The strings were garbage on mine, and I had the ball end break off on the high E as well. The way they were installed was berzerk, one string had just one wind on it??? My advice is new strings, after you polish the frets and oil the fingerboard. I used auto polishing compound on the frets using a cloth. It shined them up without damaging the fretboard. Once I did that I cleaned up any residue and oiled the fingerboard. Mine is looking more like rosewood now than laurel wood.