I have a unicorn strings Psaltry (had it since 1993). I enjoyed the sound very much until I had to replace the highest string. I am having a lot of difficulty with the highest strings breaking repeatedly as I tune them. I have strung it myself & had music stores replace strings. It broke for them too. They restrung it & left it flat. When I tune it with my chromatic tuner (very carefully), it breaks. Frustrating. It has been a while since I tried to fix it & now I have to replace all the strings as they are now rusted. Is there something I can check, do or not do? Thanks.

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Hi Amy, Welcome to Psaltery Strings! Would ask where the string is breaking. If its breaking right on the top of the rail pin look closely at the notch to see that its aligned with the direction the string is trying to go, also, has it a sharp point in the groove? Carefully smooth it down with a small file, don't make the notch any deeper if you can help it. What size string are you using? For your highest shortest strings .010 should do. Since your Psaltery is from the 1990's it is due for a total restring. I restring every 3 or 4 years.

Thanks for the welcome & the info. The string breaks near or on top of the tuning pin. I'm wondering ifo've been using the wrong wire for the high notes. I have been getting assistance from guitar folks who do the best they can on an unfamiliar instrument. So .10 for high notes & what gauge for the rest? I'm pretty sure My psaltery range is g below middle c to g an octave above. Those strings have a lot of tension on them . I am thinking of stringing the highest notes with 2 strings instead of the 1 string for 2 notes it has now.will that help?

 I would go for two strings rather than the way it was strung when you got it. When you decide to replace all your strings you should consider readjusting the rail pins heights, on my member page you'll see I've discussed restringing Unicorns before. Also on her Youtube channel Sharon Kirby has a good video on stringing a Bowed Psaltery. .010 strings, a few .011s for the lower longest strings, that should do it for your size BP. 


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