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"Unbendable String Mystery"


(@cheapotn)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

I have a small collection of guitars (Ibanez, Gretsch, Jackson) going, but I thought it would be a cool idea to just go around and find some scrap parts and just build my own "Frankenstrat". I found a super-cheap Ibanez body, a no-name neck, and picked up the cheapest set of tuners that I could find. I dropped a humbucker from an Ibanez SZ320 in there, and to be a guitar that I built for $50 it sounds decent!

There's a big problem though. The strings WILL NOT bend. I've been playing for 10 years, so it really isn't a matter of strength. I lowered the action, switched the strings over from 10s to 9s, and even took out a spring to see if that would affect anything. I still have to strain my hardest to achieve a whole step bend on any string, and vibrato while bending is impossible.

What the heck's going on here? Are some really cheaply made guitars just screwy like that?


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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1225
 

Whuh? If you can't bend a 9...you should refer this anomoly to Ricochet...he's a doctor!

Ric???

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

That doesn't make any sense to me either.

String tension is directly related to scale length and string gauge. If you're using 9s, you'd need to have a LONGGGGG neck on the thing to get enough tension to prevent you from bending.

The only thing I can think of would be grooves worn into the frets, making the string bind. But it's not likely that would happen on more than a fret or two. So I'm stumped.

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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

Yea I was going to say it must be binding on something can't think of anything else.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

I still have to strain my hardest to achieve a whole step bend on any string, and vibrato while bending is impossible.
Do the strings bend physically? That is, you have them shoved across the fretboard and the note has hardly changed? That would suggest something slipping at one end, but if they don't stay slack then they're getting pulled back. Does it have a tremolo system? Or is it that they have so much tension you can't bend them at all? As Noteboat suggests that would require a really long neck (or maybe being tuned an octave high?).


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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1225
 

Giving it some thought...and this is a new one on me...maybe you are at an exact 90 degrees (finger length to string run) so your tip just flips off??? Other than that...for the life 'o me...I can't figure it out! :?

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@elecsluther)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 13
 

I'm with the others on this one--it makes no sense. I will add this though--low action actually makes string bending more difficult--might sound contradictory, but try raising the action and see if string bends don't get easier!


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(@racetruck1)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 519
 

Instead of taking a spring out of your trem setup, install an extra one. Or temporarily block your inertia block to the body with a wedge of wood and try to bend then. I betcha the trem is moving in response to your bends and compensating for the extra tension. Rare, but I've seen this before with strats with only two springs attached, drove me nuts until I watched the inertia block move when I bent an E more than half a step. Two more springs later, it started to behave. i then removed one spring and tightened the spring claw to fine tune. Only thing that makes a half-a$$ed sense to me.

Of course, this assumes that you're using a strat-style trem setup!

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming......
like the passengers in his car.


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(@ezraplaysezra)
Reputable Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 487
 

Lube the nut with pencil led. I think the strings are binding in the nut.


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(@glenn7623)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17
 

These might be ridiculous questions.Are the strings tuned too high in pitch? What kind of tuner are you using?

Glenn
http://www.reverbnation.com/glennfr

Glenn French
http://www.reverbnation.com/glennfr


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