Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

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jorri
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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by jorri » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:15 am

Yes. I agree its about twisting or more like one side is pushed while the other side pulled. Nothing to do with do with rubbing on bridge screws.

Placing the ball end horizontal may help.

I seem to remember it mainly happening the time when I massively shimmed the neck, increasing break angle. Makes sense as the trem moves forward but the string would be directing "more up".

Main solution is different strings. Yes some are reinforced. I use Nyxl. Ernie ball make reinforced, fender bullets work too, daddario make soldered twists.
... But really it's only a problem on certain string brand that probably use particular knots or type of steel. In the end if the string is strong enough to handle it is no more problem than hard picking and bending 8 guage strings will snap them! Daddario broke particularly (the standard sets) mainly their popularity making it reported more more than anything, but not everything.

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Danley
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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by Danley » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:29 am

Glad we’re away from thinking the three vibrato pivot screws are at fault. The horizontal positioning of the ball-end is a novel idea; but I’m stocked on RPS strings, and haven’t had a break/unwind on an offset in years.
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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by adamrobertt » Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:08 am

Yeah. This is an overkill solution to a problem that would have been fixed by a new set of strings. I use GHS Boomers on my offsets and I've never had a high e string break.

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by Horsefeather » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:36 am

Yes, the problem of a broken string is fixed by a new string...

But the issue of problematic design isn't.

Last night I was working on a different guitar I have. It's a Matsumoku with a Gibson style bridge and tailpiece that I put a Les Trem on. I recently swapped a roller TOM onto it so I was doing the intonation. There isn't much room to access the adjustment screws so while I was doing the high E, I pulled the string over to the side to make some room... and guess what happened?

Snap! Right at the ball end. This reinforces my belief that the two pieces of string coming off the ball end are a weak point and that sideways stress on them at that point generates enough stress to break them. It's when the joint where they meet is being pulled toward one and away from the other.

Ensuring that they only ever move up or down together is the key to success, I believe. This might help explain why some people don't have breakages and some do, as the ball end's final orientation is random if you're not being intentional about it.

Anyway, if I break the string with my bracket in place I'll come back and admit it.

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by adamrobertt » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:37 pm

Horsefeather wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:36 am
Yes, the problem of a broken string is fixed by a new string...

But the issue of problematic design isn't.

Last night I was working on a different guitar I have. It's a Matsumoku with a Gibson style bridge and tailpiece that I put a Les Trem on. I recently swapped a roller TOM onto it so I was doing the intonation. There isn't much room to access the adjustment screws so while I was doing the high E, I pulled the string over to the side to make some room... and guess what happened?

Snap! Right at the ball end. This reinforces my belief that the two pieces of string coming off the ball end are a weak point and that sideways stress on them at that point generates enough stress to break them. It's when the joint where they meet is being pulled toward one and away from the other.

Ensuring that they only ever move up or down together is the key to success, I believe. This might help explain why some people don't have breakages and some do, as the ball end's final orientation is random if you're not being intentional about it.

Anyway, if I break the string with my bracket in place I'll come back and admit it.
I'm saying that you use cheap strings. I've never had this issue in my 20 years of guitar playing and all of my guitars have tremolos on them, including the offset tremolo. I dunno why you're being so stubborn about that...

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by Danley » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:53 pm

I haven’t used GHS strings since I was a teenager. I don’t think there was ever anything particularly wrong with them, nor do I remember how well they worked on my Jaguar or if I ever used them on that. When I started using Ernie Ball RPS exclusively, it was pretty much because about 90% of Dadarrios high Es unwound, and maybe 50% of Slinkies. It got to where when I found a ‘good’ Dadarrio or EB high E, I’d keep it on the guitar even when I changed the others, since the new one probably wouldn’t hold up. After a while I started soldering strings, after a shorter while I bought only RPS sets.

