How to change strings on a .strandberg* guitar

In this article, we will go through the basic procedure of changing strings on your .strandberg* guitar, as well as some frequently asked questions on the subject. 

For more in-depth information about the new EGS Arc hardware on the Boden Essential, see this article.

Step 1: Prepare the tuner

To set up your tuner correctly, follow these easy steps:

  • Unscrew the tuning bolt completely, either by hand, using the T-wrench provided, or the Multi tool supplied with NX guitars.
  • Screw the tuning bolt back partially with just a few turns and push the plunger all the way in. This step is crucial as it optimizes the tuning range and prevents excessive wear on the tuner's parts.

If the ball end of the string sticks out from the tuner's rear, return to this step.

Step 2: Remove the old string

  • Unscrew the locking screw of the string lock using the supplied 3mm Allen key or the Multi tool supplied with NX guitars.
  • Gently take out the old string from the string lock and through the back of the tuner.

Step 3: Install the new string

  • Insert the new string through the back of the tuner. TIP: Creating a slight curve/bend at the tip of the string helps guiding it through the tuner and string lock.
  • Thread the string through the string lock, ensuring the protective metal washer is beneath the string.
  • Maintain tension on the string, and with the string centered, lock the string lock using the provided 3mm Allen key or the Multi tool supplied with NX guitars. Make sure the string is centered in the string lock. NOTE: only use the Allen key standing up, to prevent over tightening and cutting the string.

The metal washers are mainly necessary for the unwound strings. If an unwound string is missing one, you can safely take one from one of the wound strings.

Step 4: Tune and trim the string

  • Turn the tuning bolt to bring the string up to the desired pitch.
  • Carefully cut the string just above the string lock using guitar string cutters or wire cutters.

For best results, replace all strings and check tuning range and intonation before cutting them. If you need to adjust the string in the string lock, it's much simpler if you haven't cut it yet.

FAQ and Troubleshooting

Do I need to change the strings one by one, or can I change them all at once?

If your guitar is equipped with a tremolo, it's highly recommended to change strings on by one. For fixed bridges, it's safe to change them all at once, but we still recommend changing them one by one.

The ball end is sticking out the rear of the tuner. What's wrong?

If the ball end is sticking out the rear of the tuner, the tuner was not prepped properly for maximum tuning range before restringing. Please see step 1 in the guide above.

The string keeps slipping at the locking nut. What can I do?

Locking the strings securely at the nut end requires a little bit of getting used to, to find a balance of tightening hard enough to hold it, but not too hard so that the string breaks. Revert to step 3 and double check that the metal washer is present under the string and that the string is centered in the string lock when you tighten it. A little more force might be needed, but there's also a risk that one or more parts of the string lock is worn, so please see this more in-depth article on the subject and contact our customer support if you still can't get the string to stay in place.

I keep snapping strings at the string lock. What's wrong?

If the string is breaking at the string lock, it could be because of too much force being used when tightening the locking screw or if the metal washer isn't present underneath the string to protect it from the grooves in the mounting screw. Or, the stainless steel locking screw could have been worn over time causing it to have a sharp burr that is cutting the string. Thankfully, this can easily be polished out with some fine grit sand paper. If the high E or B string is missing the metal washer, you can safely take one from the string locks for the wound strings.

I'm having a hard time getting the 8th string through the tuner. What can I do?

The inner diameter of the tuners is 2.5 mm (.1"), so they can theoretically accommodate up to a .095" gauge string.

Most guitar strings have a portion of the string at the ball end which is double wound, with a larger diameter near the ball end than the actual string. In our experience, around a .074" gauge string is where all is still well, but most .080" gauge strings will exceed .1" at the ball end. To be able to fit heavier strings, a solution is to buy strings with tapered ball ends, like our custom D'Addario NYXL sets that are fitted on all our guitars or our own .strandberg* Optimized Tension strings for 7 and 8 string guitars.

I can't get the 8th string through the string lock. Whats wrong?

Just like the tuners, the string locks on EGS hardware up until rev 7 has a 2.5 mm (.1") inner diameter so it's theoretically possible to fit up to a .095" gauge string. 

EGS Arc string locks has a smaller inner diameter, making the choice of gauges possible to use more limited.

If you're having a hard time fitting the string, please check if there's a metal washer present in the string lock. If so, you can go ahead and remove it since it's not really needed for the wound strings. Instead you can keep this spare metal washer if you ever need to replace one in the string locks for the unwound strings in the future.

My high E string breaks at the ball end. What can I do?

Some strings have a tendency of unwrapping themselves at the ball end. In our experience, changing to a brand of string that has a reinforced plain end, for example our .strandberg* Optimized Tension strings or D'Addario NYXL, will solve the problem.

If you have a favorite type of string that you want to use and are experiencing this problem, a common fix among players are to solder the wrapped end.

I unscrewed the tuning bolt from the tuner and now I can't get it back on. What do I do?

See step 1 in the guide above. Sometimes, the string tension needs to be released so you can pull out the tuner's plunger, either with your fingers or push it out with a small tool from the front. Then you just need to screw the bolt back on a few turns and you're good to go.

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