Jump to content
Nos402

Strings breaking at saddle

Recommended Posts

I've been playing for 33 years so I generally know all the potential causes for string breakage and such but wanted to get opinions here. I've been breaking strings more than I would like, always at the saddle, on my JTV-69. It's not always the same string. I've had my guitar setup by a top-notch luthier. 

 

I can be a heavy handed player and use 1mm picks so that probably doesn't help, but here's my main suspicion: The Variax sounds great for a LONG time even as strings get older, much more so than regular pickups, I feel. Because of that, I think I tend to change strings less and leave strings on much longer than if I was playing a regular guitar (I've played Variaxes since the very first model came out, though I have a backup guitar with magnetic pickups). I do wipe my strings down very well with a treated microfiber cloth to keep them in top shape, but I'm figuring that even under the best care, they are just going to eventually wear out, and probably at the saddle, being a high stress point.

 

The only doubt I have with this theory is that I've heard of some players who actually like older strings and want them left on as long as possible (I think Brian Setzer is like that, though his tech, much to Brian's chagrin, insists on changing them every other show).

 

Does this sound like normal wear and tear to you, or is it more likely indicative of saddle issues?

 

Thanks for the opinions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try changing them more often or try different strings.  I don't tend to break strings so I can't tell you what is causing it.  Do make sure that the broken ends don't end up in where the board is.  The 69 has that tendency and it can short out the board. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a bridge that has texturing on top?

If I'm understanding you correctly, yes, I believe so. The one that came standard with my JTV-69 as soon as they were released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try changing them more often or try different strings.  I don't tend to break strings so I can't tell you what is causing it.  Do make sure that the broken ends don't end up in where the board is.  The 69 has that tendency and it can short out the board. 

Yeah, I leave the trem plate off for that reason. So the ends can drop out. I did find one in the board compartment once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I leave the trem plate off for that reason. So the ends can drop out. I did find one in the board compartment once.

 

Part of the thing that is cool with the whole taping the ball end of the string other than getting rid of that horrible tinging noise on some of the strings, is that it also catches the ball ends from falling into the guitar.

 

I don't know, just throwing this out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nos402,... log a ticket with customer support in your account.

When they come to me I will recommend it come here for evaluation.

 

I have an idea or two about that, but I would want to evaluate your guitar

first, before I go shooting my mouth off any further.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been playing for 33 years so I generally know all the potential causes for string breakage and such but wanted to get opinions here. I've been breaking strings more than I would like, always at the saddle, on my JTV-69. It's not always the same string. I've had my guitar setup by a top-notch luthier. 

 

I can be a heavy handed player and use 1mm picks so that probably doesn't help, but here's my main suspicion: The Variax sounds great for a LONG time even as strings get older, much more so than regular pickups, I feel. Because of that, I think I tend to change strings less and leave strings on much longer than if I was playing a regular guitar (I've played Variaxes since the very first model came out, though I have a backup guitar with magnetic pickups). I do wipe my strings down very well with a treated microfiber cloth to keep them in top shape, but I'm figuring that even under the best care, they are just going to eventually wear out, and probably at the saddle, being a high stress point.

 

The only doubt I have with this theory is that I've heard of some players who actually like older strings and want them left on as long as possible (I think Brian Setzer is like that, though his tech, much to Brian's chagrin, insists on changing them every other show).

 

Does this sound like normal wear and tear to you, or is it more likely indicative of saddle issues?

 

Thanks for the opinions!

My 2c worth...

Where I live near Sydney it gets real humid for several months of the year, and if I don't change my strings every week or two (while I'm gigging a couple of times a week), they just rust up real quick. I use D'addario 10-52's, and have done for many years. They are reliable, and generally I could leave them on for up to a month (depending on the number of gigs per month). If I leave them on too long, I break strings at the bridge saddle. It's just the way it is - don't leave them on too long, and you'll be fine. I have two vaxplants (both have Ghost saddles - they are definitely MUCH better that the L R Baggs piezos for string longevity), and basically only have two in case of string breakage mid-song. I end up playing both on any given night, just so I know they're both being used, and I'm getting some value for money from the strings before I change em.

Don't give in to the strings SOUNDING acceptable after how ever many weeks you keep em on.... They WILL eventually break.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×