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loop end, ball end strings...

McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 08 - 04:19 PM
John MacKenzie 16 Nov 08 - 04:46 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 Nov 08 - 04:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 08 - 05:27 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 Nov 08 - 05:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Nov 08 - 05:52 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 Nov 08 - 06:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Nov 08 - 06:09 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 Nov 08 - 06:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 08 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 16 Nov 08 - 06:42 PM
Dave Hanson 17 Nov 08 - 03:07 AM
ThreeSheds 17 Nov 08 - 03:35 AM
mandotim 17 Nov 08 - 03:35 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Nov 08 - 04:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 08 - 08:24 AM
theleveller 17 Nov 08 - 09:59 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Nov 08 - 10:36 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Nov 08 - 10:37 AM
nickp 17 Nov 08 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Jim 17 Nov 08 - 12:30 PM
Zen 17 Nov 08 - 12:38 PM
alex s 17 Nov 08 - 12:49 PM
Sugwash 17 Nov 08 - 01:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 08 - 03:00 PM
Mooh 18 Nov 08 - 11:49 AM
Cluin 18 Nov 08 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Jim 18 Nov 08 - 02:56 PM
Cluin 18 Nov 08 - 03:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 08 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Black Hawk on Works PC 25 Nov 08 - 03:25 AM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Nov 08 - 05:50 AM
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Subject: loop end, ball end strings...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 04:19 PM

Finding places where you can get hold of loop-end steel strings is quite tricky. Yes, you can always order online, and there are shops in other places, but when I've needed the odd loop-end string in a hurry it's been a problem.

Ball-end strings of course are easy to get hold of, and anyway I always seem to have a few lying around somewhere. But almost invariably when I've tried removing the ball end , or cutting it off short and creating a loop by twisting, it hasn't worked.

So has anyone out there worked out a reasonably foolproof method for turning a ball-end string into a loop-end?


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 04:46 PM

Cut the ball off, and make a lasso of the string, rather than try to unwind it Kevin?


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 04:53 PM

Kevin, why exactly do you want a loop-end steel string ?


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 05:27 PM

Why loops? Some instruments are built to use loop-ends rather than ball-ends, for example the bouzouki hanging on my wall.

...make a lasso of the string, rather than try to unwind it... I've tried that, but I've never managed to make a success of it. I came across this String Winders for Portuguese guitarras. I've never come across anything like that in any music shop. But it looks like a handy kind of gadget.   

Here is a YouTube of someone removing the ball and keeping the loop intact - so it can be done. But I've never managed to do it successfully. Fiddly work, but maybe with a bit of perseverance and practice...


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 05:41 PM

I have to confess I am not familiar with the stringing procedures for bouzoukis, but why is it necessary to remove the brass ballend in the first place ?

Could you not just thread the string through the brass ball end, and create a loop that way ?

Presumably not , or that is what you would be doing already ...


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 05:52 PM

It depends on the tailpiece; some can accomodate the greater thickness of a loop made with the ball still present, many can't.

I've removed a great many ball ends from strings in my time, chiefly by crushing them with a small adjustable wrench. Occasionally the wire loop snaps and a repair is needed, but if you're careful that doesn't happen often.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:03 PM

I get the picture now, I see it, it's like you have an ebony (or metal) tailpiece with holes just the size of the string, or fractionally larger.

If I were doing this, I would use a pair of pincers ground flush (similar to what you use for fret removal), cut through the brass ball end on one side, and then it would self-release on the other side of the loop.

100% success rate every time imo.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:09 PM

Typically you have something like a mandolin tailpiece, with metal tabs to hold the loops. No holes involved.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:32 PM

Now I get it, thanks Malcolm.

This is the concept, am I right?

I can't help thinking it would be a damn sight simpler just to make tailpieces which would accommodate a brass ballend ?


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:39 PM

Or you have hammer dulcimers or autoharps with a sticky up nail to held the loop.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 06:42 PM

sometimes also need to adapt any available guitar strings
for quick replacement on autoharps requiring loop-ends


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:07 AM

99.9% of mandolin and banjo tailpieces are made for loop end strings, nothing unusual.

I would have thought any decent music shop would sell individual loop ends, they all do where I live, Hobgoblin, The Music Room and Eagle Music in particular have a great selection.

eric


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: ThreeSheds
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:35 AM

Not everything has a pin bridge


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: mandotim
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:35 AM

Malcolm at Newtone stings will make any string you like in either loop or ball end. He'll do sets or single strings too. link here

Great strings too.
Tim


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:56 AM

I've never understood changing one string. I would only ever change the full set - one bright string amongst five, seven or nine duller ones sounds shite (IMHO!). That's my personal rule - why spend big bucks on a good instrument and then have it sound like an old wardrobe because you're too tight-arsed to buy strings?

