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Is the "rule" about crimping round core strings a myth?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by matante, Dec 14, 2018.


  1. matante

    matante

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    So everyone around here says you are supposed to crimp DRs and other round core strings before cutting them in order to prevent them from going dead or unwrapping. I installed my first round core strings yesterday (DR Sunbeams) and here is what the instructions in the box say:

    "ROUND core wire, by definition, has no edges. Hex core has 6. So, at DR we flatten the round core wire to create an anchor for the wrap wire to grip the core wire.

    We flatten a small section of the core wire at a spot that should lie past the nut at the top of the fingerboard, and between the tuning machines of your instrument. This flat section provides an anchor for the wrap wire to grip the core wire. You should be able to feel this flattened area between your fingers as you touch the end of the string opposite the ball end.

    Without the anchor the string is likely to unwind, go "dead," and fail to intonate properly.

    If you need to cut or trim your strings between the anchor (the flattened section) and the ball end...carefully and severely bend, or "crimp," your string as illustrated. The severe bend (crimp) will provide an anchor for the round core.

    In some instances properly installing the strings and then cutting or trimming the excess wire will suffice to avoid wrap wire coming loose from round cores."

    Now consider the parts that I've underlined. If you are installing the long scale strings on a long scale bass, then there doesn't seem to be any reason to crimp the strings, at least not according to DR's own instructions.
     
  2. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    from DR's own utube channel.
     
  3. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I've had a round core string unravel when I didn't crimp. It happened once. This isn't anything but anecdotal but the logic is sound and crimping isn't difficult. And most of the.basses I've owned have been Fenders with fat tuners so I often didn't have to cut strings at all.
     
    saabfender likes this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i used to cut strings because "everyone else did it." it's not necessary.
     
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I crimp the string as it supposedly minimizes the likelihood of the wrap and core separating. It also provides a nice 90 deg angle so the string end can be easily inserted in the anchor hole on the tuner post.

    Riis
     
  6. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    USA
    I've crimped simply because it helps the string stay in the tuning peg hole while i wind it up. Never actually heard about it preventing the string from unwrapping. I kind of don't think that is a huge risk. There was a long time where i did not crimp the string and have never even seen a hint of a string unwinding.
     
  7. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    It almost always is, strings are very long to fit various basses, so are almost always too long. Too many wraps around a tuner post is bad in several ways.
     
    Pilgrim likes this.
  8. All strings should have a silk wrap at the end (like some strings have).
    That prevents any unwrapping and protects the surface of the tuner post.
     
  9. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    NJ
    A few months back, I asked my local shop owner/tech if he crimped strings. I even showed him this DR article as well as something similar from Fodera's website. He said he's been installing strings for 35+ years w/out crimping and never had an issue or complaint about strings unraveling. And DR strings are his personal favorites.

    I guess if - as the DR instructions indicate - you cut the strings to a length where their factory-created flat spot remains intact - or don't cut them at all - there's no need to crimp. I install my own strings now, and crimp either round or hex core before cutting just because.
     
  10. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I've never crimp the end of a string before cutting and it's never been a problem.
     
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I've never quite understood crimping, can someone explain it to me?

    I'm thinking it means to bend the string so it makes a 'hook' and then cut the string a little after the bend. But then you're left with a 'hook' that is too big to be inserted down into the hole of the tuner except maybe on the D and G strings, so can someone clarify exactly?
     
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If the "hook" is too wide (diameter), then you've crimped the full-wrap thickness and not the taper (...which fits nicely) which suggests you're using the wrong string set in terms of winding length. A properly-sized set should transition between the nut and tuner post.

    Riis
     
    Pilgrim likes this.
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    you say "almost always," i say "rarely" --- i'm sure our experiences inform our points of view. ;)
     
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Definitely not the case. I've been changing strings since 1989 :)

    What I mean is...even if you don't bend the string over and just cut the taper, B,E, and sometimes A strings barely fit down in the hole to begin with because they have larger cores and tapers. If you make a hook, then you have double the thickness to try to jam down in the hole.
     
  15. delta7fred

    delta7fred

    Jul 3, 2007
    England
    I've been fitting strings since 1967 and have never crimped before cutting them or had a problem with unwinding, but it does make sense so I will probably do that now.
     
  16. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    But all don’t.

    Next...
     
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    By "hook", I mean 90 deg angle not folding it back upon itself. I've never had a bent taper fail to fit a Hipshot, GB-7, or Sperzel.

    Riis
     
  18. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Okay, I did mean folding it back on itself, so that's what I need to quit doing. Or trying to do :)
     
    Pilgrim likes this.
  19. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Good...you were starting to scare me! A single 90 deg bend will do the trick every time.

    Riis
     
    Pilgrim likes this.
  20. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Per the video:
    Crimp- a 90 degree bend.
    Then cut.
    None of this hook sh#t. Not sure where that came from.
    I’ve been doing this for all strings for almost 10 years.
     
    Linnin likes this.

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