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. 

Besides from the tools that were supplied with your guitar, you will need a pair of clippers to cut the strings when you are done.

How to change strings on your .strandberg* guitar

1. Unscrew the tuning bolt all the way, either by hand, with the supplied T-wrench or with the Multi tool
2. Screw the tuning bolt back on with just a couple of turns and push the plunger all the way in

NOTE: Don't skip this step as it will reduce the amount of tuning range and can cause excess wear to the tuner's parts. If the string's ball end is sticking out the rear of the tuner, you need to revert back to this step
3. Unscrew the string lock's locking screw, using the supplied 3mm Allen key or Multi tool
4. Carefully remove the string from the string lock and through the rear of the tuner
5. Insert the new string through the rear of the tuner

NOTE: You can use a small Allen key or flat head screw driver to to guide the string on top of the saddle screw
6. Thread the string through the string lock, making sure that the metal washer is placed under the string

NOTE: The metal washers are only really needed for the unwound strings. If you're missing one for the unwound strings, you can safely take one from the wound strings
7. Pull the string tight and maintain tension. With the string centered, lock the string lock's locking screw using the supplied 3mm Allen key or Multi tool

NOTE: Only use the Allen key standing up, to prevent over tightening and damaging the string lock or the string
8. Turn the tuning bolt to tune the string up to pitch
9. Cut the string 

NOTE: We recommend that you change all strings and check tuning range and intonation before cutting them. If you need to reseat the string in the string lock, it's much easier if you haven't cut it

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 2 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 6 and 7 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 has a 2.5 mm (.1") inner diameter so it's theoretically possible to fit up to a .095" gauge string. 

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 2 in the guide above. The string tension needs to be released and then 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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