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Holes too small


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I’ve always strung my Washburn AB5 with flatwounds as acoustic basses really accentuate roundwound string screech.  I decided to put on a set of Fender 50-100’s and it didn’t exactly go to plan.

The holes have always been tight but I’ve had 105’s on it before and never experienced this, the E and A strings go through so far and then just jam up tight.  The tuning is unstable and so I had to get them off.

Has anybody else had this problem?  I’m going to try a lower gauge set to see if that helps.

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You're not supposed to change flat-wounds. The elves in the factories spend much time and effort fitting them, in the certain knowledge that they'll last longer than the Owner of the guitar, and, anyway, it's all about the Funk, say the Experts. To keep their tone, round-wounds get changed every evening, as every fule nose, but flat-wounds, never. :|

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I had this problem fitting heavier gauge nylon tape wounds on a Harley Benton  fretless acoustic . The silks had bunched up towards the ring so I trimmed them with nail clippers and my moustache scissors and then gradually crushed the leftovers with mole grips . Just a pinch at first , rotate 60degrees , repeat till 360degrees and test . If still no joy decrease the mole grips gap by 1/8 turn and try again . When I finally got them down to a suitable diameter and they tested okay I wicked a little superglue into the silks to keep them there and spun them through a pinch of wet and dry Emery paper once the glue had dried to smooth them off . A smear of candle or beeswax helps afterwards for fitting/removal . 

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I would say whatever you do, don't force it. There's not a great deal of wood above the string in that bridge. With the ball end compressing the wood in the way it's design to, the bridge is very strong. But with too fat a string trying to expand the hole outwards it's liable to split the bridge, especially if the width of the string tapers, as the string tension will pull the string ever further into the hole putting a lot of pressure in a direction that the bridge isn't designed to handle. 

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