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Thread: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

  1. #26
    Oscar Stern s11141827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    A .007 Gauge is designed to tune up as High as A4 on a 25.5 in scale but because the Tenor Guitar has a shorter scale length, the tension will be lower so that won't be an issue here. You need a Zero Glide nut & to check for any sharp burrs.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    A regular steel .007 will break around G#4 relatively quickly at 25.5".

    An Octave4Plus will get there, but needs a clean string path, and will NOT tolerate repeated detunings. I say that in view of my being the poster who has used them the longest, and who started posting about them long ago. In fact, I think several times the previous poster inaccurately corrected me on properly using the O4+ strings, very odd since he was basing his understanding on my own posts.

    Anyway Octave 4 Plus strings will get to a pitch, and can be maintained there, but are NOT for constant retunings to different pitches. They even used to have that information on their web site, although I'm not sure if it's still there. They do allow one to contact them with one's proposed use, because they would rather avoid a reputational hit from someone breaking the strings through ignorance then blaming the product for such misuse.
    ----

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  4. #28
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    I kept breaking the string on my Gibson TG-1, 22.81 scale, in CGDA. Solved the problem by tuning down a whole step from C to B, etc. Really full and deep sound is the result. I don't play the tenor in company with anyone else, so this is not a problem. I assume a capo on the second fret would keep the safety of the low tuning and still get to CGDA without much adjustment.
    Cornelius Morris

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  6. #29

    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornelius Morris View Post
    I kept breaking the string on my Gibson TG-1, 22.81 scale, in CGDA. Solved the problem by tuning down a whole step from C to B, etc. Really full and deep sound is the result. I don't play the tenor in company with anyone else, so this is not a problem. I assume a capo on the second fret would keep the safety of the low tuning and still get to CGDA without much adjustment.
    Totally agree. I've found it's best to find the tuning that works well for the instrument even if that means different root tunings. The beauty of 5ths is it's easy to move and transpose around the neck and capos work wonders, as you suggest.
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  7. #30
    Oscar Stern s11141827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Marty View Post
    I find that plains take the tension better than wounds. I broke a new nickel wound putting it on yesterday & the string was below G# & I was going up slow slow slowly, thatís annoying too
    I think they would have to re-formulate it so it can handle as much tension as a plain steel string w/o breakage.

  8. #31
    Oscar Stern s11141827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    This is correct. A plain steel wire will snap relatively quickly when tuned to G#4 at a scale length of 25.5"ring, and A#4 at a length around 24". The thinner the string, the easier it is to get to pitch, but the thinner string is too weak to last. The thicker the string, the stronger it is, but it requires so much tension to get to pitch that the string snaps.

    There *are* special alloy strings available which will get to higher pitches, but they won't withstand constant retuning and will snap.

    Going to an instrument with a 20" scale length or shorter is the only solution which will allow retuning to a high A4 and then lower, repeatedly, as desired by the OP without string breakage.
    Octave4Plus makes those strings that can tune up super high & they're made out of a Special Alloy so they can tune higher. But to handle the constant retuning w/o any breakage, they would have to re-formulate it to make it stronger.

  9. #32
    Oscar Stern s11141827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    A regular steel .007 will break around G#4 relatively quickly at 25.5".

    An Octave4Plus will get there, but needs a clean string path, and will NOT tolerate repeated detunings. I say that in view of my being the poster who has used them the longest, and who started posting about them long ago. In fact, I think several times the previous poster inaccurately corrected me on properly using the O4+ strings, very odd since he was basing his understanding on my own posts.

    Anyway Octave 4 Plus strings will get to a pitch, and can be maintained there, but are NOT for constant retunings to different pitches. They even used to have that information on their web site, although I'm not sure if it's still there. They do allow one to contact them with one's proposed use, because they would rather avoid a reputational hit from someone breaking the strings through ignorance then blaming the product for such misuse.
    They still have them, you have to make sure the string path is clean first. Staggered Locking Tuners (w/o a string tree) should help. I think those strings need to be re-formulated to make them stronger, & adding silk windings might help.

