Fender USA string trees - why do they ping and can you cure it ?

charlie chitlin

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I use d'Addario EXL-110 strings. On my Tele with vintage tuners I don't cut the high E string -- I just stick it into the hole and wind the entire string onto the post to prevent slippage -- and it never gets anywhere near the bottom of the post. Is there a special technique to accomplish this, or does it require extra-long strings?
I can't tell you how to make your strings longer. The strings i use need about 2" cut off to wind to the bottom of the post with vintage tuners.
What I CAN tell you is, what people think is stretch when breaking in a new set of strings is negligible. It's the strings seating on the post, and the fewer windings you have, the faster your strings will "break in" and there will be no loss of tuning stability.
2 winds on a wound string and 3 on plain strings is plenty.
The only benefit to more windings is when trying to get more break angle at the nut.
 

LutherBurger

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I can't tell you how to make your strings longer. The strings i use need about 2" cut off to wind to the bottom of the post with vintage tuners.
I don't want to make my strings longer. I was just wondering whether you use an unusual winding technique or your strings are just extra long, and I'm still uncertain.
 

That Cal Webway

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If you move the string side to side slightly while it’s under the (initially aforementioned) tree; you’ll hear it scratch and ping.
It’s the actual design of the tree itself that’s the problem.
It’s a small and uneven (not smooth) bar with a gradual groove and hard edge which the string is catching on.
The design itself makes noise inevitable during any movement of the string under it.


You summed it up clearly. Ty!!

.
 

That Cal Webway

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IMO, string trees are for those who have not yet learned to eyeball how much string to use so it will wind right down to the bottom of the post.
I've not yet found a Fender where I can't bypass the tree(s) if the string is at/near the bottom of the post.

charlie,
gotta disagree, with this point:

Absolutely on 'eyeballing' the string post winds and you can go low or as high as you want. But the E & B strings have a gentler travel to the posts than if a string string tree is used.

- And it's not just how low the string tree height can be in affecting string 'feel' when playing in the lower position and possibly how the string overall resonates...

but also the 'fore and aft' positioning of a string tree can affect that.

: I had a mid-level Fender copy with the string tree for the E & B closer to the nut then traditional. And fairly low.
And that imparted a more 'tension' type of feel. (Yeah I'm using the physics 'tension' wrong here, but it sure does feel tighter like that!).

Look at the Fender Brent Mason model Telecaster. Man, the string tree on that is definitely closer to the nut and lower in height!!
I always wondered is this something Brent changed when he got that used primered Tele, etc.

** Haha, I think Im avoiding locking tuners w/o string trees! that supports your point quite a bit! :)

.
 
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charlie chitlin

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charlie,
gotta disagree, with this point:

Absolutely on 'eyeballing' the string post winds and you can go low or as high as you want. But the E & B strings have a gentler travel to the posts than if a string string tree is used.

- And it's not just how low the string tree height can be in affecting string 'feel' when playing in the lower position and possibly how the string overall resonates...

but also the 'fore and aft' positioning of a string tree can affect that.

: I had a mid-level Fender copy with the string tree for the E & B closer to the nut then traditional. And fairly low.
And that imparted a more 'tension' type of feel. (Yeah I'm using the physics 'tension' wrong here, but it sure does feel tighter like that!).

Look at the Fender Brent Mason model Telecaster. Man, the string tree on that is definitely closer to the nut and lower in height!!
I always wondered is this something Brent changed when he got that used primered Tele, etc.

** Haha, I think Im avoiding locking tuners w/o string trees! that supports your point quite a bit! :)

.
I've heard this.
I may be a bit of a hamfisted player, but it's easy to A/B the string tree/no string tree, and I can't feel the difference in real or perceived string tension.
Same with top-wrapping a Lester tailpiece.
Sometimes I wish I could feel/hear with that level of nuance; other times I'm glad I can't ;)
 

ruger9

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I have the MIA string trees on 2 guitars, and neither "ping". I love them.

I have the Graphtec ones on another, they work too.

The ones I hate are the bent metal "butterfly" ones (like vintage). They may look "vintage", but I don't care about vintage and they look cheap and ugly to me, while the MIAs look like a more elegant solution.
 

Sparky472

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If you move the string side to side slightly while it’s under the (initially aforementioned) tree; you’ll hear it scratch and ping.
It’s the actual design of the tree itself that’s the problem.
It’s a small and uneven (not smooth) bar with a gradual groove and hard edge which the string is catching on.
The design itself makes noise inevitable during any movement of the string under it.
Yep, this is absolutely right. I have the same issue and it’s very obvious where the pinging comes from. I keep meaning to change it out, along with the bent steel saddles.
 

LutherBurger

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If you move the string side to side slightly while it’s under the (initially aforementioned) tree; you’ll hear it scratch and ping.
It’s the actual design of the tree itself that’s the problem.
It’s a small and uneven (not smooth) bar with a gradual groove and hard edge which the string is catching on.
The design itself makes noise inevitable during any movement of the string under it.
I finally tried it last night and yep, you're absolutely correct. Any lateral movement at all causes pinging.
 

pippoman

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This thread is right on time. I leave my 2013 AmStd Tele on a stand in my living room and play it unplugged. I kept hearing a ping, but wasn’t really sure where it was coming from. It’s only on the first and second strings. If I bend either one on any fret between the 2nd and 9th or 10th, I hear a ping. The ping is the same note regardless of which string and which fret. Yep, the ping is exactly the same note on both strings. Weird huh? I took the string tree out of the equation and it still does it. I also deadened the strings in front of the bridge saddles. Looks like a job for my nut files or some nut sauce. I’ll report back once I’ve solved the mystery.
 

msalama

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Well ya know what? I usually have no tuning troubles, but do still, every now and then, hear a G string *PING* when I'm bending my D string. Those great vintage string trees... :D
 
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moonman2

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I finally tried it last night and yep, you're absolutely correct. Any lateral movement at all causes pinging.
The problem I’m finding is that you’ll inevitably move the string somewhat laterally (to some degree) whenever you push down in order to perform a “behind the nut bend” ... which inevitably results in the “scratchy and pingy” sound I’m referring to.

Ever since I replaced the USA standard tree with a USA Elite tree; there’s no longer any problem.
(Which obviously proves that the problem is the USA standard trees).
 




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