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Increase String Tension w/o Higher String Guage


J.B. Lee
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Originally posted by 1esotericguy

Holy {censored}! What happened in here. Just put on 10's or 11's and be done. If the neck gets wacky, turn the truss. It's a Brownsville right? I'm not familiar with those I don't think. Is it the house brand at Sam Ashe? Either way, it'll survive a string change. Go for it!
:thu:
9's suck! Good instincts - change em.
:D


Oddly enough I posted this OVER A YEAR AGO on 6/25/2005! Weird when your old threads get bumped and turn into flame wars. And how much difference does a year make? I'm playing with 11's now and loving every minute of it. I seemed so timid with that new guitar, it almost seems kindo of cute now :D

Thanks for the nostalgia trip guys :thu:

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Guest Anonymous
Originally posted by caveman



And your proof would be.......



I have an Ibanez SZ720 with a trussrod that has little effect on the relief measurement unless the rod is turned dramatically one way or the other, yet adjustments that yield no change in relief will cause a dramatic change in string tension. The only explanation is the trussrod adjustment has an affect on string tension. My theory is that it has to do with linear compression placed on the neck by the trussrod.

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Originally posted by Pigsinzen

The strings vibrating differently.


Go and test it out if you don't believe me.


Usually when I do neck adjustments I also have to go back and re-intonate the guitar as well.



Do you notice a loose shaking piece of metal where the nut breaks the truss rod after you adjust your neck? You don't have a freaking clue. The variable is so minute as to be unappreciable. Just humbly admit your wrong and all is forgiven.

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Originally posted by GuitslingerTim



I have an Ibanez SZ720 with a trussrod that has little effect on the relief measurement unless the rod is turned dramatically one way or the other,
yet adjustments that yield no change in relief will cause a dramatic change in string tension.
The only explanation is the trussrod adjustment has an affect on string tension. My theory is that it has to do with linear compression placed on the neck by the trussrod.



Wait, so you're saying that tightening the truss rod, even if it has no noticeable effect on the relief of the neck, will increase string tension? You're saying that it's the tension on the truss rod that changes the string tension, not the (incredibly small) increase in scale length that comes from reducing neck relief?

:freak: :freak:

Math is your friend. There is nothing here you have to guess about, the mathematical formula relating to string tension has already been posted in this thread. Note that "truss rod tension" is not a variable in the equation. I'm sorry, but your anecdotal experiences are either a result of the placebo effect, or misattributing the effects of action changes and other factors to string tension.

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Originally posted by GuitslingerTim



I've been playing guitar for 32 years, and doing my own setups for 27 years. I've tried every imaginable setup and scenario, so let me break it down for you.


Tightening the nut on the trussrod and reducing the relief adds tension to the strings--you don't have to take my word for it, perform a simple experiment. Just remember that making the neck straighter will lower the action, requiring that it be raised to its former height. With all other facets of the setup being equal, less relief in the neck will add tension to the strings.


Adding relief to the neck can make the strings feel like there is more tension, but only because the action is raised higher as a result of the adjustment. If the strings are lowered to their former height, the strings will feel looser and more slinky with relief added to the neck.



let me break it down for you...

if you changed the actual length of vibrating string at all even minutely, keeping the same strings, the guitar would not intonate properly. adjust the relief either way, and you have to adjust intonation slightly - why? because you HAVE TO get the strings to the correct free length plus or minus microscopic changes to compensate for fretting deflection, or the whole fretboard will be rendered off-pitch. so except in cases of extreme maladjustment, same string length results regardless of neck relief, and same length at same pitch = same tension. there's no way around physics, whether or not you understand it.

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Originally posted by potaetoes



let me break it down for you...


if you changed the actual length of vibrating string at all even minutely, keeping the same strings, the guitar would not intonate properly. adjust the relief either way, and you have to adjust intonation slightly - why? because you HAVE TO get the strings to the correct free length plus or minus microscopic changes to compensate for fretting deflection, or the whole fretboard will be rendered off-pitch. so except in cases of extreme maladjustment, same string length results regardless of neck relief, and same length at same pitch = same tension. there's no way around physics, whether or not you understand it.



excellent point that I had overlooked! Even if you change the scale length minutely by adjusting the neck, you'd have to rectify that change at the saddles to restore intonation (after all, the frets didn't move!), resulting in the same overall string length as before...

excellent post!

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Guest Anonymous
Originally posted by potaetoes



let me break it down for you...


if you changed the actual length of vibrating string at all even minutely, keeping the same strings, the guitar would not intonate properly. adjust the relief either way, and you have to adjust intonation slightly - why? because you HAVE TO get the strings to the correct free length plus or minus microscopic changes to compensate for fretting deflection, or the whole fretboard will be rendered off-pitch. so except in cases of extreme maladjustment, same string length results regardless of neck relief, and same length at same pitch = same tension. there's no way around physics, whether or not you understand it.



You're forgetting one important factor in your grandiose factorialization--as a fingerboard is straightened the wood stretches slightly, resulting in an increase in the spacing between the frets, which causes an increase in string length.

The only way I know my necks need adjustment is when the action gets too stiff or too sloppy.

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Originally posted by GuitslingerTim



You're forgetting one important factor in your grandiose factorialization--as a fingerboard is straightened the wood stretches slightly, resulting in an increase in the spacing between the frets, which causes an increase in string length.


The only way I know my necks need adjustment is when the action gets too stiff or too sloppy.



You are completely missing the beauty and simplicity of the well-established physics here.

