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Old 03-06-2021, 12:42 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Default String break with string change

Iím having a reoccurring problem with first string breaking when tuning up to pitch.

Ive checked the post and there is no burr that might be causing it.

Im using a tuner that insures I havenít gone above the appropriate octave.

Should I be tuning up to to D and leaving it for hours before approaching standard E?

Is it a bigger problem with carbon as opposed to nylon trebles?

Is there a proper winding method at the post that reduces the chance/risk of breakage?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:37 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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I think the first string is the likeliest to break when initially tuning it up,
and the fourth is the likeliest to do so after some use. There are definitely some
brands that have more first-string breakage issues than others, and I have had
very good luck myself with D'Add EJ45 nylons. Are you sure of where it's breaking (or possibly coming loose, esp from the tie-block)?

Carbon trebles do tend to be slipperier, and need more care to avoid slippage.
The same applies to Hannabach nylon (nice strings) trebles, IME.
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:24 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey View Post
I think the first string is the likeliest to break when initially tuning it up,

and the fourth is the likeliest to do so after some use. There are definitely some

brands that have more first-string breakage issues than others, and I have had

very good luck myself with D'Add EJ45 nylons. Are you sure of where it's breaking (or possibly coming loose, esp from the tie-block)?



Carbon trebles do tend to be slipperier, and need more care to avoid slippage.

The same applies to Hannabach nylon (nice strings) trebles, IME.


Thanks for the reply, Carey.
I was wondering if Iím doing something incorrectly but from what I can find on the internet thatís not the case. I wish I were so that I could change it and then avoid breaking the high e string.
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Old 03-07-2021, 02:22 PM
smwink smwink is offline
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I've never had this problem, and I've been restringing classical guitars for over 30 years. Where is it breaking? You mentioned that you checked the post, but if it's breaking near the head, have you checked the nut slots for sharp edges?
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Old 03-07-2021, 05:49 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Thanks for the suggestion, smwink. I checked the nut and it seems to be smooth.
The string is breaking near the post and appears shredded.
Do you wait some period of time before tuning your trebles up to tune? Do you use some technique to stretch your strings?
Thanks,
Tom
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Old 03-07-2021, 07:57 PM
smwink smwink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRose View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, smwink. I checked the nut and it seems to be smooth.
The string is breaking near the post and appears shredded.
Do you wait some period of time before tuning your trebles up to tune? Do you use some technique to stretch your strings?
Thanks,
Tom
Odd. I don't do anything special. Just string them up and bring them to pitch. And then inevitably keep retuning for the first several days afterwards!

Are you certain there isn't a sharp edge on the hole in the post that the string passes through? Also, depending on the direction you're winding onto the post (toward or away from the center of the headstock), you can sometimes get a situation where the string is rubbing against the side of the slots that the posts sit in. It really sounds like there is some kind of mechanical abrasion going on here. Unless you're using very cheap strings of dubious origin, you shouldn't be getting frequent breakage when restringing.

I guess another question is how you're attaching the strings to the post. Are you attempting some kind of multi-twist knot that could be kinking the string and weakening it?

Last edited by smwink; 03-07-2021 at 07:59 PM. Reason: added content
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:07 PM
smwink smwink is offline
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Some good info here on ways to diagnose a sharp nut slot. It can be hard to detect visually:
https://allstringsnylon.com/asn/how-...ge-at-the-nut/
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:34 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Thank you, smwink.
I put one loop at the post to prevent slippage but nothing more.

Iíve been using Hannabach and Optima strings. Because I canít buy them locally and they are relatively expensive it hurts my feelings to have this happen on several occasions.

Iíll polish the slot as suggested. There may be something that I can not detect.

Thanks for the follow up reply.
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:39 PM
smwink smwink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRose View Post
Thank you, smwink.
I put one loop at the post to prevent slippage but nothing more.

Iíve been using Hannabach and Optima strings. Because I canít buy them locally and they are relatively expensive it hurts my feelings to have this happen on several occasions.

Iíll polish the slot as suggested. There may be something that I can not detect.

