Loops breaking on new loop end strings

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Loops breaking on new loop end strings

Postby tristanjove » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:04 am

Hi,
I use a mandolin with loop end strings, and the loops of the high E strings keep breaking when I tighten the string. This is with brand new strings. This has happened with Newtone gauge .011, and Martin 80/20 Bronze .010 guage. The same thing both times- the loop has unravelled where it rejoins the string when the tension is increased.
Is this bad workmanship? I don't think I'm doing anything wrong- I'm most careful not to overtighten the string, never going beyond the high E pitch.
Has anyone else had this problem, and can anyone recommend a reliable make of loop end strings.
Thanks,
Tristan.
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Postby colirv » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:22 am

I'm afraid I can't make any sensible suggestions as to why your strings are unravelling.

I use D'Addario EJ16 Light Gauge Phosphor Bronze (0.12 E string) and have never had any problems.
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Postby Dave Hanson » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:44 pm

Both Newtone and Martin are good quality strings and I also can see no reason why they both should unravel, what sort of tailpiece is on your mandolin Tristan ?

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Postby Ray(T) » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:34 pm

I also use D'Addario (as do most people) and have never experienced a similar problem so it could be the strings but I very much doubt it - they are both well known and reputable makes.

I can see where Dave is leading but I have mandolins with several types of tailpiece and, no matter how you attach the strings, it should make no difference. My understanding is that the older style tailpieces - the ones with 16 hooks (8 facing along and 8 facing across) introduced in the early 20th Century - were originally designed to avoid this problem. Most people attach the strings to the side facing hooks and bend them through 90 degrees using the others to face along the neck. This is largely a matter of tradition as modern strings don't tend to unwind.

If you have this style of tailpiece and you don't already do so, you might like to string this way. My guess, though, is that you've simply been unlucky and picked up a couple of bad strings.
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Postby colirv » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:39 pm

It might be useful to know the scale length of the mandolin, in case it's longer than normal.
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Postby tristanjove » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:55 pm

Thanks for the replies.
I'm using a Paul Hathway M1 Mandolin, his basic model (but still a fine instrument), with one of these tailpieces.
http://www.paulhathway.com/tail.html

Perhaps I've just been unlucky!?
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Postby tristanjove » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:58 pm

I've just noticed that the weblink says that this tailpiece can be used with ballend stings as well. How does that work- I cannot see how you could attached ball end strings myself.
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Postby Ray(T) » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:02 pm

Those are not common tailpieces. I think your best bet would be to contact Paul Hathaway.
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Postby DaveL35 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:35 pm

Tristan, I know a lot of time has elapsed, but did you resolve this issue?

I had pretty much the same problem recently and was able to sort it out with the help of Malcolm at Newtone strings.
- Dave
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Stefan Sobell (late '70s); Gibson A2 (1919);
Bouzouki by Paul Hathway (1996); some guitars
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Postby SteveK » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:29 pm

colirv wrote:It might be useful to know the scale length of the mandolin, in case it's longer than normal.

tristanjove wrote:Thanks for the replies.
I'm using a Paul Hathway M1 Mandolin, his basic model (but still a fine instrument), with one of these tailpieces.
http://www.paulhathway.com/tail.html

Perhaps I've just been unlucky!?

I have an M1 as well (with the new tailpiece), but have the longer scale length version. The mandolin came with heavy stings. When I dropped the gauge to medium I did some calculations first. I think the E string is pretty close to its max tension but have had no issues. I use Newtone Mediums L/E on the Hathway.

I use medium/light on my Ozark (normal scale length) and have had a couple of loops break on first fitment.
SteveK

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Postby Ray(T) » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:25 am

You shouldn't be breaking new strings unless (i) they are faulty (ii) there is something wrong with your instrument (tuner, nut, bridge or tailpiece) (iii) you are doing something silly; e.g. tuning them way too high or over vigorously using a string winder or electric screwdriver. Most strings should cope with small variations in scale length. The least likely of the three is the first.

If you want to play around with string tensions, have a go with this - http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/stringxxiii.html
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Loops unwinding

Postby Mark B » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:51 pm

I had this with both E strings - the stings were D'Addario J67 Nickel-Plated Steel Mediums which had only been on a week - tbf the Mandolin is a cheap Stagg - I'm a Bass and Guitar player who fancied a bash a the Mando :) and thought £60 was worth a go then if I end up playing it regularly I'll upgrade... so far I'm loving it and I can see it being replaced sooner than I expected (if I can persuade the Mrs!) Anyway, I use D'Addario strings on my Takamine electro-acoustic so replaced the the stock strings with the D'Addarios straight away... then a week later when I picked it up I found that the top E was way flat, I was about to shout at my 7 year old when I discovered it wouldn't tune, on closer inspection I found that the loop had pulled and was unwinding - then with a twang the other E string started to pull through before my eyes!

I have e-mailed D'Addario as it may have been a bad batch, but wondered if it was anything I'd done or a problem with the build?
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Postby Ray(T) » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:00 pm

Its unusual for one string to unwind let alone two and you can't go far wrong with d'Addario products generally. With the fault you describe, I cant imagine it has anything to do with the instrument itself. The only thing I can think of is that there were some fake d'Addario strings going round a while ago but, from memory, these were guitar strings. Let us know what d'Addario say.
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Postby Mark B » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:10 pm

thanks Ray - tbf the strings came from Amazon so I'd be surprised if they were fakes! I only use D'Addario strings on the Takamine after trying many different makes, will let you know when I get a response from the company.
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Postby Dave Hanson » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:00 pm

I've heard that this sometimes happens with D'Addario strings and it happened to me with my new Weber, strung with J74s I was tuning the top E string, winding away like mad to no effect, I looked at the tuners, no problem there so I took the string off only to find the loop had unwound itself.

I'm not overly impressed with D'Addario strings on the whole.

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