I have a long time customer who ALWAYS seems to be a pain in the rear. He brings me A LOT of business as he is a full time guitar instructor and he plays in a popular local band. He is very good and experienced player and knows what he likes. I setup all of his guitars and he is very particular, he likes the action low but likes to bend really heavy. He plays strats and a PRS DGT.
Here is where I ran into an issue. He gave me a sentimental Squire tele to setup. The tele appears to be in pretty good shape. The neck was straight, frets decent, upgraded pickups, and bone nut. 25.5" scale. I set this bad boy up, I had to shim the neck, and did a fret level and dress. I had the guitar playing great, or I thought I did.
When he came into pick it up he said he couldn't bend as easily as he thinks he should be able to. He said that he needs to be able to bend 1.5 steps without hesitation. He said he can do it with his other guitars, and he asked "why can't I do it with this?" Now the PRS is a different animal but his main strat is virtually identical in scale length and fretboard radius. He said he can do what he needs to do with the strat. I have the tele setup exactly like his strat, relatively straight relief .006, action at the 12th big E is .06 and tiny e is .42 he likes it LOW. He said he isn't afraid to go higher as long as it feels comfortable and he can bend.
Anyway he was here for about an hour and I changed the relief and changed the action and he still couldn't "comfortably" bend. Now 'disclaimer' I am not a great player and I don't think I could bend a 1.5steps if I tried for a week. I saw him bending and he was bending that tiny e half way though the fret board. After trying this and trying that the string BROKE! dead center in the middle of the fret board right around where he was bending 10th fretish. The strings were D'addario 10s, obviously brand new. He also said he felt like he couldn't hold onto the string. He said, and I saw, it kept slipping. Now the frets are decent height and defiantly higher than his strat, as his strat is ready for a refret. I just don't know what else to do and what else to try. He told me to put 9s on it he said he likes lighter strings but his strat has 10s on it as do the rest of his guitars.
WHY is this tele not bending the way it should be? What else can I do? He insisted in paying up front and told me add whatever else onto if it was going to cost more. He is more than patient. He told me take my time on it and no worries... but hey I am worried! I feel like I am failing as a repairman or at least a setup man.
Quote: "I found that music wire, whilst having a higher yield strength as required to withstand the required string tension, had exactly the same quoted modulus of elasticity as mild steel."
How are things down under?
Here, in the U.K. we have been enjoying Great Australian Artists like Tommy Emmanuel at Glastonbury, who is always such a Delight.
But thanks for this excellent point, and to enlighten anyone, who might be somewhat unclear to the significance of what the above means, in practice.
As we know, when we Bend Mild Steel, it doesn't Spring Back, thus it stays Bent, and this is because the Relationship, of its Yield Point to its Elastic Modulus, is Low.
Music Wire although having a similar Elastic Modulus, has a High Tensile Strength with a Yield Point that is Far Greater by Comparison. So the Music Wire can be Bent Far More Altogether and Placed under the Inherent Stresses and Strains Involved, whilst being able to Spring Back to Shape.
For this reason you will sometimes find very Heavy Gauges of Music Wire, sought and used in Heavy Springs for Particular Industries and their Products and this is Why.
If Typically Patented (Spring Back to Shape) Properties in a Guitar String, are Marginally Tweaked in Specification for Enhancement.
One can see that a Set of Strings Designed and Manufactured from Music Wire for that Purpose.
Will Exhibit Characteristics Desirable for a Player, Predisposed to Heavy Bending.
It's such a String, that I believe may Assist our Colleague in Arms.
Irrespective of any Specific Technical Data or Differentiating Regarding Brands.
Although I use Typical Pure Nickle Strings on Electrics, 9's and 10's.
I've found, Ernie Ball Super Slinkys can be Pushed Hard.
Here in this Movie Below, Eric Clapton (A Popular British Guitarist) is Playing a 335 (the Instrument I feel he is at his best on) fitted with 9-42 Super Slinky's.
