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Thread: B String Blues

  1. #1
    Eruption ScottyBHarris's Avatar
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    01.11.17 @ 05:51 PM
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    Default B String Blues

    For whatever reason, whenever I break a string (all my guitars, not just with my EVH guitars) it's always the b string. I tend to break the b string when I'm changing out old strings for new as well (while tuning up). So, I have a ton of string packs laying around that have every string in the pack except the damn b string.

    Anyone else have this issue with b strings (in my case an 11 Earnieball Super Slinky)?
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    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    01.20.17 @ 10:59 PM
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    Burrs on the B string saddle or string clamp? The locking nut itself? Same guitar, or multiple axes?

    I tend to get a few snapped B's as well (same brand and gauge as you), yet it's probably just from doing all those 'overbends' that are well suited to that particular piece of wire!
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    Eruption ScottyBHarris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRvh1 View Post
    Burrs on the B string saddle or string clamp? The locking nut itself? Same guitar, or multiple axes?

    I tend to get a few snapped B's as well (same brand and gauge as you), yet it's probably just from doing all those 'overbends' that are well suited to that particular piece of wire!
    They usually break at the saddle area. Multiple axes, boggles the mind.
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    When you say "break", do you mean they come unraveled where they fit into the saddle, or actually snap like they've been cut? And is it right over the saddle, or further away from the bridge?

    Are you harder on the B than other strings like I am? Also, do you wear any type of a sharp ring on your picking hand, or use metal picks etc?
    Sorry..., just trying to be thorough!
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    Eruption ScottyBHarris's Avatar
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    No rings. The string snaps near or sometimes in the saddle itself. Must be the strings. I do some 2 step bends a lot on the b but, I dunno. I might be hard on the b string over the others. I'll have to pay attention to that.

    Be great if some place sold only single strings, I'd buy 100 b strings.
    Last edited by ScottyBHarris; 08.27.16 at 02:11 PM.
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    My local stores do indeed sell individual strings, although certain gauges are often low on stock or sold out, for exactly the reason you mentioned ^^^. I thought YOU were buying them all! Haha.
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    Sinner's Swing! Ted Van Halen's Avatar
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    01.21.17 @ 03:34 AM
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    Default B String Blues

    Had an ibanez that did it horribly from day 1 & got rid of it cause I never could figure if out. Then the peavy USA special that took its place started doing it almost immediately after purchase. Both of them always at the exact same place on the bridge saddle. I ended up looking at that saddle under a 50x microscope at work and found an incredibly small burr on it right where the string was breaking. Polished if out & never had another problem. It's bizarre because both of those guitars were practically new when I bought them. What are the odds that two guitars in a row bought by the same guy from different makers have that same issue? I wonder if there's something to do with the resonant frequency of that string that causes it to wear at an accelerated rate against even the smallest imperfection. I don't know but I'd beg you've got a small bird on there. Rub a fluffy cotton ball over it & see if it snags.

    Fwiw, I use d'addario 9-42 so my b is .011 as well.
    Last edited by Ted Van Halen; 08.27.16 at 02:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottyBHarris View Post
    No rings. The string snaps near or sometimes in the saddle itself. Must be the strings. I do some 2 step bends a lot on the b but, I dunno. I might be hard on the b string over the others. I'll have to pay attention to that.

    Be great if some place sold only single strings, I'd buy 100 b strings.
    I had a terrible time with GHS strings for a stretch. It seemed their quality really took a quick nosedive. Like you, I had B strings break more than any others, even at string changes. Not only that, but on my Strat I had several unwind themselves from the ball end....different strings too, but the B and high E most notably. I don't use Ernie Ball strings on my guitars, but I do on my bass. I had one set that were crap.
    When I installed them, I had this annoying metallic rattle on the D. Sounded like it was coming from the bridge. Checked it out and the saddle was good, height screws making full contact...but was still there. Tured out to be the string. The wrap was bad and it was the core wire making all the noise within the string itself. The store took a look and gave me a new set, and it was fine after that. It never happened again though, so I'd say it was a one off manufacturing issue.

    The GHS strings though....I hope they are better now, but that run I had were horrible. I usually buy a fair number of strings at a time, and pretty much all I had bought on that trip had a myriad of problems from premature breakage, spontaneously unwinding themselves, and many almost impossible to intonate within the saddles range of travel. Never even changed gauges. From one batch to the next, the intonation was wildly off. I used to love them because they were so dependable and lasted quite a while, but that went away very fast.
    Switched to Daddario, and never had any problems since. They are so good, and stay remarkably fresh sounding. You never get grungy, rusty strings, and I've never had strings that lasted so long even with how I bend, or if I go on a whammy kick.

    Maybe in the case of your B strings breaking recently, they just changed something in the alloy or other spec. One guitar, you could say it's just the saddle, but multiple guitars? A bit tough to square.
    Last edited by we die young; 09.20.16 at 05:21 PM.
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    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    I have been using dAddario for many, many years. I cannot remember the last time I broke a string.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evhintexas View Post
    I have been using dAddario for many, many years. I cannot remember the last time I broke a string.
    Same here. I only change them when they sound dead, which takes a very long time. The last string I actually broke was over two years ago. No lie, and even then it was during a weird open tuning I was using for a track. Granted I don't play live any more really, but I still put a lot of miles on my guitars. I use 9 thru 46 XL's. Love em. When I was younger DAddario were not all that different from any other string on the market, but about 10 yrs ago or so, they started using better alloys and coatings.
    Was impressed from day one. The intonation is bang on every time, once set to your gauge. Never reads sharp or flat with string changes which is what should be expected with quality strings.
    Last edited by we die young; 09.20.16 at 08:30 PM.
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    Definitely make sure there is not a tiny burr in the saddle.
    But remember, if you bend a wire back and forth many times, it's gonna break.
    Shop around the internet and you'll find multi packs of single strings.

 

 

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