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Huggy49

"Tight" and Breaking E & B Strings -- Suggestions?

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Huggy49    0

Hi...

What a fantastic place. Wish I found it years ago.

I'm a hack of a guitarist; picked it up when I was in college many years ago as an alternative to other forms of procrastination. I have an issue with my electric, which is about a 15-year old Hamer archtop with a simple bridge. I play light gauge strings (.010s), and over the last four to six weeks, the B & (high) E strings have become very "tight". Bends require more effort, and the E in particular feels like it's going to just snap if I actually tune to a 440 tuning. (In fact, precisely that happened last week, and I can't remember that ever happening before.)

I'm not a guitar tech at all; I tune and clean, but I've never touched the truss rod or anything. (I'm even worse with cars; as far as I know, the magic elves move the card forward when I press on the gas.)

Is there some common thread to this problem? Perhaps some maintenance I should be doing that I might be missing?

I would welcome any advice people could provide. Thanks very much.

-Gary, who wishes he were Ty Tabor, but is fully aware he isn't.

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Cedric01    0

You'll have to check to see if the neck is straight. The best way to check this is with a straight edge. Lay it lengthwise on top and in the middle of the fingerboard. Be sure that you don't put it on top of the nut or on the saddle, in case you have a very long straight edge. You can also use a string on your guitar. Take the low E string , press it down at the first fret with one finger and with the other hand press down behind the 12th fret. If you find no space between the frets and the low E string, the neck is straight. If there is a space at the 5th or 6th fret with the low E string pushed down, the neck has a hollow bend. If there is spaces at the lower frets and at the higher frets with the low E string pushed down, the neck has a back bow. Check this out and let us know the outcome. If it does have a bend in the neck, you may have to adjust the truss rod.

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allthumbs    8

Hi Huggy. Read through the posts here in the tech forum. Strings getting tighter without you touching the tuners is odd. Check the relief of your neck. I am sure UGB will be along in a while with some suggestions. Welcome to the forum.

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Jim    0

Is there *any* chance you have them an octave higher than they should be? Maybe by retuning them up bit by bit over the past 6 weeks they've crept up an octave?

Just a thought....

And WELCOME! :)

Jim

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Kirk Lorange    128
Is there *any* chance you have them an octave higher than they should be? Maybe by retuning them up bit by bit over the past 6 weeks they've crept up an octave?

Just a thought....

And WELCOME! :)

Jim

I think six strings creeping up an octave can only happen in a parallel universe, Jim, you know the one, where pigs fly ... ;)

The only thing I know of that will make strings tighten up is the cold. If you tune up outdoors on a summers day, then bring your guitar into an airconditioned room, you'll see the tuning go up in pitch, but only slightly. Other than that, I can't imagine anything that would increase tension.

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Jim    0
I think six strings creeping up an octave can only happen in a parallel universe, Jim, you know the one, where pigs fly ... ;)

Kirk - actually I was only thinking of the E and B strings creeping up - but that is, well, unlikely, BUT, a pig just flew by my window, so when he comes back by again, I'll stop him and ask his opinion.... :D

Jim

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When you say it's an arch top with a "simple" bridge, does the bridge float? Does it just sit on top the guitar w/only the pressure of the strings keeping it on? I'd have to think if it does, and in owning 15 years this wouldn't happen now, but perhaps the bridge shifted back on a recent string change lengthening the scale and thus increasing tension? I mean the intonation would be horrible so you'd HAVE to notice it.

Did this happen w/a recent string change as in fine before the new set, and after the new set it's tighter? If so, did you change brands? It could also be a mislabeled set. It could be you actually have mediums on it. If the answer to any of that is 'yes', then I'd go buy a new pack of the strings you've always used and put them on regardless of how old the strings are that you're dealing with now.

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Huggy49    0

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. The bridge *is* a floating bridge. I play D'Addario 10s, bought in a big lot many years ago. (So long I've forgotten.) I re-strung, and the problem's still there. There doesn't appear to be a bend in the neck, so I'm going to bring it down to my local guitar tech and have him look at it.

Thanks again....

-Gary.

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USGold    0

I still would explore the possibility of being OCTAVE over tuned, thats what I did when I snapped strings for no reason.

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Rockerbob    47

.010s on an archtop should feel pretty loose and floppy. If they are really tight, I would guess you are not really tuned properly. I know you mentioned you checked it, but 10s should NOT feel tight.

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