Bullet or ball end strings on Stratocasters

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by dscottyg, May 31, 2021.

  1. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-Talker

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    My high e string broke again. I got a 6-pack of high E strings (Ernie Ball) with the ball end. The rest of the strings on the guitar are bullet end. Ball end strings work just as well, right?
     
  2. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes. :)

    You are best off changing an entire set rather than one string.

    Ernie Ball are fine strings. D'Addario are quite good too.

    Everyone has their own preference.

    "Ball" ends look like more wheels than a spherical object known as a ball.
     
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  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    They work just as well, except the ball end type sometimes... rarely... can unwind. Especially if it's something like a top loader bridge. I had some Ernie e strings do that on my headless Hondo that is straight-pull like a top loader. I emailed them and they sent me a pack of 10 e strings. Those did it too, so now I solder the twist near the ball on the e strings. It's only takes a minute to solder a bunch of them. But Bullets can't untwist.

    When I break a high e I replace just that one. I don't change the others until the windings on the lower ones get rough.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
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  4. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    I wanted to go to bullets, but I snapped too many high Es with them.
    I gave them several tries.
     
  5. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    I never use ball ends although they never gave me trouble breaking. I just stick with EB, and they’ve been reliable for me.

    mad stated above, change the whole set. I never change just one.
     
  6. 98springer

    98springer Strat-Talker

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    On the edge, baby!
    Check to see where that string is breaking. Is it at the top of the saddle, or where it feeds through the saddle or somewhere else. A rough or sharp contact point could be cutting into the string.
     
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  7. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Balls work just fine.
    I had issues occasionally with the bullets sticking in my '78 when it was new, but I stopped using them soon after.
     
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  8. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Senior Stratmaster

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    Bullet ends .

    Load of bull backsides :whistling:
     
  9. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-Talker

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    Did they snap right where the bullet attaches?
     
  10. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-Talker

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    It was on a couple different Guitars, one with locking tuners and one without. But the string always breaks right where it goes into the tuning peg. In the locking tuner, it was a new string (1 week). I know now not to lock the string so tightly. On the non-locking tuner I think it was just because it was an older string.
     
  11. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    I had the same problem, I stopped using them too.
    Make sure that there are no sharp edges on the hole in the tuner shaft, that's what usually causes breakages.
     
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  12. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-Talker

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    Do strings have a shelf life if kept unused in a case? I have that pack of 6 ball end high E strings coming in a few days. I’ll use those if a string breaks soon after I’ve just put it on. It’s .009 so it could happen. If it is an older set, I’ll replace the whole set.
     
  13. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I've never seen EB strings with anything other than ball ends....
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
  14. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes
     
  15. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    If they aren't sealed, and the environment is humid and/or salty, they will eventually rust.

    I bought GFS strings once, they must have been on a boat, cuz they arrived rusty. I've used strings that were 20 years old, and they were fine.
     
  16. Steve365

    Steve365 Strat-O-Master

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    I use Fender Original Pure nickle bullets on my Strats...I haven't had many break issues and they are better than ball strings with tremolo, IMHO
     
  17. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Most Honored Senior Member

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    Bullets ( on Strats, not the Lester )

    I Never broke one.
    You must really dig in...
    or pump the bar unmercifully.
     
  18. PeteGeordie

    PeteGeordie Strat-Talker

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    I apologise for reading that with my smutty brain.
     
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  19. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    Dang it I’m sorry! I was thinking if bullet ends on fender strings. Bonehead sometimes.
     
  20. Michael919

    Michael919 Most Honored Senior Member

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    I don't think that I've broken more than 5-6 strings in 40+ years. When I have, it's never been near the end.
     
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