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Pyramid Flatwounds... Defective?

Surfthrees

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Dec 26, 2008
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161
Hello Everybody,
I've found my one and only string... Pyramid Pure Nickel Flatwounds in the 12-53 size. Only one problem, I'm averaging about one defective string for every 3 sets or so!!! Can this be? When I change the "bad" sounding new string(that cannot intonate on my 59 175D) , this seems to fix the problem immediately. I realize their process is more difficult to wrap with the round core, but this is becoming a love/hate relationship. I still use em cause to my ears they really do sound that much better when theyre not defective, but shit... its getting expensive to keep robbing my next "new" set to replace the bad new one.. Does anyone run across this with Pyramid Flatwounds? Maybe something I cant think of??
:tri
 
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Troels

Guest
When changing the strings it's important to give the wound strings a 90 degree bend BEFORE cutting it to the correct lenght (normally it must be bended app. where the "next" machine head is located). The reason is that the winding may slip it's grip in the string core destroying the string completely. I don't if this the case here - but it could be. The bend will prevent the windings to slip when you cut the string.
 

Surfthrees

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Dec 26, 2008
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I usually dont do that bend. On my 175 I have very little tuning peg showing so I have to do the "lock on itself" method.(if that makes any sense) Then I just cut the excess very close so I dont get the "blood sugar" pokes... So maybe your saying that I am possibly damaging the winds between the tuning peg and the bridge? Or after its wound on the tuning peg and I have excess? Do you think it would matter even after its already locking in place on itself on the peg? Even still, thats something I can pay more attention to when changing. I saw an article on Roger Sadowsky and his take on string manufacturing, claiming that 15-20% or so of most strings are defective and if they cant be intonated or seem to buzz when no other strings are at the same fret, it's probably a defective string...
It does only happen on the wounds. Never my fat E but on every other wound string...
 
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Troels

Guest
Well... it doesn't sound logic that it should damage after locking itself, I suppose. But the the angle trick is a Dan Erlewine thing and as we say - it may help but doesn't hurt :) I believe you've been thru all the other thing on the check list for strings behaving stragely? Such as lose gears and not so stretched strings (tempered molecyles) and bad slots in the nut?

PS I always buy 20-25 sets of string and unpack 15 of them at once and arrange them in a box E's, A's, D's... and so on (the rest is for complete changes). If there's a bad string now and then - I just pick another one and actually never really knows how many bads I come across. Remember LaBella in the 60s... always two B's and two top E's (not that it helps your problem...) but that was a nice service... Maybe you should try to write to the factory... you'll never know if they'll replace all the bad ones :)
 
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Surfthrees

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Dec 26, 2008
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Yep, I've gone hours evaluating the angle of the notches and saddle angle and nut and so forth. The only thing that repeatedly solves the problem is a string swap of the offending string. I'm about ready for a refret, so there is a small chance that is influencing a "slightly" defective string that may otherwise have passed whatever QC they may or may not have.(but raising the action doesnt help the problem) Dont know? These strings sure do sound killer though. I like your idea of buying multiple sets and organizing them, but that would honestly cost over $700 for these strings!!!!!! ($30/set) :wow I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this with the flatwounds? Needless to say, that is a pretty crappy price to pay for so many defective strings.(if thats the case) Might take a while cause there are probably less flatwound guys on here than roundwound...:hmm Maybe I'm just really unlucky? Any Pyramid reps or dealers find anyone with this? (I guess saying yes might be slightly defeating sales though... Sorrry.)
 

zombiwoof

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Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,565
But the the angle trick is a Dan Erlewine thing and as we say - it may help but doesn't hurt :)

Not really invented by Dan, in the 60's when most strings were round core, there was usually a little info sheet that came with the strings telling you to make the bend before installing the strings.

Al
 

Stiggs

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Jul 21, 2001
Messages
315
I have bandmate that only uses Pyr. on his Rick's, and there is a definite pattern of dead strings every couple of packs.
 

mingus

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Apr 3, 2006
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I used those on my vintage 360-12 and did come across a defective string. I emailed Pyramid and they were more than happy to send me a new one.
 

alainguitars

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May 21, 2003
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When I used pyramids i found one dead low E about every five sets. Too expensive to deal with so I stopped using them.
 
