Advice on replacing my 21 year old strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by NoddinDave, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. NoddinDave


    Apr 20, 2004
    I'm thinking about breaking down and replacing the 21 year old strings on my 1977 P-bass. Its only the 2nd set of strings I've ever played on - first set being flatwound fenders that came with my bass new. Current set are Ernie Ball roundwounds.

    I want smooth, yet punchy. Mellow yet bright. I play in two different bands, sit it with blues bands around town and and I'm working on a jazz project playing standards and bebop.

    What strings should I get? - or should I leave well enough alone?
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    21 YEARS?? wow.

    You might try D'Addario GrowndWounds. Silimar to falts, a bit smoother, but still haev a bit of the snap of regular wounds.
  3. NoddinDave, I'm old school also, but for the past 5 years or so I have been using the Thomastik-infeld Jazz flats on my basses. They are a great sounding, low tension flats.

    Check them out, they are a little spendy but you will appreciate how long they last without loosing their quality!

    You might also like the Power Bass Series, these are the TI roundwound series!

  4. Elixir strings are good. They have that sound. Any of the nanoweb strings in the green box are the best. The last strings I put on my bass were medium. I highly recommend them (anything but fender strings!!!)
  5. Your strings are old enough to drink! :p
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I would suggest the TI Jazz Round strings. They are a nice middle ground between the Jazz Flats and the Powerbass. They have the same silk inner wrap as the Jazz Flats, but have a little extra top when you want it. Definitely the most "flat like" roundwound available. I use the Jazz Flats and the Jazz Rounds for both blues and jazz, and I love the tone.
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Are TI's really "smooth" sounding though? Both of my basses (TI strings on both) are pretty growly...although the P-bass has a Basslines SPB-2 which is inherently growly and the other is a fretless with jazz pickups. I'm not really sure what to think, 'cause I never used TI's before the upgrades to the fretted, and I've never used anything else on the fretless (which I only acquired rather recently). The fact they're called TI Jazz Flatwounds/Roundwounds is not a misnomer by any means, though. As of now, my tone is growly, but not overly so at all -- it's most noticeable on the low end of the instrument(s), and I've been playing both for blues and jazz myself (not gigging, just playing in the woodshed). They've got GREAT tone, and the feel is phenomenal. Do note that the TI Flats tension is a little higher than the TI Rounds -- my TI Jazz Rounds have an .089 E, while a TI Jazz Flat E string is .100.

    As of now, I'd reccomend the Jazz Rounds. They have growl, but they're really mellow, and with some funky EQ'ing, they still get a nice bright tone. Plus, they last a LOOOONG my standards. Maybe not 21 years, though ;). Mine have been on since Christmas, and I have no plans at all to change 'em any time soon.
  8. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    Elixir strings are good. They have that sound. Any of the nanoweb strings in the green box are the best. The last strings I put on my bass were medium. I highly recommend them (anything but fender strings!!!)

    Fender strings are just as good as any other string on the market. In fact after trying lots of different strings on my P-bass I found two that really work on it for my taste. Roto RS-66, and Fender 7250 Superbass strings. The 7250 will not last 21yrs, but will give several months of good use. Fender 9050 flats are a very nice flatwound. I find them smooth to the touch, good tone and they last for a very long time without much of a change in tone or response. I did not like them so much on my precision but love them on my jazz. It really all boils down to personel preference if a string works for you. I have found Fender strings to be very consistant from one set to the other. Consistancy is the one area of string dynamics that if not good will effect my opinion of a string. All else is a variable where X equals the unknown.
  9. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Geez, strings older than me... I stand in awe! :eek:

    I think it is going to be ahrd to replace strings taht are that dead. I woudl second the notion on the D-Addario groundwounds though. I used them for awhile and was rather happy. the onyl reason I switched to DR loriders was for the snappy slap/tap type stuff.
  10. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    On my Dad's guitar, the strings were 36 years old when I replaced them :eek: :eek: :D :D

    The best thing is that they still sounded quite good, I would've left them on unless the G did not break due to a little overtuning... :D
  11. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Oh yeah and at that time the strings were twice as old as i were: I was 18, and the strings were 36... :eek: :D :D
  12. Fender strings are just a little to flat sounding for me
  13. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    If you want roundwounds try D'addario Slowounds.
    If you want flatwounds try the TI Jazz flats.

    I'm currently using both on my P's, and fwiw I'm considering switching full time to the TI's.
  14. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    I'm with Treena here.

    If said '77 P was already strung with the TI flats, then they would just be breaking in about now! :cool:
  15. I have to go with TI also.

    My favorites are the 36" extra long jazz rounds for the feel and fantastic tone (strung through the body). My second favorites are the 34" jazz flats (which also work strung through the body on my 4 string). The 34" jazz rounds have less tension, so I have never tried them.

    I keep trying many other brands and types of strings on my and my son's bass, but I keep coming back to the TI. I plan on keeping the jazz flats I put on last night until I get a new bass and retire the current one.