Weak Wound 3rd String Advice

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Weak Wound 3rd String Advice

Postby bluzeluvr » Thu May 18, 2006 12:03 pm

Anyone else who uses phosphor-bronze strings on their reso have problems keeping the wound 3rd (.026) from going dead after a very short time? I have found that no matter what brand of strings I try... DR, Martin, D'Addario... that after just a few practice sessions, that string will start to sound muted -- very noticeably so. Playing slide, it does get quite a workout compared to the other wound strings. And I do like to really dig in when I play. I figure since it is thinner, it naturally doesn't hold up as well as the others, given the amount of play it gets. I am thinking the only solution is to either go to a 28w (would that even be enough of change?) or buy a bunch of 26's in bulk and replace it often. I am also thinking about converting to a plain string, like maybe a 22 as an alternative. What are you long time reso players doing about the problem? Or is it just me? ;)
Last edited by bluzeluvr on Thu May 18, 2006 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby allanlummox » Thu May 18, 2006 1:15 pm

I use nickel strings - with an unwound 28.
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Postby bluzeluvr » Thu May 18, 2006 1:34 pm

Yes. I have considered switching to nickel strings. But I do like the sound of the PB. However, I am planning on trying a nickel wound for the 3rd, just to see how that blends with the others, and to see what kind of longevity I get. If that works, I may just stick to swapping out the 3rd, or going all nickel for the wound strings. .028 plain, huh? Man, that must be a like a piano wire.
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Postby De Ferre » Thu May 18, 2006 1:40 pm

Did you check the 3rd slot at the bridge?
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Postby bluzeluvr » Thu May 18, 2006 2:54 pm

De Ferre wrote:Did you check the 3rd slot at the bridge?


For what? If you mean, is the notch cut properly, I would say it looks fine. I don't think it would have much to do with the saddle in any case, as the string sounds fine when first installed. I think it has more to do with the fact, that as a wound string at that gauge, it's a bit fragile. My guess is the winding becomes a bit loose after a short while. I do use brass fingerpicks. Maybe they're too hard on the string.
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Postby ricochet » Thu May 18, 2006 3:11 pm

I've got no complaints about a wound nickel .028.
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Postby allanlummox » Thu May 18, 2006 3:48 pm

I must confess that the wound string sounds somewhat more balanced; and that for recording, I often put on a wound one - which breaks within a couple of days. Then I put on the unwound 28 - which is good to go for a couple of weeks worth of playing - and I've yet to break one.
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Postby lightninboy » Thu May 18, 2006 3:52 pm

BL,
Some string sets have bad strings occasionally.
Maybe you've struck a set or two with a dead 3rd string.

Try cleaning the string with a rag dipped in lemon oil. This will bring it back to life.

I doubt if the windings have come undone.But.
If you think they have, next time you re-sting, put a 90 degree bend in the tag end of the string after you cut off the excess.
This will help.
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Postby bluzeluvr » Thu May 18, 2006 9:42 pm

lightninboy wrote:BL,
Some string sets have bad strings occasionally.
Maybe you've struck a set or two with a dead 3rd string.

Try cleaning the string with a rag dipped in lemon oil. This will bring it back to life.

I doubt if the windings have come undone.But.
If you think they have, next time you re-sting, put a 90 degree bend in the tag end of the string after you cut off the excess.
This will help.


Thanks LB. I can definitely check all those off as non-factors in my case. So I think the answer has to be one of string gauge/material/type. I am going with the nickel wound 3rd experiment for now. We'll see how that goes. I've stayed away from nickels based on the opinions of most, but I never tried them on my tricone. If I like the sound of the nickel, and it holds up well, I will be a convert to nickel strings on tricones.

This is my first metal-bodied reso (for about 3 months now), and the first time I've ever really concentrated on learning bottleneck slide well. Before now, I had a cheap, wood reso that I just sort of played around with on occasion, and on which I used a pretty light touch. So I am breaking new ground here for me personally, and encountering what I suspect is not that uncommon of a problem for those that play often and with a decent amount of intensity.
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Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 19, 2006 1:13 am

Well I swapped out that PB string for a wound nickel of the same gauge. I love the sound. I actually find it tonally to be a better choice for the metal-bodied tricone. It's not as bassy, as the phosphor bronze, and just sounds "right". A bit tighter? More focused? Not really sure how to describe it. It definitely blends in better with the plain strings. It already has me thinking about going to a full nickel set with my next string change. We'll see how it holds up after a few more hours of play. It certainly held its tuning well. After about 40 minutes play, the needle on my tuner was still dead center. With nickel strings known for being longer-lasting, I am optimistic at this point.
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Postby ricochet » Fri May 19, 2006 2:46 am

You'll like the nickel strings on it.
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Postby thebluescaster » Fri May 19, 2006 9:54 pm

Get the Special 29s from Beard...they were specifically designed to address the problem you mentioned.

http://www.beardguitars.com/strings.html

(The BR-78s or BR-79s)

Reso players around here swear by them.
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