Dull Strings Problem

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by minnikin32, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. Hello fellow long-neck players!

    I am having some serious problems with one of my Warwick basses. I have a 1997 Streamer LX 5 and a 2002 FNA Jazzman 4.

    I have used my favourite strings for a long time on several basses, which are custom La Bella Hard Rocking Steel Stainless Strings. I love their fat tone, their feel, and the how they stay bright for a good 10 weeks. I play each bass for 1 hour a day aprox.

    The guages I use are 128-100-80-60-40 for the five string and 106-83-58-41 for the 4. Yes, these are custom guages and I haven't known any other company to have these guages! :D

    If I replace the strings on one of them, I reaplce the other too. The strings on the 5 string last for a good 10-12 weeks. The strings on the 4 string last for about.... hmmm.... 30 minutes :eek:

    This has happed for about 3 years, I have tried warwick black label stainless, rotosounds and even elites strings and it does the same thing! I have tried the same strings on the bass I had previously the the Jazzman (a Musicman Stringray 4) and lasted flippin' ages.

    I make a ritual of washing my hands before and after playing, a wipe the strings down after sweaty gigs and rehearsals with string kleenz (those little moist tissues). Despite doing this the string life does not improve on the Jazzman (improved noticably with the 5!)

    My sound is quite bright with predominantly punchy mids. With dull strings all I get is a sh*tty rumble, and very little output.

    I have had the frets recently reshaped and recrowned, the bridge reset and nut set correctly so there is no pinching. No improvement still. I have tried boiling the strings (which makes them linke new, they still die in 30 mins) and my newest method is boiling them in a sonic bath (the jewellery cleaning tanks) and makes them like new again.

    I have spent quite a bit of money on this process of elimination to find out the problem. I love the Jazzman, it is my fav bass I have ever had, but this problem has been going on since I got it really.

    I have e-mailed the tech support at Warwick, and was actually quite upset that they didn't even seem to read my e-mail correctly. They blamed the strings, but it obviously is not in my elimination. I am to the end of my tether to try and solve this, so PLEASE HELP ME, I am so cut up that I might have to get rid of my favourite bass!

    Thanks for your support and keep rocking!

    Glenn Minnikin
    United Kingdom

    P.S. I think all bass players should have a sonic bath, just feed your string(s) through it and you see the awful clouds of oil, skin and sh*t come off the string, amazing! :bassist:
  2. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Try Elixir Nanoweb strings. They really work. I was skeptical myself about a coated string, thought they'd sound dead out of the box, but they're pretty lively, and they don't get all phunky with the detritus you mentioned above. They stay bright, you can get a few MONTHS out of a set. Expensive, about 20 quid here in the states ($40 US, using $2/pound conversion as a guide), but well worth the investment. Don't use the Polyweb, that's an older version, the coating sheds like a snake with bad dandruff! Hope this helps, good luck.
  3. Thanks,

    I might give them a try. I have used La Bella for about 6 years now, the change might do me good. Although I have used several other strings (non-coated) I still find it strange that the same brand and model string have different life spans on two similar basses.

    I'll give the coated strings a shot, thanks very much!

    Glenn Minnikin
  4. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    if you play witha pic, try the polyweb. i have used them for about 3 years, and havent looked back since.
  5. Hi,

    I play both pick and fingers, mostly fingers. The music I play is dominantly rock. I have just ordered some NanoWeb Elixirs from Stringbusters for both my four and five, so I can do the same comparison as before, so I will let you know how I get on with them. They will arrive and be fitted tomorrow.

    Flippin heck! They are expensive too! Twice the price of my La Bellas, I do hope this works!

    Cheers again,

    Glenn Minnikin
  6. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Does Elixir still offer Polyweb Bass Strings?

    They are not discontinued?

    If they are still being made, where the heck can I get some?
  7. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Out of curiosity, what did you pay for your Elixirs across the pond? And your La Bellas?
  8. Maybe your action is too high on that bass? I just raised the action on my bass, and now my strings sound dull.

    Bassic83, check european prices on www.stringbusters.com
  9. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Cure for that--raise the pickups to match. Give it a shot. :cool:
  10. Yeah, I thought so too. Didn't work. I think it's because I was used to the bright sound of the strings banning against the frets... or perhaps because the strings just died coincidently when I raised the action? Well, enough thread-stealing for now :)
  11. The elixirs were £36 for the 5 and £29 for the 4. which is about $66 and $53 respectively. The La Bella Hard Rockin' Steels are £13 and £17.50, which is about $24 and $32 respectively. Quite a bit difference!