  10. #33

    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by s11141827 View Post
    They still have them, you have to make sure the string path is clean first. Staggered Locking Tuners (w/o a string tree) should help. I think those strings need to be re-formulated to make them stronger, & adding silk windings might help.
    Locking tuners pinch the strings, so more breakage on the O4+ strings.

    They *are* stronger in the way GG was looking for... a string which makes it to B4 at a 25.5" scale length.

    They way the ball end is attached precludes windings, which would be obvious to anyone who has actually used them. I use an alternative when necessary to bring up my success rate.
    ----

    Playing a funky oval-hole scroll-body mandolin, several mandolins retuned to CGDA, three CGDA-tuned Flatiron mandolas, two Flatiron mandolas tuned as octave mandolins,and a six-course 25.5" scale CGDAEB-tuned Ovation Mandophone.

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  11. #34
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Locking tuners pinch the strings, so more breakage on the O4+ strings.

    They *are* stronger in the way GG was looking for... a string which makes it to B4 at a 25.5" scale length.

    They way the ball end is attached precludes windings, which would be obvious to anyone who has actually used them. I use an alternative when necessary to bring up my success rate.


    Actually O4+ has reformulated those strings to work w/ Locking tuners by adding some silk windings. Those strings are essentially like the Steel Equivalent of Gut strings (or even so Nylgut) so you need to be very careful. Also those strings are going under alot of improvements.

  12. #35
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Locking tuners pinch the strings, so more breakage on the O4+ strings.

    They *are* stronger in the way GG was looking for... a string which makes it to B4 at a 25.5" scale length.

    They way the ball end is attached precludes windings, which would be obvious to anyone who has actually used them. I use an alternative when necessary to bring up my success rate.
    These have a special ball end which covers the windings to keep the string safe.

  13. #36
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    I actually got special locking tuners that are designed specifically for Octave4Plus strings because they have felt to protect the string.

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  15. #37
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Those Octave4Plus Plain Steel strings that tune as high as B4 (and higher) on a 25.5 in scale are being treated essentially like Sheep Gut strings because their design could use some improvements to make them even stronger so they can handle being tuned down & back up to their original pitch again.

  16. #38

    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    FWIW I recently picked up a Squier Mini Jazzmaster to convert into a tenor. I had originally thought I'd have to change it from a 6 to a 5-string to get FCGDA tuning. Then I thought something like FCGDAE would work better.

    After I did some basic setup work I started with a .009 on the high side and was able to get to A no problem. Not sure it will go much higher, but A is fine. I then tried a .060 on the low side and found it tunes just fine to Bb.

    So I've go it Bb F C G D A using .060 .042 .030 .016 .011 .009 with no reentrants. The mini is 22.75" scale. Super light and fun to play. The pickups are surprisingly good, as are a number of other things like bridge, tuning machines and etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #39
    Oscar Stern s11141827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    FWIW I recently picked up a Squier Mini Jazzmaster to convert into a tenor. I had originally thought I'd have to change it from a 6 to a 5-string to get FCGDA tuning. Then I thought something like FCGDAE would work better.

    After I did some basic setup work I started with a .009 on the high side and was able to get to A no problem. Not sure it will go much higher, but A is fine. I then tried a .060 on the low side and found it tunes just fine to Bb.

    So I've go it Bb F C G D A using .060 .042 .030 .016 .011 .009 with no reentrants. The mini is 22.75" scale. Super light and fun to play. The pickups are surprisingly good, as are a number of other things like bridge, tuning machines and etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Octave4Plus makes special super thin strings that can tune as High as E5 on a 25.5 in scale but those need some updates as they're currently formulated to where you treat them essentially like Gut strings, in that they have to settle for a few days.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    A regular steel .007 will break around G#4 relatively quickly at 25.5".

    An Octave4Plus will get there, but needs a clean string path, and will NOT tolerate repeated detunings. I say that in view of my being the poster who has used them the longest, and who started posting about them long ago. In fact, I think several times the previous poster inaccurately corrected me on properly using the O4+ strings, very odd since he was basing his understanding on my own posts.

