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My D-string has been very low several days - impending failure?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by T_Bone_TL, Oct 15, 2016.


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  1. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    I looked through the various stickied threads, I searched the forum for related words, I'm not finding it.

    Last 3 times I've played the Lidl (Thu, Fri, Sat) the D string has been WAY down in C# land. Now, the case is a soft case and the D tuner is on the "most likely to get whacked" position when I'm moving it in and out of the car, but it seems like a lot more tuning up than I've seen before. All the other strings seem to be stable or shifting by "normal" amounts. Previously the D also shifted by "normal" amounts, i.e. typically still reading flat (or rarely sharp) D on the tuner.

    My assumption/inference/suspicion is that the string is starting to deform/stretch and I should expect it to break any time now. This does not thrill me but I'm starting to shop the options.

    Does my assumption/inference/suspicion seem reasonable? I've only had the thing (borrowed from a relative who has not been using it) for 9 weeks now, so I'm not exactly highly experienced in the ways of bass string failure, (not having broken one on the electric yet) but I understand plastic deformation before breakage for steel items really well from other contexts. The writing on the wall looks that way to me.
     
  2. adoublebassist

    adoublebassist

    Oct 16, 2016
    Have you checked that the string is not slipping? Make sure some of the string extends through the hole in the peg and that the string rotates with the peg when you tighten and loosen it.
     
  3. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I've never heard of this happening with a steel string. Do you know what kind it is? It's certainly possible, but more likely an issue with the tuner. Check that it's wrapped properly, and look carefully at the brass peg while you tune up to see that it is not slipping with respect to the gear (my bet). Also make sure the ferrule in the tailpiece is in its proper place.
     
  4. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Thanks for the input. Perhaps less dire than I feared.

    I do not know the string type, and I haven't started to try and figure out what they are by decoding the color-coding yet. What I'd call a burgundy silk on the ball end, with "fat disks" for balls, (appear to be a molded black plastic - or possibly metal) and green/black/burgundy/light brown on the tuner ends from E to G. There is some separation of the metal tape surface where the E and A go over the bridge, and that shows a copper under-winding.

    If I call the ball end color "ruby" looks like it could be Pirastro Flexocor (medium), and it does look like the image in a TB classified for exactly that, so probably those.

    I'm assuming steel-core - I have no reason to assume they are less than 10 years old, as the bass has been sitting since 2006 - I believe they were changed in the 2002-2006 window as my relative was trying to get the best sound possible from this 50/1, but had basically hit its limits. Lacking any string wrappers tucked in the case, etc, I'm doubtful that memory would serve from that source for what they are.

    I will check for slippage at the gear/peg interface - I think there's plenty wrapped on there for the string to peg interface. Indeed, upon checking that I begin to think I may need to undo and re-wrap to prevent the wrapped strings from pushing on the cheeks, which they are either doing or very near to doing on several of the pegs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  5. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Yes. Fix that. Not only bad for the pegbox and string, but it will bind up the peg, and could conceivably cause it to slip against the gear. When you unwind the D string, take off the gear and see if there is run-out between it and the shaft. The shaft will have two or four flat areas which fit into the corresponding shallow hole in the gear. It will be obvious if this your problem.
     

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