Thanks for the follow up reply.
Yeah, it can be frustrating to chase down something like this. It's definitely not normal for nylon strings, though, so keep looking for abrasive or sharp spots. It may be worth taking it to someone if you have a luthier nearby. Kind of annoying to pay to chase down something like this, but as you mentioned, strings aren't cheap either. Out of curiosity, what kind of guitar is it, and do you know what kind of tuning machines are on it? If you're able to post photos of the post, nut, and even broken strings it might help to diagnose. I suspect it's something that would require in-person inspection to really nail down a cause, though.

Maybe save the broken E string and try manually running it back and forth in the nut slot to see if it gets rough at all. Then do the same through the post hole. You might get some clues that way.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:31 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Smwink,
Itís an Emerald X7 nylon.
Iíve filed the nut slot. My replacement string is in the mail. The broken string has already made it out with the trash.
But if it happens again Iíll photograph it and experiment as youíve suggested.
IMG_1615177873.307718.jpg
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2021, 10:33 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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IMG_9820.jpg
Tuners made by Spergel
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2021, 05:38 AM
smwink smwink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRose View Post
Smwink,
Itís an Emerald X7 nylon.
Iíve filed the nut slot. My replacement string is in the mail. The broken string has already made it out with the trash.
But if it happens again Iíll photograph it and experiment as youíve suggested.
Attachment 52711
Ah--I was imagining a more traditional slotted headstock with horizontal posts. I'm not familiar with Emerald guitars (other than knowing that they exist). I may be seeing things that aren't there, but the low E string looks like the windings might be separating a tiny bit on the back side of the nut slot? If yes, then I would definitely try to smooth out all of the nut slots a bit more. Given the image, sharp nuts slots and post holes are still the only things that make sense for the breakage you're describing.
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Old 03-08-2021, 08:00 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Hi Tom,
These guitars are new to me as well. I've never seen a headstock quite like that for nylon.
For what it's worth, in all the years I've been playing and changing strings, this kind of thing has NEVER happened to me. Never had a string break while tuning them after putting them on. And I usually tune them about a half-tone or tone higher after just putting them on to give them an extra breaking in stretch before the guitar is put away.
You definitely should not be experiencing this at all.
Question: What is the nut width on this nylon guitar? It looks pretty slim.
I'm thinking that the angle between the nut slot and the post hole while you're tuning may be putting a lot of pressure on the nut and the tuning post, and that the nut is likely to be experiencing the most stress in the encounter.
I agree that this is the area of concern.
And the carbon trebles may indeed be more vulnerable to that kind of stress. Don't know for sure though. I don't use or like them.
A traditional headstock and nut width on a classical would lessen these forces by a lot, since the "break" angle between the nut and post is a lot less than what your headstock would allow. In fact, I always try to make it as straight a line as possible.
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Andre
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2021, 10:24 AM
TRose TRose is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
Hi Tom,

These guitars are new to me as well. I've never seen a headstock quite like that for nylon.

For what it's worth, in all the years I've been playing and changing strings, this kind of thing has NEVER happened to me. Never had a string break while tuning them after putting them on. And I usually tune them about a half-tone or tone higher after just putting them on to give them an extra breaking in stretch before the guitar is put away.

You definitely should not be experiencing this at all.

Question: What is the nut width on this nylon guitar? It looks pretty slim.

I'm thinking that the angle between the nut slot and the post hole while you're tuning may be putting a lot of pressure on the nut and the tuning post, and that the nut is likely to be experiencing the most stress in the encounter.

I agree that this is the area of concern.

And the carbon trebles may indeed be more vulnerable to that kind of stress. Don't know for sure though. I don't use or like them.

A traditional headstock and nut width on a classical would lessen these forces by a lot, since the "break" angle between the nut and post is a lot less than what your headstock would allow. In fact, I always try to make it as straight a line as possible.


Andre,
Thanks for the reply.
The nut width is 1&7/8.
Iím not sure I like carbon trebles either but I am presently experimenting with a variety of strings to narrow down my preferences.
I appreciate your input.

-Tom
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  #15  
Old 03-09-2021, 08:39 AM
TRose TRose is offline
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After polishing the nut I strung up a replacement string to tune last night and had no problems. Perhaps there was an imperceptible sharp edge causing string failure.

As N=1 only, future string changes will help determine if the problem is solved.

Thanks to all who weighed in. I appreciate you.

-Tom
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