Glad the Boomers are a potential option. I also at the time had several (mostly Allparts/Squier) offset vibratos where the string made no contact with the pivot screw (and some where they did contact.) They all suffered from the unwinding problem regardless.
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by Horsefeather » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:22 pm

The first string that broke was from a set of D'Addario flatwound 12s. The second one was an Ernie Ball 12 single from Guitar Center's loose drawer. I don't think either of these are particularly "cheap" strings, in the sense that you're implying, which I take to mean low quality.

I don't know why you're being so stubborn about acknowledging that the JM vibrato design has a tendency to break strings from different manufacturers in the exact same spot. I have lots of other guitars with vibratos too and I don't remember any of them breaking strings at the end.

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by andy_tchp » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:29 pm

Except GHS strings don't break there, nor do the Ernie Ball RPS or Fender bullets.

D'Addario strings are well known to break there.


But still, it's obviously much easier to re-engineer the entire bridge/saddle setup and/or thread a bent nail through the string ball ends than trying something as over the top as...using a different brand of strings... ::)
Last edited by andy_tchp on Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by StevenO » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:57 pm

I agree.

I have a set of Ernie Ball RPS 10s on my Jazzmaster for over a year and a half and with no breakage. Daddarios would have lasted 5 minutes on the high e string unfortunately.

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by alexpigment » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:06 pm

Hate to burst anyone's bubble here, but I've used GHS Boomers exclusively since god knows when, and the high E (11 gauge) definitely broke on one of my Jazzmasters several times. I think that this whole thing is a matter of luck (i.e. varies from trem to trem and string to string). I have my own little hack to prevent the string breakage, but if I were to go without that, I think I'd buy a GHS RPS set. I know they're pretty rare in big box stores, but if you're buying online, I don't see any reason to take a chance.

As a side note, I don't think changing to an entirely different set of strings is trivial at all. I've tried Fender Bullets, NYXLs, etc. The tone and feel of the Boomers just works for me, and it's worth a lot to me to keep my preferred strings even if it takes some weird hacking/workaround.

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by StevenO » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:01 pm

I've never played GHS strings, but I recommend the Ernie Ball RPS strings because they're reinforced and that's all that needs to be done to make strings not break in that area.

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jorri
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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by jorri » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:20 am

The strings I know will work, either sound different or are hard to find. But Nyxl sound great, I love the increased bass and clarity whilst they suit the tendency of offsets to sometimes be thin or trebly (without removing that). I've switch back sometimes and it's a different guitar with standard NPS.

That said some people just have an engineers mind and problem solve these things. No biggie. Doesn't it take more energy telling people they overthink than the overthinking of inclined minds did? Think we've established there is only really a solution of changing strings, not fiddling with ball ends or screws so yeh, change strings.

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by Horsefeather » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:00 pm

Don't worry, guys. If I break the string with my bracket in place I'll come back and tell you about it and keep experimenting. My goal isn't to be right, it's to find a real solution. And if it isn't clear by now, I don't consider switching strings a real solution.

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by adamrobertt » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:25 am

Horsefeather wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:00 pm
Don't worry, guys. If I break the string with my bracket in place I'll come back and tell you about it and keep experimenting. My goal isn't to be right, it's to find a real solution. And if it isn't clear by now, I don't consider switching strings a real solution.
Genuinely not trying to be antagonistic or argumentative here - but how is it not a real solution? If only some string brands have this issue, it means that the issue is with the string, not the hardware. This is sort of like ghetto modifying your tires because you keep stubbornly buying the same brand that pop after a month or something.

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Re: Jazzmaster String Breakage Theory

Post by DeathJag » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:30 am

Once I broke a high e on a AB65 JM with a mastery bridge + trem. It happened when just for fun, I yanked the trem up as hard as I could. That snapped the high e. That’s the only time it’s happened and that string was about two years old. I use DRs. (I use that trem bar all day long, but mostly to bend down.)

Hey if that nail “nails” the problem, great! If it doesn’t - just try a different brand already!

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