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T. Gunn

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PostSubject: String stretching.   Sun May 02, 2010 6:03 pm

I was chatting with (TB's) headless llama on facebook and we were talking about trems and he was asking me about them but I couldn't answer about string stretching.

Any info? Thanks.
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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Re: String stretching.   Sun May 02, 2010 8:01 pm

What exactly do you mean by "string stretching", T? Can you elaborate?

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T. Gunn

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PostSubject: Re: String stretching.   Mon May 03, 2010 5:41 am

When they stretch they go outta tune. Locking trem just keeps the tuners outta the equation on the strings going out of tune. He said he wants one but he has had a guitar for 15 years with a kahler (or floyd rose, I can't remember) and the strings stretch and go out of tune. I had never heard any complaints about that here so I told him I'd ask.

He also wanted to know about it saying in tune on a 6er, especially on the lower strings. Hows the stability on that?


Thanks.
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amimbari

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PostSubject: Re: String stretching.   Mon May 03, 2010 6:47 am

I really thought you would mean string stretching "LIKE" a guitarist when they really stretch/pull/bend/play with the Kahler/Floyd on the brand new strings before tuning up.... on a bass I have NEVER done that, just tune up, beat on them a little bit, and no tuning issues....

we played an outdoor show yesterday under tents but in the rain. I had no issues with moisture, sunlight, heat, nothing..the bass performed perfectly as it should. ( and yep there was water all over the guitar by the time I was done ) Brought it home, dried it off and used my air compressor to blow air in all the cracks, let it sit on the stand overnight, and before I came to work I played it for a couple minutes......still in tune, but my tone pot is now crackling like a girl chicken right before it lays an egg and will probably get replaced this week Smile

but it is still in tune rabbit
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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Re: String stretching.   Mon May 03, 2010 8:45 am

Ah, I see what you are asking, T. Wink Here's the deal from what I've experienced. I realize that many players have had better luck with pulling upwards, so this is just my two-cents here, and if anyone has anything to add or question, feel free.

One of most persistant pieces of advice I give is that you shouldn't ever pull up too hard on a Kahler bass trem because you can stretch the strings flat. This has nothing to do with any fault of the Kahler design, but simple physics. Bear in mind that since we do not have the luxury of top locks, any time you pull on the bar, you are:

1. Stretching the strings.
2. Pulling on the windings on the tuning keys.
3. Relying on the string tension to bring your bass back to pitch, which strings aren't made to do.

These factors can result in going flat. This is why my Kahler is set to only go up maybe a half-step or so, and I rarely pull upwards anyways.

Dropping is another matter entirely. Provided that you don't have any binding issues, and if the trem is set up properly, the tension of the tremolo springs should bring the strings back to pitch.

Keep in mind that strings are lengths of flexible metal, and even if your guitar/bass is completely stock with no tremolo at all, the strings will eventually go out of tune. Now, a locking trem will usually prevent this from happening too soon, but even the best of locking systems can't protect your tuning from a really extreme pulling. I've seen it happen numerous times where a guitarist will go for a major upward pull, only to discover that the guitar is out of tune afterwards. Slight pulling is usually OK.

As Mike/Amimbari said, it is best to take the time to stretch and pull a new set of strings for a while to set them before actually playing on them. I usually take each string, and do some extreme bends with them for maybe 10 minutes each to get them to stop stretching.

As to whether or not a Floyd vs a Kahler guitar trem, that I cannot answer. But I do know that whenever I grab a regular guitar for a bit, I prefer a Floyd over a Kahler since the Kahler guitar trems always feel too loose to me.

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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: String stretching.   Mon May 03, 2010 5:04 pm

They stretch a bit, sure...not as much as they can on a guitar. If you stretch out the strings when you put them on before you start playing, you greatly minimize the amount of time it takes for the strings to settle in, but it's the same story on a hardtail.

And I can't pull up very high on a Kahler. Maybe a step? But it can be tough work and I have trouble getting as good of an effect that way as simply doing a roll bend with your fretting hand. I can bend them just as high or higher than the trem can and I have better control without having to take my right hand away from the strings.
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PostSubject: Re: String stretching.   Mon May 03, 2010 7:57 pm

when i put a new set of strings on a bass, i get em on, get em in tune ... and pull up / wiggle on each string to detune it. so yes ... bass strings stretch out. if i dont stretch them like this, i have tuning issues for the first few songs i play ... tune em sharp, tune em sharp, tune em sharp, i'm good. dont want to deal? i just stretch em when i put em on.

also ... if a string seems a bit sharp, i'll pull up to see if i can get it in, instead of messing with the peg. new strings work well ... old strings just spring right back out of tune.
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: String stretching.   Tue May 04, 2010 4:30 pm

New strings stay in tune MUCH better than old strings on a trem, especially brand new SITs.
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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: String stretching.   Thu May 06, 2010 6:03 am

I have never had issues of strings going flat from pulling strings up with a kahler, which I do all the time.
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