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Cheap “throw away” string suggestions.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by PennyroyalWe, Mar 13, 2020.


  1. PennyroyalWe

    PennyroyalWe

    Sep 2, 2018
    Oregon
    While looking on eBay at some Glarry Basses (briefly entertaining the idea of getting g an office bass), I noticed several listing for really cheap strings from Glarry and almost and the like. Like $3-8 cheap. It got me wondering if anyone’s every tried these ultra budget strings and thoughts on them? I’m sure they’re the same as the stock strings on these cheap basses, and I wouldn’t be expecting them to perform as well as name brand strings, but for having a few sets lying around to thrash on, it’s tempting. Any equivalent cheap-o flats?!
     
  2. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    "throw away" seems a suitable phrase to use =)
     
    BrentSimons and tindrum like this.
  3. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Neustria
    Flatwound strings are more difficult to make, which is why they are generally more expensive. I would be very reluctant to buy cheap flats if it existed. I have no experience with Glarry bass strings, but when it comes to cheap roundwounds, the Warwick Red Labels are more than ok for the price, in my opinion.
     
    tindrum and PennyroyalWe like this.
  4. Price vs. value...

    The only problem with "cheap throw-aways" is they often end up costing you more in the long run.
     
    BrentSimons and PennyroyalWe like this.
  5. PennyroyalWe

    PennyroyalWe

    Sep 2, 2018
    Oregon
    I get that. All of my Basses have flats or halfs, but thinking of trying rounds for this project where I’m deliberately hunting a trashy/bad (we’ll say atypical) tone.
     
  6. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    Georgia
    I’m pretty sure I have a set of strings in my workshop that I removed from a Glarry P-bass the day I got it. If you send me a PM with your address I would be happy to send them to you. Just let me know. :thumbsup:
     
  7. One of the best guitarists I've ever played with used to use the cheapest strings he could find, and he sounded great. That was guitar though, and he changed strings every couple of weeks.
     
  8. I remember seeing a brand of cheap strings a while ago. The brand was "Alice". I thought it was probably a reference to Alibaba or something. I didn't buy a set because there were complaints about some of those brands not using the right alloys and not being magnetic enough to pick up the signal. I'm no metallurgist (I don't even know which bass is the best for metal!) so the whole recipe for combining ingredients into alloys to make magnetic strings is sort of a mystery. I do know that some metals aren't conductors and they won't work. Don't buy aluminum strings unless you plan to install them on your Ampeg with the mystery pickup.
     
    tindrum likes this.
  9. dax21

    dax21

    Nov 26, 2011
    Serbia
    Harley Benton strings, can't recommend them enough. Since I started using them I can't rationalize spending $25-30 for strings anymore, they sound and last just as long as the more average costing sets. Downside is that they only come in 40 and 45 sets for 4 strings and only in 45 for 5 strings. Try them if you can get them in the US.
     
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  10. Are they the ones with orange silk?

    Like the ones in this pic? (previously posted by @RattleSnack)

    Harley Benton Strings (800x600).jpg
     
  11. dax21

    dax21

    Nov 26, 2011
    Serbia
    Yep, orange silk wrap is for the .45 sets, and the blue silk wrap is for the .40 sets. Five string set doesn't have silk wrap at all if I remember well.

    Whether the one in the pic is HB, I can't really say, plenty of manufacturers use colored silk wrap.
     
  12. Something very unique about the ones in the pic is how the silk is staggered neatly to fit the Fender-style in-line headstock - something you don't see with most other manufacturers.

    Do they also have silk at the ball end?
     
  13. dax21

    dax21

    Nov 26, 2011
    Serbia
    Not sure on the silk at the ball end, I'll tell you in a few hours when I get back home from work and check.
    I'm pretty sure they redesigned the strings once or twice over the last year or two so that might cause some confusion. I've read on talkbass that five string sets have red wrap but sets I had never had any.

    The only other info I can give you is that the five string sets are stated not to match 5 in a row headstocks, and overall the individual string length is long enough that you still need to cut the excess with pliers but not silly long like on some more pricey manufacturers. Doesn't affect anything at all, and I can confirm that wrap is long enough to pass the nut on the 35" basses. I can also confirm that using the 5 string set for BEAD (or in my case, CFA#D#) still has the strings have enough length to be wound on the tuning pegs with enough wraps around the post. I've initially been suspicious about actual manufacture quality of the strings and I expected them to break, but it's now been almost a year since I've started using them and I never had a string break. I use all 3 sets available for different basses and different tunings (40 for standard, 45 for one full step down and aforementioned fiver set for half-step uptuning from BEAD).
     
  14. dax21

    dax21

    Nov 26, 2011
    Serbia
    Just got around to checking, yeah they also have the wrap on the ball end.
     
    michael_t likes this.
  15. subdude67

    subdude67

    Jan 18, 2010
    Kenya
    I have tried cheapo strings on several occasions. In my experience they all sounded ok but they all faded to a dull tone very quickly.
    I happily trade longevity for higher cost.
     
    tindrum and PennyroyalWe like this.
  16. PennyroyalWe

    PennyroyalWe

    Sep 2, 2018
    Oregon
    Thanks for the offer, I ended up just buying a set for $5. We’ll see how they do, if they get here!
     
    Cutter8 likes this.
  17. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    Georgia
    Hope they turn out to be decent. Let us know.
     
  18. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    It's not that much of a mystery. Most any carbon steel works fine, nickel works fine. Other metals, though they're electrical conductors, are not ferromagnetic, so they won't work.
     
    jamro217 likes this.
  19. I understand the basics of magnetic versus nonmagnetic metals, but there is undoubtedly much more that goes into the ratio of which magnetic metals should be combined to produce the best strings. If there is so much attention to detail where pickups are concerned, string manufacturers must face the same challenges. Trial and error.
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 4, 2021

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