Help! American Pro Tele Snapping Strings

Boreas

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Small, almost microscopic burrs on saddles are a major cause of string breakage at that point. Abrasive cord is available in several thicknesses and can be used to smooth the groove in the saddle over which the string passes, and also the notches in nuts.
In reading the contributions in this thread, I'm puzzled as to why some players need to change string sets as often as every performance. That sounds ridiculous, as well as costly. I'm a lead player who bends frequently and doesn't play like a *****. It has been years since I broke any string on any of the guitars I play. I religiously use a device called The String Cleaner after every set. It is a hinged device, inserted opened, under the strings at the pickups, and snapped closed, sandwiching the strings, then slid along the strings from the bridge to the nut and back down again. The strings are sandwiched between 2 microfiber pads which line the device's surfaces and effectively clean all surfaces of the strings. I know how long-used strings sound as opposed to new strings. I have used the same set of strings for several months without breakage or loss of much resonance, practicing this cleaning method.

As noted above, the player's physiology enters into the equation. I rarely have to change my strings and they just don't corrode. But others will turn a set of strings black or green in no time. Corrosion is the primary premature killer of strings, not usage. Sharp edges will indeed do it, but they won't make strings go dead and they always break at the same location.
 

stueycaster

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Back when I was playing 3 or 4 gigs a month I could never play 4 gigs on a set. If I ever tried to do a 4th gig I would break the D string every time. I was a really heavy handed guitarist back then. Other times I would be playing a screaming B string bend and I would hit the string too hard and break it.

The reason I played hard was I was playing dynamics. When I was playing rhythm I would play softly but then I would need to make a fill stand out so I would just play harder. Also I have to use a .5 mm Dunlop pick.

I got the best results from Regular Slinkies. Some other brands couldn't take it. So if you can get 7 gigs out of a set I'm amazed.
 

jrblue

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Special "string saving" saddles should never be necessary on a well set-up guitar, as a trillion pros playing heavily on conventional Tele saddles will show. Way better to get the best sounding saddle material for you, and get your guitar set up right. Virtually no one breaks strings as you are doing, regardless of their playing style, unless there's a mechanical fault with their instrument. I can think of 3 top possibilities:
1. resting your hand heavily on the strings and pressing them down onto what (in your present bridge) appears to be very sharp/abrupt-ended saddles. You could be creating a little ding or even just a micro-crimp at that point, and string pull will turn that into a snap
2. bad (for you, for this guitar) saddle design. Could just be that that particular saddle design, which does appear to have a pretty sharp break point, doesn't work well.
3. string/saddle combination. D'Addarios are great strings, but there are stories about their build interacting poorly with some hardware, though I believe that's generally at the lock-windings string end, and your problem is "north" of that.

I'd begin by either re-doing the saddle notches perfectly by hand myself and seeing if that does it, or just going for new saddles to see if that works. If it doesn't, then checking your own hand action and looking for other faults is about it. Breaking strings is not only annoyring and disruptive, it's also a sign of something wrong. It's hard to break a guitar string of the whole string path is in good shape.
 

Tjeppen

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Knock on wood - daddy, why did you just hit yourself in the groin ? I'm looking at Teles, son - but since I learned to set up my guitars correctly, I haven't broken a string on stage in at least ten years. Checking for abrasive bits on the bridge and string holes and adding a little lube, plus playing a maximum of 3 gigs with a set of strings really did the trick. I play Ernie Ball's and I pay attention to buy my strings from places you can trust and no Ebay of Aliexpress or similar ****e.
 

stepvan

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I relatively recently (last couple of years) started playing an American Professional (2018) telecaster as my main guitar, strung with 11's (either NYXL or Elixirs, usually).

Since then, I've snapped the D string (which is obviously quite unusual, although my band have a lot of songs that are quite heavy on the D string) several times. A couple of times on stage. I had a tech set it up and take a look and didn't snap any for a while.

A couple of weeks ago, I snapped both the D and B string in the same song. I restrung and played 6 or 7 more shows. Then last night, I snapped both again in the same song (the D going first, and then the B shortly after).

The strings are snapping at the bridge, I can't see any obvious sharp edges...

I always use a bit of Big Bends Nut Sauce on the saddles.

I do play pretty hard, but not crazy...


Any advice?



