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Dominant Breakage Solution (possibly)

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Dr Rod, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    I spoke to a long time user of dominants and he explained to me his solution for the breakage problem. He said that when tuning the strings up to pitch the tension takes a while to get distributed in the whole length of the string. When: the grooves are too tight, the tune up too fast, or the grooves not lubricated....the string will break at the point with highest tension (between peg and nut).

    He told me that he oils the string ever so slightly in the areas that will be in contact with the nut and bridge before installation(especially the E). He also uses the pencil on the nut and bridge. He applies the oil with slighly impregnated paper towel. He then tunes them up in steps, it doesn't neet to be hours, just allow the string to tense up evenly.

    He has never had a broken dominant since he started doing this. He also doesn't take them off and on.
  2. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I use pencil lead, but haven't tried oil. Good tips.

    I think the biggest factors are additional removals and installations. That's actually keeping from trying another set of strings. I don't want to remove the Dominant's, only the put them back on and break one if the new string trial doesn't work out.
  3. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    my friend uses pencil lead for the nut and bridge as well, the oil is for the actual string, to give it a little extra lube. I am glad you like the tip, I mentioned it because some folks were having strings breaking on the very first installation without even having tuned them up to pitch.

    as a matter of coincidence I installed my very first set of dominants today, the lubrication worked, AND THE STRINGS ROCK !!

    they bow fantastically well from the very first day (a bit of rosin right on the string helped to get some response).

  4. bassicsax


    Jul 29, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    what type of oil do you use?
  5. powdered graphite lubricant works really well too. you can get it from any locksmith. i had trouble with my gears binding so i put some in the nut, in the gear, and in the hole where the tuning peg goes (which requires minimal disassembly of your tuning gears) and the machines work beautifully now.
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Pencil lead is a very common practice. I usually do it regardless of which strings I'm using. can't hurt.

    Jake said something about using Chapstick once.

    The point is that the strings shouldn't bind up at either the nut or the bridge. I'd be surprised if that totally eliminated the breakage issue on Dominants. I remember when it was being said that this method would keep Obligatos from rolling...it doesn't.
  7. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Is there any concern about the oil soaking into the wood grain of the bridge or nut by doing this? When I was using plain guts, after one oiling that I neglected to wipe off as well as I should have, I got stains around the string slots on my bridge. Not knowing the effect, I was pretty careful with oil for a while after that.

    FWIW - I've started using melted candle wax, one drip into each string slot. It might be overkill for the most part, but might be useful for something like Dominants as well.
  8. Eddue


    Jan 12, 2006
    New Haven, Mich
    I use chapstick on the string where it contacts the nut and bridge and graphite on the nut and bridge slots.

    Remember that Dominants (especially the E string) are bigger than the normal bass string so you might have to make sure the string slots on the bridge and nut fitted properly, this is a major source of binding and string breakage.
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    That's my routine, Chapstick on the string and 2B pencil in the slots. It makes the bridge noticeably easier to stand back upright when I'm reassembling a bass so it must be good for the strings. ;)
  10. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    I agree: lip balm, much better than graphyte
  11. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    I can only speak for my own experience: since I started using this lubrication I haven't had any broken Dominants.
  12. Eddue


    Jan 12, 2006
    New Haven, Mich
    I think that because Dominants are a different kind of string a lot of misunderstandings and breakage concerns can develop. But any string can benefit from proper lubrication and proper slots cut for the bridge and nut. I think most of the problems are caused by not being installed properly and then blaming the string as being defective.
  13. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    well said
  14. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    not if you use a more solid form such as lip balm or vaseline, which can be easily wiped off

    in any case the oil will not hurt the wood, quite the contrary, but it may not look so nice to have the dark spots on your bridge