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Author Topic: Elixir strings breaking?  (Read 1187 times)
tlp2
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« on: January 18, 2017, 01:48:13 PM »

I've been giving the Elixir strings a try.
Here in coastal FL, the salt turns your 80:20's black really fast.
Anyway, I seem to be breaking them pretty regularly.

I alternate tune, and loosen the strings all the way up to get the nut or saddle out then retune,
and otherwise abuse them,
but the cheapo Ernie Balls seem to outlast the expensive Elixirs for not breaking....

Anybody else?  Just wondering.
 

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jpmist
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 03:03:10 PM »

Nah, not in Atlanta with average 40% humidity. Breaking strings is so rare for me I can't recall the last time it happened.

But I use the nano coated Phos Bronze which I'm a fan of. Am surprised you mention the strings turn black since they're coated. How long are they lasting you? What part of the string is breaking?

As far as Earnie Balls, I recently tried their Aluminum Bronze strings which after two months are turning my fingers black every time I pick up the guitar. I like the tone on my all hog guitar, but maybe time to change 'em out.

 
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tlp2
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 03:23:14 PM »

oops, I should have been more clear

The uncoated strings like the Balls turn black pretty quick, that's why I tried the Elixirs.  
The Elixirs stay nice and gold but feel weird, they have a nice, but different, tone
and break at the peghead when I'm tuning them up.  Maybe it's just me.  
I broke 2 Elixir strings I put on right after Christmas, little e and g, last night. 

 
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 03:33:07 PM »

Are you wiping down the strings after you play?The plain string are not coated as far as I know.

Dumb thing to say but if you can turn silver black you might have a natural body acid.
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 04:03:13 PM »

Then I gotta wonder about your string winding technique. I  put one 90 degree bend to hook the string on the tuning peg, no fancy loops, and I have at least 4 or 5 winds on the thin strings and at least 3, plus an overlap, on the thicker ones to tighten the strings down on the tuning shaft. But then I don't detune at all.

My theory is if you have fewer winds then there's more stress on the bend where the string contacts the tuning shaft so that's where it'll break with periodic de-tunings. But that's just my guess.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 05:43:57 PM »

I've not had an issue, but if they're not working for you, the way you do things, go with a different brand.  They're too expensive to be dealing with problems like that.
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tlp2
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 05:47:08 PM »

jp - thanks, that's kinda what I was thinking and may try more wraps
bowie - exactly, it's $$
rob - Mrs. TLP says I'm occasionally somewhat caustic.  She tells me to go play with my guitar...
 
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2017, 06:10:22 PM »

Is it multiple sets, bought at the same time?  The only time I had (breaking) problems with Elixir, it turned out the shop had old stock that were long (like over a year) out of date that were humidity/moisture damaged.  To their credit, when I emailed Elixir about it, they asked about the date code on the pack, and my address.  A few days later, a 3 pack of strings showed up in my mailbox.  I never got used to the feel or sound of them, and switched back to my long time favorites.

Like others said, I always have a couple turns of string on the post...  ball end goes in, run the string up and wrap it around the post twice, through the hole and between the two wraps, tighten to pitch (typically 2/3-3/4 of a turn), then bend the slack end 90° and snip at the top of the post.  If I were going to use multiple tunings, I'd probably go for another wrap around the post.

Good luck figuring it out.

Ed
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2017, 07:49:53 PM »

Don't overlap your strings or hook them up,the overlap cause compression on the string which can cause it to break.Also check the tuner hole for a burr,if theres a burr a small piece of 600 grit sandpaper wrapped around a wood tooth pick can be used to clear the string hole.I know a lot of players do the overlap and hook up but if you just put the string thru the hole and wind up from the bottom you will lessen the chance for a bur forming.
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 10:18:58 PM »

Don't overlap your strings or hook them up,the overlap cause compression on the string which can cause it to break.

I kinda misspoke on that earlier. On the wound strings, I feel no overlap is needed because the winding catches the hole thru the tuner shaft pretty solidly so there's little chance of the string slipping. But on the unwound strings I like at least one overlap early on to snug the string down. I agree it might be overkill, since if you have 4 or 5 wraps that figures to be about 2  inches of string friction on the tuner shaft which is likely all you need.

I do appreciate that overlaps can be bad. My newbie sister changed her strings once with about 3 or 4 lumpy wraps and at least 6 windings on a wound string. The poor tuning and bizarre harmonics that came from that string was pretty astonishing.  ohmy
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 01:41:10 AM »

The only issue I have had with Elixir strings is the lightest gauge wound string breaking at about fret 4 or 5 - because they last TOO LONG.  What do I mean by that?

Because they sound pretty decent for a long time.  Long enough that wear-through the windings due to string bends and so forth would happen to me before the strings sounded dull.  So I had to actually change them before they started sounding dull to the ear.

Never had one break at a tuner.

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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 07:01:16 AM »

Most "authorities" and guitar user's manuals recommend stringing as follows (for a non-slotted headstock):

Install the ball end at the saddle, extend the string about 2 inches past the tuner post and cut it off.
Bend the cut end to 90 degrees with pliers about 3/8" from the end.
Insert the bent section into the hole in the post and wind the string once around the post above the hole and the inserted string-end.
Wind the rest of the string downward with the tuning key starting under the hole/string-end until it is tuned to pitch.  This creates a clamping action on the string-end that was first inserted in the hole.
Cut off any string-end that is extending beyond the post-hole.

The reason for winding the string downward is to create a sufficient string angle between the nut and the tuner post.  Most tuning machine posts are designed intentionally to accommodate this downward winding of the string.  That string angle is important for best tone and to keep strings from popping out of the nut slots when bending.  That is the reason that flat headstocks like the Fender-style, have string tees on the treble strings.

I have strung my guitars with this method for forty plus years with very few tuning problems or breakage at the tuning post.  On the rare occasions when the strings have broken at the peg, it was usually because they were worn out from leaving them on too long, or like Rob said, a burr or sharp edge on the string-hole.   
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tlp2
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2017, 01:57:45 PM »

It was my understanding that
how you tie off the peg end of your strings
was a highly personal and somewhat divisive issue,
and,
like politics and religion,
should not be discussed in polite company
or at the dinner table. 
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2017, 02:02:58 PM »

It was my understanding that
how you tie off the peg end of your strings
was a highly personal and somewhat divisive issue,
and,
like politics and religion,
should not be discussed in polite company
or at the dinner table. 
 bigrin

Lol!  Like string selection...  or guitar model selection... 

Ed
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2017, 05:14:08 PM »

I have never tied any kind of knot or overloop, fancy or not, and almost never break a string. In 50+ years of guitar playing, I could probably count the number of broken strings, regardless of brand, on both hands and a foot (and mostly due to accidentally tuning a string too high). In fact, I curse anyone who does tie one of those knots, on a string, on a guitar on which I have to change strings. All it accomplishes is making it more difficult to get the old string off. Rant off.   blush
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2017, 02:24:43 AM »

No knots, just a 90 degree bend.
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2017, 03:09:10 AM »

No knots, just a 90 degree bend.

Same here, about 1/8-1/4" from the post...  but everyone should do it the way they want.
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2017, 09:04:11 AM »

Same here, about 1/8-1/4" from the post...  but everyone should do it the way they want.

Agreed
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If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
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