Local guitar expert filled the saddles but the strings still break

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Riki323, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Hello there fellow groove producers! I recently posted a thread where i complained that my Ernie Ball Strings were constantly breaking.Almost all of you told me i just check the saddles for burs and I did find them.I went to a guy that is known as the best Guitar/Bass tech in Town to seek help.He kindly helped me my filing the saddles with sand paper and a machine.He also put some graphite grease on the filed areas.He totally removed the burs and we all thought it was the happy ending until 2 of my strings broke again a month after... Now i'm wondering if it's due to the action? The action at the bridge seems fairly normal to me.Maybe i should try to lower the more at the bridge? My Warwick Just a nut is almost in it's lowest setting so i'm scared of fret buzz,so should i raise it a bit if I get fret buzz after lowering the action at the bridge? To anyone that helps me thank you so much,because help is what i really need right now!
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Exactly what Ernie Ball strings are you using and how is it strung? Through body, through bridge, or top load?
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  3. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I use Ernie Ball strings on every bass I own, and I've never broken one. I've used several different gauges and varieties, as well as top load and through body configurations, too. Something else is afoot.
  4. Time for some pics of issue...or if you posted pics already then a re-direct..
  5. Thespis


    Feb 2, 2016
    Where do they break?
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  6. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    My next suspect is die cast saddles; time for new ones?
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  7. A most important question. If it's breaking at the saddle, perhaps a few swipes with a nut file will create a smooth bed for the string to sit in.
  8. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Been there; done that.
  9. I use the Hybrid Slinky set,they are strung trough the bridge.
  10. Here are some photos of the issue.The strings break at the saddle so the guy cleared out all burs and put some talkbass1.jpg talkbass2.jpg talkbass3.jpg talkbass4.jpg graphite grease on all of the saddles. talkbass1.jpg talkbass2.jpg
  11. Are you a heavy handed player? I'm just trying to get an idea. Pick player? The saddles in the pics look pretty good, and the fact you have taken it to a tech I'm assuming that knows what he is doing should have taken care of that issue.

    I know when I use a pick I seem to put more force on the strings, and I'm a heavy handed player to get the sound out of the strings.

    Do you have other basses and if so do you break strings? Another thought would be trying a heavier gauge string as well.

    Sorry I can't be more help. Good luck with everything.
    Riki323 likes this.
  12. I guess you could say that i dig into the strings when i play but not all of the time,I use my pick sometimes but when i play with the same Pick attack/Finger attack strength on my Yamaha BB424 the strings don't break at all and it even has a thinner string gauge (can't remember exactly now how thin).Thanks!
  13. Based on that info I'd look at replacing the bridge inserts. They might have had the break angles messed up a bit, or just worn down from use. The bridge has wear on it, so that could be an issue. As sissy Kathy said, start looking at replacing those bridge inserts where the strings rest.

    Btw, I'm a very heavy handed player, and I've only broken one string in my career, and it was simply due to a string being completely worn out.
    Riki323 likes this.
  14. I'll try to find those inserts.Thanks again!
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  15. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    From those pics I see string wind ridges in the saddle. Should not see them if it’s just been filed. What’s up with those ridges in the bottom of the saddle?
    RSBBass likes this.
  16. I honestly don't know.Should i file that down?
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    They’re rough spots. They cause undue string movement when you play, right at the spot the string is bent. Vibration allowed at a bend in steel causes breakage.

    Also, that kind of wear indicates to me you aren’t setting witness points and the strings aren’t breaking hard over the saddles but are left to loosely arc over the saddles so they flop around in there wearing grooves in the saddles and stressing the string cores.

    My question is how they are there after a so proclaimed pro supposedly filed the saddles? Poor job.
    RSBBass likes this.
  18. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    They're die cast saddles and don't dress very well. Stop messing with them and order new saddles. You need two narrow and two wide saddles. Here's Warwick's site that has them.
    WARWICK Parts for Instruments -> Parts for Basses -> Bridge Saddles for Electric Bass

    As long as you are playing with a heavy hand and using zinc saddles be prepared to do this on a regular basis. I'd play with a lighter touch and let the amp do the work, that's what it's there for.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  19. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    True that Sissykathy, zinc is very difficult to file.

    Yep get new saddles. Order two sets so you have spares. ;)
    sissy kathy likes this.
  20. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I'd replace the saddles and see what effect that has. As for playing heavy handed...do you like the sound your bass makes? If you do, then being "heavy handed" is a part of that, and I suggest you not change a thing with respect to that.

    I tend to play with a fairly soft touch, but in the past year, I have found the benefits thing I formerly considered "bad" - playing hard, using a pick, and fret buzz - have on my tone.

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