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Breaking strings due to topwrapping

Adwex

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Oct 29, 2002
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Been topwrapping for 3 years, and haven't had any trouble. Now, that I'm in a band for last few months, if I'm having trouble hearing myself over everyone else, rather than turning up and everyone telling me I'm too loud, I tend to hit the strings harder in an attempt to be heard. Well, I've been breaking strings on a regular basis lately, and they break right where the string exits the back of the tailpiece, and makes its sharp (almost 180 degree) turn to wrap over the tp.

So, I've started stringing traditionally, and raised the tp so the strings don't hit the bridge. The other day, I broke a string, but this time it broke at the saddle. I'm going to raise the tp a little more to reduce the break angle (no pun intended) over the bridge.

Anyone else have this issue?
 

Adwex

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I've been using Ernie Balls exclusively...maybe it's time to try something different.
 

Scott Wolfe

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Yeah, if you're topwrapping, you should add one of those ball ends (I don't know what they're really called, but the little brass donut ring that comes on the end of all your strings). Take em off your old strings before you throw them away. Then slide one down the new string so you have 2 of them on the string before you put it through the bridge hole. That way, the string wrappings are tucked inside the bridge. Cuz what's been happening to you is that the fragile string wrappings have been stressed - right on the turn of the back of the bridge, so they'll unravel right there. Yep, have 2 ball ends on each string and that problem is solved.
 

Adwex

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Yeah, I've read about that technique. I thought the purpose of doing that was to eliminate the pointy string end from stabbing your hand. Not sure if it'll help me though, the strings are still making a very sharp bend, concentrating alot of stress at that point.
 

Scott Wolfe

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Yeah, I've read about that technique. I thought the purpose of doing that was to eliminate the pointy string end from stabbing your hand. Not sure if it'll help me though, the strings are still making a very sharp bend, concentrating alot of stress at that point.

The sharp bend is OK, it's a problem only when the string wrappings are laying right there on the bend.
 

Edward

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Mar 7, 2006
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You answered your own question. You're breaking strings because you're hitting them harder. Turn up a tad, adjust your attack, and/or eq if you want to be heard. I've yet to have any breakage probs with topwrapping in live play situations, FWIW. :)

Edward
 

no_binding

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Jun 27, 2005
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...I've yet to have any breakage probs with topwrapping in live play situations, FWIW. :)

Edward


Me neither.
But I will break strings on ANY guitar if I'm pounding away, trying to be heard.
More treble will cut through if you don't really want to turn up the volume.
 

Scott Wolfe

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Me neither.
But I will break strings on ANY guitar if I'm pounding away, trying to be heard.
More treble will cut through if you don't really want to turn up the volume.

More treble and more MIDS. Less bass.
 

Adwex

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Oct 29, 2002
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I've already eq'd more mids and highs, and if I turn up a tad, I'm told that I'm too loud. The bottom line is that topwrapping forces the string to make an extreme bend, increasing the stress in the string. That is a fact that cannot be argued. Believe me, I want to continue wrapping, but for now, I'm going traditional.
 

RamiLP

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Dec 26, 2006
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a few things that can be fixed here, erni balls suck with top wraping. go with a better brand strings, D'addario's or ghs are decent and still in the same price range, and u can and a stop tail peice from www.Tonetail.com, its made fo top wrapping, i want to get one but im still wondering if i should spend 70$ on the nickle plated one. but i havnt had problems with braking strings with my top wraping. the only insident i had was with erni ball strings, and it happend 3 days after i put the strings on, in which ill never use erni's again. but D'addarios last me the whole life of the string. give them a shot
 

rbehm

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Mar 6, 2007
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You should check out the "ToneTail" website..these are *great* tail pieces
and address the string breakage issue...they are made from aircraft grade aluminum ....
 

GlassSnuff

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Jan 30, 2002
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3,567
Myself, I like raising the TP. I think it gives a gives a more airy resonance, along with the decreased break angle. But then, my Custom doesn't need more focus. Your guitar might. Whatever works for you, works.
 

Humbuck

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Jul 17, 2001
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I topwrap using Ernie Balls and the extra ball end method and I have no problems with breakage or sharp spots or anything at all. I'm amazed at well it's been working (going on about 6 or 7 years doing just this).
 

Rob CBDB

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Aug 20, 2005
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Maybe you should try heavier strings. I top wrap 11-48 guage and I play very hard, but I never break strings at the tail piece. If I do break strings its at the bridge.
 

maidenstrat

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Jan 12, 2003
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I`ve not broke a string since I started top wrapping some 5yrs ago. I agree with using the ball ends, thats what i`ve been doing up until yesterday when I put a 60 gauge on the E, that wont fit thru the ball end.
 

JimTLin

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Mar 11, 2007
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I came across this post because I decided to top wrap and wanted others' opinions/advice ... interesting discussion.

re. the volume while playing with you band. Not sure what amp/speakers you use, but something I find my amps sound louder a few yards away --especially two speaker combos placed on the floor aimed at my knees. I installed Weber beam blockers in my 2x12 cabinet and really like the results. They help disperse sound and cut back on that ice pick sound you get when facing a speaker within 20 or so feet. I can stand within just a few feet of my setup and acurately hear how I sound in the mix and to the audience. Just my 2 cents.....
 

ES345

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Aug 13, 2006
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I top wrap with Ernie Balls, Ghs, Gibson, d'a, etc. add the ball end, i use 10's but use an 11 on the E, no problems. Check your saddles on the bridge, make sure there are no burrs, sharps etc. Also proper stretching of the strings, sometimes overlooked when replacing just the E string after breaking one, will aid in stable tuning and preventing breaking another string.

Hope this helps.


peace
 
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