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Thomastik Dominant Breakage

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by anightintunisia, Jun 21, 2017.


  1. anightintunisia

    anightintunisia Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Put a set of solo Dominants on my bass, loved the arco and pizz tone, and especially loved the lower tension. A week after having them on I open my case today and the G string broke at the pegbox. It broke right where the silk ends. I had read about this but went ahead and bought them anyway. The struggle is real!!

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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  2. For some, it is. For some, like me, it is not.
    I have in all the years since switching to Dominants NEVER had a single string break on me, and I have begun putting them on my music school's basses as well. Me personally, I'm in my second set (and that's only because I was curious how much they actually change after three years- they don't really and I could've easily let the first set on). Occasionally, I play music that requires frequent drop-D'ing. No issues whatsoever.

    One thing to avoid at all costs is, the metal part of the pegbox portion of the string shall NEVER touch the pegs. Instant breakage lures otherwise. What you can do is, experiment with alternate string /peg combinations. That can actually make a difference. When you put them on normally and you see almost no silk on the G-string left to compensate for stretching, it might be a good idea to switch d- and g-string pegs. Sounds bogus but if your d-string has silk that hangs ok much over the position of the g-string peg, it's going to do the same when swapped with the g, and the g silk is going to end where it does, which is far away from the d-string peg. Makes sense? Bear with me, I've never tried this, but my own logic tells me this should work.

    best
    Sidecar

    Edit: I was on mobile when I wrote my first reply. I couldn't see the pegbox picture there. From that picture, it's clear that swapping D and G is NOT a solution for you, since the D on the G-string-peg would clearly be on the metal, thus break.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  3. the_Ryan

    the_Ryan

    Jul 10, 2015
    Ithaca/Seattle
    I had Dominant solos on my bass for about a month (in orchestra tuning) and currently I use a Dominant orchestra G string. I personally haven't had any breakage issues, but for the G string I am a bit worried since a fair amount of the metal goes around the peg and I've only had the string for a week.
     
  4. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    I've never heard that this ("...metal part of the ...string shall NEVER touch the pegs."), is problematic. My (Spirocore) A string ALWAYS has about 1 complete revolution of the bare metal part of the string wrapped around & touching the peg.
    In about 20 years I've never had a string break while installed in this manner. I don't believe that the silk has any major structural (i.e., the core), significance, other than as a covering and clasping of the layers of the string, to prevent unraveling, at the ends of the string.
    Just my $0.03.
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  5. Don,
    Spirocore are a very different animal. Their core is way more durable due to its construction of multiple threads. Dominant have a solid nylon core, which causes the difference. I am not 100% sure, but IIRC what I said about the metal on the peg is official wisdom publicized by Thomastik-Infeld themselves. In any case, it's been written here by others as well (in the Dominants megathread probably, as in several threads about the breakage issues of Dominants).
    Best
    Sidecar
     
  6. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    BTW - Love your avatar.
    (Mr.) Don Music.
    don_music.
     
    MrSidecar likes this.
  7. If you knew me- the resemblance is striking. Even though I don't usually wear ties.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
    Don Kasper likes this.
  8. the_Ryan

    the_Ryan

    Jul 10, 2015
    Ithaca/Seattle
    Do you play any arco? Does the arco sound really change over the years? I really love the way the Dominant G blends with my Spiro Weichs arco and pizz and I don't want that to go away.
     
  9. I played on Dominants for about three years and never noticed any significant change in sound, arco or pizz, once they were broken in.
     
    MrSidecar and the_Ryan like this.
  10. the_Ryan

    the_Ryan

    Jul 10, 2015
    Ithaca/Seattle
    Also, I got a little nervous regarding my G string's impending breakage so I strung the string through the ball end (alla Velvets/Gensslers), and now there's no winding on my tuning peg.
     
  11. bskts247

    bskts247 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Not to scare you any more but from what I've heard, taking the dominant off and tuning it back up again would do more damage than leaving it there.
     
  12. pipeman

    pipeman Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    jersey city
    Back in 1992 i would try to use dominant G strings or olive G strings to substitute for the spiro G, and the dominant would always break within a week or two and the olive would always unravel in about the same amount of time.
    That was 25 years ago.
    It's very funny to see people experiencing this same stuff after so many years, and amazing that pirastro and thomastik have not been able to improve on the design for a quarter of a century.
    So weird.
     
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    It's also strange how it happens to some people and not others. Sidecar and I have had no problems. The only time mine have broken is when they have come off and then gone back on again (I've broken 2 or 3 in 13 years). I just stopped doing that. My last set lasted 7 years, and my current one is going on 6 years and sounding better than ever.
     
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  14. Thomastik has in fact tried to modify the design to make them sturdier, but that also changed the tone so they kept them as is.
    I can't speak for Pirastro, but I bet the uneven nature of the gut core may have to do with the problem.
     
  15. I moved my Dominants from bass to bass a few times without issue. They were still sounding great when I sold the bass they were on. I believe the new owner is still playing on them without issue...
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  16. That's one reason I love them- they just don't change noticeably. Neither in volume nor in sound. Where spiros age, some like it, and some don't, Dominants break in and that's it. Very reliable and consistent. Maybe it happens, but it happens so slow that it's not an issue. (For me, Spiros died almost overnight once that day was due.)

    Best
    Sidecar
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.