Broken string: What did I do wrong?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FireSlash, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. FireSlash


    Jul 29, 2010
    I'm sure there are a lot of these threads, so feel free to point me in the direction of a broken string faq if I missed one.

    Anyway, I've just replaced the stock strings on my SX Ursa 3 with D'Addario regular light gauge strings (EXL170).

    G string tuned fine... but the D string snapped while it was still very flat.


    I was following these instructions to the letter, and even after going back over them, I don't think I missed anything.

    The other strings all went on fine, and I reinstalled the stock D string without incident as well.

    Here are some shots of the final setup, perhaps someone can point out what I'm doing wrong? I double checked when the string broke, there was no overlapping winds, and it was winding the correct direction on the post.


    I already noticed the E and A strings were cut a bit short, I'll keep an eye out for that next time, but I'm hoping it won't be an issue.
  2. MosGuy

    MosGuy Keep it low and thumping..

    Dec 26, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It's tough to say, you may not have done anything wrong. If you're sure that you didn't over tune the string (easier to do with a light gauge). You may have gotten one that wasn't manufactured 100%. So as tension was applied it simply broke. It's not common but can occur from time to time. As for cutting strings: what I've always done is match the new string against the old. Then cut the new string to the old one, that ensures you don't snip off too much. It won't help this time, but for future reference. BTW the E & A string look fine, an extra wrap would have been ideal. But you shouldn't have any issue.
  3. BritPicker


    Apr 20, 2009
    Looks fine to me. You did it neatly and carefully. Just one of those things.

    If you are sure you didn't over-tighten or kink them in some violent manner (and looking at your neat windings there, I don't think you did), then I'd take them back to the shop and politely explain what happened and get a fresh set.

    Check there's no sharp edges on your bass I guess would be a good idea too. You never know.
  4. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    It was mentioned on Talkbass before that the string guide/tree may have some sharp edges. I think it was the SX batch rebuild thread, and the guy would sand down all the string trees he got. I wonder if it broke there.
  5. Leftybass12


    Nov 14, 2008
    Maybe the string was just faulty...highly unlikely, but it could still happen.
  6. Darth_Gasseous


    Nov 17, 2009
    could you possibly have turned the wrong tuning machine while attempting to tune a different string? This does happen occasionally; you take your hand off of the tuning machine for a split second to scratch your ear or something, and when you start tightening again you inadvertently grabbed a hold of one that you've already tightened... and pop.
  7. FireSlash


    Jul 29, 2010
    Nah, i was tuning from G down, and I hadn't finished tuning D when it broke.

    I'm 100% sure it wasn't over tuned. It was very flat with the string broke. I was pretty careful not to bend the wires beyond the level they were bent in the packaging as well.

    The string broke at the tuner. I didn't notice anything sharp back there. Shop's closed tomorrow, so I guess I'll head over Tuesday and try my luck.

    On a side note, it's is rather amusing to play like this. I had a feeling the stock strings on the SX weren't that great, but it's hilarious how bad that old D string sounds side by side with the new ones. Makes it rather amusing to practice on.
  8. Soverntear


    Mar 17, 2008
    at least your seeing the bright side of things
  9. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Never had one break on guitar or bass (knocking on wood as I write this).

    It is helpful to change them often, or keep spares in the event that...
  10. In MY 35 yrs of 'bassing' - that I can REMEMBER - I've had ONE string that did this. IIRC- was a D'addario too-
    But I've had 100's of sets of Daddario's that've been SPOT ON.

    MAY'VE been just a dud string. I think the one that did this to me was.
  11. Muaguana


    Jul 28, 2009
    Why was that sheet music in treble cleff? And furthermore, why didn't they simply use the 15vb........ symbol if the music was a full two octaves lower than the staff?!

    Sorry, theory geek moment.:bag:
  12. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I have only snapped 1 string tuning up it was an ernie ball d string. and strangly it was on my sx j bass. The tuning pegs on the sx j bass seem sharper then any of the other basses I own my guess is faulty string or sharp tuning peg.
  13. The only time I ever broke strings (more than a few times) is when I strung THRU-BODY at the bridge. The steeper angle and a possible burr rubbed the strings.

    I didn't notice or know if you string thru body----if so, try stringing regular through end of bridge if the option is there.
  14. FireSlash


    Jul 29, 2010
    I took it to the shop I bought the strings from, they couldn't find anything wrong with my install either, so they replaced the string for free.

    Have I recently mentioned how great the local Music Go Round is? :D

    Probably tabbed wrong to begin with. However it could also be the <original format> -> tux guitar -> lillypond -> pdf process I use to get a decently readable tab.
  15. Kudos to them, that's excellent customer service. It probably cost them $5 but
    1. You'll definitely be back to spend more cash with them, &
    2. I daresay you'll tell your friends, plus...
    3. The biggest bass forum around now knows they care.
    That package is worth a heck of a lot more than the cost of the string & the 10 minutes of staff time it took to sort it out.

    Whilst I suspect you probably just had a duff string, when you next change strings I'd check the slot in the peg again to be on the safe side. There are two edges that can get used for winding, it's just possible that only one of 'em has a rough/sharp edge and is now hiding under the windings... waiting.

    Please please please drop by the Tux message board & have a read of this post wot I dun. If I read you correctly, we've both found a glaring issue with Tux that needs sorting out & a threadbump might help. I believe the next iteration of Tux is quite close, it'd be a shame if the developers miss the chance.

  16. jgriffin


    Jun 13, 2009
    I second the SX string tree possibility. I've broken a new string that way myself. Somewhere on my upgrade to-do list is replacing that w/ a hipshot tree.
  17. To all the well-meaning folks that keep bringing up the sharp edge theory: No, no, no. A sharp edge may cut the outer wrap wire(extremely unlikely), but not the core wire, as it's protected by the wrap wire. You will notice it's the core wire that broke- not the wrap, which is almost always the case.
    The 'sharp edge' mentality comes from broken guitar strings- the single-strand type- which are sometimes broken by sharp bridge saddles.
    This is simply a defective string.
  18. BassinCT

    BassinCT …still tuning…

    Jun 17, 2006
    Connecticut, USA
    Back in '94, I bought a 2 sets of LaBella supersteps with defective (brittle) core wire. I followed my usual procedure of inserting the string into the post, beginning the tune-up and then putting a gentle bend in the string as it begins the first turn around the post. In both sets, 2 of the 5 strings broke at that initial bend at the post.
  19. jgriffin


    Jun 13, 2009
    So tell me, what protects the core wire once the outer wire wrap is compromised?

    I can easily observe my G catching on the sharp string tree, every time I re-string that instrument. The first time I re-strung it I broke the string. While replacing that broken string I noticed that it can get so bad that I can turn the tuning key significantly without the string changing pitch at all.

    In my case, it wasn't a defective string.

    Your stridency is entertaining though, thanks for that.
  20. leadmachine


    Sep 9, 2010
    It's just a normal thing that happens because like you, I have the same experience. I wonder why the string broke, then I realize that the connector of the string has a problem. I think, in your case. You did not do something wrong.

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