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Strings keep breaking

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  • #74593
    harp guy
    Participant

    I am completely stumped. The “E” strings on my L&H Prelude 38 keep breaking. The same two keep breaking (E2 and E3). E3 is pedal gut, and E2 is pedal nylon. E2 is breaking the most. It broke twice today already.

    I don’t get it. Is it the weather? It did start raining today and we’re supposed to have a thunderstorm- actually- there’s thunder right now. They are ALL breaking at the knot. Might I be tying the knot incorrectly? I’ve always used this method: http://www.vanderbiltmusic.com/tying.php

    There aren’t ANY rough edges, and I’ve NEVER had this problem with my Prelude before. It is usually pretty good about broken strings, but suddenly it seems like my harp is trying to upstage the little elves from the rice krispies commercial: Pop! Snap!

    The only other thing I can think of would be the strings themselves. The replacements are about a year old.

    Any advice or comments from similar experiences would be greatly appreciated. I just don’t get it. I’ve never had this much trouble.

    #74594
    barbara-low
    Participant

    I hate breaking strings. Here’s my troubleshooting checklist:

    When the strings break at the knot, does one piece still contain the anchor, so it actually breaks ‘above’ the knot? This is at the soundboard? And you used abrasive cord to lightly abrade any rough spots away that could be cutting the string?

    I don’t think it’s the age of the string.

    #74595
    harp guy
    Participant

    Tried that. It’s not sharp at all. Completely smooth.

    When it breaks at the soundboard/knot, sometimes it is above the knot and the knot (with anchor) go flying out the back or bottom of the harp. Sometimes when it breaks, the knot itself comes undone in the breaking (so I can’t really tell exactly where it broke). But all the same, the string is in two pieces. So far the replacement of E2 that I put in the other day (the 2nd one for that day) has held. ::crosses fingers::

    I’m thinking it is probably the weather. Weather here in Kentucky is really crazy in the springtime. One day it is dry, the next it is humid and raining. Things went from cold to moderately warm very quickly, and it is getting a lot more humid. I’ll ask a few other harpists in my area if they are having similar troubles.

    #74596
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    It sounds like it might be the strings themselves. Try ordering two new strings and use them and see what happens.

    Are the eyelets in the soundboard metal? If so, are they cracked at all?

    #74597
    harp guy
    Participant

    The eyelets are plastic, and they aren’t damaged at all. I’m thinking its probably a combination of the weather and the age of the strings. The replacements are about a year old, and the set on the harp in general is about a year and a half old (since I don’t do a lot of playing publicly I don’t see a need to replace them until they get to be about 2 years old).

    Another thing that is odd (which I am thinking might be a weather factor) is that the worn places on the strings (from lever usage) are moving. They’re getting closer to the bridge pins.

    I’m probably going to replace the whole set in the next month or two anyhow. It’s just odd because I’ve never had my other harps act like this.

    #74598
    barbara-low
    Participant

    How frustrating. Well, if they’re holding right now, that’s a good sign. Good luck.

    #74599

    If they are slowly and continually stretching, then they are defective strings. That happens sometime. When I have gotten bad nylon strings, they just keep stretching and stretching. By the way, it’s a stationary nut, not a bridge pin.

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