How did I do this? Broke my Spirocore mittel E string!!

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Les Fret, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Yesterday I was tuning up. Nothing special and all off sudden there was this horrible noise. Thought my bass was splitting in two. Luckily it was only the E string breaking and nothing happened to my bass. Also happy that it was at home and not at a gig. Had this string on my bass for a year or so already. I have no idea how this happened. Can it be due to temperature changes or something? Did you ever break an E string? or any upright string?

    I think it is a mittel E? Not sure anymore. I has the red wrapping not the purple one that weichs have...

  2. It’s indeed a mittel E.

    Maybe there’s a sharp edge on the hole in the tuning peg axle?

  3. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    While we are here. Does anyone know what string this is? It is either a Correli tungsten TX or a Thomastik superflexible I think. I want to replace the broken spricore E with this one for now.

  4. ctrlzjones


    Jul 11, 2013
    Happend here too. If you are like me and cannot let go of dead Spiros (althought that one year is nothing), there are clamps that remarry broken wire for a long time after an initial split.
  5. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    haha..the string wasn't dead though, only one year old. Should at least last three years or so. But I am not sure if I bought it used or new I have to admit.

    Didn't know that the inner or of the sting was that copper like metal? is it copper or something?
  6. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Gold Supporting Member

    It looks like the slots in the nut are way too deep and may have caused the E string to bind in the (deep) slot.
    I was taught that the nut slot should only be about 1/3 as deep as the diameter of the string - 2/3 of the string should be above (not "in") the slot.
    I Am Not A Luthier. (Maybe cross-post this in "Set Up and Repair"?)
    Les Fret and AGCurry like this.
  7. It's a Superflexible.
    Corelli 370TX has black silk with a red ring.
  8. elmer


    Oct 1, 2004
    That is a Thomastik Superflexible E, which will be a good substitute for the Spiro E.
    Oh thanks Francois, you were faster :)
    Les Fret likes this.
  9. Those nut slots look fine, and that’s not the point where the string broke, so we’ll need to move on.

    It appears to me that the core broke at its’ point of contact with the roller. That suggests either a defective string, or a sharp edge on the roller.

    I would remove the A string, dismount that tuner plate for ease of access, and carefully check for sharp edges. If you find one, or more, remove it using a rattail file and reassemble.
    Les Fret and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  10. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Hi Don, the slots are fine. They are done by a luthier. I can not detect any sharp edges at the roller. I think it might be a defective string or so. Thanks for all the help.
    Don Kasper likes this.
  11. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    Is it possible that the string was squeezed against the inside cheek of the pegbox? If so maybe part of the string was being held stationary there by friction and as you tuned up all the strain went into the tiny portion of the string behind that.
  12. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Since it broke at the tuning post, it will take a little work, but you should be able to use a pair of pliers or vise grips and tie a knot to reconnect the two broken sections and continue to use the string. The knot will still be past the nut and not (no pun intended) affect the string. I've done this multiple times and consider it a valuable tool when on the gig with no spares. YES, it will work with mittels. While you are at it, take a small section of 220 grit sandpaper and smooth out the string hole on the post. You likely have a small burr that is causing the string to break.

    I once broke a Spirocore stark the first time I tuned up a new string because of the exact problem. 'Sounded like a gunshot and everyone hit the deck!
    jsf729 and Sam Dingle like this.
  13. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    you mean that the string touched the wood of the pegbox? I don't think that was the case since I always check that.
    I that was case it would have snapped sooner already I guess?
  14. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I think the string is beyond repair. I will buy a new one. I am curious how you exactly reconnect the sections though. You never now when this might come handy...
    I agree that it sounded like that gunshot. It scared the s**t out of me! :)
  15. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
  16. Papageno


    Nov 16, 2015
    Can you do a fisherman's knot with a Spiro E? Those strings are stiff as hell!
    How much extra string length do you need?

    If anyone is able to do this, I would be interested in seeing a picture.
  17. Only the string core needs to be knotted. Remove the windings, so you can do the knot but secure the windings that stay with something. Electrical shrink tube might e a quick and easy way.
    Papageno likes this.
  18. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Ok I need to go to the boy scouts again!

    Is the inside core of Spirocore copper? Didn’t know that. You never find that out that when you don’t break a string.
  19. Papageno


    Nov 16, 2015
    Got it. Clever. Thanks for sharing.
  20. The inner windings are alloys that contain copper (and brass, I think).
    Also had an old Spiro Mittel E break, but probably because I got the EUB used and the string got clamped at the peg.

    I used the knot James showed for gut strings or to be honest by knotting a braided Perlon line to elongated gut strings (G and D) which were too short for my 4/4 5- string.

    Just one warning in general:
    the high bending in the knot stresses the material a lot more and it can break at the knot.
    An alternative could be to just use friction by knotting a soft material like the Perlon line with a double and one or more single knots and maybe finishing with a double one. Each knot needs to be fastened tightly with pliers (make sure not to harm the Perlon line).

    I have a prototype high C that broke because of a too narrow slot in a new nut. It broke or slipped three or four times trying to make a knot in it. I tried a knot with more windings to enlarge the friction, but it was not possible to tighten it enough, so the string slipped. Making several smaller knots that could be tightened better individually did the trick. But I was lucky that this happened in the silk wound part where the string is not that even like on the playable part of the string where the windings might slip easily.