Hey guys.

I am trying to put .10-.47 Martin Monel strings (131lbs of tension) on my 1956 Gibson ES-150.

Having a weird issue where the D and G string will not string up to pitch without extreme tension (G string already broke once, and the next one feels like it's going to break when I get to pitch of around D on the G string). Any idea why this would happen?

I had very light D'addario .10-46 electric strings (~108lbs) on it before this and they were fine. Would the nut slot being too narrow cause this? I wondered if it was binding in there. I'm afraid the strings are going to rip the guitar at the heal since there is so much tension. I'm just not understanding this.

Thank you.

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IF the strings are breaking at the tuner post, I'd expect thwey're binding in the nut.

If you're replacing an unwound string with a wound one (G) same thing, binding in the nut.  And, the skinny core of a wound G is rather fragile compared to other strings.

A Gubsoiin ES-150 should be able to handle the heaviest strings without immediate damage

Thanks, Frank. Glad the suspicion is confirmed. Yes it snapped at the tuner post.

I tried opening the slot with a .24 file and still found the same issue (the string was .23 and the replacement after that broke .22). I guess I'll have to look at it in the sunlight to see what is going on with that nut slut tomorrow morning.

With a flat head (and not a slotted one) it is important that the holes in the tuner post are smoth. A little sharp nick at the edge of the hole will make the string break after some tuning up and down. Stewmac sells an abrasive cord that I use to smooth the edges of the hole, especially for the G and the unwound strings. I mostly use the number 55.

The issue is resolve. Thanks, Frank, for confirming my suspicion of the nut. I've never run into this issue.

I opened it up more today and back filed it more and this fixed the problem. Now when stringing to pitch it's smooth instead of feeling like the string is going to snap or the heel going to crack. I hope I didn't cause damage to the heel when trying to tune before with the binded nut. I don't see anything but I heard cracking noises there was so much tension. It's strange the nut can cause that much binding/tension.

The extra tension from the string binding at the nut is all between the nut and the tuner. If the string never went sharp of the intended pitch, there was no extra tension on the heel, or anywhere else at that end.

Ah gotcha.

Would you feel this tension? Like when tuning up it felt like something was going to snap. Is that what it would feel like if it were between the nut and string posts?

The four other strings all tuned smoothly and I felt no tension. The G and D you could sense what felt like excessive tension.

I actually still feel it a bit after reworking the nut. I can at least get it up to pitch now. I wonder can the tuners themselves need lube? Or maybe the back of the nut needs an angle carved in more toward the tuning post?

Something else I am noticing: this is my first time using a wound G string. It seems much quieter than the B and E strings (steel/unwound). Is this normal?

Is the fix to raise the G pole piece and lower the B and E strings?

That's what I did, and it does sound better, bu the G definitely still sounds a bit muted and lower in volume compared to them. The Monel strings overall sound excellent, but that one issue remains.

There's always a tonal difference between a wound and a plain string. Your ear is used to that being between the D and G strings, now it's between the G and B. Raising the G pole piece helps.


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