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Thread: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

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    Registered User CaskAle's Avatar
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    Default Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    I've just broken both the E strings while stringing up with FW74s. Not an experience I would like to repeat given the cost of these strings. With the E and A being plain, is there somewhere I can purchase just this gauge, or some strings which are close enough? The high cost of FW74's must mostly reside in the wound strings. I've had a search but can't find any from D'Addario, perhaps not surprising given the durability and life of the wounds with respect to the plains.
    1956 Levin Palermo 'A' style
    2010 The Loar LM-600
    Eastwood electric mandolin
    Loads of guitars gathering dust

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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.


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    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    You can use just about any loop end plain steel string, any brand with the right gauge, 011. It isn't until you get into the wound strings (026, 036)the construction of the winding makes a difference. In a pinch, you can even use a guitar string 011 if you punch the ball out of it.
    Ted Eschliman

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    Registered User CaskAle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    Nice one, cheers guys !

    Will stock up on 11s and 15s in plain steel. Could make a set of FW74s last twice as long by replacing the unwounds, as well as keeping some spare 11s for breakages :-)
    1956 Levin Palermo 'A' style
    2010 The Loar LM-600
    Eastwood electric mandolin
    Loads of guitars gathering dust

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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    First I would suggest for you to have someone look at your mandolin to see why you are breaking the E strings, if it is done while tuning something is wrong and if they all seem to break at the same place then there may be some sharp point on your tuners, bridge or nut slots that is causing it....I haven`t broken a string in about ten years and I play a whole lot...

    Now watch, this weekend I`ll probably break a few at my next gig....

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    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    First I would suggest for you to have someone look at your mandolin to see why you are breaking the E strings, if it is done while tuning something is wrong and if they all seem to break at the same place then there may be some sharp point on your tuners, bridge or nut slots that is causing it....I haven`t broken a string in about ten years and I play a whole lot...

    Now watch, this weekend I`ll probably break a few at my next gig....
    That's exactly what I was thinking. I've been using the FW-74's for the past two years and have never broken any. Find out where the breakage was and have the mandolin looked at. I've kept at set of FW-74's on for 16 months without changing any of them.
    Larry Hunsberger

    2013 J Bovier A5 Special w/ToneGard
    D'Addario FW-74 flatwound strings
    1909 Weymann&Sons bowlback
    1919 Weymann&Sons mandolute
    Ibanez PF5
    1993 Oriente HO-20 hybrid double bass
    3/4 guitar converted to octave mandolin

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    I have broken FW74's - but by doing something unusual - using them to setup an instrument with a cast tailpiece - removing the flatwound strings from the case tailpiece kinks them too much to be able to get them back on without breakage

    I've never broken one in normal use though, so it does sound like you may have issues of the string binding in the nut.

    I do stock up on spare 11's and 15's though and replace these more often than the wound strings - the flatwound strings last almost forever, but the plain ones go harsh sounding to my ears after a few months. As ever your mileage may vary depending upon your playing style and finger chemistry.

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    Mandolin Botherer Shelagh Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    Will stock up on 11s and 15s in plain steel. Could make a set of FW74s last twice as long by replacing the unwounds, as well as keeping some spare 11s for breakages :-)
    I do exactly the same for the same reason.

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    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    Have just bought some D-Addario 011s from Highly Strung here in the UK. Was setting up a newly-finished mandolin and managed to break an E with all the loosening and tightening and manoeuvring I was doing during this process.

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    gary nava; luthier GarY Nava's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    You'll find what you want here;
    http://www.stringbusters.com/Ko-Besp...STEEL/DADDARIO

    Cheers Gary

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    Registered User CaskAle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    First I would suggest for you to have someone look at your mandolin to see why you are breaking the E strings, if it is done while tuning something is wrong and if they all seem to break at the same place then there may be some sharp point on your tuners, bridge or nut slots that is causing it....I haven`t broken a string in about ten years and I play a whole lot...

    Now watch, this weekend I`ll probably break a few at my next gig....
    It was quite strange that I managed to break two, one straight after the other, both on the same course. It has never happened to me before. They both broke at the loop. I have a number of potentially iffy hypotheses as to why it may have happened. 1. I didn't use both hooks, just the one (and I was questioning the need to use two just before stringing up!). 2. Possibly a duff batch (unlikely). 3. I was an idiot and tried to tune up far higher than the appropriate tension (quite possible).
    1956 Levin Palermo 'A' style
    2010 The Loar LM-600
    Eastwood electric mandolin
    Loads of guitars gathering dust

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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    Use the Frank Ford pencil method on your loops and you'll drastically reduce the likelihood of breaking your strings there.
    PJ Doland
    1923 Gibson Snakehead A

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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    Just a point of interest....some tuners show the wrong settings if the batteries get low, Mine will go to an 880 setting instead of the 440 so maybe you should watch closely to make sure the tuner goes to the correct scale....Also a lot of them have buttons on them to take you to different settings so make sure you don`t press one of those m by mistake....I watched a fellow break four strings by having his on the wrong setting, he asked me if I knew anything about installing strings so the first thing I checked was his tuner....He felt like a fool, he was in good company....

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    Registered User rockies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    If no one has mentioned it yet, when I was running my repair shop I used to get individual strings of all kinds from Just Strings at www.juststrings.com at very reasonable prices and good service.
    Dave
    Heiden A, '52 Martin D-18, Taylor 510, Carlson Custom A with Electronics

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    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying E strings singularly. FW74.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaskAle View Post
    I didn't use both hooks, just the one (and I was questioning the need to use two just before stringing up!).
    Using one or two of the hooks should make no difference at all, unless one of them has a sharp edge. But, if both hooks are working properly you should be able to use one or two, it doesn't matter.
    Plus, it's unusual, but not not impossible to have picked up a bad batch. If it happens again I would have the tailpiece checked out.
    Larry Hunsberger

    2013 J Bovier A5 Special w/ToneGard
    D'Addario FW-74 flatwound strings
    1909 Weymann&Sons bowlback
    1919 Weymann&Sons mandolute
    Ibanez PF5
    1993 Oriente HO-20 hybrid double bass
    3/4 guitar converted to octave mandolin

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