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Are strings affected by being removed and later restrung?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by lucas303, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. lucas303

    lucas303 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2019
    I'm currently using a set of roundwound strings (I don't know what they are specifically as they were on the bass when I got it...some sort of exposed core string with black silk), but I've ordered a set of flats to try something different. If I save my current strings, and if I end up wanting to put them back on in the future, will they be negatively affected by taking them off and then restringing them? If so is there anything I can do to mitigate that?
    lowendrachel likes this.
  2. It would depend on how careful you are when uninstalling them. If you mess around too much with the coiled ends off tuning posts by trying to straighten them too much, they may snap upon re-installation due to metal fatigue.
  3. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I’ve strings I’ve put on and taken off several times with no noticeable ill effects.

    I use a piece of thin shrink tubing slid over the silk ends to help keep the silks from shredding when pulling back out through the ball-end retainer.
    edencab, mdogs, Andre678 and 7 others like this.
  4. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    It is easier to remove without damaging when you have a Warwick style bridge instead of a Fender style bridge.
  5. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you soak them in alcohol before putting them back on, they might sound better when re-installed.

    The big issue is metal fatigue - once a string is bent, unbending and re-bending it can only be done a few times before failure. With a slotted bridge, you can take the strings off without affecting the sharp bends at the tuner or bridge. If you have a string through bridge, removing the string you'll end up straightening the sharp bends, and then have to re-bend them upon ire-installation. With a top load (non string through) bridge without slots, if you're careful about pulling the strings through the holes, you'll undo some of the sharp bends, but not as much as with a string through setup.
  6. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    Gallia Celtica
    As said before, it depends on how you remove them and how you store them. If you are careful not to unwound the part around the posts too much, you should not have any problems. Be careful not to twist them when tuning them and everything should be fine. Remember, too, that some strings are more fragile than others.
    lucas303 and michael_t like this.
  7. lucas303

    lucas303 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2019
    What's the best long-term storage method?
  8. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    Gallia Celtica
    I never had to, but airtight bags seem to be a good solution.
    lowendrachel, azwhofan and lucas303 like this.
  9. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    IMO...No. I have reused strings off basses several times with no issues. As long as they are in good shape they play fine.
  10. I use medium size Ziploc freezer bags to store strings in - new or used.
  11. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    I take strings off, soak em in denatured alcohol (denatured, get it at the hardware store) in a pvc tube. Then they go into a ziplock which is labeled with a sharpie. String make, model, gauge and the bass they came off.

    TI flats don’t get soaked, but still labeled with the bass they came off.

    No problems, string changes are a breeze, since the set is clean and cut and wound to go right back on.

    I mostly stick to very light strings so truss rod adjustments are rarely needed. Usually, intonation and and a bit of saddle height adjustment are all that’s needed.

    This is only for strings I like. If I don’t like em, they go in the trash.
    lucas303 likes this.
  12. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Kind of hard to add anything useful to this. Everything else, re the silk, is important - maybe - but, in the end, just cosmetics. Being very gentle with that coiled tuner end is the key; You straighten that out at your peril. And, sometimes it doesn't take much to make them fail, either. Ask me how I know...:rolleyes:
  13. tavi


    May 26, 2008
    New Mexico
    As mentioned. Brand will impact your results. I’ve swapped Rotosounds onto a few different basses without any issues. Each blue steel set I’ve had didn’t survive a restring. GHS and SITs don't seem to mind a restring.
    lucas303 likes this.
  14. byacey


    May 16, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    It depends also on how sharp a bend is put in the string at the witness points. Putting them back on the same bass probably won't be too much of an issue, but moving them to another bass may be problematic.
  15. jpmcbride

    jpmcbride Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I do it all the time with no issues. Just be careful as others have said.
    lucas303 likes this.
  16. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    I agree. If I may add, changing to flats may require some intonation. Going back to rounds would then have the saddles in a different spot, now the break point has changed. I've also boiled strings in the past and reinstalled them with a different radial orientation. Now I've got fresh high points on some strings, flat spots on others. Last few sting changes, I've just tossed them and start fresh.
    lucas303 likes this.
  17. I find bass strings are resilient enough to survive a good few restringings without significantly doing the tone in.
    MynameisMe and lucas303 like this.
  18. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    Lebanon, TN
    My used strings are hanging on a hook.
    Bruiser Stone and lucas303 like this.
  19. logdrum

    logdrum A person! Supporting Member

    I avoid it and usually do it only on the same bass. I think it's more an issue with flats specially if strung through. DB guys restring a lot and we trade use strings often, but if their bass has a longer tailpiece then it will have a kink when it gets to me and never feels right even if I can't see the kink.
    lucas303 likes this.

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