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Denatured Alcohol Convert!!!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Nov 29, 2005.


  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I finally got a bottle of denatured alcohol the other day to finally give it a shot.

    Yesterday I took the strings of my lakland... they were truly awful, I had played a couple of gigs with those and the heat really made me sweat, so believe me, the strings were dead.

    I was a little skeptical. I thought, Ok, these would clean the strings its just that, they wont sound like new or something.

    I was wrong. I left them in a can full of alcohol for the full night. (I took 2 shots to be in the mood. J/k.. ) And I just woke up to take them out and put them back in the lakkie.

    As soon as I took them off the alcohol, they felt a little raw... just like new stainless. (I use stainless only) Put them back on the bass... tune them up.... WOAAAAA they felt raw... punchy, clean and sizzly... just like new strings!!
    Im a convert now. The Denatured alcohol is THE WAY to clean bass strings.

    I will highly recommend it to anyone now. Im very happy with the results.

    Im now going to get a 42" PVC Pipe to make a "System" for cleaning the strings.
     
  2. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    But how long will it last?
     
  3. Call me low budget - quick and dirty, but I use regular rubbing alcohol on a cloth after each hard play. You can feel the strings liven up right away. Keeps the human "spoor" off them somewhat.
     
  4. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    We will see.
    But the thing is this truly works. As opossed to boiling...
    where they seem to sound better, but they dont, and after a couple of days they get worse than before.

    With the alcohol.. they feel RAW.. just as they were when taking them out of the package.
    (I did this to a Smith Rock Masters set)
     
  5. how long will a the denatured alcohol last (how many cleans?)
    and how many times can you clean the strings before it becomes detrimental to the string and tone
     
  6. Fo' Shizzle

    Fo' Shizzle

    Aug 28, 2003
    How long does it take for you to kill new strings?

    That's how long it lasts.... it's not like boiling at all.

    If everybody figures this out the string makers will have a real problem......
     
  7. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    The same thing kills any strings - being stretched, which is unavoidable. Keeping the human "schmoo" off will help to brighten them, but eventually there will be little snap left after using them due to having to stretch them between the nut and the bridge.
     
  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I gig almost every Friday and Saturday, sometimes Thursdays as well. I rotate two sets of strings, changing them every other week, putting them in a PVC tube of den.alcohol then removing the other set that has been soaking since the last change. Works great, I get about 4 uses out of them before they become unreliable and prone to breakage from being taken on and off the bass.
     
  9. Ok, this might be a dumb question. I also soak my strings in alcohol using a jar, thinking about getting a tube. How's the tube thing getting sealed so the alcohol don't spill or vaporize? Is there some kind of lid?
     
  10. Fo' Shizzle

    Fo' Shizzle

    Aug 28, 2003
    Go to Home Depot. Get a 4 foot piece of PVC(you can cut it down). Buy 2 caps. Glue the bottom one. Any kind of contact cement will work (it's not under pressure). When you fill the tube set the other cap on top. Remember to reuse your alcohol.

    Piece of cake......

    By the way, the premise that the strings will wear down and break after several rounds of this is true. But will cut your string purchases in half, if not more.

    Fo
     
  11. two things happen...one, grit is removed...grit buildup sits on the string in a small layer (especially in the cracks of the windings) and dampens the sound...

    secondly, oxidation is removed...depending upon the string composition will determine the amount of oxidation...alcohol helps breakdown and remove the oxidation...keep in mind, that oxidation is a conversion of the metal from the strings to a metal oxide that is then stripped away in the cleaning process...over time (a LONG time), your strings will actually become thinner and weaker...

    actually the biggest stress on your strings is taking them off and putting them back on again...

    I don't like putting alcohol too close to my bass, but if I found a way to do it without having the wood contact the strings, I think that regular, in-situ wipe downs is a better solution.
     
  12. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Why a long PCV pipe? Why can't you just wind them up like how they come in the package and put them into a coffee can or something?
     
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Yup.

    That's what I do. I have a resealable plastic container (the kitchen type) that I use. Works just as good, but no visit to Home Depot for you...but it does store smaller.

    I've used the same 2 sets of strings for my #1 bass since June by rotating them this way, and no breakage.
     
  14. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I think that the PVC is good because you dont have to coil the strings and then uncoil them... You use less alcohol... etc etc.

    havent gone to the store yet.. so Im using a 35mm professional film container to put the strings with the alcohol.
     
  15. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    It would take a whole lot of alcohol to fill up a 4 foot long pcv pipe... way more than an inches worth of it in a coffee can.

    How many times can you re-use it? The alcohol that is.

    Yeah, I've asked a lot of questions. Thanks for the help.
     
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    I've been using the same container of it since May without a problem...I bought a 32oz. container of it and it was more than enough.
     
  17. chilliwilli

    chilliwilli

    Aug 17, 2005
    I like flatwounds.

    Dont have to clean them or change them :p
     
  18. Micolao

    Micolao

    Sep 7, 2005
    Italy
    Yeha...
    another one converted... :cool:
     
  19. Micolao

    Micolao

    Sep 7, 2005
    Italy
    haaa, for everyone who wants to try, be sure that the percentual of alchool that you buy is al last 90% (not as some alcool at 50% for domestic use)
    this prevent the strings to get rusty.
     
  20. joereda

    joereda Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2003
    Atlanta
    Be careful with those coiled strings in a coffee can. If they uncoil while you're messing with them you could get splashed in the face. :crying: I use 1/2 to 2/3 of a 32 oz. can in a narrow pvc tube. Sometimes I'll do two sets at a time. It's been working great for me. Does anyone else have strings lose life more quickly in the winter? Does anyone else have "d" strings go dead first... always?

    Joe