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spirocores prone to breaking?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by oliebrice, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    I've fairly recently switched to spirocores after a decade of using hybrid 'gut-like' strings (mainly innovations, sometimes animas), and in the 6 months or so since I switched have twice had strings break on me during a gig. This never happened before I switched. Unlucky coincidence, or are spiros more prone to breaking?

    I play with pretty high strings, and play a lot of free improv as well as jazz so they get some fairly heavy use...
  2. Were they new?
    Spiros are probably the most durable strings on the market, so I don't think they're quite prone to breaking.
    Did you overstretch them?
  3. That's bizarre. I've had Spiros that were so old they were literally falling apart, and they didn't break. And I play HARD. Can you give us more details? Was your bass set up by a luthier for this string change?
  4. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    My experience over 60 years of playing is that Spiros are indestructible.
    My first reaction is to ask where they broke. Are the grooves on the nut and bridge wide enough and lubricated with pencil lead?
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I've broken 2 in my time, but i wouldn't say they are prone to breaking at all.
  6. I broke one 3/4 Mittel E at the nut that was on an EUB I bought used. It semed like the strings were old and the string might have been clamped between the other windings and the headstock. It happend during tuning up the string. Looked a bit like corrosion too, but not too much. Since I made a new nut and used other strings now I cannot check out if the reason might have been a tight nut groove.

    I never had problems with my over 20 year old Spirocore Mittel 4/4 and put them down about two years ago only to try something else. They are still in my string drawer and bow very well now for a Spirocore.
  7. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    I didn't get the bridge re-set up when I switched, but it was well set up for the innovations, which if anything are slightly thicker. Put pencil in the slots as usual. Both of them broke at the bridge.
  8. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    my suspicion is that the high tension steel struggles more with some of the demands put on the string by some of the 'extended techniques' I use on free improv gigs - the nylon core of innovations might not be as strong, but being more flexible is maybe less likely to break, just wear out gradually
  9. Did you happen to dissect either of the broken strings? The rope cores are pretty strong.
  10. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    I didn't, but I'm back at the same venue tonight, so I'll see if its still in the bin!
  11. I would check the bridge slots. Are they rounded enough so that there is no sharp angle for the string at the bridge? What is your string angle (vibrating part to underlength) at the bridge?
    I think Innovation Braided or Honeys are a bit thinner than Spiros at the A and E, so the slots may be a little bit too narrow.

    But even then, I wonder that this happened with Spiros during the first six months.
    I would contact Thomastik customer support for getting replacements and also for informing them under which conditions this had happened. I'm sure they would like to know that and check if something happened in the manufacturing process.

    I think Spirocores have one of the most robust strings cores on the market (but Innovation string cores are also very reliable). Generally I would try to do things with Spiros, that I wouldn't try with most other strings.
  12. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Yes, spiros are virtually indestructible. But the one (rookie) mistake that will almost always break any E-string especially is if you pinch the winding against the cheek of the peg box. That's because the thicker string has troubles doubling back upon itself, binds, and then breaks.

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