Having said that, even though I use several tunings on one instrument, I never break strings because I change them regularly. The last one I broke was about five years ago - an Elixir 3rd, of course - broke during re-tuning! (I told you it's a rarity - so rare that I can even remember the string and the brand!) :-)

Rant over - please feel free to beat me. :-)


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 08:24 AM

I've never understood changing one string. Ever played a hammer dulcimer?


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: theleveller
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 09:59 AM

I must admit, I have the opposite problem with the cittern - getting ball-end strings. I buy them directly from Fylde but they are expensive so I don't tend to keep a spare set. Fortunately, I've never broken a string ......yet!


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 10:36 AM

Got me there McG! I surrender! LOL!
Bu-u-u-u-u-u-t-t-t, you didn't say you were asking with specific regard to hammered dulcimer strings - I therefore claim immunity from a beating on the grounds that it was reasonable to assume you were talking about the usual crop - guitar, madolin, cittern, bouzouki, banjo etc.! :-)


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 10:37 AM

Or even Mandolin.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: nickp
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 11:26 AM

If I can only get ball end strings I 'nibble' the ball with side cutters until it comes away. That does rely on the ball being the double ring with centre hole (for want of a better description ) rather than a solid ball.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:30 PM

I have run into this problem quite often since it's so hard to buy bouzouki strings in a small town. I buy individual strings of the proper guage which are only available in ball ends.
I take a pair of vice-grips and set them a little smaller than the diameter of the ball, then squeeze the ball, making sure not to squeeze the string loop. I usually have to squeeze it into an oval, then squeeze the oval from the long ends. This will cause the ball to crumble into little pieces and leave you with a loop end string. I've never had any trouble doing this and have never broken the loop on a string.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Zen
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:38 PM

I usually nip my balls as well with a strong pair of wire cutters until they crumble and fall out. Always works a treat.

Zen


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: alex s
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:49 PM

Sorry Zen, I just can't resist it......................That sounds so painful!


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Sugwash
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 01:53 PM

I've managed to repair loop-ended mandolin strings (both A strings broke at the loop as I brought them up to tension) using locking forceps to hold the string and a small screwdriver to wind them. Essentially the same as the Portuguese guitar string winder.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:00 PM

I've tried doing thta uisg a vice, and the result hasn't been too satisfactory. Locking forceps sounds like they might work better.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 11:49 AM

Somebody, maybe Stew-Mac or Frank Ford (frets.com) makes an unwinding gizmo for changing ball ends to loop ends. Based on their model, I made a handheld tool like a dental pick that helps to untwist slightly while padded pliers holds the string. The ball comes off on the tool. Rarely use it as my zouk takes ball ends in a pin bridge, and the mandolins and banjos standard loop ends.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 12:29 PM

My mando takes ball-end (or barrel-end as I call `em) strings. That lets me recycle old guitar strings when the guage is comparable into replacements for single string breaks. I usually break a D string on the mando during a rough gig. An .024 (light G string from a guitar) works great as a replacement, since the fret worn part of the old guitar string is discarded when wound on to the mando.

Only trouble is, the guitar string is already stretched so it makes for a very high tension when reused on the mando, as compared to a new mando D string. But economics trumps finger-ease, come mid-gig time.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 02:56 PM

Cluin,
   I used to say, as stage patter when our guitar player broke a string,"Now that string lasted him six months and he still won't throw it away. He's got a ukulele at home and he'll put it on that."
Of course I was just kidding, but if you were in that band...


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:15 PM

I tried using old guitar strings as snares when I was a kid, but they are too stiff and springy.

I'm a born recycler, i.e. cheap.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:36 PM

Thanks Mooh - I had a look at frets.com and found this. The "an unwinding gizmo " is the Portuguese one I mentioned earlier and gave a link to. I wish I could get hold of one.

But the accompanying do-it-yourself guide for getting by without that is handy enough.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on Works PC
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 03:25 AM

The tool company Draper (UK) sell a wire-twisting pliers (sorry, dont know the correct name) which is ideal for forming loop ends.
Pliers lock closed & an archimedes screw arrangement twists the wire.
They should show in a Draper catalogue.


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Subject: RE: loop end, ball end strings...
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 05:50 AM

"I've never understood changing one string. Ever played a hammer dulcimer?"

Hmm I have a triple strung HD - cost of full set of strings can be more than some other instruments.... :-) PS I picked up a secondhand Lark violin (with case & bow!) and replaced the damaged tail piece gut for a total of $20...


Craft shops are now selling special types of pliers designed for twisting silver and gold jewelery wire - they have one flat jaw & one jaw that is like a circular tapered pin (can twist a wire around it without damaging it). You can also get the double tapered pin jaws too, but I haven't seen them in the craft shops, but they are a standard 'engineering' tool.


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