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DR Strings and Breaking Them

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by slap_happy, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. I recently switched to DR strings from Ernie Balls. First I played some Hi-beams and dug the tone but not the way my fingers didn't slide so easily on the steel so I went with some lighter guage (40, 60, 80, 100) Sunbeams and was blown away with how they sounded. I practiced once or twice with the band, played one gig, and screwed around in my room for a while before the G broke at the bridge. This use to happen quite a bit when the bass was new, probably because the saddle hadn't been worn down as much then, and maybe because I used to slap a little hard and possibly still do. There was still quite a bit of life left in the string so I undid the winding at the break in the string, retied the ball to the bottom of the rest of the string and rewound it. (Yeah, this is rather ghetto-fabulous but I've done it a few times before and the strings tend to work good as new.) I put the string back on the bass and when it kept buzzing and made a dampened sound, I took a look at it again. The winding at the place where the string bends to come out of the slot on the tuning peg (not where it bends to come out of the hole in the center of the tuning peg) had broken and there was now a strip of bare core where it wrapped around that corner. Now all DR string sets come with a little piece of paper saying that you should crimp the strings before cutting them but the little diagram that comes on it is a bit unclear. For those of you that play DR's, do they mean you should bend the end of the string 90 degrees and then cut excess string off 1/2" or so past where the 90 degree bend is, and then just stick that bent bit into the hole in the center of the tuning peg, or should I be doing something else. If what I described above is intended, I would think that this is fairly obvious, but wouldn't really see how failure to do so would result in unwinding of the string. As it turns out, a 90 degree bend in the string ended up ending the strings life far before old age. I guess the main question is, could a mistake I made in cutting the string have resulted in the break of winding at the corner described? I'm just a little bit disapointed to see this problem from such a quality string after never having any such problem with cheaper D'dario's, Ernie Balls, or Fenders. Anyone have a similar experience?
  2. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I have been playing 24 years and have owned probably around 100 different basses. I've never broken a string while playing.

  3. clavefa

    clavefa Te Traigo El Tumbao

    I always cut my strings just below the crimp and I've played DRs since my former tech Hugh McFarland turned me on to them and Never broke a string after 1 day of playing, you mentioned you switched to a lighter gauge possibly a burr on the saddle is the culprit.
  4. fender_mod


    Jun 23, 2005
    ive had the same DRs on for a few months, they seem to be holding up
  5. I've broken 2 DR strings I believe. One was an A, the other was the G. They seem to be kind of hit or miss. The ones I broke had only been on for a week or two, but then again I have had some on my bass for 6 months and changed them for fresh ones without having broken them. I play pretty aggressively too, so I think that it may just have been a couple bad batches. I stretch my strings by putting them on and tightening them somewhat, a couple whole steps down. and I bend the string downward as far as I can right in front of the bridge saddles, and then up above the nut. Then I pull up on each string as high as I can from the bridge all the way up to the nut up and then down again. Slap around for a bit, and they're in tune after about 30 minutes or so and don't move much after that. I think properly stretching them before having them in tune and playing them alot will help extend the life. If you really like the tone I'd say stick with them, becuase I think you may have just gotten a bad batch.
  6. I'm going on a year in April, on my Sunbeams...but I think I'll replace them sooner, as the fretmarks on them are worn smooth...but they still sound great!
  7. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    If you're breaking strings,then you have a problem at the saddle,or you playing way too hard.I really don't see how it can be done playing with normal techniques. I've been using Dr's for about 5 years,and I always put a 90 degree bend on the tuner end. It won't effect string life,because it's on the other side of the nut.If you had a bend between the nut and bridge,then you would have a problem.
  8. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Breaking strings is usually bad technique and nothing to be proud of. I unfortunately do it every now and then. When it happens, they will nearly always break at the saddle, because the process of bending them over the saddle makes them brittle at that point and more prone to fracture there.

    Further, I don't believe you can fault DR. They are excellent strings with proven quality and performance.
  9. clavefa

    clavefa Te Traigo El Tumbao

    I just put on a set of MM Fatbeams on my Smith the other day and played through the GK rig at my church at rehersal tonight and I love the way those strings feel and sound. Fingerstyle , slap , palm mute it's all there. The mids are really nice and he highs aren't harsh and of course the warm fat lows. :cool: :bassist:
  10. andrew


    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    No, there's definitely something to DR's breaking. I loved the tone and played them for a while but had to give them up because I break them constantly. I don't have that problem with other strings.
  11. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Years of use (Sunbeams 45-65-80-100) and I have never broken one. I always bend before I cut, and I leave more like 3/4" of string past the bend.
  12. clavefa

    clavefa Te Traigo El Tumbao

    Were you using LR's or Hi-Beams? because the round core Hi-beams might tend to break if not cut correctly i guess DR was aware of that also and put that notice in the packages.

    Year's ago when i was using boomers i would constantly break my G string and i gave up on Roto sounds because of dead strings right out of the package! So again with DR's i've only had 1 incident where i broke a string right after installing them and i figured out it was because i cut it wrong.
  13. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I have never broken a string let alone a DR...what are you guys doing shooting arrows with your bass?
  14. clavefa

    clavefa Te Traigo El Tumbao

    I actually had a burr on my saddle I noticed it after breaking a few g strings also i played a lot harder too.:smug:
  15. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I used DR lo riders, SS, for a year and never broke one. I stopped using them now, though. Im using nickel strings right now, of various brands until i find what works for me.
  16. I've been using DRs for a few years now. Used to use Lo Riders, now I use hi beams. I've heard that since Hi-Beams use a round core with high carbon steel, as opposed to a hex core, that the core can be broken or fractured when bent at drastic angles. This could cause the string to break more easily. I also agree that technique could have something to do with it....:bag:
  17. d-basser


    Nov 20, 2005
    anyone know a site wer i can get the coated DR's in the Uk (i really want the pink ones)

    also the coated ones are roundwounds...aren't they???
  18. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Over 25 years here and counting and not a single string broken.
  19. Haha!

    I beat the living crap out of my Sunbeams, tune them to dropped D and back at least once a day, and they have been on my bass for 10 months and still sound nice and bright.


    Jun 13, 2005
    Los Angeles
    so you broke them while you were picking up the bass???