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B string broke over saddle on install...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mrcbass, May 14, 2019.

  1. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Hi all.

    So I wanted to try some flats on my Fender AmPro P5 and right as I brought it up to tune (after setting witness point, the string broke - unraveled at the bridge.


    The intonation on this bass admittedly has a very sharp angle over the bridge on the B string nearly 90 degrees.


    So I put on an old half round string on to complete the bass (which is actually kind of working for me), but am wondering if I just got a bum string or if, as the vendor suggested, the beefy string just won't handle that angle. Using D'Addario Chromes.

    I'm really liking the flats on the P, so my intent to is stay with this for the foreseeable future.

    Anyone have experience with this issue?

    Just a bum string?

    Try a different brand?

    Stay with the half-round B string?

  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    Flats typically are too stiff to be strung thru-body, especially the B string, and should be strung top-load. I'm guessing that's the reason why the string broke and not the string itself (although, that "could" be). So the vendor was correct.
  3. There is always certain amount of risk involved in putting a flatwound string thru-body, although most people would tell you no issue with D'A Chromes.

    Trying a different brand of flats may not be the answer as the break angle as sharp as the one in the photo is never good for any flats.

    If the half-round B is balanced enough tonally with the rest, why not? I've never used a 5-string set of flats for myself, but I wouldn't be entirely against the idea of mix-matching.
    Linnin and gebass6 like this.
  4. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Hmm. have done it on a couple of other basses with no Ill affects - but they do have slightly less of an angle over the saddle. I'll have to lok to see if the bridge is set up to allow a through bridge install - didn't even occur to me!
  5. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Always strings flats through the bridge (top load) only and never through the body. The break over angle is too acute, and you see the results. You live and you learn. Now you know.
  6. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    That 90 degree angle is ridiculous even for a roundwound. Because it will be resisting bending it likely isn't sitting optimally on the saddle. It probably has it's primary contact point halfway through the bend insead of the top of the saddle.
    5 string bass bridges without a top-load option are very badly designed. Therefore, so is that bass if it doesn't have a top-load option.
    The bridge placement is badly chosen because it results in strings going through 90 degrees.
    Through-body stringing is done only for the sake of tradition, and was intended for 4 strings, not B strings.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Yeah flats generally should never go through body, but I've done it before with no problems.

    However NO string should be at a 90 degree angle like that. That's insane!
    Goatrope likes this.
  8. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Lesson learned.
    1. Never knew (have two other string-through basses with flats - no issue) and it's not like there are any warnings anywhere about this
    2. Didn't even consider to look to see if it could be bridge through (which of course is an option once I looked).

    I've never really got string through anyway. I suppose it's easier on the bridge mounting hardware, but it shortens strings generates this issue as well as difficulty in adjusting the intonation on the B string.

    Thanks all
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