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What's wrong if I cut my strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dreadhead, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Hello guys... sorry if this thread is not too interesting, but I need to be reassured.
    What happens to a string if I cut it to fit a shorter scale bass? I mean: if I buy a 34" (standard) set of D'Addario XLs for my shortscale bass and then I cut them, do you think that the string will lose its "perfection" and its tension balance? What happens? Is it a good thing or should I definitely buy short scale strings only?
    Thanx a lot! :D
  2. the thing is, strings are designed so they taper off after the nut so you're wrapping thinner wire around the tuning posts.
  3. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    You're right. But do you think I'm going to compromise string's health is I cut it?
  4. i could think of two things that could go wrong...
    1) the cut string will be too fat to wrap around the tuning peg and the core will snap
    2) for whatever reason, the cut string will unwind itself
  5. no, i think you'll compromise tuning ease, because smaller turns of the machine head will make bigger pitch changes. plus, it's even possible that the string won't fit in the hole, depending on the kind of tuners you have.
  6. Those strings with the different color silk? The color makes no difference but the windings are either more compressed there or are wrapped in silk (or both) so that the strings don't start unwinding as you tighten the tuners. Cutting them short will allow the windings of the string to become unwound, rendering them useless. You won't be able to achieve the tension neccessary to bring them up to pitch without destroying the string first. I been around a lot of strings, believe me, I've seen it happen.

    And, as stated B4, they probably won't fit in the tuner hole/groove.
  7. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Thanx a lot, this is just what I wanted to know!
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    There are strings that are just cut at the end, no silk - Pyramid Pyrasound strings for example.
    I've been using them for years, and they don't fall apart - and they fit any tuner (at least Gotohs and Schallers).
  9. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Yes, but I guess that the tension would be a little different, right? Besides I think that 035 strings on a short scale wouldn't have enough tension to be playable ;)
  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    No!!!! Don't cut them! All the TONE will leak out!!!

  11. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Well, it's possible... ;)
  12. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I went through this same problem with mt son's short scale bass. It is possible to cut the strings, but it's better to just buy strings meant for the bass.

  13. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    If you do cut your strings you should crimp them by bending it over and cutting on the right side of your crimp - that should help with the possibility of the string unraveling (that comes from the directions found inside DR strings)
    I think a lot of us trim strings pretty regularly, I have to, or else I'll have a big bunched up wad of string on my post.
  14. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    ...but what do you do with a 35" scale? Do you use standard long scale strings? I guess that a longer scale should fit longer strings with different tension etc.... what do you think?
  15. no there are extra long scale strings for 35"
  16. I cut a regular set for a clients bass, and they sounded terrible. I removed them and replaced with a proper short-scale set, much better. I think there is some tension thing happening.
  17. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    You're right... it seems that the only thing they do is a longer string...