On his other Electric Guitars, usually play Regular Slinky's up a Gauge 10-46.
the high yield strength is important to avoid breakage.
it is the elastic modulus which governs the behaviour of the string when it is displaced by bending.
when the string is displaced it is lengthened and this lengthening creates an increase in tension proportional to the increased length by the modulus of elasticity. this increase in tension raises the pitch.
thus two plain strings of the same diameter which may have different yield strengths will exibit the same resistance to bending because they have the same modulus of elasticity
Quote: "the high yield strength is important to avoid breakage".
This the Important Factor.
The Problem the Original Poster Reported.
And the Salient Point we Address with Suitable Solutions.
Quote: "I saw him bending and he was bending that tiny e half way though the fret board. After trying this and trying that the string BROKE! dead center in the middle of the fret board right around where he was bending 10th fretish."
It's what I meant when I wrote addressing your earlier point regarding Mild Steel: "Music Wire although having a similar Elastic Modulus, has a High Tensile Strength with a Yield Point that is Far Greater by Comparison. So the Music Wire can be Bent Far More Altogether and Placed under the Inherent Stresses and Strains Involved, whilst being able to Spring Back to Shape."
Quote: "two plain strings of the same diameter which may have different yield strengths will exibit the same resistance to bending because they have the same modulus of elasticity"
The Essential, Relevant Point is.
When you Bend it, one String will Break Sooner.
While the other String, Allows you to Bend it Further, Without Breaking.
The one with the Low Yield Point, will Break First, while the one with the Higher Yield Point will Allow the Player, to Push the String further through a Wider Compass of Bending Pitch without Breaking.
My view point is, this is the Ideal Type of String, for our Friend to Fit.
It Reads as if you are Writing.
That Two Plain Strings of the Same Diameter.
Can and Will React and Perform Differently when Under Similar Stress.
Which was My Point All Along.
Differing from the Earlier Statement, repeated below.
Quote: "Unless he is bending on the wound strings, the brand makes no difference."
It would appear from your Later Statement, that you do indeed concede that Identical Diameter Plain Strings, can and do Exhibit Different Characteristics.
Thank You for that Clarification.
Has Plenty of Variables Present.
And Differing Specifications can be Factored.
Of course, it's easy to fall into the assumption of believing that All Other Factors involved in the Production of Wire and Winding of Different Brand Strings are Identical, when this is, sometimes, clearly, Not the Case.
We Agree, The Stiffness, Tensile Modulus or Modulus of Elasticity has a Concomitant Relationship to the Yield Point, and we appreciate from your post that Different Plain Strings; "may have different yield strengths."
So to my mind at least, it's Perfectly Reasonable from all this that we can Appreciate that when Different Raw Material is used, to make an Ostensibly Similar Product but Manufactured to Slightly Different Specification, made in Different Wire Producing Factories, Existing on Different Continents with Different Machinery, Lubricants and Processes, involving Different People.
Then, Different Products, made in these Different Ways, by Different People.
Display Differences in Sound and Playing Characteristics.
Most will find it an Unassailable Point.
the problem is not breaking. that was just one string perhaps defective or fatigued.
the issue is ease of bending to achieve 1 1/2 steps pitch increase.
i have nothing against ernie ball strings, i have installed 6 sets of them on customers guitars in the last 2 days, but there is nothing magical about them in facilitating bending. as I recall they were among the first to introduce sets of lighter gauge strings in the 60's and that is where the slinky terminology came from
imho it is a deeply flawed suggestion to change brand rather than gauge to facilitate bending
Hi Geoff, Peter,
Young's Modulus is determined by three things generally when in the domain of linear elasticity (which is where we are) - one of them is the composition of the material. Change the alloy and you change the modulus of elasticity which changes the tension.
It's technical material science, but it's there and don't shoot the messenger.
