String breakage...

I've got several three stringers. 24" scale, tuned D3, A3, D4

I'm using Nickel wound strings for the D3 and A3 with a plain wound string for the D4.

String diameters are 0.026, 0.018 and 0.012 respectively.

Based on online sting tension calculators, My D3 is at 17 lbs, the A3 is 19 lbs and the D4 is 19 lbs.

All three guitars are running the Gitty hard tail bridge.

Here's the head scratcher: The A3 string on all three guitars snaps on a regular basis which seems odd considering the relatively low string tension I'm using.

One clue is that the strings always break about 1/2~5/8" from the ball end. That is right under the adjustable part of the hard tail. I've removed the adjustable bridge piece on two guitars and sanded/filed/smoothed the underside of the  piece where the string goes through (and breaks) no luck.

The strings always break while playing (not while tuning).

The D3 (0.026) and the D4 (0.012) strings have never broken (just get old and need replacing).

Has anyone else ran across this kind of problem with a would 0.018" string tuned A3?

Or a certain string on a hard tail type bridge?

I like the sound from the wound 0.018" string and I doubt a plain 0.018 would sound the same. And a tension of only 19 lbs shouldn't be putting any strain on the string.

What am I missing?


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  • Hi again, another test would be to get a broken string and tie a knot on the other end to replicate a ball end and install it. See if it breaks at that end also. That may or may not eliminate a sting problem.

    • Hi Taffy,

      I must admit that I had not considered installing the broken string in the manner you suggest. I'll give it a go with the next breakage. Let you know.


  • Hi, have you tried a different brand of string? Maybe a manufacturing fault, but that's a long shot.

    • Hi Taffy.

      I'm not sure if I've tried an alternate source for the 0.018. I'll look into it today.



  • "I'm really starting to think a 0.018" wound string had too small a core wire to last very long"

    That is very possible.  The .017" & .018" are not going to be as durable as the thicker wound strings that have the room for a larger core.

  • Maybe if you replace the adjustable piece with another? Is it a saddle, the piece you’re talking about? I get that all the time in my shop? One of the best things to use is a Dremel with an ultra fine cone bit for smoothing out saddles, way easier & smoother than sandpaper & files? Good luck on this :)

    • Excellent suggestions, BrianQ. Unfortunately, I've tried both. I removed the movable piece and dremeled the underside where the string passes before turning up to the V. I also smoothed the rough edges around the slot. That didn't do much, so I pulled the same piece from another hard tail and tried it. Still have the problem. Also, if there was a defect in the movable piece, it would be odd to have three hard tails with the same problem. I'm really starting to think a 0.018" wound string had too small a core wire ot last very long.

      Need to find the calipers and measure the core wire.

      Thanks again.

  • Thanks for the reply.

    The intonation screw is at about the midpoint of its movement and the string runs through the hole in the hard tail bottom plate, then under the adjustable bridge piece and then through the slot in the bridge piece to exit the "V" in the adjustable piece. Pretty much exactly as shown in the instructions. I don't think it's hitting the screw, but it is of course touching the underside of the adjustable piece before going up through the slot. That a

    appears to be where the break occurs every time. I'm wondering if the sting is slapping against the underside of the piece when playing, but that's pretty normal for all the strings.

    The odd thing is that this 0.018" wound string is the only one that ever breaks on the three different guitars. That makes me wonder if if the string, not the bridge, is the core problem. I'll grab some calipers and measure the core wire on the wound 0.018" string. Let you know.


  • Is your string touching the saddle's intonation adjustment screw? If so, cut the screw or get a shorter one.

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