1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Average lifespan of a set of strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by JoshSmith, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. JoshSmith


    Jul 23, 2013
    just wondering how long a string set lasts. I like having a bright sound. Is 4 months long? Cause my strings sound worn and dead now. Ive had them since July.
  2. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I pretty much never change my strings. My average is probably 5 years.
  3. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    For roundwounds, 2-3 years.
  4. Somewhere between one day and a decade.

    There is no answer to your question, because what you are looking for will be found as your skills progress, not as your strings get changed.
  5. Bassman822


    Sep 1, 2007
    Bessemer, AL
    I don't change the flatwounds I have on several basses. Roundwounds last until the intonation gets weird (6-8 months on average). Years ago I was reading about a prominent bassist (I don't remember who) who would change strings between each take when recording (Entwistle perhaps???)
  6. JoshSmith


    Jul 23, 2013
    yeah i have roundwounds and they are sounding very dull
  7. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Until the intonation gets annoying, I break one, I get some work done on it, or a recording project comes up.

    That's when my rounds need to be changed.
  8. Reptileroundabo

    Reptileroundabo Polka till you puke..

    Jul 15, 2009
    Chardon, OH
    really depends on how often you play. My average for say a set of ernie ball 45-105's is about 2 weeks gigging every day. Sweat, the way you play, pick or fingers, etc all factor into that as well.
  9. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I can get years out of a set of strings with proper care and cleaning, though I don't prefer to. After 6 months(around 500 hours of playtime) or so they become noticeably harder to manipulate and perform certain techniques with.
  10. ProgRocker


    Mar 25, 2011
    Depends on a number of variables: body chemistry, how much you sweat, what you do to maintain your strings, how much you play, how dry / humid the climate you live in is....
  11. Usually once a year.
  12. LowBC

    LowBC Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2008
    Builder, chief cook and bottle washer: www.MavourneenStrings.com / store manager at Music Go Round (Denver)
    Varies dramatically by player taste, diet, and body chemistry. If you're a teetotalling vegetarian who likes bland food then your strings will likely last longer than if you're a whiskey drinkin' steak eater who loves spicy food. Oh, and plus your genetic makeup.

    A good set of regularly played roundwound strings will generally hold out for 3 or 4 months, more if you're not so much into high end.

    good luck!
  13. 6 months or so for me
  14. :eyebrow: . . . wash your hands and use soap :spit:
    :rolleyes:Anyway it kinda deepens on how many basses you have.I have like 3 (or maybe 5 idk) that I play regularly.
    damn kids and their chemistry
  15. It really depends on how bright you want your sound. Some guys change every take, or every gig, or every month, year or decade. If you absolutely must have that ultra-bright, metallic, new-string sound, you'll be changing them daily or weekly. I find that you lose that initial brightness in a few weeks at the most, but after they're 'worn-in', so to speak, they kind of hit a 'plateau' and stay pretty much the same for years, especially if you're cleaning them regularly and/or play with clean hands. I change mine when one breaks (either snaps or goes dead), but otherwise, my sound remains pretty much consistent.
  16. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    For me, most strings keep good tone for about two months (let's say an hour or two of play time, 5 days a week). Some strings push into three months.

    After that, most strings for me end up a mid heavy, uninspiringly dead mess. I think Elixirs and Rotosound Nexus strings are the only ones to truly outlast the three month mark, for me. But those are both coated strings. The Rotosound Nexus did lose some tone along the way, though. Whereas Elixirs stay pretty much the same, for quite awhile.
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I like fresh sounding strings, so ideally once a month (maybe every two months) it is difficult for me to get the strings I like plus i am cheap, so I use my DR's longer than I should. I honestly cannot believe how long some of you use rounds.

    OP, 4 months is WAY too long, a player can wear strings out in a day if they are extremely dirty or sweaty or if they play excessively, you just need to know when you like to change them.
  18. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    Yeah, it's really hard to give a precise lifespan for strings, all things considered.

    For me, when I'm gigging heavily (which is in the summer, usually 9 gigs a week for 8 weeks straight), if I have a set of strings last two weeks, I'm happy. In the off-period, they'll last closer to two-three months, depending.
  19. Flats...every 30 to 40 years.
  20. jfh2112


    Jun 18, 2013
    I change mine 4 times a year, unless I break one (rarely happens). We have four big performances a year - a spring musical, a fall musical, a Christmas program, and Easter Sunday services. I like to have fresh strings for those. If I weren't playing regularly, I'd probably just use them until they were funk nasty or they broke.