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Old 09-04-2013, 07:59 AM   #1
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Chronic String Breaker

Hey, I play a telecaster. I'm having this huge problem, I can't stop breaking strings. I rarely have a string last more than a week. This has been a problem for me as long as I can remember. I originally used the 6 saddle stock bridge, but the string breaking problem got out of hand, and that bridge was getting old and gross, so I figured itd be worth it to just buy a new bridge instead of try and file down the burrs and what not. So I bought a brand new Warmoth Gotoh 6 saddle tele bridge, and what do you know I broke 4 strings in one morning on it. I tried to sand the saddles to remove the burrs, put graphite shavings on the saddles, still broke strings. So I went and bought a brand new Fender USA 3 saddle bridge, and yesterday I broke 2 strings that were 4 days old. This is incredibly frustrating. I will say I play very heavily and with a thick pick. So could this problem be resolved with using a thinner pick? Or am I just doing something else wrong?

I've been looking into the Wilkinson compensated 3 saddle bridges, which have the top-loader option. Sometimes I feel like the string-through style puts extra pressure on the string at the saddle point, because the string is bent at a 90 degree angle at the saddle as opposed to just being slightly elevated with the the top-loader style.

So has anyone had this chronic problem, and what did you do to resolve it? Thank you very much.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #2
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where are the strings breaking?

if they break at the saddles, then it's the saddles.
if they break in the middle, or are unravelling then try a new string company.

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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Sorry I didn't specify that, its always breaking at the saddles. I've tried multiple string companies.

And before anyone schools me on burrs, I already know all about how they break strings and they need to be filed. What I'm confused about is how 2 brand new bridges can be breaking strings, when there seems barely any time for burrs to develop.

Last edited by tmross1024 : 09-04-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:29 AM   #4
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I'm not a luthier nor have I ever played one on TV but I used to have that problem when I'd been playing for a couple of years. I quickly discovered that the problem was that I was using too light a gauge of string.

And yes...my strings broke right at the saddle but when I moved up from 9's to 11's on the bottom, yes it hurt for a little until I got used to the feeling but the problem with the broken string issue went away and hasn't been back.

Will that solve your problem? I don't know but it might be worth experimenting with heavier gauges and see that doesn't stop the problem dead in their tracks.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:34 AM   #5
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I always use 11s, and years ago I used 13s in a heavier band, still broke strings like crazy. Don't think its the strings.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
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Sounds like a technique issue since I have a tele with a Hipshot 6 saddle bridge. I haven't broken a string on that bridge or the stock Fender.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
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Hmm...is your Telecaster (with its various bridges) a string-through-the-body model? Sometimes the angle of the strings as they come through the body can be slightly off, and this can lead to string breakage even though there is nothing wrong with the bridge(s). You can also get a notch on those metal ferrules that can play hell with the strings; leading to string breakage.

If you are stringing through the body, and if your current bridge allows you to "top-load" your strings (through the holes at the base of the bridge), give that a try and see if it cures the problem. If it does not, then I would have a very good tech take a look at it, as I can't understand any other reason for the problem.

Oh, and you're not using those sharpened metal guitar picks, right? Some people do use them and they destroy the strings quite rapidly.

Good luck!
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