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Old 01-26-2009, 01:33 AM   #1
Damrod
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Pissed Serious String Issue

So, I played a gig with my band past saturday, and the 2nd time on stage within 6 months my B-string snapped during the first song, right at the bridge. I was lucky enough that our singer played with his other band there as well and had his 5-string ready, so we could play the rest of the concert in a decent manner.

But I'm really pissed with the strings. It is, overall, the 7th or 8th B-String trashed in 1 1/2 years. I always relied on Warwick Black Label strings, but since they redesigned the B-String (it's getting very thin towards the bridge), I have reliablity problems.

Question for you: has anyone else such problems? I can see why they designed the string that way, but I really have the feeling it's for the cost of livespan. I just want to make sure it's not something I do wrong, before blaming the strings and trying new ones.

Thanks for your thoughts in advance!
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Last edited by Damrod; 01-26-2009 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:48 AM   #2
Soulfly666
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Maybe it's your bridge. If I was you I'd check it out and make sure there are no sharp edges on the saddle. If there are, your string is most likely getting severed by the bridge. I can't really think of any other way to snap a B-string, unless you over-tighten it.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:21 AM   #3
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I checked the saddle back when the string breaking started to mass, but so far, I could not find anything. Maybe I will give it into a shop to let it check.

Over tightening should not be a problem, it still has room to move quite a bit and is plucked with ease. I will check that as well though when I get replacements
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:59 AM   #4
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i found this on a bass site, it's a Q&A with Ernie Ball Strings:

Q: I experienced a problem with your strings. What should I do?
A: Here at Ernie Ball we employ strict quality control standards and are committed to producing the highest quality musical instrument strings. Unfortunately there are many factors that can lead to a shorter string life. String attack, pick thickness, and finger oils are just a few factors that contribute to some players breaking more strings than others.

Most strings break around the bridge. If this is happening repeatedly, you might need to replace the saddles. When the string is tightened, the saddle is the point at which the string makes the most contact and has the most tension, and therefore needs special attention. If there are sharp or rough areas on the saddles (which are often difficult to detect), strings are much more susceptible to breakage.

That said, we will gladly send you out a replacement if the string is determined to be defective. Please send the string/s in question to: Ernie Ball Inc, Customer Service, 53-973 Polk Avenue, Coachella, CA 92236. Feel free to contact us for additional help.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:09 PM   #5
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I would say check out your neck, bridge/saddles. Usually string companies with a "name" don't put out constant defects and unreliable strings so I would say it'd have to be on your instruments part. Take it to a professional and tell him what you just told us...
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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Sounds like a bridge problem.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:52 PM   #7
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It's possible that it's your bridge, but if you never broke a string prior to the re-design (they're tapered now, I take it?), it sounds like a string problem. I'd contact Warwick first and foremost. They'll likely blame it on the bridge. In any case, they probably have a similar quality assurance and will replace if it is due to the faulty string.

If you have the string and bridge checked out with still no luck, try switching brands - maybe some D'Addarios. You can probably create a custom set by ordering individuals from http://www.juststrings.com and re-creating it with your desired gauge.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:55 PM   #8
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If you can identify the sharp bit and have a lot of confidence, you could try filing it down a little. That and/or rub graphite into the saddle will help to reduce friction as it acts as a lubricating agent.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:26 AM   #9
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Thanks for the ideas and suggestions, I still have to check out all points, as my job currently eats too much time.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:27 PM   #10
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Funny

I think I found the problem...

http://damrod.da.funpic.de/SputnikPics/broken_bridge.jpg
http://damrod.da.funpic.de/SputnikPics/broken_bridge_hires.jpg

You can see the broken string below the bridge. On the saddle one can spot some chips, that are actually the profile and shape of the string imprinted into the bridge saddle. It feels kinda rough when going over with your finger.

Calls for a replacement I guess.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damrod View Post
I think I found the problem...

http://damrod.da.funpic.de/SputnikPics/broken_bridge.jpg
http://damrod.da.funpic.de/SputnikPics/broken_bridge_hires.jpg

You can see the broken string below the bridge. On the saddle one can spot some chips, that are actually the profile and shape of the string imprinted into the bridge saddle. It feels kinda rough when going over with your finger.

Calls for a replacement I guess.
If you can get a small cylindrically shaped file that can sort it out. I had the same problem and filing it and rubbing graphite in the area immediately before inserting the string sorted it for me. You might wanna try that before buying a replacement but then again, you don't wanna risk it happening at a gig again eh?
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:40 PM   #12
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I will check first how much a replacement would cost. If it's just a couple of bucks, I get a local shop to change it. There's one that has really great prices for repairs. If it's too much, I try your aproach for sure.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damrod View Post
I will check first how much a replacement would cost. If it's just a couple of bucks, I get a local shop to change it. There's one that has really great prices for repairs. If it's too much, I try your aproach for sure.
Chances are, your local repair guy wont just have one of those laying around and you're going to be charged for a whole new bridge.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:02 PM   #14
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They usually do charge you for the whole bridge at locals because "we have to order it from the company and they will send it all in one" But it's worth a shot...
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:04 PM   #15
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Try allparts.com and see if you can find one there. If not, I can send you the one off of my old Squire P that has been disassembled for the past 4 years.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:53 AM   #16
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No need for a new bridge - Just file it with a round file til it's smooth again...
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:13 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the hints, ideas and offers for help. Highly appreciated.

My father had the easiest and most effective idea today, after I showed him the saddle. "Why don't you just turn it upside down? The bottom is allright, and it's the same shape anyways" Works like a charm. Was my last set of Warwick strings I will ever buy though.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:07 PM   #18
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Your father is a very smart man. Haha!
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:43 AM   #19
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I practically slapped myself in the face for not thinking of it.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #20
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Now you have to go re-intonate, but that works.
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