OT: I've found that I don't really like the stock telecaster saddles. It's the 3 compensated saddle design where there is no defined location for the string to go through when new so you risk having them misaligned, or having multiple grooves, which leads to more sharp edges...

I looked into getting 6 individual saddles a while ago, but at the time there weren't saddles/bridges compatible with the spacing of the American Pro mounting holes (or something like that).

I know Gotoh do some with a more defined groove for the string to sit in, so maybe I need to look there (if there are some that fit the American Pro bridge).

Saddles probably a little sharp and with the break angle going over from where they come through the back I would bet that to.be the issue where does the break occur anyway?
 

Nogbad

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Ive just looked on my Pro 2. The bridge saddles do have a bit of a sharp edge where their recessed,Also one string slides down the contour slope to rest beside the adjustment screw. I've only ad it a few months and im top loading. I'll keep an eye on that.

249457483_312851363982770_7003392600636614412_n.jpg
 

Chicago Matt

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Lots of great advice here. Personally, I never go more than one or two gigs without changing strings.

FWIW, I like compensated brass and a three barrel bridge on Teles. These particular saddles have been a godsend for me. I never get a burr, which effects tone and string longevity in a negative way. And the strings stay put. Compensation is very good too. They are made in Nashville and recently became available at Philadelphia Luthier.

No affiliation, just thrilled with these saddles.

KGC_saddles.JPG


Ashtray.jpg
 

Terrytown

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The Industrial power transmission distributors sell a graphite string product much like dental floss. It works excellent to smooth out the wear points where the strings contact the saddles or other sharp wear points. I still break strings on occasion but no longer pack two guitars to gigs.
 

backalleyblues

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I’ve had that issue as well, breaking D strings was a way of life for me. If you can’t find abrasive cord, grab your wife/girlfriends nail file, especially if it’s a really fine grit Emory board-I’ve has very good luck with those over the years, and even better they’re cheap and easy to find.

I tried the NYXL when they came out, first set lasted forever (10 gigs, and I do play hard, but clean hands) 2nd set died after 2 gigs-back to XL110s I went...

Franc Robert
 

johncar

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It is always sad to hear about regular string breakages but regardless of a persons playing style or unique corrosiveness As many have noted: These things should help or eliminate the problem.
Without being critical of anyone whatsoever, what works for me is: Clean hands, smooth/round/polish off every string bearing edge, not forgetting the holes through the bridge plate itself, the tuner holes, clean and lightly lube the strings and bearing surfaces before and after playing. Keep a simple lube kit close by, mine is just a simple piece of lint free cloth soaked in light oil like INOX or WD40 kept in a small plastic container with a lid. It only takes seconds to do.
Your guitar is part machine after all, it's just good attention to setting up, care and maintenance. Even expensive guitars out of the box can have nasty bearing edges that will cut your strings especially if they are dry and subject to sweat.
I regularly (daily) play/practice for hours at times mainly blues and rock fairly hard hitting, big string bends, vibrato a plenty, using a 3mm rigid pick, I used to break 1mm picks. I use Elixir nanoweb 10 - 46 mostly and I can't remember that last time a string broke. Just standard saddles on any of my six Teles or other guitars. It's not unusual to go years before I replace strings actually and I only do that because they develop fret notches along the underside and when I can feel these grooves are getting a bit deep I replace them. I never notice any significant tone loss though.
I hardly see any fret wear either which I assume is due to my cleaning and lube regime.
It's fair to say that I don't hammer just the one guitar for months on end, but tend to cycle through my favorite half dozen or so.
Hope you get it sorted
 

Chrisholmes90

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I'm fairly careful with keeping strings and hands clean (definitely more than a lot of people!). I did play two shows this week with uncoated strings though, and they're already sounding a bit dead...


I've read that the American Pro bridge has a weird break angle. I didn't really understand break angle before I got this guitar, however I often found it hard to get the guitar to feel how I wanted it to, and I gather that was to do with the break angle (which is very steep).

Unfortunately, the bridge is also quite non-standard, with fairly abnormal string spacing for a three-saddle guitar (2 1/16" spacing), and the bridge itself is non standard in that it has 4 mounting holes not 3 - so finding replacement parts is a nightmare (thread for anyone interested: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/american-professional-bridge.691326/).





