Loop End String on Ball End Fine Tuner?

September 3, 2010 at 05:42 PM ·

Like the summary says, I made the mistake of buying a loop ended string when I have a ball end fine tuner, the kind with two prongs at the end made for nesting the ball. Could I simply put the loop around one of the prongs? Or is this something that should be avoided?

The string is a Pirastro Gold E

Replies (14)

September 3, 2010 at 07:01 PM ·

You can certainly do that. I usually work the loop around both prongs, though. This is a little more difficult to do with Pirastro's E strings, since they have smaller loops than most other brands, but it's completely possible.

September 3, 2010 at 07:22 PM ·

You can use the ball from an old string and put it on the loop end. As long as the ball doesn't fall off while you are installing the string, once the string is tightened, it's very secure.

September 3, 2010 at 07:52 PM ·

Just check to make sure there are no sharp edges.

September 3, 2010 at 09:12 PM ·

The sharp edges of the fine adjuster can cut through the loop of the steel E.  To obviate this there is available a little plastic gizmo to protect the loop.  See 


September 3, 2010 at 09:26 PM ·

This is the best chance for you to buy a  finetuner that will let your E string have a  PROPER string afterlenght. :-)

Get a Hill type finetuner. 

September 3, 2010 at 10:57 PM ·

 I have done that too.  My e string had lasted for 8 months strung over the prongs, and still hadn't broken, when I purchased new strings and remembered to order ball end.  Luthier did make a comment about afterlength, but the sound was fine.

On my last violin, I removed the fine tuner completely and put the string on like a guitar string looped on itself through the tailpiece. and  the e strings stayed in tune well and was no more troublesome to get tuned thatn the other strings.  Maybe it was just that violin, it had a lot of other problems, but that wasn't one of them.

September 4, 2010 at 01:09 PM ·

Yes, you can put a loop on just one prong of a two-pronged tuner. You can also put a ball end on a one-pronged tuner - if the ball is hollow in the middle like a donut. Then you just carefully fit the hole onto the one prong. I recommend a ball end, as it will last longer. Otherwise, that's a lot of pull and pressure on that thin wire loop.

September 4, 2010 at 05:38 PM ·

Steel strings would probably do much better, but if the strings are not metal, they will likely not be as durable against the tuner.
I would suggest changing fine tuners; they do not cost much, and are easy to change. If that is not preferred, I would suggest some type of solid material that is not as sharp as the metal; a soft padding may mute the sound transmitted. A small piece of toothpick wood, or a bead sleeve over the metal? Beads are available at any craft shop.

NOTE: I have changed to Hill type tuners, so I have not tried any of these solutions; try at your own risk.

September 5, 2010 at 05:53 PM ·

 I bought a Hill tuner yesterday (2-pronged, so it can cope with loop or standard ball end) and a loop end Hill E.  I looped the string round both prongs of the tuner because that will avoid tight bends in the loop, which are always a source of metal fatigue.

The after-length is now spot on, and the sound is an observable improvement over the Pirastro Gold E I had been using.  The improvement may not  however necessarily be due to the increased after-length; I'm inclined to think it is the quality of the Hill E - it produces a good, clear and strong tone above the high D on that string, as far as my fingers will reach.  

December 3, 2010 at 06:38 PM ·

 The simple truth about "e " string tuners. Here are a couple of tips. Put a little candle wax on the screw part of the tuner it will make it work better. If using a Hill style tuner look at the hook where the string goes. It may have a plastic liner over it to keep the string from breaking. This is important as the hook itself has edges that can cut even new "e" strings. If possible get a very small round file and smooth off the edges so the string wraps around the hook without touching a sharp edge. Or take it to a luthier to have this done. It will make your new "e" string last much longer. The original Hill tuners had this in the design, the modern ones may not. www.oldworldtradingco.com


December 4, 2010 at 01:04 AM ·

I have not done this myself but it seems to me that you could take one of the little spool looking ends off a broken string and put it in the loop and take some  waxed whipping twine from your local marine supply store and whip the loop until it is tight on the ball.  I would try it if I was in the same situation, which may happen since there is at least one out there that seems to only come with a loop end.

December 4, 2010 at 11:08 AM ·

 I came across this once:

It was very useful for a situation I had to resurrect on a friend's violin and can be reversed too I expect!

December 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM ·

Maybe ask your nearby luthier for some broken strings, if you do not have any yourself, and experiment with then making loops. I think I would still want to whip the base of the loop, and maybe epoxy it too.

December 4, 2010 at 03:00 PM ·

Yes, you can put a loop-end string on a ball-end tuner. I do it by using just one of the two hooks. Apropos of the discussion about creating a loop end from a ball end, there are two things to watch out for. First, if it is not a steel string, it probably will not last long on the hook. Second, the hooks on the ball-end fine-tuner are often gentler on the string than the loop-end hook. There is a fine burr on the single hook that is caused during manufacture. Actually, there are two of them because the hook is flat. I try to file these with a very small, fine file before I put a string on them because I find all the other methods of padding this tiny little hook to be more trouble than they are worth.

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