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Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by CBNJ, Mar 17, 2009.
Mine are about 1-2 months old, if I did this, would they sound any better? How do you do it?
I have been doing this for years. It does refresh them by taking the sweat and grime away. On round wound strings, the grime gets in between the wind and deadens the sound. I used to do it after every show, but wearing a wrist band has cut that down tremendously.
They will sound nearly new again.
Yep, it works and they get brighter again. I've done it a lot, but only 2 times per set, then it gets ridiculous, and you should get new strings xD
I've never done it - probably because I like the way "dead" strings sound.
I still do that even with me flatwounds (Happy St. Patrick's day!).
Um... do a quick search in the strings forum (where maybe this thread should be).
You'll find plenty of action about it there, but you should consider giving your strings a soak in denatured alcohol. It works better than boiling ever does.
I get great results with my round wounds when I marinate in a little lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Then bake them at a low heat, around 300 degrees, for half an hour. Yummy
Boiling strings is for people who don't understand the effect of water on metal. (Corrosion)
Use denatured alcohol. If you can't find it, go to the drugstore and buy some bottles of Isopropyl 99% alcohol.
Works better x 100000...
Yep, denatured alcohol is the way to go. Its made for cleaning metal. You can pick some up at any local hardware store.
When my strings sound like garbage, I buy new ones.
How bout just throwin em in the ol' dishwasher
I wouldnt boil strings, It tends to make them brittle and corroded. Like others have said, alcohol is way better. You coluld make yourself a cleaning tube. It's cheap and real easy too Go to the Home Depot (or any home improvement store) and get yourself about 4 feet of pvc pipe and a couple of end caps, you should be able to get the alcohol there too. The whole setup should cost less than $20. Put the strings in the pipe and let soak for few and they are as good as new the only drawback is it messes up silk wrapings, but so does boiling.
This is why I never was my stainless steel utensils in the dish washer.
Go with the alcohol. Be sure to wear some rubber gloves or you'll end up with dry, cracked fingers. It really dehydrates.
What happens if you soak Elixir strings in alcohol?
Strings are $20-ish a set and can last 3-4 months. Why bother with boiling or soaking to MAYBE double the life of said strings to save $40 or so a year?
I might be nuts, but I LOVE putting new strings on a bass.... cleaning, polishing, etc. Like a ritual!
Cleaning the strings by boiling or with alcohol will take most of the grime out of them. But grime isn't the only thing that deadens strings over time. The internal wear where the wrappings and core meet also contributes to the loss of liveliness over time.
The boiling thing was how we did it way back when. Of course a set of RotoSound RS66 Swing Bass cost over $50.00 a set back then so it made sense. Thankfully strings are way cheaper now so boiling is pretty much a thing of the past.
I do however still keep a bunch of those little packets of alcohol wipes in my case. I packet will usually do a 4 string set easily. I swab them down after every set or practice. Keeps the strings nice and clean. You can get that "new string" piano tone from a set of Roto's for a long time that way
I used to do it. But I ultimately decided it was too big a PIA for the small return. Boiling (or acetone, etc.) will clean most of the gunk out of the windings which will allow the strings to be able to vibrate more evenly. But it does nothing for the wear on the windings, nor the loss of elasticicty that they eventually undergo. And I've found that most of the "almost new" sound happens whether you boil the strings or not. If you just take them off (totally relaxe the tension on the strings) for a while, they'll sound pretty new and boingy. But it doesn't last long, and frankly, I like the sound of broken in, but not dead, round wounds best of all.
The realy key is to KEEP the strings clean rather than trying to do spring cleaning after long intervals. As 60Bass says, little alchohol wipes work wonders. No, beer ain't gonna cut it- too much sugar and other stuff in there... Heck, Peavey used to sell a small bottle of alchohol with a very small opening just for cleaning strings. Billy Shehann (I know I didn't spell that right) has said he used some sort of alchohol based aftershave on his strings. The alchohol gets into the windings, helps disolve the crud, and then evaporates quickly. Rub the strings down every time you finish playing, keep your hands clean, and your strings will last surprisingly long.