A difference of 6 mm ( a huge excursion of a bridge element or of expansion/contraction in a fingerboard) is 6 parts in 647.7 parts (length in mm of a 25.5 inch scale) or roughly 1%. Look at the tension formula. With pitch and string materials kept constant, it is evident that the tension varies as the square of the length.
A +/-1% difference in length thus translates to (0.99^2) to (1.01^2) range of tension, or 98% to 102% of original tension. Hardly dramatic. And that sort of excursion would demand a full set-up to be playable, anyway. (As pointed out, a set-up functions in part to reconcile the scale length to the tempering of the fretboard.)

And if the actual difference in length is 1 mm (more reasonable), the difference in tension is less than one-half of one percent.

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Originally posted by GuitslingerTim



You're forgetting one important factor in your grandiose factorialization--as a fingerboard is straightened the wood stretches slightly, resulting in an increase in the spacing between the frets, which causes an increase in string length.


The only way I know my necks need adjustment is when the action gets too stiff or too sloppy.



you're forgetting how infinitessimally small that change is, and making up a false reason to explain what you're feeling, which is, quite simply, bad action.

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Originally posted by Mighty Coogna!

The short answer: Th truss rod acts as a spring, a spring when compressed has inertia.


Inertia effects perceived string tension to some degree.




"Perceived" opens up a whole world of imagination, bias, and belief independent of physical measurables and established, understood, and universally accepted scientific principles.

Actual tension depends ONLY upon scale length, mass per unit length, and pitch.
Period.

Perception depends upon whatever you want it to depend upon.

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I would inject two things here (as a professor of a highly mathmatical subject):

1) Jerry was exactly right that the change in tension is only a fraction of the change in string length, but forgot to point out that NO ONE can FEEL tension. Tension is a force that runs ALONG the string, not perpendicular to it. The force you feel when you press the strings is related to tension, but it isn't tension. Mathmatically it is a fraction of the tension based on the angle of deflection, which is small (because the deflection distance is much smaller than the string length). I've run these numbers before, and they amount to only a few percent of the tension, which is only changing by about .1 percent - thus the change in pressure felt by the fingers only changes about a thousanth of a percent - well below human perception. I don't care WHO you are.

2) Now the second item - the neck is flexible, and when the strings are bent, the tension in them in increased, which pulls against the neck causing it to flex. The degree to which the neck will flex may very well be changed by changing the truss rod. But you STILL can't feel it.

You want to prove it? Double-blind experiment with controls and plenty of redundancy. I'll bet good money you can't feel it. IT IS IN YOUR MIND!

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Originally posted by Mighty Coogna!

Math is great, but perception is reality.


These are not absolutes. The math can only interpret the results to a certain level of finality.


You cannot factor in all the variables.


It's clearly observable. That trumps ALL your formulas.


It's a FACT. It's not refutable.


I Win!
:freak:



Wrong.

"Tension" is a physical mathematical definition. D-E-F-I-N-I-T-I-O-N. As in, if you are going to use the word in a physics context, that is the fundamental idea that MUST be used. If you are talking about anything other than that which conforms to this definition, it is NOT "tension". Whatever "it" is may be real and even measurable, but "it" is not tension.

"Tension" is not defined by the personal subjective misperceptions of one Mighty Coogna. "Perceived tension" DOES NOT EQUAL "Tension".



:)

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Originally posted by walt0915

I would inject two things here (as a professor of a highly mathmatical subject):


1) Jerry was exactly right that the change in tension is only a fraction of the change in string length, but forgot to point out that NO ONE can FEEL tension. Tension is a force that runs ALONG the string, not perpendicular to it. The force you feel when you press the strings is related to tension, but it isn't tension. Mathmatically it is a fraction of the tension based on the angle of deflection, which is small (because the deflection distance is much smaller than the string length). I've run these numbers before, and they amount to only a few percent of the tension, which is only changing by about .1 percent - thus the change in pressure felt by the fingers only changes about a thousanth of a percent - well below human perception. I don't care WHO you are.




Actually, the force required to laterally displace the string is a function of tension, and can be "felt". Since tension runs long the axis of the string, it is behind the tendency for a string to return to steady-state neutral position when it is displaced. The force of displacement is mathematically related to the accleration of return, which results in the vibratory nature of string response to being plucked. Tension is related pitch via those forces, in that the rate of vibration is the basis of pitch.
That is not tension per se, but is a directly related measureable that translates into a tactile experience.

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Originally posted by jerry_picker



Actually, the force required to laterally displace the string is a function of tension, and can be "felt". Since tension runs long the axis of the string, it is behind the tendency for a string to return to steady-state neutral position when it is displaced. The force of displacement is mathematically related to the accleration of return, which results in the vibratory nature of string response to being plucked. Tension is related pitch via those forces, in that the rate of vibration is the basis of pitch.

That is not tension per se, but is a directly related measureable that translates into a tactile experience.



Exactly! That's what I said. That force is a fraction of the tension depending on the deflection angle. So if the tension was 100lbs, the change in the neck would cause like .1lb change in the tension and like .001lb change in the force felt at the fingers. And that's pretty {censored}in' small!

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Originally posted by walt0915



Exactly! That's what I said. That force is a fraction of the tension depending on the deflection angle. So if the tension was 100lbs, the change in the neck would cause like .1lb change in the tension and like .001lb change in the force felt at the fingers. And that's pretty {censored}in' small!



I have sensitive hands :cry:

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Originally posted by Mighty Coogna!

Ok, example: Ever play a strat with a trem set to float Vrs. A hard-tail, vrs a trem set to rest against the body.



Same thing. Or do you not feel a difference in the tension of the strings when you bend notes?


:D

Got ya.



This is the same as my point number 2 above. The difference is most guitar necks don't move much when you bend the strings, whereas some trems move quite a bit. Maybe your guitar is a POS? :p As for the sensitive hands - I don't want to hear any of that gay {censored}! :eek:

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