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Just bad luck... d'addario strings content

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FF Petro, Sep 14, 2008.


  1. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I do a LOT of string experimentation. As such I've bought about every D'Addario gauge made several times* including many of the wound guitar strings - and lots of other brands besides... sometimes in sets sometimes in singles. I've never had a bad D"Addario in all these strings so they must be doing something right.


    * because they list tension figures it makes it easier to tweak custom sets, play a bunch and note what is what, and apply the knowledge to other brands later
     
  2. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Also, unlike some other brands, the D'Aaddario gauges test out with the digital caliper consistently - always spot-on or very close to the listed gauge number.
     
  3. ljazz

    ljazz

    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    Read some of my other posts on this subject......

    They are the worst company for string gauges...... hands down the absolute, positively worst company I've seen with the gauges. If they are using calipers consitently, then either A) they need to calibrate the calipers, or B) they need to learn to use them properly. The last set of chromes I purchased had a .103 E string.

    I run a full blown metrology lab in my plant, and have a set of Mitutoyo digital calipers sitting here in front of me now. I measure all of my strings.... every single time, especially if I'm feeling cheap and decide to buy a set of DA's. I started measuring them back in the early '90's when I snapped nut because the string was .007 too thick. I think the problem, as with all manufactures using automated equipment, is that they set and forget..... without having enough process checks in place to ensure the process is not drifting out of spec. Automation is great, if you keep enough people in place to ensure the process remains in a state of statistical control, and is capable of meeting specification. And none of this is even starting to address packaging and labelling errors.

    And where do you decide to place a .103" string if you find it.... with the .105" or the .100"?

    It's a good thing their customer service rocks.... 'cuz their quality sux.

    Ljazz
     
  4. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Well then you should know your calipers aren't as accurate as a good micrometer. Their claim of five ten thousandths of an inch (.0005") resolution and repeatability is marketing hype. If the gears are that accurate to start, they surely aren't after repeated use. I made my living as a toolmaker for nearly a decade.

    Anyway... D'Addario has been great for me for more than 20 years.
     
  5. ljazz

    ljazz

    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    We calibrate looking for +/-.001 accuracy, which is exactly as marketed (and are put out of service when found outside of that range.... gear wear is not a huge issue in the lab environment.... but could be if we used them on the production floor)...... more than accurate enough to see a +/-.003" deviation in a wire diameter, wouldn't you agree? And yes, a micrometer is even more accurate. The point was made to Greenboy, who indicates DA's use of digital calipers makes their gauges spot on (or very close).

    And again, how do you decide to put a .103" E string into a pack that lists .100" as the gauge?..... Why not put it into the .105" set?

    How important is it to have accurate string gauges? And, which company makes the most accurate? I'm not sure which company, but I think accuracy in the string gauges plays a big part in how consistent we feel stings sound from string to string and set to set.

    Ljazz
     
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products

    But really, what difference does it make? It doesn't. You use the strings as a set. You sure aren't going to be mixing strings from different brands, unless you want each of your strings to sound different!

    I like the the .045 - .130 5 string set. Now I have a digital caliper too, so I just measured the set on my bass...

    .045 = .0445

    .065 = .064

    .080 = .0785

    .100 = .0975

    .130 = 0.1275

    Pretty damn close if you ask me. And that's for a digital caliper, not a micrometer.

    But the point is, the gauge feels fine for me. I don't think we need to be as pedantic about it. It's like when Gibson say their scale length is 24.75" when it's really 24.5625"!

    As far as their quality... I've been using them as my standard string brand, for guitar and bass, since about 1994. I try to change the strings on my main working instruments (2 basses and 2 guitars) every month, and I have about 15 instruments altogether, so they all need strings, but the rest get change much less frequently.

    So that's been a lot of strings over the years. I got 2 bad strings in that time, and they replaced them in a jiffy. I still have an extra E from the last time.
     
  7. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Actually you can measure any roundwound along different areas of the string and find minute differences anyway. As far as .103, well, mine shows between .099 and .101. That's due to multiple wrap overlap and presumably, non-availability of wrap and core wires that have even finer tolerances than they currently have.

    But what I said about other brands earlier ferinstance: when I had Dean Markley 47-107 Will Lees around they were exactly the same as Dean Markley 45-105 (both of which varied from the packaged numbers, string to string, by the way). I've found this in other sets too, like someone was just making up numbers to be unique in the marketplace. What really ends up being important is unit weight consistency and core-to-wrap ratios - not some supposedly unique set of gauges.

    EDIT: it's also tough to get exact gauge match due to what sizes wrap and core wire are actually available in, so...
     
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    107? Give me a break! Like you could tell that from a 105! Even from a 100 to 105.

    I really think they are naming them after the fact, such as they needed a certain wrap to get what they were after, and it happened to come out to 107. Wrap it a little tighter and you get a 105!
     
