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Bad experience with alcohol...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Jordan Luff, Apr 6, 2002.


  1. ...and strings, of course. ;) At about 12:30 this afternoon, I placed my strings in a tupperware full of rubbing alcohol. I was going to leave them in there till 8:30, but at about 4, I noticed that there were rust spots on some of the strings. I immediately panicked and took them out, washed them off with water, and set them on the deck for ten minutes, and finally put them back on my bass. I'm afraid I have made a terrible mistake in trying to clean the strings with alcohol, but I don't know what. Can anyone tell me that I did wrong?
     
  2. Rubbing alcohol is an oxidizer. Oxidizers+metal = bad.
     
  3. Oh. Well. Damn. Won't be doing that again. Thanks, though. Would putting oil on the strings help take away the bad effects of the oxidizers? My dad said it would stop the rusting...I trust he's right, but will it make the rust spots go away (can't ask him myself now, he be in the shower :p ).
     
  4. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    What I've read about using alcohol on strings (never tried it myself), is that it only takes a fairly quick (<10min) dip, then a rinse under water, and dry them thoroughly.

    Me, I just use Elixirs. . . :)
     
  5. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Unless you like really dead strings, don't put oil on 'em. The oil will get into the windings and down to the core wire and kill the strings very quick. You probably need to just get a new set.
     
  6. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    geshel, ive been looking into getting a set of those elixer nano-webs, but they are realy expencive, what do they sound like. I like my strings realy bright and full of life. what other string sound would you compare them to. thanks.:)
     
  7. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I like the Polyweb ones the best. The nanos are too slippery and get old faster - and they don't sound much different new, to me.

    The Polywebs don't have that super-bright new-roundwound sound when fresh. More like day-old: they still sound new, in fact to me they sound almost perfect. For me, after about a month of daily use they settle in to a not-new-but-still-fairly-alive sound, and stay there for months. I've had my high-C string, which I play the least but still gets touched plenty every time I play, on since Feb. 2001! It still sounds just great. The others I change every two or three months.

    As far as comparing to other strings. . .in feel, they're pretty much right down the middle. Not tight, not loose (I use the soft/regular set, 45/65/85/105). In sound, I guess DR Low-Riders would be the closest match in my experience, but it's been awhile since I used them so I'm not really sure. Oh, they are nickel-plated I think, so they do sound more like nickel than SS strings.
     
  8. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    Thanks, I might pick up a set.:cool:
     
  9. jieshi

    jieshi

    Mar 26, 2002
    ghs fast fret
     
  10. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    What:confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  11. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    [​IMG]

    http://www.ghsstrings.com/gear.shtml
     
  12. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    I know what fast fret is, in fact i use it constantly. but i was wondering why he said that. just out of the blue "fast fret":D
     
  13. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Duh. We're talking about string life / cleaning strings, no? :p
     
  14. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Well a couple years ago I had a bad run in with some alcohol and a lady that well......um...I wouldnt have talked to any other day of the week!
    :)
     
  15. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I had some D'Addario half-rounds laying around that I got from a guy who said he had only played two songs on them. He must have some vicious sweat, 'cause those suckers were DEAD. I just figured, OK, half-rounds sound like crap. So recently, I put them and some other strings in some denatured alcohol, and let 'em soak for about a half-hour. They sound great, just like what I thought half-rounds should sound like. Kinda like roundwounds with the top rolled off a little. Punchy and bright without a lot of extraneous noise. So I'm sold on alcohol (I may try Everclear next time, it's not poisonous like denatured alcohol), and maybe on D'Addario half-rounds.
     
  16. Also keep in mind that your typical bottle of rubbing alcohol is roughly 30% water, which oxidizes steel. Pure alcohol by itself shouldn't give you any problems, but 8 hours in a tub of alcohol is WAY overkill for simple de-greasing.
    G
     
  17. I use WD-40 on my strings, keeps them clean and it's a lot cheaper than fast-fret.
     
  18. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    Don't the poisonous substances in the denatured alcohol evaporate along with everything else anyway?
     
  19. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Yeah, I was just thinking about if I have my hands in it swishing the strings around, and when I hang them up and so on. Probably not a very serious exposure, really.
     
  20. camoe

    camoe

    Sep 7, 2001
    Lafayette, CO
    I would definately not use rubbing alcohol on strings. Isopropyl acohol would be the minimum as there is very little additive. Ethyl acohol is even better but don't think about drinking it with the benzin that they add. I use chemicals like these all the time and I commonly get this stuff on my hands and such. As of now I haven't had any bad effects other than dry skin....oh...a this little involuntary twitch in my neck and shoulder...and the occasional migrane..but other than that I'm good to go ;-)