I would have expected greater variation in Youngs modulus but everywhere I look music wire to the relevant standard is quoted at 30psix10^6 and carbon steel seem to be at 29.5 which is an insignificant difference
Yes material science is the key I trained in it too.
Yep, Geoff, I'ts a variation of a couple of percent and other places show variations of similar proportions. This basic gets the discussion anchored. I suppose the issue that I noticed most while having a look was that while a standard exists the variations within that standard (and it's tolerances) were significant enough to be discussed as having an effect on the performance of that type of steel. Bit like potentiometers and the effect their extremes of tolerance can have I suggest.
Players exist who can pick the difference between string brands no drama at all, be it a function of string lubrication, surface polish, stiffness or drawing procedure etc - it happens and whether it's a function of a whole bunch of things or alloy content is beyond the scope of what I can look at. Core to wrap ratios, wind tension, core shape, string plating/coatings/lubrication, ball end anchoring all affect the wound strings big time, but so too the plains are afflicted with differences that can be discerned.
I need to know this, if only to discuss it with clients and customers and the non electric guys and new kids on the block here might also find this slightly esoteric discussion useful for their professional lexicon.
Don't think I like this technical pedantry, but it's useful from time to time.
It is useful to know and it also helps to discern between real and placebo effects.
There was a myth widely spread among bass players that extending the string length further beyond nut and saddle could make the low B string tighter.
If fact it did not change the longitudinal tension at all but did make the string a bit more compliant (ie exactly the opposite) but players "felt it was tighter" and could not be convinced.
BTW I prefer "Jeff"
Ah, umm, I'm obviously having a Whitlam moment! My apologies Jeff and hopefully the fact that it wasn't spelt wrong is some consolation.
I suppose I should say that discussing this sort of stuff with particular customers can cause them all sorts of problems with perceived differences and encourage prejudices and opinions that are not deserved by particular products - it's a crap shoot sometimes with this sort of stuff.
Quote: "the problem is not breaking. that was just one string perhaps defective or fatigued."
Thank You Geoff.
It was actually a New String.
And your statement Proves my Point.
In any Form of Manufacturing, Variables Operate.
What you have Underlined, is that with an Identical Product and Brand.
Large Differences and Inconsistencies, Can and Do Occur, and Directly Affect the Material.
All I'm Reflecting is that the more Variables you add, like Different Factory Machinery Calibrations, Manufacturers, Suppliers.
Mean that when you Purchase Differing Brands of Product, Produced in Different Ways and in Different Places. There will be Differences, Players Experience and Report.
I think of this as being the Reason, Players Deliberately and Carefully Choose, Particular Strings.
Anyone that is Directly Connected to Manufacturing and Factories, (I have "an interest" in and am connected to 26 Major Manufacturing Facilities and a number of Smaller, other Manufacturing Facilities), Knows the Axiomatic Truth that Reducing and Eliminating Variables is the Key to Consistency.
And that the Different Factories, Producing an Exactly Identical Product, for Different Regional Markets across the Globe, to the Highest Quality Standards to Ensure Consistency of Product. Will None the Less, Result in Perceivable and Measurable Differences that can be Identified.
All I'm Postulating, is Knowing that Absolutely Provable Fact, if you Change and Alter Every Other Possible Variable in the Equation and Operate to Entirely Different Standards, the End Products of what Appears to be Similar Designs, Will Exhibit Obvious, Clearly, Detectable Differences.
Strange as it might seem to some, perhaps a great many here, it's actually possible to Punch Holes in Metal, and thereby, Greatly Increase Rigidity, Stiffness and Tensile Strength. By the way, Every Facility (I am connect with) has its Own Metallurgy Laboratories, manned by Specialists with Doctorates in their Field.
Quote: ""the problem is not breaking.
- Snipped for Shortness -
Quote: "the issue is ease of bending to achieve 1 1/2 steps pitch increase."
