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Thread: Yay or nay to a strap button

  1. #1
    Registered User mando-red's Avatar
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    Default Yay or nay to a strap button

    I have a 1924 Gibson snakehead and am wanting to put a strap button on it (in the neck area). Is this a bad idea due to the age of the wood?Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    I have a '23 A2Z, I went with the D'Addario quick release so I could attach to the headrest under the strings. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

    I wouldn't mind a strap button on a contemporary model but am reluctant to add one to a vintage piece.
    Cabin Fever String Band

  3. #3
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    I decided "Nay" on my Strad-O-Lin. I just didn't want to drill any extra holes.

  4. #4
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    My opinion is no drilling holes on the neck. I don’t recommend it even on a new mandolin.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    I have holes from a previous owner, I took the strap button off and tied to the headstock. I like the feel better and the mandolin is light enough. Been doing it that way for decades.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    I say yay to nay. That sweet thang has been fine for 98 years. No need to change that.

    I've always run something under the strings just above the nut. On all my instruments, except that one F model. Works just fine.

    PS: In this context, the correct word is "yea." "Yay" is a cheer; "yea" is a yes vote. I'm cheering the "nay" vote. Hope that's clearer ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    90% of the broken neck heels I see are from poor strap button installations.

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    I have strap buttons on everything except my vintage Gibsons (..... and those with scrolls!)

  11. #9
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Absolutely NAY to strap buttons.

    I find it interesting, that the luthiers amongst us afficionados are oposed to strap buttons due to structural reasons (broken heels because of poorly installed strap buttons...)

    I would not install a strap button because I donīt see it being necessary. You could place a strap under the fretboard on a mandolin with an elevated fretboard or attach the strap to the headstock. I donīt understand the benefit of attaching a strap to a strap button as opposed to the headstock... But thatīs just me.

    It also pains me to drill a hole into an otherwise unaltered piece of perfect luthiery. Itīs just like getting capps on teeth when you donīt need them...

    A friend of mine thinks otherwise.
    Olaf

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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    I like the strap to go up to the first G tuner, as opposed to behind the nut. Gives my hand much more room to not have the strap in the way. I have a simple way to attach the strap and it can be changed to different tuners, front or back, to make subtle changes in length. It's simple, no metal, no knots.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  14. #11
    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    YAY on the strap button -- if that's the right way for you. I can't get comfortable with the strap tied around the peghead or attached to the scroll, so that's not an option for me. I get the argument in opposition, but as far as I'm concerned, a strap button in the heel is key to making the instrument playable. I'm probably in the minority on this, but so be it.
    Just one guy's opinion
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    90% of the broken neck heels I see are from poor strap button installations.

    With respect- I am curious, how many you’ve seen? Do you think it’s a concern with a properly installed strap button?
    Scott

  17. #13
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    I have one on some mangos and not on others (ignoring the strap hanger models). I think drilling for the correct screw size reduces the chance of a broken heel.
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  19. #14
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Another one that is fine with drilling. Don't like the way a strap hangs from the headstock. Must be my guitar (and electric bass) history. Plus it's easier to take the strap off to fit in a case when there isn't much room.

    Always drill a pilot hole. Been doing it that way for 40 years.

  20. #15
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    A pilot hole of the correct size MUST be drilled if you're going to install one. The hole should be the thickness of the solid part of the screw shaft [not including the threads], perhaps a few thousandths more.

    This is necessary, no matter whether it's a mandolin, guitar, electric bass, banjo, or anything else; old or new.

    I have reluctantly installed them on a few old Gibsons at the owners' request. I prefer not to.
    I tie my strap between the 1st and 2nd tuner shafts instead of behind the nut. That way, the strap does not interfere with my left hand.

  21. #16

    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    On a vintage instrument, nay. Anything else, it is the user's discretion. I really do not like a strap around the headstock, so if it can't fit around the neck at the bottom of the fretboard, then it is a strap button for me.
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  22. #17
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I say yay to nay. That sweet thang has been fine for 98 years.
    Not much more to say.