  9. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Nope, for all purposes, they were the 45-105 set, re-labeled. I later talked to a guy who wound for them and mentioned it and he laughed. My interest and his at that time was getting some ERB (bigger gauges mostly) strings happening, and that's why I got candor.
     
  10. ljazz

    ljazz

    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    The issue for me is consistancy and balance. Does a .105 vs a .107 make a big difference? If you don't know any better, or slap a set on and leave it there for a long period of time, then probably not. If you're going through several sets through the course of a year, then it does, because you're having to make adjustments to accomadate (albiet, probably not a lot). At what point does it make a difference? Obviously, there is a big enough difference between .100 and .105 (otherwise, why offer both?) ..... so is it out of the question to think .002 or .003 would be noticable?

    Remember what I said in my first post..... I snapped a nut because the string was .007 too big. When a mfg'er makes an error that damages the bass, then I'm sorry.... that is just plain careless. I didn't start to measure my string diameters because of some OCD thing.... it was because I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to damage the bass because a string company can't control what's going in the package.

    And let's get this out there now..... it seems the original post had to do with a packaging issue. Years ago, I sat through a course from GM on prevention of labeling issues. GM indicated the single biggest issue they had with their suppliers was mislabeled parts. Their take on it was that if you can't label your product correctly, then you've probably got even bigger quality issues happening under your roof. After 20+ years of dealing with suppliers, I tend to agree..... If you can't get something as simple as packaging and labeling right, then how can I trust you to even manufacture the parts properly?

    Ljazz
     
  11. ljazz

    ljazz

    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN

    I would say those measurements are spot on, especially when you consider the resolution of the calipers. But I'm not talking about .0005 issues..... I'm talking .003. Again, I throw out the same question..... Where do you put the .103 E string? With the .100 set or the .105?

    I've had plenty of good sets of DA's, and I'm not saying there is a problem with every set. Years ago, the store I worked in used to give me a great deal on them.... I'd could by them at less than a third of the MSRP, so it would have been silly to buy anything else. I'm just saying it's really a case of "Buyer Beware", because you may not be getting what you paid for.

    And again, it's great they have good CS.

    Ljazz
     
  12. Sub5ound

    Sub5ound Banned

    Sep 6, 2008
    Catskills, New York
    I was shorted an A string in a 4 set of Blue Steels once. I called the music store to ask about a refund and the kid said "well, you could have just taken the string out, thres no way for us to know." Yeah. I bought (at the time) a $40 set of strings so I could have one A string.:mad:
     
  13. ProfGumby

    ProfGumby

    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    Wow.
    First, I would never walk into that store or ever even mention their name again.

    Second, I always, always call or E mail the manufacturer with string issues. Fortunately, I haven't had many issues that weren't caused by me, but D Addario and Webstrings have always been awesome!

    Third, when calling or emailing the Manufacturer and you did have a store accuse you of stealing, be sure to tell the manufacturer what a Dick the store was in this issue. Then ask them if all their dealers are idiots like this one. Be sure to have store name and location as well as the name of said dickhead that accused you of being dishonest.
     
  14. I'd also like to find out the resolution of the original post of the thread (the shorting of one string in a set), because D'addario's CS has been super-nice to me when I simply wrote them when they had replaced the Prism line with the ProSteel - at the time, Prisms were "my strings" and I was very upset about the discontinuation. They told me it had been a multi-year project to come up with an improved replacement for the Prisms, and asked for my address. A week later I found myself with both a 4 & 5-string set of ProSteels, a T-shirt and other swag, and a note asking me to "give the ProSteels an honest try and see what you think".

    I couldn't ask for better service than that, and indeed ProSteels are my fretted bass "go-to" strings now (I *do* find them a bit stronger in all areas sonically especially with the "high-end" piano-chime as well as a touch smoother than Prisms). I likely would have tried the ProSteels, but D'addario's CS made a True Believer out of me. If anyone missing a string didn't find themselfs with a completely new pack for free especially if reporting that the store refused to refund their money (and what d-bags was the store in Sub5ound's post for their response :rollno: )
     
  15. ljazz

    ljazz

    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    While it would be great to know DA CS resolved the issue for the OP, it would be even better to know what DA does to prevent the issue from happening again.

    My customers don't necessarily have a problem with us sending them a bad part. Where they have a problem is if we turn around and sent the same problem again.

    Having great CS is not an excuse to continue shipping problems out of your manufacturing facility.

    Some quick number crunching on SGD's numbers indicates their bass strings, based on his usage and frequency of changing them, have a 5556 sets per million defective rate...... Guys, Yugos had a higher level of quality than that. That is about 5550 more than a world class manufacturer.... of any product. That's not even average..... it's not even close to average.

    But man, they have great CS
     

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