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Thread: E strings unraveling

  1. #1

    Default E strings unraveling

    I've been having an issue as of late with my E string course. Never have actually broke a string. Call me the sting whisperer, if you like. But recently, I've had two sets of E strings both unravel at the tail piece end where it loops around the peg. I can tune up to around D/D#, and it'll "slip" and unravel a bit. I'm not doing anything out of the norm, even went extra cautious/slow installing the second set. First set were EJ74's and second were EJ73's. Both had the same issue on both strings of the E course. Did I just get bum luck with the strings themselves, or is it something particular that causes it?

  2. #2
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Picture of the tailpiece might help but, I think you just got some bad strings. Contact D’Addario, they will probably sent replacements.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  3. #3
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Yes, we need to know what type of tailpiece it is.
    If the "pegs" on a tailpiece are round and smooth, the loops of unwound strings (A and E, particularly E) can sometimes slip. Not much to do about it if that is the case. Hopefully the loops will stabilize after slipping so the strings can be tuned.

  4. #4

    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not sure if I did attached the picture right, but does this help?

  5. #5
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    You do indeed have round smooth string posts and you are likely to continue to have loops slipping. Replacing the tailpiece would be one remedy, reshaping the posts would be another.

  6. #6
    Registered User poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Maybe it's a defective batch. I had a new mandolin where the E string unravelled a few months ago. I don't know the make.
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    A real mandolin tailpiece, like Gibson used for ever, had extra pegs, at right angles, to direction of the string that helped to stop this type of slippage

  8. #8
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Depending on when you purchased the strings, it could be part of a bad batch. Had a couple of sets where that happened. I'd email D'Addario and let them know. Mine was a year or two ago and the strings weren't necessarily fresh from the factory.

    FWIW, I think your tailpiece is fine, it's just a manufacturing issue with the string. But that's just one person's opinion.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: E strings unraveling

    GHS (& D'Addario?) finish the loop making on plain strings with 3 windings at right angles to the rest of the string to resist this..



    Whammy bar resistant guitar strings add a spot of solder..


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  11. #10

    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Might I ask what specifically it is about this style tailpiece that causes the string loop to slip? I'm not sure what the peg style itself has anything to do with the loop coming unraveled. It would seem to me the loop should be able to hold tension no matter style peg its on, but I'm certainly no expert on string manufacturing.

  12. #11
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    The end of the string is looped around and wound around the string. That winding can slip if enough tension is present.
    When the loop goes around a round, smooth peg, there is very little resistance to string tension at the peg so there is more tension on the winding. If the peg is squared the string loop is kinked as it goes around. That provides much more resistance to string pull around the peg.

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  14. #12

    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Makes sense. So it sounds like if I can get a file in there and square off the back side of the peg a bit, it might help in future endeavors.

    Thanks for the bit of education. Is there any other comparable string sets that aren't as susceptible to this kind of thing? Or do they all pretty much use the same loop design?

  15. #13
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    There's not much else that can be done to form a loop in a plain (unwound) steel string. Sometimes they don't slip, sometimes they do, but a hook that has a flat or flats to kink the string loop, or a feature that pinches the string loop will help for the ones that would slip on a round smooth hook/peg.

  16. #14
    Registered User poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Has anybody tried to make a new loop by putting the of the string through the existing loop and then tie the new loop around the post?
    This way the winding will be squeezed against the post but maybe the string will be more susceptible to breaking.

    PS: What solder to use if soldering the string? Normal solder for copper, won't stick to steel.
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  17. #15

    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Has anybody tried a drop of super glue on the twisted part next to the loop?

  18. #16
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    You could re loop making a modified loop by passing the free end through the existing loop and drawing that up against the post. Might be a royal pain to remove but, short of replacing the tailpiece that’s the best I can come up with. Filing a flat on the post would be kind of difficult and the field edge might simply make the string break at the sharp edge.
    What kind of mandolin is this?
    Honestly, I’d lay more blame at the string manufacturers feet, they don’t just come unwound that easily, in almost 50 years I have never had that happen to me or any of my band mates. Something is rotten in Denmark, as the saying goes.
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  19. #17
    ************** Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    I had a set of La Bellas do this recently. I emailed La Bella and they sent me two new E strings. Great customer service. Just a bad batch. It happens.
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  20. #18

    Default Re: E strings unraveling

    Just for a follow-up:
    Contacted D'addario and they sent a couple E-strings sets in both sizes, as well as a whole EJ73 and EJ74 set. Can't really beat that. Replaced the E-strings, with no issues, tuned up fine.

    In the time it took to get here, I got some good practice in adapting tunes to play with just the G, D and A string. Great exercise in finding other positions of notes on the fretboard, and transposing to a lower key on occasion. So, all-in-all, I'm considering it a win-win situation.

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