    My official vote is nay.

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  24. #18
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I tie my strap between the 1st and 2nd tuner shafts instead of behind the nut. That way, the strap does not interfere with my left hand.
    I've been biting my tongue, as post after post decrying this practice appeared - four in a row. I am mystified by these testimonies. I've used this non-invasive unobtrusive approach since the 1970s, some fifty years, with no problem whatsoever. Even if I should happen to feel the strap end with the back of my hand, it does no more than subtly remind me that I've gone as low as I can on the neck. It does not in the slightest way impede my playing. And furthermore, it makes intuitive sense to affix the strap there rather than further up the headstock - it's at a natural divergent point in the instrument's design. Lastly, I find its simplicity and unobtrusive appearance aesthetically pleasing. Locating it further up the headstock is something that just never occurred to me, but I get it, even if I don't like the look.

    Here are some photos showing what my strap end looks like by itself, and with some low-placed chords. Please note: this is not a referendum on my chording technique, which I will grant is not exactly the "officially recommended" hand technique, however effective and comfortable. Nor are comments regarding my nail length in any way relevant to this discussion. Please just focus on the position of the strap end and how its proximity to the nut (and thus fretboard) does not impact my chording. Thank you.

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    1) The attached strap. The strap end was unravelled to an extent that enough threads were left long enough to encircle the neck and be tied in a knot.
    2) D 2002
    3) Eb 0113
    4) F 5301

    These photos show very little if any displacement of the strap end by my chording hand. Again, I'll attest to the ease and comfort of making these and any and all chords in this vicinity. I barely even notice the strap end, and even if I do, it just plain does not affect my playing in any way at all. Finally (I hope), most of the time I end up holding the instrument higher when taking a lead, at which time the existence of any strap is quite beside the point.

    Regarding the actual topic, I think it's worth pointing out that we are merely caretakers of these instruments, for periods of time that do not last forever. Modifications to them while they are in our possession will last long after we are no longer living, and their lives continue without us. It behooves us to carefully consider engaging in any unnecessary modifications. I believe that is one reason why the OP posed the question. Another aspect of this does not seem to have been addressed - how such a modification would affect its market value, as doing anything to it that is not in keeping with its original condition is bound to affect its value - most likely negatively.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  26. #19
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    One aspect of this does not seem to have been addressed - how such a modification would affect its market value, as doing anything to it that is not in keeping with its original condition is bound to affect its value - most likely negatively.
    I don't know how much it affects the value, but I've passed on buying a few instruments because they've had a strap button installed. It's just something I don't want or need so I'd rather find something that hasn't been altered. Just my preference.

  27. #20
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Two of mine had strap buttons installed, I'm glad I got them anyway as they are great mandolins. I took the strap buttons off and used the headstock to attach the strap. Glad I didn't pass on them.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  29. #21
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    A big fat NAY............

  30. #22
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    I have one on some mangos and not on others (ignoring the strap hanger models).
    However, I'd never install one on a banana.
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  32. #23
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I like the strap to go up to the first G tuner, as opposed to behind the nut. Gives my hand much more room to not have the strap in the way. I have a simple way to attach the strap and it can be changed to different tuners, front or back, to make subtle changes in length. It's simple, no metal, no knots.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's only the second Unicorn mandolin I've seen in the wild!

    No strap buttons!

  33. #24
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob A View Post
    That's only the second Unicorn mandolin I've seen in the wild!

    No strap buttons!
    It was drilled for one, but I took it off. It wasn't drilled into the neck tho, but thru the side into the neck block.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  34. #25
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    Default Re: Yay or nay to a strap button

    I'm a YES on strap buttons (felt the need for all caps to be heard over the nays...).
    I have them on all of my A style mandolins - even vintage ones- just feels more secure to me. I don't want to feel like the mandolin will move around a bunch while I'm playing.

    I always have it professionally done. No problems so far.

    Kirk

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