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break in your new flats in 5 minutes

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by perutxo, Oct 1, 2008.


  1. Hi everyone,
    I just wanted to share with you a little experiment that had been in my mind for some time..... and IT DOES WORK!
    Well, a year ago, I bought a set of ghs pressurewounds which had little rust stains here and there and I thought, well I'll clean them with a metal polish product. After I did so, the tone of the strings was "dead" and got rid of them.
    Today, one year later, I started thinking of why flats sound better after a period of time and came to the conclusion that flats sound better because they just wear out. How could I possibly accelerate that process? Wearing out means erosion, so how could I accelerate that process? Then...BINGO!!! The set of ghs I "polished" a year before came to my mind.
    Metal cleaners erode the outest part of a metal. So why not using them on my new set of flats??
    And the miracle just happened. I polished a new set of deep talking flats that have been on my bass for a week (they sound great but still a bit bright and clanky,as any new flat string) and......
    YES!!!!! my new set of flats sounds like a 3 months old set of flats!!!!!
    I just used one of those metal, silver cleaners that come in brass can, as a wet pink cotton that polishes the metal directly (the brand I use here in Spain is aladdin, in case that helps). So just wipe it, let dry and polish with a rag.

    I F***ng MADE IT!!!!

    Give it a try guys!!!!:hyper::hyper::hyper:
    You won't regret it!!!!:bassist::bassist::bassist:
    Peace
     
  2. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    No Thanks !
     
  3. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    My Osborn flats sound fine right out of the package. But thanks anyway.
     
  4. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Thanks Perutxo, I've got some flats that are WAY too bright.

    Is this an abrasive cleaner, like a powder? What is the wet pink cotton part? Sorry, I'm not familiar with these things.

    Thanks, Alan
     
  5. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    If you're looking for a metal polisher/abrasive, the local name here is Brasso.

    It looks like a pink powder cake in a steel wool mesh.
     
  6. peakdesign

    peakdesign

    Aug 25, 2008
    Dude! I don't doubt they sound dead. You just rubbed abrasive powder suspended in petroleum distillates deep into your strings!

    Have you ever "dismantled" a fat flatwound string? There's layer upon layer, and these layers minutely flex and slip as the string vibrates, it's logically what gives a given type of string its specific timbre. It's more delicate technology than roundwounds. That's why a good set of flats is expensive. The top layer becomes smoother and slightly coated as you normally break it in, but the inner layers still operate.

    Maybe I'm too picky, but as far as I'm concerned, what you came up with is like taking a carefully made piece of mixed materials technology, say an aircraft engine, and pouring fine sand into the gas tank, to break it in :eek:. If you leave some of that particulate stuff in and under the top windings, your strings won't just sound dead, IMHO they're going to continue dying as you play them, until they first sound like Chinese bungie cords, then like Chinese USB cables. If I were you, given how far you've come, i.e. you have nothing to lose, I'd friggin' BOIL those strings ASAP while you're at it, and hope to Jupiter most of the fine particles wash out. :D
     
  7. Brasso, that's the product that sounds familiar when I lived in England, same stuff as the one I used.
    I forgot to mention to do this process with the strings not being on your bass. (you don't want to mess up your bass).
     
  8. You might be right and if so, I would have only spent 25€. But what if it works??
    I'll post as time goes by
     
  9. I think the metal seasons as well from the tension of being strung and played, changing tone over time.
     
  10. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    My flats sound the same as they did a year ago as they did the year before that.

    I just think that after a certain amount of time that flats quit breaking in and you only need to change them when the inner core gives up the ghost.

    My 2 cents from a long time flat user.
     
  11. I prefer good ol' Vaseline.
     
  12. peakdesign

    peakdesign

    Aug 25, 2008
    25€? Is that with or without the Aladin?

    If it works? You mean if they stay dead? :ninja: No Nobel prize in Premature String Aging, I'm afraid, but a lot of satisfaction. :D
     
  13. The aladdin was already at home.
    I never said they now sound dead. What I did say is that the ghs I polished did sound dead, however I didn't mean dead in bad way, but for a nearly roundwound string, the sound they delivered wasn't the expected one for that particular kind of string, but I never said that it sounded bad, just didn't deliver the tone for that kind of string.
    I don't mean to be right or something like that, perhaps my experiment will end up like pooh pooh, but one of the things that really strikes me in this forum is the critics without experimenting. I don't base my knowledge on theory but rather on experience and as I said before this might end up like a big pile of pooh pooh, but it also might work (it is working so far).
     
  14. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    All the great inventors got poo-pooed...gotta ignore and move ahead.
     
  15. Luckydog

    Luckydog

    Dec 25, 1999
    Dude, you might have deadened your flats, but certainly not due to anything you did to the "outest part of a metal". You got solids from the polish between the windings.
     
  16. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    415/707
    +1 :D
     
  17. peakdesign

    peakdesign

    Aug 25, 2008
    No worries, mate, it's all in good humor ...
     
  18. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Hey great idea! I like people who think outside the box and are willing to experiment. I'll give it a shot. I always find Chromes too bright so I'll see what it does.
     
  19. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Hey here's some out of the box thinking: screw the box and buy a set of flats that are less bright than Chromes.

    Flats last for ages when allowed to break in; the effects of the OP's experiment will not fully be known for years, as the damage inflicted by this treatment might accelerate their demise.

    More power to him, but I wouldn't risk a set failing on me just to avoid the few weeks of playing time needed to break in a set of flats.
     
  20. redstrand

    redstrand

    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    Buy some TI flats and they will sound the same now and next year. I don't trust a chemical reaction for sound. Go with something tried and true...the TI's cost more but you won't change them for years.
     

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