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Thread: Change the Strings on the Savoy 150A -- There has to be a better way

  1. #1
    Senior Member PittPastor's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    Western Pennsylvania

    Change the Strings on the Savoy 150A -- There has to be a better way

    Changed the strings tonight on the Savoy 150A.

    I felt like a grandma trying to thread a needle without her glasses...

    Is there some sort of trick to this that I'm missing? Trying to hook the ball end under the tail-piece was maddening. I ended up using two hands, closeup glasses and a head lamp to guide it in while I wrestled the guitar with my knees so it didn't fall. This can't be right.

    Can someone tell me how they do it without all of the accessories I was using? There must be some trick.
    1980 Guild D40C Sunburst
    20?? Guild AO-3CE (MIM)
    2014 Guild Savoy 150A Sunburst (MIK)

    Soundcloud - Cat's In The Crade (D40C)

  2. #2
    Practice, practice, practice. Fifty years in, it is easy.
    1958 CE-100 Capri
    1966 F-20
    1988 D15
    1996 F4CE Sick puppy
    1996 A25
    Several assorted DeArmonds
    The odd Epi
    A Dorado resonator

  3. #3
    I use a pair of needle nose plyers to bend and wrap the string in a curve, then slip it under the bar and on the pin. Definitely easier said than done but well worth it. Vibramate makes a sheet metal bracket called a spoiler, that holds the ball end of the string to make it supposedly easier to string up, but I have never used one. Also there are string through bars to retrofit to your Bigsby which sounds really easy, but again I have never used one.
    Thanks John

  4. #4
    I think the Savoy has a harp tailpiece rather than a Bigsby. Still fiddly to change strings but at least not perverse. :) I have Vibramate Spoilers on two of my SGs. They work great!

    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    1999 X-170T
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 T-bird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  5. #5
    As CA pointed out above, it does take practice and repetition to become comfortable with changing strings on an archtop guitar. Not to mention patience! One thing that I do is lay the guitar flat on the dinning room table for support. I use a bath mat to protect the finish and a neck rest.

    See this thread for links to different products to use as a neck rest.

    My biggest problem with the harp tailpiece is keeping the ball end from falling out of the slot once I begin winding the string on the post. A trick I use is to place my forefinger on the string behind the nut employing downward force to ensure an even wind on the post. And then I use my other three fingers to pull upward on the string in front of the nut to keep constant pressure on the ball end seated in the harp tailpiece. Sometimes I'm pulling the string up 2-3 inches off the fretboard. If all of that makes any sense.

    Good luck!

    1959 CE-100 D
    1960 T-100 D
    1977 Mark II
    1981 D-25 NT

  6. #6
    I agree with all of the above advice. Iíll try to post songs pictures later, but I do have a few tricks for stringing my archtops. The first is to slightly bend the ball end area of the string up a little bit so will pull up into the slot in the tailpiece. The other is to keep some pressure on the string with one hand as you wind the string onto the tuning machine with the other hand. (I tend to wind the tuner with my left hand while holding onto the string with my right while holding the guitar on my lap sitting on a couch or something. I hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Southern California
    Bending the string at the ball end and keeping tension on it are what I do to.
    1974 Ovation Legend
    Walden G2070
    G&L Legacy Tribute
    1984 Ovation 1758 12 string
    2010 Guild F47R
    2013 Guild NS X175-B
    1998 Guild Starfire IV
    2008 Prototype D55
    2016 Guild NS X175 Sunburst

  8. #8
    If you think the X150 is a pain, try restringing a 12 string with a harp/trapeze tailpiece. The Gretsch Tailpiece was the best idea for a 12 string trapeze style tailpiece. Notice how they go ABOVE the tailpiece.

    That's reason enough to get a Gretsch 12 string right there.

    Guild X-170-T
    Guild Starfire V
    G&L ASAT Deluxe Semi-Hollow
    Gretsch 6119-1962HT Tennessee Rose
    Gretsch 6120 DC
    Gretsch 5422-12
    Fender American Standard Stratocaster
    Fender '90s Custom Telecaster

  9. #9
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Did you know that is the 2nd function of your capo? Hook the string at the tailpiece, pull it kinda tight with your hand and clamp the string at the 2nd or 3rd fret with the capo; that'll hold it in place while you fiddle with wrapping it around the tuner and tightening it up.
    "The air's as still as the throttle on a funeral train." John Prine

    '76 D-25M
    '99 DV-52ABHG
    '98 DeArmond Starfire Special
    Takamine Acoustic Flying "A"
    Crate CA-125D Acoustic Amp
    Fishman Loudbox Mini Acoustic Amp

  10. #10
    The Ricky 12 string people use a piece of masking tape on the tailpiece...the factory does the same...and also utilize the capo method as explained above.

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