    The action on the Jazzman is low, but not too low, according to the users manual. The pickups are set as to the manual too. The annoying this is the bass sounds absolutely awesome when the strings are bright, but loses sustain and brightness quickly.

    One thing I noticed on the 5 compared to the 4, is that the frets are skinnier and appear sharper on the 5 than the 4. There is also MUCH LESS wear on the 5. The 5 string is a whole 5 and a half years older than the 4! I'm starting to think the old Warwicks are of FAR BETTER BUILD QUALITY than the new ones. The Warwick tech department think otherwise.

    I don't know about PolyWeb, StringBusters only had NanoWeb.

    Hey guys I must say I really appreciate your help on this, :hyper: I'll keep you posted with my progress with the elixirs when they arrive tomorrow (it's now 10:30pm 'over the pond').

    Glenn Minnikin
    United Kingdom
  12. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Well, what's the verdict?
  13. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    im still able to get them. i hope they dont discontinue them

    www.juststrings.com had them when i used to order mail order.

    my local shops gets them.

    contact elixir, and ask them who they sell too in your area.
  14. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    That 30 minute thing really is the catch though isn't. It almost seems as though that's time enough for some part of the active circuit to build up some sort of current, like where it filters out the top end -- as an old fashioned capacitor would. I looked at the specs for the two basses and they seem different: The Streamer's got MEC Active J/J MEC Active BEC II, 2-way, and the other one's got MEC "Large Pole" Passive MEC Active BEC III-2, 3-way.

    I don't know how different they are in reality though.

    To me it maybe IS the electronics like you probably already suspect. You've kept all the other factors even as much as possible. Too bad you can't trade it for a Streamer 4; then at least the active package would be the same.

    Still, I suspect faulty circuitry, especially with that 30 minute limit, you know?
  15. After the 30 seconds they wenrt dead and stayed dead... The strings sound dull not plugged in, just from the sound of the actual bass itself. I still have the MEC electronics on the Jazzman and the Streamer, but plan to upgrade to EMGs on the Streamer when I save a bit more cash.

    Anyhow to the strings... OK, you guys have turned me to elixirs. The strings are awesome. They are so punchy and full of life. I am really impressed with them. well worth the increase of £50 to my annual string budget! They have a different feel to normal roundwounds, but I like it! You can really get a 'grip' on the strings.

    However, I have had a reply from a different guy from a Warwick representative, and has said they have has some similar problems with some FNAs and JazzMans. It is apparently the frets.

    Hence, I have actually aready done what DemoEtc has suggested, trade in for a Streamer 4. I managed to secure a 1992 Warwick Streamer Stage I with EMGs. I know the electronics are very different to my Streamer 5, but I plan to upgrade all of them to EMGs, I've heard they are punchy and bright in comparision to, from what I have heard, crappy electronics.

    So I look forward to recieving this new bass. It's a shame it has come to this but I hope it's for the better (watch the Stage I have the same problem...!).

    I would like to thank everyone for their advice, and turning me to elixirs!

    Best of luck everyone,

    Glenn Minnikin
    United Kingdom
  16. b2d2


    Sep 1, 2004
    Seattle, Wa
    For 4 string try D'Addarios. I don't know if they have your custum gauges but I have carbony hands and these strings last 6-8 weeks for me. I use long scale nickle rounds. :bassist:
  17. duncbass


    Dec 28, 2003
    The most consistant set I've used recently was DR Hi Beams. They lasted many weeks with the briteness staying the same for each string. And juststrings is a great place to buy, at least in the US. I've placed orders via the web and received the strings two days later.

  18. I have used Daddario XLs and Prisms in the past, which were my favourite stings until the La Bellas. I have always tried to use stainless, as they generally last longer and have a brighter tone.

    I have not yet tried DR strings yet, they seem had to come by in the UK, www.stringbusters.com seem a good place to buy. Next day delivery in the UK. I may consider using DRs in the future as I have heard too many good things. But for now I am riding the Coated String bandwagon! Still loving the Elixirs...

  19. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I put them on my main bass, a Dean B2-5 Brian Bromberg, and WOW! What a difference. I was using DR Hi-Beams before, I hear DR has a coated string, but I don't know anything about them...I do know that Elixirs rock...