1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

String cut

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by willie45, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. willie45

    willie45 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    77
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    South England UK
    Hi all

    I’ve been wondering if it’s true that cutting all the strings off a guitar really does shock the neck?

    I had always believed this to be true until I watched a luthier remove strings. Admittedly he didn’t immediately cut them fully tensioned but he used a string winder to loosen them all and it must have taken him all of 15 seconds to do them all. I figured this would not be much different from cutting them and concluded the neck shock theory was false.

    I have an Ernie Ball string winder and I always zip through the strings loosening them right off very quickly then I cut them. I came across this very debate on YouTube today and so I decided to ask on here where your views were.

    Have I been wrong all this time?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
    Boreas likes this.
  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    7,043
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I’ve never run into problems snipping all the strings or taking them all off in rapid succession
     
    teleplayr likes this.
  3. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,044
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    I take the 15 or 20 seconds ya need to back of the tension with a string winder before I snip off the curled up ends at the tuning posts.

    I just don't like the cut strings whipping around :).

    Then I do my duty and coil up the old strings and put them in the recycle bin in hope that they'll actually get recycled ;).
    .
     
    GreatDaneRock and LutherBurger like this.
  4. willie45

    willie45 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    77
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    South England UK
    Yeah that’s my routine too. I feel it’s less than ideal if you cut them fully tensioned. I don’t see how it can harm the guitar neck though.
    Our council is really weird about what you can recycle.

    Honestly, I chuck things in for recycling and I’m not sure if I should or not. I try and do my bit but the rules are difficult to interpret

    Meant to say this luthier really blitzed along wi the the drilll winder it was like changing wheels at the Grand Prix. They were all out in less than 15 secs
     
    old wrench likes this.
  5. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,116
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    I doubt it's a problem. All the techs I know, including traveling techs with big names, cut them all at once with dykes on electric and acoustic.

    That said... I take 'em off one at a time. I just can't see disturbing the instrument that way. Seems inconsiderate.
     
  6. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,201
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Yes, removing all the strings at once will damage your guitar, and BTW, the earth is really flat, and is covered by a giant glass dome. I saw it on the internet, and on YouTube, so it must be true
     
    Jowes_84 and El Marin like this.
  7. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    2,551
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    I wouldn't do it on a pre-war Martin without relieving tension first.

    Sure, techs do it all the time, but they are YOUR guitars, not theirs. But I don't really see a big issue with most electrics. I don't feel safe cutting them without releasing some tension.

    Depending on where you cut them, I suppose it could damage the nut - especially if the strings are set hard or binding in the nut.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  8. johnny7

    johnny7 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    274
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
    I always back them off. I also do not like strings flopping around as I am afraid I will lose an eye.
     
    MrCairo46 likes this.
  9. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,279
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2020
    Location:
    USA
    If cutting the strings would damage the neck due to sudden tension loss, there would be no vibrato systems. Think of all the necks EVH would have destroyed!
     
  10. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    17,803
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Western Connecticut
    The neck will MOVE with changes in tension, either over short or longer time frames. But 'shock'? Nah. What does that even mean?
     
  11. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,090
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    All this sort of folklore spread like wildfire through the Internet.

    Prior to 1990, nobody cared about matching power tubes and installing their Strat springs in an A shape. Most guitar players just...played.
     
    Ricky D., beagle and RobRiggs like this.
  12. craigs63

    craigs63 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    739
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Location:
    Naperville, IL
    What happens when someone uses a whammy bar, and the strings go slack?
     
  13. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,116
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    An Angel gets his/her wings?
     
    craigs63 and Lefty Addams like this.
  14. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,060
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK Europe.
    For 50 years I've always changed one at a time, alternating treble and bass. It takes no longer and gives an easy reference point for tuning the new string. I totally accept it's probably a pointless ritual, but it's my guitar and my time, and I don't care!

    Best wishes everyone.
     
    Telecentric likes this.
  15. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,201
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Who in his right mind would cut the strings without loosening them first? That's a great way to lose an eye!
     
  16. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,124
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain, EU
    No issue at all

    So, what happens with "new" neck replacements? no tension ever, no problem ever. You put the new neck in a tele and it works. IF you want, you can replace it with another and? no problem. You can stock the old neck under the bed for 20 years, put it again and no problem neither.

    One of those internet myths
     
    DougM likes this.
  17. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    629
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    California
    edit Cut under tension Bad for the tuners, may cause backlash and wear the tuner out, not so much on die cast tuners. According to a repair book I read.

    As for shock factor, you should be able to fine tune a setup during/after a string change anyway.
    The height adjustment screws and intonation screws move on cheap bridges, they need a fine tune every string change. Of course I’m a kinda a perfectionist though.

    Definitely loosen the string before cutting it, don’t just cut it n cross your fingers it doesn’t slap the cat.

    Removing one string at a time does help lessen the shock.
     
  18. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    629
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    California
    For what it’s worth it I don’t like having all the strings off at once so when I work on a guitar I do it quickly to lessen any shock so I can have them all on again tuned to pitch, and I do a lot of work in the playing position. So yes and no I guess.
    Edit one more tip when I level frets I do it quickly so the neck doesn’t ‘settle’ while I’m leveling it. So the neck can ‘settle’ with no strings on for what it’s worth.
     
  19. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    762
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Location:
    Central FL
    Never even knew it was an issue, but then again I don't cut my strings when they're in full tension, I back off the tension then cut in pairs.

    I change strings in my guitars at least once a month, the most played one twice a month. I buy strings in bulk so it's not too much of an issue or big expense. Never in my life have had a neck issue because of this, and I do my own professional setups.

    Oh, another myth is that you must change strings fast because somehow the neck will get all messed up if left without tension for some time. Pure buffoonery. I've had to replace nuts in all my guitars and when I glue them I clamp them over night, the next morning I string the guitar and I don't even have to touch that neck, it's back to where it was. The internet has helped propagate a bunch of myths around this instrument.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  20. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,333
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Athens-GREECE
    No you were right.

    Place a capo on the 2nd fret and it will never happen.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.