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Troels

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Not really invented by Dan, in the 60's when most strings were round core, there was usually a little info sheet that came with the strings telling you to make the bend before installing the strings.

Al

That's right... but I think DE recommended it in his guitar set up book. I remember those info sheets too - probably from my beloved LaBella Strings or was it Guild Sidebenders (one of the best strings ever)...
 

Surfthrees

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Dec 26, 2008
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Wow.... I guess I wasnt crazy. I actually started to measure my strings with a micrometer that I had lying around, and the sizes are all over the place, even on the same string.
Great Idea, I'll try sending them my defectives and maybe theyll replace them. I really figured they'd laugh and tell me to take a hike though.
Now I guess I have to decide if its worth it......... Yep!! They sound that good!!! Good thing for me, the flats dont break as much as compared to the rounds.... I like the Sadowsky Flatwounds second... They seem much more consistent than the Pyramids. Great tone, but the Pyramids have something extra to my ears thats actually worth the crazy price...
 
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Troels

Guest
It's obvious that a string factory can't test all the strings before shipping (like flash bulbs in the old days... :) ). Neither do they know that something's wrong with too many of their strings if we (you...) don't tell them. So it's a great idea to write them about your (their...) problem (tell them here: info@pyramidstrings.com ) and I believe they would like to improve quality if they can. Other makers have almost no bad strings in their production - for instance D'Addario which I use myself (I think they make a semi-flatwound).
 
B

Banker

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Doesn't happen with their round wound.......at least that's my experience.
 

Surfthrees

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Dec 26, 2008
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Update... Pyramid never contacted or emailed me back. I have since come across at least3-4 strings out of about 5 sets since the last. I emailed them AGAIN to see of they respond or can help... Will update after...
 
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Frickengruvin

Guest
:peace2 I don't know where you purchased your strings, but Don Butler (TM1 The Toneman) is a dealer of these, and a very strong proponent of Pyramid's strings. This topic has been discussed on different boards I visit, and Don requests any string that is dead out of the package be sent back to him and he replaces it....I'm sure you have extra strings of which you can "nick" one until your replacement comes in.

I've experienced this with virtually every brand I've ever used. Pyramids are costly, but in my opinion are a fine product and more than make up for their cost with tone and length of life. They recently re-introduced round core flatwounds (constructed as they were in the 50's and 60's). With more gauges available, I hear that they are performing very well. :peace2

YMMV
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
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Please, send back the bad ones and email me to let me know what they are and I'll send out replacements that day. I send them back to Max in Germany so they can see what happened in the winding process. They have about 6 women who do nothing but wind strings by hand all day.
I send the defective ones back and Max replaces them asap. I was just there in April and saw how everything is done. It's quiet a process.
But, I stand behind every string I sell that they make.
Feel free to email me at: de1b@earthlink.net
Regards, Don Butler/Toneman, Inc.
A little extra care needs to be taken when you are changing strings with round cores. The reasoning behing hex core strings was to reduce the amount of reject strings that manufactures got with a round core.. BUT, you loose alot tonally with a hex core.
I just sent Bobby Weir and Mark Karan out 40+ sets this morning for the coming Ratdog Tour that starts Sunday in Columbus, Oh. Both have been using them for a number of years. Bob uses .012-.052 round core flatwound w/ a .019 plain G, Mark uses .012-.054 round core, round wounds with either a .018 or .019 plain G. Having been in a couple of bands with Mark over the years, he's always liked big, fat strings!
 

Surfthrees

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Dec 26, 2008
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Thank you for your replies.. I just got an email from the owner of Pyramid, stating that he would gladly be replacing my bummer strings. A very nice offer from him!!!! :salude Especially since he hasnt received the bad ones back. I'm going to try to fish them out of the trash... A lame string just isnt something you tend to keep around for very long!
I've NEVER had an issue with the tone of these beauties once they tune up well. I just got tired of the usual bad ones. Maybe it's my set of 12 - 52's that has issues? I've got a "good" set on my Jim Hall model Sadowsky that sound incredible, and have sounded great for the last 2 months! I dont want to change them!
Anyway, I thought I would post what happened. EXCELLENT customer service from Pyramid... Thanks to Max at Pyramid and Don Butler both for your help! :salude
 
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