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Stirng broke easily
Breaking strings
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BobbyFlay
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February 2, 2019 - 11:14 am
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Hello all,

i have a Ming Jiang Zhu 909 that I recently received and I put brand new dominant strings on it. The e string the day after I put them on snapped very easily and I did not over tighten it or anything like that. I bought another e string and it’s coming in the mail but I’m afraid of that one breaking as well. There is a fine tuner on the e string. Should I be worried about it breaking again or could I possibly need a new fine tuner? Can a used fine tuner break a string easily? The string broke right at the ball end that sits on the fine tuner. I just don’t want the string to break again.

 

Thanks for all the help!

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Irv
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February 2, 2019 - 11:31 am
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Hello @BobbyFlay and others.  Your experience was likely due to a manufacturing flaw in the string, such as a slight nick in the metal.  Strings are similar to electronic components, where failure is most likely to occur upon start up.

If you confine your choice of e strings to the Goldbrokat brand, such infrequent failures can be experienced without economic hardship.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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Ripton
Vermont, Massachusetts or somewhere in between
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February 2, 2019 - 8:56 pm
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I've snapped a few strings in my time, but never a new one. The most memorable snap was when I was trying to tune that dang E string on my viola. Wish I had a video of that experience. After I finished that, I picked up the violin and finished tuning the E string. Worked much better. 

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nathan86
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February 2, 2019 - 9:12 pm
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Where did the string break at was it near the fine tuner?  Are you a hill style or whittner style fine tuner and are you using a loop or ball e string?  

One suggestion I would have is to ditch the dominant e strings no matter what and use dominant g, d, a, and use a try Pirastro gold label e instead.  It’s a very popular combination among professionals like Itzhak Perlman.  

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BobbyFlay
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February 2, 2019 - 9:35 pm
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It broke right at the ball of the string which sits on the fine tuner. I'm not sure what kind of fine tuner I have. I'm assuming it came with the violin in 2014 from Fiddlershop unless someone who owned it before me bought it before me changed it. It doesn't look like it's been changed though. It was a ball string.

One thing I will note is that the ball of the string sits on the tail piece and then is held by the fine tuner. Not sure if that's normal but the fine tuner does not go out any further like it does on my Fiddlerman Soloist where it does not touch the tail piece.

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nathan86
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February 2, 2019 - 9:44 pm
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Can you post a picture.  I have a suspicion as to the issue.  I think you are using a ball end string with a fine tuner meant for a loop end string.

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MattYC
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February 2, 2019 - 11:28 pm
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B6F6CEB4-14E9-46D1-955D-DB3AFE5956E1.jpegImage EnlargerDo you need to see it attached to the violin or is this good?

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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February 2, 2019 - 11:31 pm
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Hey there, BobbyFlay... here goes another junior sleuth attacking your problem. 

As Nathan hinted, it's not ideal to use a ball end string on a fine tuner made for loop ends. Some string brands enable you to pop the ball out and convert the E string to a loop end. The super short Hill fine tuners like loop ends. The long lever fine tuners and tailpieces with integrated fine tuners seem to take ball end E-strings.

But even E-string loop ends break when using the appropriate fine tuner. Bohdan Warchal offers up some explanations here:
https://www.warchal.com/techni.....afety.html

These are the fine tuner protectors he's talking about:
https://fiddlershop.com/produc.....tor-8-pack
2kAAAD2QAAwHFtbW9kAAAAAAAABhAAAKAuAAAAANDl7gAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Someone gave me some so, although I haven't had the problem yet, I put one on my little Hill fine tuner anyway. Cute little creature... and if Bohdan Warchal says they help, I'd take his word for it and not mine exactly

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nathan86
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February 3, 2019 - 12:06 am
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MattYC said
B6F6CEB4-14E9-46D1-955D-DB3AFE5956E1.jpegImage EnlargerDo you need to see it attached to the violin or is this good?  

That sure looks like a whittner style fine tuner.  You should be using a ball end.

What do you mean when you say it sits on the tail piece.  This style of fine tuner should protrude out from the end of the tailpiece slightly.  Are you meaning instead of the fine tuner being built directly into the tail piece?  If so then yes this is a normal style of fine tuner.