    Anyway Octave 4 Plus strings will get to a pitch, and can be maintained there, but are NOT for constant retunings to different pitches. They even used to have that information on their web site, although I'm not sure if it's still there. They do allow one to contact them with one's proposed use, because they would rather avoid a reputational hit from someone breaking the strings through ignorance then blaming the product for such misuse.
    Yeah those strings are currently formulated to where you treat them essentially like Gut strings in that they have to settle for a few days.

  19. #40
    Oscar Stern s11141827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    FWIW I recently picked up a Squier Mini Jazzmaster to convert into a tenor. I had originally thought I'd have to change it from a 6 to a 5-string to get FCGDA tuning. Then I thought something like FCGDAE would work better.

    After I did some basic setup work I started with a .009 on the high side and was able to get to A no problem. Not sure it will go much higher, but A is fine. I then tried a .060 on the low side and found it tunes just fine to Bb.

    So I've go it Bb F C G D A using .060 .042 .030 .016 .011 .009 with no reentrants. The mini is 22.75" scale. Super light and fun to play. The pickups are surprisingly good, as are a number of other things like bridge, tuning machines and etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Octave4Pus makes good strings for C, G, D, A, E, B Tuning gauges are .050, .044, .026, .011, .008, & .006. The .006 gauge B4 string is reinforced so you have to tune it up slowly, very much like Gut strings on Baroque Stringed instruments.

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  21. #41
    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    I would like to add my 2 cents worth. I have had several 23 inch scale tenor guitars tuned up to pitch with.009 A string and the only time they break is if there is a sharp edge on the tuner hole or a kink in the loop at the tailpiece. And that has been very rare. As a repair person I have seen people break strings because they tune too high trying too get to the next octave. But that is a real novice thing and I donít think thatís what this discussion is about.
    Dave Schneider

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  23. #42

    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by s11141827 View Post
    Octave4Pus makes good strings for C, G, D, A, E, B Tuning gauges are .050, .044, .026, .011, .008, & .006. The .006 gauge B4 string is reinforced so you have to tune it up slowly, very much like Gut strings on Baroque Stringed instruments.
    My Les Paul PeeWee (19" scale) is tuned like that [C G D A E B] using a .008 on the high B. The problem with going with too thin a string on an electric is there isn't enough metal to create a strong enough signal so the higher strings can be weak sounding relative to the others.

    As it works out the Mini and the PeeWee end up complimenting each other giving me a range from Bb to B (Bb F C G D A E B) all in 5ths with my 5-string emando sitting in the middle.
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  25. #43
    Oscar Stern s11141827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    My Les Paul PeeWee (19" scale) is tuned like that [C G D A E B] using a .008 on the high B. The problem with going with too thin a string on an electric is there isn't enough metal to create a strong enough signal so the higher strings can be weak sounding relative to the others.

    As it works out the Mini and the PeeWee end up complimenting each other giving me a range from Bb to B (Bb F C G D A E B) all in 5ths with my 5-string emando sitting in the middle.
    Actually to get a strong signal w/ the thinner strings, I replaced the Original Pickups w/ Railhammer Pickups which are overwound (along w/ rails on the bass strings & larger sized pole pieces on the treble strings) to compensate for the reduced volumeClick image for larger version. 

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  27. #44
    Oscar Stern s11141827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking A-Strings in CGDA tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    My Les Paul PeeWee (19" scale) is tuned like that [C G D A E B] using a .008 on the high B. The problem with going with too thin a string on an electric is there isn't enough metal to create a strong enough signal so the higher strings can be weak sounding relative to the others.

    As it works out the Mini and the PeeWee end up complimenting each other giving me a range from Bb to B (Bb F C G D A E B) all in 5ths with my 5-string emando sitting in the middle.
    Ah but those strings are made from a special alloy that's formulated to allow for a strong signal w/ really thin strings. I also replaced the original pickups w/ Railhammer Pickups, those have an extra winding in the coil to compensate for the reduced volume of thinner strings.

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