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String breakage

  • Alice
    Alice Avery

    I bought a Lyon & Healy Prelude 40 in March of 2010 and have had 6 strings break on me in this short time that I've owned it.  They never have broken while I'm playing; but rather overnight, etc.  Can someone tell me if this is normal or should I be concerned enough to mention it to the dealer?

    Thanking you in advance for any replies

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    replies to "String breakage"
    • Tacye
      Tacye Phillipson

      How stable are the temperature, and particularly humidity, overnight?  

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    • Dawn
      Dawn Penland

      I think it's normal.  I just bought a new Ogden and it's broken two strings the first month.  The store I bought it from told me he'd give me free replacement strings the first year because they can take time to settle in.

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    • Donna
      Donna O

      I have a Prelude 40 and it broke only one string in the first 6 months shortly after getting it.    Since then I have replaced probably 1/2 dz. stings  (2 year period).   They do seem to be sensitive to temp and humidity changes and usually break overnite.

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    • harp
      harp guy

      I have a Prelude 38 and about a month ago it was breaking strings almost every day. I replaced two strings within a matter of minutes because one broke as I was replacing another.


      My harp is a good weatherman. It ALWAYS tells me when a storm is coming and when the storm is over. :/

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    • Dwyn
      Dwyn .

      Is the harp in a part of the house where the heat is turned down much lower overnight?  A significant drop in temperature can easily cause string breakage.  It can also cause harp breakage, so drastic temperature swings definitely need to be avoided.  When I was buying my harp (in New Jersey, in the middle of the winter), the sales girl at Virginia Harp Center told me about a friend of hers who'd played for an evening wedding in the winter, got home late and exhausted, and decided she just couldn't face hauling the big heavy pedal harp inside, and went to bed leaving the harp in the car.  Next morning she discovered the soundboard was no more -- turned into a splintered wreck by the increased string tension as the temperature dropped overnight.   Needless to say, I got my new harp out of my car and rushed it inside very, very quickly after I drove it home :-)

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    • Alice
      Alice Avery

      A sincere thanks to all who have responded to my inquiry.  In response to 3 and 6; we live in an old Victorian house with water heat, stable temperature, no drafts; humidity has been low but does not vary.  Although these things could be a factor,  I feel there must be something more severe to have caused 6 strings to break in a two month old instrument?  Thank you so much.

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    • Alice
      Alice Avery

      Thanks, Tacye,  I posted a repl;y but neglected to add your name to my response. All postings have been very helpful.

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    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      Alice,

      I strongly suspect it has something to do with the high tension in combination with those gut strings, especially the thinner ones. Your other harps don't seem to have this breakage problem and they are of medium tension with nylon strings.

      Any other thoughts? Perhaps a harp builder like Carl could chime in here...

      Talk to you soon my friend-

      Karen

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    • Zep
      Zep of the Cross Strung

      Alice,

      I've also been more strings than I would have expected break, mostly in the highest register, on my high-tension cross-strung.  First of all, I think that thinner strings, and strings under relatively higher tension, will be more prone to break, everything else being equal (I take it that this is "obvious" - or is it?).  I think also, in my case, its partly due to not using a "toggle stick" to secure the string under the soundboard - as a result, I'd tighten the string, the string where the knot was would stretch and then quickly contract as it was pulled into the hole under the soundboard, and this would recur until the area by the knot was weakened, and it would break.

      And then again, sometimes harp strings break for no fathomable reason-

      Michael

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    • J
      J P

      I've heard from a number of reputable sources that most 40 preludes and ogdens are coming out with rougher than normal eyelets and that quality control is wanning.   Keep a spare set and hope the harp settles.

      JP

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    • Dawn
      Dawn Penland

      JP, the Preludes and Ogdens have plastic eyelets, do they have spurs?  Should we file with the abrasive cord?  I thought it was the metal eyelets that had spurs.

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    • Alice
      Alice Avery

      It's now approaching the end of May, and I'm happy to say that my Prelude 40 seems to be settling in (no string breakage in a couple of weeks)  The dealer has been extremely helpful and supportive to my concerns with it.  I'm looking forward to many happy hours with it.

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