Forgive me for Pointing this out.
But I Honestly Believe the Player, genuinely wants to Bend the String, and Play it, without it Breaking.
If he can Bend the String Easily through that Range, but it Breaks, then to my Mind at least, that would Seem to be a Problem.
Quote: "I recall *Ernie Balls*
- Snipped for Shortness -
Quote: "The first to introduce sets of lighter gauge strings in the 60's and that is where the slinky terminology came from."
Ernie Ball was a Player.
And became aware of New Players using Banjo Strings as Substitutes for Particular Strings to Facilitate Bending.
He Identified a Market Opportunity and unsuccessfully attempted to get Fender and Gibson to Produce a Customised Set of a New Gauge designed to meet this need.
What he then did, was to take an Existing, Standard Gauge Set of Strings, and add what would be used to provide a Thinner Gauge E 1st String, and Move All the Other Strings down a position across the Fretboard, Dispensing with the Fat E 6th.
This is how it all started, and such was the success and demand for this Revolution, in the Guitar String World, that Manufacturing of Specific Ernie Ball Sets of Strings began, and indeed a Custom Wooden Box of All Available Gauges, so that Players could Pick and Choose, Precisely the Strings they Wanted. We were amongst the First People in the U.K. with these Products, when they were First Introduced. I Remember it Well.
Quote: "it is a deeply flawed suggestion to change brand rather than gauge to facilitate bending"
I think Players, should Try, Different Brands and Types of String.
To Find Out for themselves, by Personal Experience, which Products they Prefer for the Tonality they Seek.
And the Dynamic Handling Characteristics of the Material, which Does Vary Accordingly, and that, Even in Finish and Feel.
If All Guitar Strings Manufactured by Every Brand were Precisely Identical, the Widespread Declaimed Preferences, encountered all over the World.
Would not Exist.
But they are Not, and it Does.
That Axiom is Powerfully Compelling.
Emerged from an Era when Excellent Guitar Strings.
Were Relatively Expensive by Direct Comparison to what they usually Cost, Today.
Meaning Guitar Players, (Steve Howe Apart) would Not Purchase and Change their Strings very often.
So Guitar Players were and still are, Pretty Conservative, and under such Circumstances, Take a While to Change Out Strings Enough, to Determine the Qualities and Characteristics they Prefer.
Again, my Experience has been.
That once they Determine Such Preferences, they Stick Rigorously to that Brand.
Which will be Common to Many.
And which Innumerable Players, will Directly Identify With.
Appears to Suggest to me (amongst others) that many Differing Brands of String.
Exhibit Different Properties, that Sensitive Players Experience, Report and Actively Differentiate Between.
Despite this Fact.
Which is really the Basis of my Fundamental Point.
I Do Agree with you that when Multiple Brands are Supplied by the Same String Winder.
Under those Circumstances, it is Commonly the Situation that The Quality is the Same, with what Appears to be a Different Product, but Actually Isn't.
I get the impression that you have "Fought" to make this Point to Many Players, who quite wrongly failed to Accept your Assertions. Perhaps its a "People Problem" really, the same with Bands, and some Recording Artists.
We should all .
Completely Accept that Truth.
However, here are a few of the Different Trade Names.
Of the Core Material Used by String Winders to Fabricate Strings.
228 Music Wire
ASTM A228, A29, A682
SAE J403, J412, J414
Japanese JIS G3522 SWP-A G3522 SWP-B
German DIN 1.1269
British BS 1408 5216 5201
My Essential Point is.
Different Wire from Different Places.
Utilised to Fabricate Different Brands of String.
Can be, and often are, Different.
Quote: "Players exist who can pick the difference between string brands no drama at all, be it a function of string lubrication, surface polish, stiffness or drawing procedure etc - it happens and whether it's a function of a whole bunch of things or alloy content is beyond the scope of what I can look at."
In Point of Fact.
When the Wire is Cold Drawn.
