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Can I cut?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by clokwise, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. clokwise


    Sep 7, 2012
    New to the double bass, so I apologize for this seemingly silly question. I recently put some Corelli nickel strings on. I have read of people cutting the excess at the top and the string unraveled on them. I have been player electric bass, and guitar for several years and never had this happen, but didn't know if these strings were a different ballgame. Is it ok to cut the excess at the tuning key?

  2. I can't say for sure about its having a negative effect on the strings, but if you ever do plan to re-sell the strings or change basses, I would avoid cutting if you can manage as-is, as a different string length may require more length. If those two things are no concern though, defer to the word of those more wise than I :bag:
  3. clokwise


    Sep 7, 2012
    Well fortunately the strings weren't a high dollar string. So I'm not worried about the resell. They are on an EUB so they are much shorter than the actual scale and all the excess it a mess. But I'll live with it if I must lol.
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    It's only a problem if the wrap unwinds - then you might start having problems. This is not an EB. There's really no reason to cut, even on an EUB.
  5. clokwise


    Sep 7, 2012
    Well the only reason I was wanting to is it looks like a bird nest up there. Just a big mess.
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    It need not look like that. Starting with a bit of string through the hole in the tuning peg, a common technique is to make a few windings in the direction opposite the one you eventually want to end up with, do a crossover winding, and then finish on the desired side. A string winder is a handy thing to have for this. :) This may help.

  7. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Go ahead and clip the strings. Leave three quarters of an inch sticking out of the tuner and you'll be fine.
  8. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    This may seem obvious - but only clip the silk-wound area. Don't clip the "playable" area of the string (the metal-wound portion).

    I'd counter some of the other opinions here; there is a distinct advantage to not having too much string wound around the post. We suggest trimming so you have a maximum of 4 winds.

    • The "bird's nest" thing is largely aesthetic, but if the excess is coming loose, it can vibrate in the pegbox and cause weird resonances and buzzes that are tough to track down.
    • If you have too many sloppy windings, they can press up against the inner walls of the pegbox and cause additional friction - this can make tuning more difficult, as well as put undue stress on your tuning machines. This can be especially an issue on many Electric Upright Basses, as they often use "lighter" and smaller tuning machines which can't handle all that extra stress.
    • With lots of windings, you'll have to "overwind" the later winds, and that will alter (only slightly, but still, some people are hardcore about this sort of thing) the break angle over the nut.
    • With all that excess, you're more likely to twist the string during installation, and twisting will surely shorten the length of the string.

    If you're "trying" strings, I get the point about possible resale. But if you're planning on playing the strings until they die, I suggest that trimming them, so you have 3-4 winds, is best. Use a very sharp metal clipper, and try not to un-twist the inner windings under the silk wrap.
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Given that there is no overlap (except for the crossover winding) and given that the windings are not pressed against the cheeks of the pegbox, I know of no advantage to having four or fewer windings on the tuning peg and no disadvantage to having more than four. Indeed, overlapped windings can be problematic. There seem to be about six windings in the picture I posted above.
  10. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    When you have a lot of windings on the tuning shafts, it takes a longer time for your tuning to stabilize.

    Whether you're lowering or raising the tension, it takes a LOT longer for the string to equalize that tension if it has to relax six turns of string than if it has to relax two or three turns.

    When you spend your days installing and tuning strings, it becomes very noticeable. :(
  11. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    It seems to me that overlapping windings would also cause unwanted friction if the string is resting between the windings beneath it.
  12. petesenkowski

    petesenkowski Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Which EUB are you playing? Does it have a DB-like pegbox or a BG-like headstock (e.g., Ergo)? How long is the after length?
  13. clokwise


    Sep 7, 2012
    It is an Ergo. So I realize, not a true upright, which is another topic/argument for another day. Just focused on not ruining an expensive set or strings I just put on :)

    I bought 1/2 strings at the recommendation of Jesse the manufacturer, but they are still a bit long. Everything sounds fine the way they are wrapped. Just trying to clean up the aesthetics.