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Can you adjust strings by cutting them?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Sigge, Jun 24, 2014.


  1. Sigge

    Sigge

    Jun 8, 2014
    Norway
    I made a post last week about if I could go wrong with length and sound and today I was going to buy some of the strings that were suggested but I realised I have unused strings for my other bass which I barely use, but they're a bit longer. Would it be okay to just cut them somehow and use them on my Höfner Icon 500/1?

    I'm a student so I would love to not having to spend 80 dollars on specialized strings from the other side of the globe
     
  2. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo

    Oct 11, 2012
    Katy TX
    As long as you cut from the tuner side you should be fine.
     
  3. Sigge

    Sigge

    Jun 8, 2014
    Norway
    I thought maybe the strings were too thick if I did that?
     
  4. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Well, uncoil the new strings and lay them out on the neck with the ball end positioned. You'll be able to see if the taper begins before the barrel of the tuner.

    That's what you were concerned about, right?
     
  5. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo

    Oct 11, 2012
    Katy TX
    To thick for what? The string should have the same thickness in all its length, it won't make any difference where you cut it.
     
  6. Sigge

    Sigge

    Jun 8, 2014
    Norway
    No I'm worried that the tuning side end may be too thick to get into the holes that you use for tuning
     
  7. Sigge

    Sigge

    Jun 8, 2014
    Norway
    The strings are definitely thinner on the tuner side, actually half its size
     
  8. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo

    Oct 11, 2012
    Katy TX
    Ohhh I see, it shouldn't be a problem, it doesn't matter. You don't have to put it in that whole.
     
  9. Sigge

    Sigge

    Jun 8, 2014
    Norway
    Really? What else is there to do?
     
    sissy kathy likes this.
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    They taper the end of the strings for a reason, so the full thickness of your larger gauge strings is not wrapped around the tuner post, which can lead to a poorly wrapped string and possible string breakage.
     
  11. Sigge

    Sigge

    Jun 8, 2014
    Norway
    So youre saying I should definitely not cut them?
     
  12. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo

    Oct 11, 2012
    Katy TX
    You can wrap the string around the peg one coil on top of another, lock it and tune. You can also uncoil that part of the string. Of course it is not ideal but I thought you were looking for alternatives to the ideal which is just buy new strings... It's not that complicated...
     
  13. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    OP--this is what you need to check, before you put the strings on. Ideally the taper will begin just the other side of the nut, and the full diameter of the string won't go around the post. I've gotten away with the full part of the string just beginning to curve around the post--but never more than that.

    My best advice is to buy the correct length strings for your Hofner. This (above) is why strings are supplied in different lengths.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  14. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Oh, you always cut strings to length! But you're trimming them in the tapered part of the string.

    Suggestion--meant to be helpful, and not at all snarky:

    Google "how to restring a bass." I just did, and the top of the search results had some good material which will explain what Hopkins and I are talking about.
     
  15. Sigge

    Sigge

    Jun 8, 2014
    Norway
    Thanks, I'm gonna put my faith in you and this man
     
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars

    You have to trim the string. What I was saying, is that if you use a long scale string on a full scale bass, you will have to cut them on the full thickness of the string, and have that part wrapped around the post instead of the taper. This can lead to problems.
     
  17. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Cool. And you'll see how it's the tapered part (not the full diameter) that wraps around the post on the thicker strings.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that you make the sharp bend in the string before you cut it. That's to lock the wraps to the core wire.
     
  18. metalhead398

    metalhead398

    Jul 23, 2013
    Ventura
    I always cut strings before I put them on. I dislike having more than two winds on any peg.

    Also, make sure when you wind the string, go through the tuning peg then DOWN. If you go up, you're going to end up with the string being very loose in the nut.
     

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