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String Break Angle

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Jim Kuzman, Dec 31, 2016.


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  1. Jim Kuzman

    Jim Kuzman

    Sep 23, 2016
    Girard, Ohio
    I recently bought a new Fender Deluxe Active Jazz V - my first five string - and noticed that the E string is really quiet in comparison to all of the other strings. I've been blaming it on poor technique until just tonight when I noticed what I think might be the reason: That E string as it comes off the neck back toward the tuner is almost in a straight line whereas the other four strings have a sharp break to them as you can see from the pictures below. These are the original strings; I've done nothing to them except tune them.

    Could this indeed be the reason for the difference in volume? Should this be addressed, and if so, how?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jim IMG_1804.JPG IMG_1805.JPG
     
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If it intonates / tunes properly and doesn't buzz, I'd say no. My Xotic 5 looks exactly the same and the string-to-string volume is consistent. Few things to consider:

    *Re-install the string so as to remove any twists. If you can get it any lower on the post, go for it.

    *Re-set the witness points.

    I believe Fender sells a replacement tuner ferrule with a built-in string retainer. Don't know if it will help as we've not identified the cause.

    Riis
     
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    To test this push down on the string above the nut while plucking the string normally. That break angle does look too shallow, but as Riis suggested, make sure there is a proper witness point, too. Looking closely at the photos, it looks like this needs to be done to all the strings anyway.
     
  4. Jim Kuzman

    Jim Kuzman

    Sep 23, 2016
    Girard, Ohio
    Riis and Jeff,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    I removed and re-installed the string per Riis' suggestion. To my surprise (since these are factory-installed strings) there was a pretty serious twist to it in the first and second wrap coming out of the tuner. The break angle hasn't changed after re-installing it, but the difference in loudness has evened out.

    The witness points at the bridge are fairly gentle in terms of the angle but are certainly not straight lines and look consistent from string to string.

    Does the nut itself have any impact on the break angle, i.e., could we have too shallow or an uneven slot here? Or is the angle simply determined by how low on the post the string ends up?

    Jim
     
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Witness points should actually be pretty severe as this delineates the vibrating string path and after-lengths. The nut has some impact on the angle but I'd be more concerned about the integrity of the slot itself (depth, width, angle). The string wraps have a more profound influence on break angle.

    Appears you have things sorted out to some degree.

    Riis
     
    Jeff Scott likes this.

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