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A beginners question about strings . ..

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by markfsanderson, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. All,
    I've now been playing for about a month. I practice pretty seriously about 1.5 hours per day (30 minutes in the morning and 1 hour at night) or more. I've recently become curious about flat wounds, and installed a set on my Spector Euro 4. I removed a set of GHS round wounds that are only about 3 weeks old - which still sound/look good(I keep them clean). A couple of silly questions: Will the roundwounds or flatwounds lose any playability by removing, storing them and then re-installing them? I like to experiment with different sounds . . .

    Mark F. Sanderson
  2. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH

    I'm not highly knowledgeable about strings, but I believe that they cannot be harmed by removing them for storage purposes - maybe try to store them in a sealed container to keep dust away.

    Some bassists would not consider keeping roundwounds with 45 hours of use (they've already lost some of their bright zing), but that's a personal decision. If you still like the sound of them, keep them for the day when you're ready to put them back on.

    Good luck.

    P.S. You can't possibly be from the Republic of Texas - it hasn't existed since 1845!
  3. CJ,
    It is said that Texas is a state of mind . . . . interestingly enough about 8 or 10 years ago, there was a statewide poll asking people if they thought of themselves as more Texan or more American. A full 40% stated more Texan. This number increases to about 60% in West Texas(not a big population center). If you drive around in Texas you wil be struck on how many Texas flags are flown at the same heighth (part of the agreement) as the US flag . . .and often times it is flown with an accompanying US flag at all! . . . Xenophobic elitism is something that has Texans have naturally gravitated towards . . .

    Oh - and thanks for the advice . . . The strings still sound pretty good . . . I wipe them down (top and bottom) after every session in an attempt to extend their lives and keep the sound quality.

    Mark F. Sanderson
    Your Friendly Neighborhood Texan!
  4. Razman


    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Three weeks old? That's it?? I don't think they'll loose any sound. How long do you think they sit in a pack for between mfg date and arriving at the store, then onto your bass? On a side note, I have a new set I've been waiting to install for over a month. Actually, I have two sets; one is probably six months old, but still in the package. I fully expect it to sound like new when I install it.

    There is lots of information on TB regarding string life, just perform a search. I did, and from what I have found the best method for cleaning your strings is to make your own container for cleaning them and use denatured alcohol to soak them in (wiping them down often is also recommended, and I do this also). In fact, I plan on stopping by Home Depot tomorrow, picking up a short length of PVC along with a cap and some PVC glue (they have denatured alcohol as well) and soak my current set (which BTW have been on this bass since Feb of this year). Yeah, that's old, but they still sound great (they are OEM Dingwall strings). Now, when I do change to a new set (I have both another set of Dingwalls and also some DR's) I may realize I've been trudging through mud for a while now. However, not one of my sound guys have complained about my tone, and adding a bit of highs brings in some more snap, so I may keep them on for a while longer.

    Since we're on the subject of string life, I'll add a few more thoughts. It seems that deposits on the string definitely kill tone, but I'm curious as to how string elasticity affects tone. When my strings no longer seem to hold their tune it's time to dump them. This may be that point where the string's elasticity has weakened so much that it just keeps stretching when left tensioned on the bass for long periods of time, i.e. the metal is failing and it may break soon. Who knows? I'll have to do another search on it.

    Sorry for the long post; I hope this helps.

  5. Warwickman0810


    Mar 29, 2005
    London, UK
    Once you put the strings on a bass they stretch quite a lot adn removing them gets rid of the constant tension on the strings created by the bridge, the nut and the tuning pegs. Putting the strings back on after a while will increase the probablility of snapping especially if you overtighten them (say you went from a detuned setting to a normal BEADG). That's happened to me a few times and now i just stick to whatever strings i am using until they lost their tone completely and then, being a stingy person, i buy a new set...
  6. I don't think you'll harm the strings too much, but try not to leave the bass unstrung as the neck is tensioned against the pull of the strings and can become bowed if that tension isn't there. In fact, try to change the strings one at a time, rather than taking the full set off before replacing them. I know this sounds a little paranoid, but its better to be sure.
  7. Thanks guys . . .I just swapped strings on 3 week old strings . . . the neck is still tensioned and take pretty good care of the bass and the strings. I've done searches and can find nothing definitive on string life time vs. removal and reinstallation . . . . perhaps I missed it?

    Mark F. Sanderson
  8. Well, seeing alot of people will remove completelly dead strings to boil them or soak them in meths, then stick them back on, i dont think there is any harm at all in just keeping them stored :)

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