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Is there a downside to aftermarket string retainers?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by packhowitzer, May 25, 2011.


  1. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Atlanta
    I put a hipshot two string retainer on my 08 Geddy Lee JB to hopefully add a little sustain to my A string. It also was retaining the D string. A bit of redundancy on the D since it was also retained by the stock retaining post. At my weekly church gig a few weeks later, my E string kept popping out of the nut. So i replaced the two string hipshot with a three string hipshot so now I have the E, A, and D retained just past the nut. The G is retained with the stock retainer. My question is: Is this too much retention? Is it bad to have that sharp downward angle on the strings right after the nut. I believe that I am perceiving an increase in sustain, but it may be all in my head. I know that that E string's not going to go anywhere, but is there a downside I'm not considering? What are some general thoughts about string retention on Fender basses? I will hopefully have a pic up within 24 hrs to illustrate my situation.
     
  2. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
  3. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Atlanta
    x
     
  4. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Atlanta
    I wind the strings in the traditional fashion. so what i have now is a situation where the strings actually bend at several points before they get to the tuning peg. they bend toward the face of the headstock as they go over the nut and into the retainer. then they bend back up slightly as the make their way to the top of the tuning peg. the poor D string goes over the nut, down through the hipshot, up slightly to the stock retainer, and then up slightly again to its tuning peg. This bass stays in tune very well (i've got hipshot tuners to replace the cruddy no-names) and I believe sustain is increased. I guess I'm mainly wondering if it's bad for the strings or if IDK the intonation can get wrecked or something. Sorry about the pics. still trying to get them from my hard drive to the thread (first time posting pics)
     
  5. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    It's a bass, not your large intestine!
     
  6. no downsides apart that you have extra screw holes more on your headstock (believe it or not, people would not buy a neck from me that had the Hipshot 3 string retainer because of the 2 screw holes)

    Also your headstock is probably looking messy with all the retainers, just use the 3 string retainer on G D and A, and wind the E down on the peg,if the E is still popping out, I suspect the nut slots are too wide for the strings you are using, further enhanced by the fact that the open strings lack sustain, they are probably moving in their slots to begin with
     
  7. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    if your strings are being wound to the top of the tuning peg youre doing it wrong. Wind your strings such that they leave the tuner as close to the face of the headstock as possible.
     
  8. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    The winding spiral should be like a "Barber-Pole" with the string exiting from the bottom; never wound upon itself. Three turns is fine- no need to use up the length of the string leader; cut it.
     
  9. tdub0199

    tdub0199

    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    They should be winding down the tuning peg....
     
  10. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Atlanta
    Ok i think this will illustrate my situation more clearly
     

    Attached Files:

  11. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Atlanta
    Thanks for all the feedback guys. i don't mind an extra screw hole here or there. this bass isn't going anywhere. If i wasn't clear before, my strings do exit closest to the headstock, as they should. It just seems like a lot of angles going on in terms of the strings. Just wondering if this was a problem. As far as the E string goes, the nut grooves have always seemed shallow on this bass. my stingrays, on the other hand, have deep grooves that no string would reasonably pop out of. It seemed an easier option for me to add this retainer than to make nut adjustments. thanks again for being patient with my pic uploads. hope they make everything more clear.
     
  12. I would rather have a properly cut nut than the band-aid solution, do you have a good tech in your area?
     
  13. teleharmonium

    teleharmonium

    Dec 2, 2003
    The downside is the same as with any string retainers; you've added a new point of friction along the tensioned string length, which can cause a difference in tension on one side of it relative to the other, which can cause tuning problems. If the retainer is made of graphite and has no sharp edges, it's less of a problem.
     
  14. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    There are not enough wraps on the post(s) to insure proper down angle between nut and tuner. When properly strung, there is no need for a retainer for the E and A strings.

    See graphic and explanations.
     
  15. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    This.
     
  16. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Atlanta
    Yeah, I do have a good tech. he didn't think the nut was necessarily bad, but we did discuss changing it. The retainers cost a total of $25 and his nut work would have been about $50. may not seem like much to some of you, but i had a tough time getting the money for the general setup fee much less the nut work. A new nut is probably in my future as soon as it's viable. As far as tuning, this bass stays in tune very well so far with the retainers in place, but i see the point about adding another friction point. And I hope this doesn't make me sound like an idiot, but the same tech who i trust wound those strings. I would have probably left another inch or so on the length to give me a little more wrap. In my depleted monetary state I need to get what I can out of these strings before I replace them. I've got another set on deck from when I could just buy strings ad nauseum! My tech really did a great job setting up the action on this bass. It came from the factory really poorly set up intonation and action wise. that super skinny GL neck had a ton of bow in it. The tech made adjustments over a several day period to let the neck move at it's own pace and really get straight. it plays like a totally different bass. I guess he just sucks at putting on strings. I will take the advice of getting a new nut when I can. And as soon as I wear out these strings, you can bet there'll be a more substantial wrap on the post.
     

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