligning the holes to be drilled for the pegs. Seems an odd bit of visible workmanship but I can't imagine why else it would be there. The G and D strings do indeed go flat, but this is becoming less and less of an issue. I have to tune whenever I pick this up to play, but I find myself doing that with my other mandolins as well, so not big deal. These strings really are perfect for this instrument.

    Joe

  33. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Joe Bartl For This Useful Post:


  34. #21
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,729
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    A (fishing) technique for avoiding bulky knots in nylon loops is to crimp the nylon at the tip in a ridged vice jaw or pliers and do the same at the point where the loop doubles back to meet the string. Then you tightly whip & varnish them together to keep them interlocked. No knot needed.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  35. The following members say thank you to Beanzy for this post:


  36. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,318

    Default Re: Winding string loop ends for 1890 Vinaccia

    "My recently purchased 1890 Vinaccia came with strings too heavy for such an old and light instrument. To remedy this, I purchased a set of premium Savarez strings (G-28, D-20, A-10, E-7.5), designed for Julien Martineau who seems to like everything as light as possible."

    It is not just the strings or the Brian Dean instrument. Julien uses (or did when I last spoke with him in person) a Dunlop nylon pick, 0.38mm, the lightest that is commercially available.

    Back in 2017 I was in touch with Savarez when the strings in question were still in development. I got them to send me a couple of sets (I had previously gotten one set from Julien). I installed one set on a Calace bowl back, quite a bit sturdier of an instrument than Joe's Vinaccia -- and, crucially, bought a bunch of Julien's preferred plectrum (which are dirt cheap). It is, as everyone is saying, a bit of pain to put the strings on, and the pick will take some getting used to for most people. You can get, however, a quite ethereal sound (which Julien does), especially tremolo. In the end, I decided it was not for me -- it was Julien's sound, not mine -- but it was an interesting experiment. The wound Savarez strings, btw, I believe are the same as those that they market for lutes and early guitars, which is why they don't come with a loop. I tied knots at the end a la several suggestions here, and these worked fine.
    Robert A. Margo

  37. The following members say thank you to margora for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •