DR strings: crimp before cutting?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by OldSchoolFlats, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    Saw a post about DR strings going bad if you don’t crimp them properly: but I did not follow.

    Is the idea to but a bend in the string where you are going to cut it, and cut it a few mm past the bend?

    I have some DR Nickel Sunbeams I want to put on, but only to have higher gauge strings, not for more zing. After reading here that DRs had major issues though, I am hesitant.

    6 min into this video describes what I mean:

    BTW, I do want to keep round-wounds on this bass. It is just that if DRs are as bad as recent posts suggest, I might stick with the D'Addario EXL170 / 0.045-0.100 that it has now, for the moment.
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I generally ignore posted videos.

    But, yes, put a right angle bend in the string, the leave a little bit past the bend, and cut the string. On a Fender for example, l go two tuning machines past the post I'm stringing to, bend the string with a pair of needle nose pliers, then cut the string enough past the bend so that short end goes all the way into the hole in the tuning machine post.

    But this has nothing to do with DR strings. It's how every string should be handled. I learned to do it this way back in 1971, decades before DR was making strings (I think Mark Dronge was still at Guild, but not sure).
  3. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    What major issues does DR have? They make some of the most beloved rounds.
  4. It is not DR, it is people who don't know how to properly install round core strings. Yes, bend the string 90 degrees, cut a little past that.
    Al Kraft, TinIndian, One Way and 17 others like this.
  5. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    maxschrek, DJ Bebop and HolmeBass like this.
  6. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    I had thought DRs were good. That is why I bought them.

    Just wondering, since I was reading on another thread where one or more people were having about half the sets go dead almost immediately.
    DJ Bebop and Ggaa like this.
  7. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    It’s possible those people don’t know the difference between stainless and nickel bass strings. The round core has always seemed to be more mellow when compared to hex, but I’m not sure if that is a characteristic or just by chance.

    As for the strings going dead, legitimately…it could be due to a lack of proper installation. I’ve had round core acoustic strings slip off the core before (tried to pull through the tuning post to lessen the winds), so I know it’s a possibility. What I do with DR Sunbeams (both Bass and acoustic) is drive them through the tuning post and bend. I then pull them through to winding length and hold the string as I turn the tuning peg. With two 90 degree angles they are unlikely to slip. I sometimes clip about an inch forward of the first bend to keep the string from scratching the headstock or poking my eye out as it’s being tuned to pitch.

    The stories of slippage are a bit over exaggerated. At least, I’d assume. DR makes excellent strings, so I have no doubt that any issues that due arise are very likely user error. Like…massive user error as in they seriously f’d up a rather simple process somehow. Who knows? I’ve installed and de-installed Sunbeams and Pure Blues plenty of times without a single issue.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
    tindrum likes this.
  8. john_g


    Sep 14, 2007
    Hmmm...DRs have been my main choice of string for years because they last for a long time and sound great.
  9. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    If I recall correctly there are instructions in the box - you have to “take it a part” but with a new set they describe what to do. I am using Hi Beams right now and no issues at all.
    Al Kraft, 3bc, FRoss6788 and 6 others like this.
  10. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    This. Instructions are printed on the inside of the box.
  11. Ggaa

    Ggaa Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2018
    Have always bent then cut.
    MynameisMe and smogg like this.
  12. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Round core strings I bend. Hex core I don’t. Although, from ‘94-‘08 I didn’t know anything about round vs hex core and just cut the string at the length needed. I NEVER had a string go bad on me then.
  13. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I have played bass for 25 years, and do all my string changes myself. The ONLY string model I have had issues with, is DR Sunbeams. In spite of following the instructions perfectly, I quickly had a string go completely dead shortly after. Happened twice, different basses, different batches of Sunbeams. I will not buy Sunbeams again.

    OTOH, my go-to SS rounds since many years are the DR LowRiders, and I have no problems with them, quality and life span has been great!
    DJ Bebop, Lownote38 and Element Zero like this.
  14. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    The only time I tried DR strings (peacock blue) they failed on my after a few months (it was my number 2 bass which didn't see as much action). I've learned it may have been my fault due to cutting them without crimping, although I honestly don't remember seeing any warning or instructions in the packaging - it was many, many years ago!

    Luckily it happened at rehearsal, so I was able to replace the string with an old dead one (I always carry the last set I removed, as a get out of jail free card). The slotted edge of the hipshot xtender tuning peg cut through the winding of the E string making it slip off the core. Had I crimped the string it may have prevented it slipping, but it certainly wouldn't have stopped it cutting through the winding, and I'm sure it's ability to stay in tune would have been affected.

    It's quite possible that using the xtender numerous times damaged the string, but I've never had this happen with any other brand or type of string. My preference is for silk wraps, which seem to protect the windings. I'd love to try their coloured strings again, but at that price I don't know if I can risk failing again.
  15. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I use sunbeams, install them properly (with a bend/ crimp) and have never had a problem. DR strings are fantastic...
    Al Kraft, jdwinva, FRoss6788 and 4 others like this.
  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Bending before cutting is good solid advice that should be applied to all strings, regardless of whether or not a certain set “needs” it. Just do it, and then you don’t have to worry. (Same applies to bending a neck by hand before tightening a truss rod.)

    DR are my favorite string, whether HiBeam, LoRider, SunBeam, FatBeam, etc. Love the brightness, the relatively smooth feel, and the longevity. I have a number of sets that are several years old now and still sound good. Many of them have been used with a detuner too, no issues. Granted, I don’t play every day, and I don’t gig as much as many do.
  17. And the reason they suggest that is, it helps keep the wraps from undoing.
    When you bend it first, after you cut the string, the string doesn't want to unravel since the bend helps prevent that.

    Also if I recall they suggest you cut the string at an angle as well.
  18. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    I have been using DR for, I think, about 30 years. I have had 2 problems with strings, they were both on B strings that broke when installed. I believe it was a known issue at the time, DR replaced them with new strings. My answer was to stop playing 5 strings, lol, true but not for this reason.

    As many others have said, bend the strings 90 degrees and cut just past the bend. Works on every type of string whether you need to or not.
  19. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    If they are the only string manufacturer suggesting this, it can’t be that important. I only do it as means to mark where I need to cut the string.
  20. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    I always bend them and cut past the bend. Using DR Hi Beams for over 10 years with no issues.

    On strings with a round core the wrap has nothing to bite on so bending before cutting is crucial. The round core gives them a more supple feel.

    Hi Beams last about 12 weeks for me when we’re playing regularly so that’s pretty good.
    Al Kraft, tindrum and J R Knots like this.
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