New to Strats, high E string keeps breaking

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by juxtapolice, Nov 7, 2020.

  1. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

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    Always at the bridge, always same spot. Tried a few different saddles, same thing. My big test is the "don't stop believing" bend. I can bend a full step but any attempt at a step n a half it'll break. I know that's a heavy bend but it doesn't seem like it should be happening. I can do bends like this on my tele and 335 (which has 11s) no problem. This guitar has tens. Tuned to Eb there's no problem. Is there a way to get the tension set on a strat tuned to E 440 and set up with 10s so I can bend the high E with some conviction? Or this a general issue with the setup? I'm stumped. B string bends fine. The guitar has a fairly flat board too so should be easier but I can always feel this extra tension when bending the high E. Thanks guys!
     
  2. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like a burr on the saddle, but you said you changed saddles.

    Have you tried swapping the entire bridge out? There may be an irregularity on the bridge itself that is driving that.

    Also, what model of Strat do you have? There may be a known issue with your particular model.

    I have a Fender American Performer, and I have no issue bending as much as I want.
     
  3. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Holic

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    Look at the bridge plate itself, is the string breaking at the ball?
     
  4. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Good place to look! Yes, is it breaking on the back side of saddle? Where the string exits the sustain block?
     
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  5. Henley

    Henley Tele-Holic

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    Grab the ball end and reinsert it...check the point of failure. With any luck it will be in the same place, that is where you need to work on any abrupt edges.
     
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  6. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

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    Thank you for the replies. It is breaking not at the saddle but like right before, like right where the angle breaks before it hits the saddle. The strat is a Revelator 60s style. Previous owner had it set up with a slightly heavier gauge and also a wound G so I don't think he was bending much
     
  7. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Holic

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    You might have to take that bridge completely apart to clean up both sides of that bridge plate hole, its a pretty big job, hope your up for it.
     
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  8. Henley

    Henley Tele-Holic

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    The string is not stretched so it is not reflecting the exact spot.

    How about some good close pictures without strings....you have a phone.
     
  9. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

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    Let me know if these are helpful, I can take more of anything specific - also I know the high E is a different brand of saddle, just happens to be the one on now, I've circulated a few trying to figure it out IMG_20201107_142728699.jpg IMG_20201107_142552247.jpg IMG_20201107_142620563.jpg
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I would file smooth with a small round file where the string hits the bridge saddle. It appears all your strings are on the sharp edge there.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
  11. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Afflicted

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    SRV'S tech used to put heat shrink tubing on the strings where it goes through the bridge plate to protect them from breaking there.
     
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  12. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

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    Interesting. First I've heard of this. Def will look into that after I source out any potential sharp edges
     
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  13. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Holic

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    Its rubbing on that bridge plate for sure, I'm still suspicious of that part.
     
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  14. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I feel like I need to go get a tetanus shot.

    Just sayin'.

    :(
     
  15. davemontalvo

    davemontalvo TDPRI Member

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    I remember someone telling me to rub a little vaseline on the string where it meets the bridge.
     
  16. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

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    Lol, it's an early 60s repro
     
  17. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yep!!
    Or any old pickup wire are you have a big enough in diameter wire:

    Cut a 1" or so piece off, pull the copper wire out and cut a small piece leading where the string leaves the saddle to inside the body,
    maybe an inch long or so.

    That keeps from binding and breaking.
    Works on my strat.

    .
     
  18. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed... then, get a wah wah and start playing some 70s music... turn down the lights...
     
  19. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you must bend that far with such a thin string, you need to smooth over the front edge of the "oval" string cutouts on the saddles, or wrap that area with something (e.g. a little tiny piece of duct tape). Remember that those saddles were designed in 1954, when rock-n-roll was only starting to be heard by the masses, and it sounded more like what we would call "R&B" these days, rather than "rock-n-roll." Those were the days when the stock 12s were considered "mediums," saddles were generally set a bit higher off the bridge plate (less string angle over the front edge of the "oval" hole), and bending wasn't commonly practiced, especially on the high E string, and/or more than a step. Even today, more than 1 step bends on the high E string are not all that commonly used in music.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
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  20. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

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    This is all good info, thank you. I am not constantly going for that kind of bend but I do like feeling like I have some headroom, especially if I am going for a Page over bend or Albert King kind of lick. Plus its making me approach the guitar with trepidation. But this is good to know that there are "Hacks" people use on strats. Being a tele player mostly this is all new to me
     
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