Number of winds on tuning post, and effect on string vibration/angle over nut

noisepolluternoisepolluter Frets: 199
edited October 2014 in Acoustics
I've just changed my strings (keeping the same brand and gauge at the moment) - up until now I've had at least two full winds before threading the string through and tightening, although with the thicker strings especially this led to quite a big bundle of winds on the posts by the time the strings were up to tension.

I also noticed the top E was doing a weird and annoying sitar-type thing when played open, but only when tuned to E. When tuned to D, it didn't happen. 

It turned out that the number of winds was increasing the break angle over the nut, and actually reducing the downward pressure at the fretboard end of the slot, making it buzz against the bottom of the slot.  At least, that's what I figure given that it didn't buzz when tuned to D; if the break angle was too shallow or the slot was worn/chipped, dropping the tuning would surely have made the buzz worse. 

With fewer winds, this doesn't happen even when tuned up to E. 

I've also got fewer winds on all the other strings, so smaller bundles of winds and shallower break angles over the nut. I couldn't swear to it, due to the obvious effect of new strings, but I do think they're actually ringing out better now.
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Comments

  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 19751
    edited October 2014
    Things like this tend to be more noticeable with new strings which are fizzing with harmonics.

    As a guide, I would suggest on unwound strings no more than three times round the posts, two and a half on the G and D and two on the A and bottom E. Some posts (the Klusons on my '335 for example) don't have enough distance between the string hole and the bush in the face of the headstock to allow for two full turns on the low E - hence I go for about one and a half.

    It might be worth checking the nut slots are clean and clear of burrs.
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  • For your suggestion, do you mean no more than three winds round when fully up to tension, or three winds round before threading the string through the hole and then tuning up?  

    On mine right now, fully wound and up to tension, none of the new strings have more than two full winds round the post. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 36877
    You should put the string through *before* winding on, not afterwards. The best is to back-wrap it by half a turn and then bring it up under the main part of the string, which will lock it tightly to the post and mean you can use the minimum number of wraps, which helps tuning stability. Ideally you should only have about one complete turn, especially on the thicker strings.

    If the break angle over the nut is too low and causes 'sitar' noises, it's more like to be the nut groove which is the problem - G strings on Fender-type headstocks are about the only exception.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

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