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detensioning obligatos

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Steve Killingsworth, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Within the next few weeks I plan on replacing the coathanger on my Swingmaster with aircraft cable. I have read in several threads that taking all tension off obligatos tends to kill them--but it seems like some posters are long on opinion and short on knowledge.

    My strings are already fairly dead and I planned on changing to a new set in April or May just before bluegrass festival season hits full swing. Do you think I would be better off to go ahead and change when I upgrade the wire?
  2. Since the strings are already almost dead, you won't lose much if you keep them for the moment, after the wire change.
    If you want fresh strings for the festival, I think you'd better wait a couple of months, or put a temporary backup set you've kept in a drawer, in case the Obs fell apart after retensioning... :)
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I don't think doing it a few times kills them. But as you know, DB players are prone to remove and replace strings many, many times over. I gather Obligatos don't take that sort of thing well. I haven't done it to mine, so I have no experience.

    I would add that perhaps you do want to change them a little sooner rather than earlier for another reason. They can take a good month to stretch out and settle into tune. You don't want that headache once you start playing regularly. Especially if you are outside.

  4. I just put the ones lent (given) to me back on and they sound good.(probably the third or fourth time installed) :ninja:
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Obligatos are shot once you let them down. You can still play them, but they're not the same. Much stiffer, thinner sounding, and also scratchier with the bow. First-hand experience.
  6. JonB


    May 27, 2003
    Just a word of warning on the other part of your project...
    If you're planning on using the aircraft cable kit containing a brass tube with set screws that's supposed to hold the ends together, forget the brass tube thing. I found out the hard way (cost me one gig) that it's not too reliable. Instead, get 2 aluminum crimps at the hardware store and never worry about it coming apart. The downside is you can't take it apart without cutting the cable.
  7. I will probably just wait and do everything at once. Right now my bowing is bad enough so I would just as soon not make it any more difficult.

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