I also did a boring cost analysis on uncoated/coated strings (both D'addario) and it came out as around £2 per show to replace uncoated every 2 shows, or £2.33 per show to replace coated every 4 shows (based on when they start to sound/feel dead). So I'll probably stick with coated and just change more often than I was.
 

Boreas

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It is always sad to hear about regular string breakages but regardless of a persons playing style or unique corrosiveness As many have noted: These things should help or eliminate the problem.
Without being critical of anyone whatsoever, what works for me is: Clean hands, smooth/round/polish off every string bearing edge, not forgetting the holes through the bridge plate itself, the tuner holes, clean and lightly lube the strings and bearing surfaces before and after playing. Keep a simple lube kit close by, mine is just a simple piece of lint free cloth soaked in light oil like INOX or WD40 kept in a small plastic container with a lid. It only takes seconds to do.
Your guitar is part machine after all, it's just good attention to setting up, care and maintenance. Even expensive guitars out of the box can have nasty bearing edges that will cut your strings especially if they are dry and subject to sweat.
I regularly (daily) play/practice for hours at times mainly blues and rock fairly hard hitting, big string bends, vibrato a plenty, using a 3mm rigid pick, I used to break 1mm picks. I use Elixir nanoweb 10 - 46 mostly and I can't remember that last time a string broke. Just standard saddles on any of my six Teles or other guitars. It's not unusual to go years before I replace strings actually and I only do that because they develop fret notches along the underside and when I can feel these grooves are getting a bit deep I replace them. I never notice any significant tone loss though.
I hardly see any fret wear either which I assume is due to my cleaning and lube regime.
It's fair to say that I don't hammer just the one guitar for months on end, but tend to cycle through my favorite half dozen or so.
Hope you get it sorted

Welcome aboard!!

We need some guitar pix to finalize your membership!:)
 

Boreas

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I'm fairly careful with keeping strings and hands clean (definitely more than a lot of people!). I did play two shows this week with uncoated strings though, and they're already sounding a bit dead...


I've read that the American Pro bridge has a weird break angle. I didn't really understand break angle before I got this guitar, however I often found it hard to get the guitar to feel how I wanted it to, and I gather that was to do with the break angle (which is very steep).

Unfortunately, the bridge is also quite non-standard, with fairly abnormal string spacing for a three-saddle guitar (2 1/16" spacing), and the bridge itself is non standard in that it has 4 mounting holes not 3 - so finding replacement parts is a nightmare (thread for anyone interested: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/american-professional-bridge.691326/).





I also did a boring cost analysis on uncoated/coated strings (both D'addario) and it came out as around £2 per show to replace uncoated every 2 shows, or £2.33 per show to replace coated every 4 shows (based on when they start to sound/feel dead). So I'll probably stick with coated and just change more often than I was.


What is the cost of a broken string during a performance?

It sounds to me like you are considering a bridge change. You may want to fit a 6-saddle bridge or try a few on others' guitars to see if you may prefer that design. Many like the barrel bridges, many do not. I think they are a little easier on strings, but have no data to back it up. I still feel the source of your woes is acidic sweat.
 

Chrisholmes90

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What is the cost of a broken string during a performance?

It sounds to me like you are considering a bridge change. You may want to fit a 6-saddle bridge or try a few on others' guitars to see if you may prefer that design. Many like the barrel bridges, many do not. I think they are a little easier on strings, but have no data to back it up. I still feel the source of your woes is acidic sweat.

When I bought the guitar I had planned to change to a six-saddle bridge, but there were no aftermarket bridges that fit… that was a couple of years ago so maybe I’ll have another look…
 

Doughboy55

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Came here, finally (to this site) when I saw this post. I’ve had the same exact issue with same type of breakage at the saddle breakpoint on the D string, on two different guitars. Glad to participate. On my AV ‘52 tele, with the comp Gotoh saddles, was happening with some regularity. I switched out for another set of saddles, same thing. On the second guitar, same happened. This was after a couple of gigs, and I do play fairly heavy-handed, and use a 3 mm pick. I attribute the breakage to me, not the guitar.
F0482FE8-483A-4C81-9BBD-7366685DEC83.jpeg
 

Doughboy55

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IMVHO if it's happening a lot in different places it's you, if it's happening at the same spot it's most likely guitar (or setup) related...
I thought the same thing until it happened on the second guitar with different brand of strings, saddles, setup, etc
 




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