I would say you either got a bad couple of strings or maybe you put the ball the wrong direction.  Sometimes that can cause a string to pop inside a fine tuner.

Go buy yourself a Pirastro gold label ball end e instead and see if it works any better for you and check out this page to make sure you are putting it into the fine tuner correctly.  Nothing against dominants but I think their e strings sound terrible.

https://www.violins.ca/info/tu.....uners.html

This is my go to set of strings personally:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d.....B000V6FY8Q

I think you will find that it is the preferred set of many famous violinists and in my opinion makes just about any violin sound good.  There are arguably many good brands of strings though but I would just personally avoid the dominant e string altogether especially on a nice violin like the MJZ 909.

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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February 3, 2019 - 8:04 am
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Nathan is correct... you've got a long lever fine tuner which takes ball ends. Sorry for my superfluous message which crossed paths with your close up pic embarassed

Also agree with Nathan that the MJZ909 is a really nice instrument.

Down the road (when you're out of stock of ball end E strings) I suggest you consider a piccolo or this ultra light titanium fine tuner: https://fiddlershop.com/produc.....fine-tuner

They take loop ends. They both maximize the after length on the E-string. The titanium version, although relatively pricy, is also ultra light (messes less with vibrations) and manufactured with a max of TLC so less chances of rough edges I would hope. A small investment for your excellent violin. I have one on my Sima Traian along with one of those cute little black plastic curves pictured in my previous post. 

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damfino
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February 3, 2019 - 9:45 am
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I had that happen on a fiddle of mine, all my A strings kept breaking at the ball end (broke 2) I changed out the fine tuner and then it stopped happening. There was probably, in my case, a sharp spot that was breaking them. That could be the case with yours as well, if it's breaking right at the ball, and not higher up, and breaking more than one string. If it only broke the one string and others were fine, then I'd suspect a flaw in the string.

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BobbyFlay
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February 3, 2019 - 2:04 pm
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file-13.jpegImage EnlargerI just put a new e string on that I ordered a few days ago.

This is how it looks. This one seems to sit better than the other one but the crease of the ball sits not exactly in the middle of the claw type thing on the fine tuner.

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nathan86
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February 3, 2019 - 4:21 pm
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I think I’d give serious thought to Holly’s suggestion.  I’m not a big fan of ball end strings and this style of fine tuner either.  Ditch it and go to a loop e with an upgraded fine tuner.

I think part of your issue is string fatigue due to how the string is sitting in your fine tuner and it’s not clear to me from the picture why it is crooked like this.  It could be how you are putting it in but it could also be a defect in some of dominants recent batches.  Either way ball ends on e strings are more trouble than they are worth.  Might as well ditch them if you can.

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Fiddlerman
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February 4, 2019 - 10:01 am
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Bobby, whenever an E-string breaks too quickly and easily, always look to see where it has broken. If it broke at the nut, examine the nut. Sometimes the Ebony edges in the groove are too sharp where the string passes through. If it breaks at the fine tuner, the edges of the fine tuner, especially with Hill type fine tuners, could be too sharp in which case the protectors which Holly showed will assure a safer seating. That being said, the picture that you showed, as others have said, is not one of those and probably not the cause.
Lastly, as Irv wrote, there could be a manufactures fault in the string.
We would send you a new string, no questions asked if you bought it from us. Let us know if you did. Sorry that you had to go through that. It's never fun to have to worry about things like that.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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MattYC
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February 6, 2019 - 10:13 am
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.

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BobbyFlay
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February 6, 2019 - 10:17 am
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Thanks guys for the replies and help.

It is no fun to have a new string break on you especially when you don’t have another one laying around.

I think I am going to go with the other e string with a loop end with that nice titanium fine tuner and just keep the dominants for the others.

 

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Irv
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February 6, 2019 - 4:08 pm
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@BobbyFlay and others.  If you have already purchased ball ended e strings, you can likely use them with the titanium loop fine tuner.  Many of the ball ends are made of a brittle metal that easily crumbles when compressed with a set of pliers.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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