An Additional Lubricant is Commonly Added to Facilitate the Process.
Which is of Course, an Additional Variable to Add to All the Other Variables in the Manufacturing Process.
In my World, The Customer is King.
So for me, Players, do not Exist, to Conform to the Dictates of Luthier's.
Regardless of Whoever they are and the High Level of Understanding and Experience they Genuinely Possess.
It not as if they need to Stand Before Judge Judy, to have the Rights and Wrongs of their Personal Taste Ridiculed.
In my World, Luthiers Exist to Service and Meet the Needs and Requirements of Players, and Sometimes they have "Wrong" Ideas.
Les Paul was a Player who had the "Wrong" Ideas, Ernie Ball was a Player (As a Session Musician, he Played the Steel Guitar Opening on the Original Warner Brothers Looney Tune Cartoons.
It's a Matter of Historical Fact.
That both these Guys were Sent Packing by Fender and Gibson.
No doubt many Established Luthier's of the day would have given them Equally Short Shrift.
In my Ideal World, Manufacturers Listen very carefully indeed to their Customers, and are Guided and Informed Thereby.
Certainly, Customers can Learn from Manufacturers just as Guitarists invariably do well to Learn from Luthiers. But this isn't a Master Disciple Relationship.
Hopefully, it's a Two Way, Bilateralism. A Symbiotic Relationship that with Inquisitive Openness, is a Continuing Process of Learning and Growth. And Everyone Involved, Benefits Tremendously.
Quote: "discern between real and placebo effects"
A Well Made Point and a Vitally Important One.
The Guitar World, like the Audio World in General, appears to have more than its Fair Share of Flaky Entrepreneurs.
Quote:"There was a myth widely spread among bass players that extending the string length further beyond nut and saddle could make the low B string tighter."
As I recall, this emerged and coincided with the Appearance of a Super Expensive 5 String Fodera Bass that featured an Oddly Shaped and Strung Headstock, and anything "Different" Engenders Widespread Speculation.
Bass Designers and Manufacturers tell me that the Ideal Scale Length for a 5 String Bass is 35". However, Few Players would be happy to accept the Degree of Finger Stretch Involved with such Wide Spacing between the Nut End Frets so most are 34".
There are precious Few Products, truly Designed and Manufactured that are Ideal in Every Possible Respect. Usually for Practical Reasons, Issues of Material, Component Supply, or Cost, Dictate that a Working Compromise is Necessary Somewhere along the Line.
Sometimes, Different Customers, equally attracted to the Same Product, Desire, Require and Demand a Competing Set, of Diametrically Opposed Features; and Great Designers and Manufacturers, have to Bear all these in Mind and set about Successfully Resolving the Conundrums for their Customers. In the same way that Good Luthiers, Resolve the Conflicts between Desirably Low Action, Buzzing, Choke Out, Strings and Players Force of Attack.
Endless Customisation is another Approach, and Companies I have an interest in, have been Highly Successful with This Approach. In One Manufacturing Factory I am involved with. It is Highly Unlikely, whether in any Single Production Year, Any Two Products would be Manufactured to be Identically Alike. The Truth is there are Over 5,000,0000 Options and Variables Available for the Product, From Which the Customer can Choose. Yes, I do really mean, 5 Million.
This is Why.
I can Unassailably State.
That the Way to Produce Consistency.
In a Market Leading, Premium Brand Product.
Is to Carefully Monitor and Precisely Control Every Variable.
- Snipped for Shortness -
Quote: "BTW I prefer "Jeff""
You are Saying that the Difference in Name.
Or Way You are Branded, is Important and Differentiating Feature of Identity.
Thank You for a Most Interesting and Enlightening Discussion.
i can't be bothered to reply to this misrepresentation and nonsense.
Stay frosty bloke, there is some good stuff to be had in all the discussions. I personally don't see this as "nonsense" and wouldn't say so even if it was.