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Consequences of NOT cutting

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Ezmar, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    So I generally don't cut/trim my string ends at all, and it seems to be something that people do. I guess I was just wondering if there are any real negative consequences to not cutting the strings.

    Partially I ask because I got a set of round core Hi Beams, just to try them out, and there's all that about the wire slipping off if you don't crimp before cutting and all that. My question: why bother? I ask this as an honest question.
  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    If you want the string to wrap neatly on the tuning post in a single layer of a few turns (I believe 2 to 3 turns is the commonly accepted number), then you must trim the strings to length. Is that critical? A huge majority here says that it is but they never say why so I cannot tell you if it is or not. It does look neat and professional and it does not take much time or skill so that is the way I do it. I have my doubts that it has any real affect on performance, breakage, or anything other than visual aesthetics.

    No, I take that back. There most definitely is one practical consequence of not trimming the strings: you have to do a lot more winding to get the string up to pitch!

  3. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    I used to be in the camp of "always having to cut the strings", but since I started using Chromes, my position has turned 180 degrees, at least with these strings. I kept having issues with the silk winding coming off the tuner-end of a couple of the strings, which seemed to make the string not grip as well as it should. It got to the point that if I ever switched strings from bass to bass, they would become unusable. Now, I only trim off the very end of the string, which has no silk, and I have no more problem.
  4. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    One consequence of not trimming the strings is you can put out yours or someone elses eyes! It certainly is not cool to simply leave them sprouted out. They also make the player look like they are trying too hard to be punk (a wannabe). IMO.
  5. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    Are there bass tuners that really do that? I've only ever seen the kind where you put the end into the hole and then just wind it up. No loose ends there.
  6. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    One could bend the string into a V and insert the angle of the V into hole, without trimming.
  7. Mehve


    Jun 2, 2012
    Kitchener, ON
    Last thing I need is a bunch of wires dangling off the end of my headstock. They catch and poke everything and just look generally sloppy. That aside, a lot of tuners don't have room for the entire string, certainly not without the string winding back up the post again, so you're cutting regardless.
  8. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    You'll shoot your eye out.
  9. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    I repeat, I've never had wires dangling. I've never cut my bass strings, so what's the problem? Is it just cosmetic, having fewer turns around the post?
  10. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    You're not going to get more than about 5 wraps around the post max anyway, so not sure what you mean. 5 wraps still leaves a lot of excess string to deal with....or cut off.
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    That's what she said .... I always cut mine because I always cut myself when I clean or polish.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    cut and wrap neatly, 3 or 4 wraps down the post with no overlap (or on a fender A string as many as will fit neatly, so as to increase the angle over the nut).

    anything else is amateur hour.
  13. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    So I just put a set of Hi Beams on, and DID notice a difference when Not cutting, although I don't think it will be enough of a problem to take the E off and cut it now. I usually use Rotos, and they have the silk wrap around the very thin core wire, while the end of the Hi Beams is much thicker, so The difference especially on the E string is pronounced, causing a slight angling of the string after the nut. It's not too bad, and I don't gig regularly or professionally enough to be bothered by something as minorly aesthetic as that, but For future reference, I might cut my strings to length.

    I guess it's mostly a personal Preference/aesthetic thing.
  14. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    The only consequence I've seen with not cutting is a large wad of silk around a tuner when the string length + bass = too much extra string. I cut mine about 2~3 inches past the tuner, insert the cut end in the tuner hole, bend it 90 degrees(or try to) and then start turning the tuner while keeping slight tension on the string.

    The ONLY issue I've ever had is if a bass has rounded edges on the INSIDE of the tuner so it did not hold non-silked strings. I've seen this on a Hondo P clone here that did not have the original tuners AND did not have the Grover wavey tuners. For those, I've had to cut less off and use a set that had silk wrap on the ends AND overlap the winding to "hold itself" in.
  15. michael_atw


    Feb 28, 2009
    Jamestown, NY
    You look like a lazy goof. That's the downside. ;)
  16. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    Lazy? Maybe. Patient? HOLY CRAP YES. It takes so much longer to wrap. That's the price I guess I'm willing to pay to not bother trimming my strings.

    Also I don't have any Wire cutters with me here at college. (More laziness)
  17. michael_atw


    Feb 28, 2009
    Jamestown, NY
    Maybe about two minutes a string. Unless you change strings more than once every few months, it takes about as much life away from you as one trip through a Starbucks drive thru :p

    On a slightly more serious note, shiny strings on stage flopping around are a moderate distraction if there are lights shining on the band. Sounds aesthetic but for me, I want to walk up on stage and start snipping.
  18. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    again with the flopping ends! I've never seen this on a bass, I wasn't aware there were even tuning machines that left string poking out. :meh:
  19. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    So what do you do? Overlap the wraps leaving a fat wad of string on the post that can slip or pop up off the post? Or do you leave the string end sticking up away from the post ready to puncture someone's eyeball?
  20. FanOfAlice


    Nov 8, 2006
    If you dont have snips just bend it back and forth at the point you need it shortened to and it will break there.