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Ed Friedland's 10 year old steels

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sigmafloyd, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. sigmafloyd


    May 1, 2011
    I was watching this youtube video of Ed Friedland demoing a dimarzio pickup when he mentioned having a 10 year old set of Labella Hard Rockin Steels on his P bass.

    I haven't really considered steels that much (mostly flats and nickels), but the sound of those made me change my mind. I had no idea people left steel strings on that long.

  2. Steels left on for a while provide a warm, yet very articulate (fast reacting to the touch) tone.

    I leave my steel strings on a while. They dont have the sluggish response I hear from nickels. They "react" quick to the touch.... and as they age, they "warm" up.

    I don't know about 10 years tho.... I'll usually go about 3-6 months depending on how much that specific bass is being played.
  3. Mikhail1


    Apr 8, 2008
    Ten years is nothing, I once left a set of Rotosounds 66's on an Aria Precise bass for fifteen years. In all fairness, I had gigged them for only about 3-4 years and only occassional jamming with them after that. In fact they were still on the bass when I sold it. They definitely needed replacing but still held tune and had a very mellow, nickel like tone. Since I always wiped them, they still looked good and had little if any tarnish.
  4. Man, do they ever sound good. Those harmonics are beautiful.
  5. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Wow, ten years.

    Stainless steel strings sound really good when they are old. I had a set of Fat Beams on a bass for three years, and they sounded great.

    They do have a more immediate sound than nickels, but are still very warm.
  6. edfriedland


    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Yup. When I break on string on that bass... I'll have to put it on a wooden raft, set it on fire, and float it down the Colorado river....

    I have a few basses with "heritage" strings on them. My 72 P bass has 15 year old LaBella flats on it. My Roadworn Jazz has 3 year old GHS flats, my 51 RI P has 4 year old LaBellas...

    There are a few factors at work here - 1) My taste has changed a bit. While I used to think the bright, shiny Marcus Miller tone was my ideal (it still is for the right gig)... I don't have much use for that sound anymore as I play very little fusion, funk, or modern R&B. 2) My hands are dry, and I try not to play with dirty hands, so my strings last longer. 3) I have a lot of instruments to play, so no one bass gets that much use... the string wear gets spread out over time.

    But I do change out the strings on my Lull MV5 fairly often, maybe every 3-4 months. It's an active Jazz-style bass, and I don't care for the dead string tone on that.
  7. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey
    Lol, a viking funeral...
  8. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Now there's a working musician stretching a buck.
    My LaBella tape wounds have 6 years on them.
    You got me beat Ed.
  9. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    You guys are all wimps. I have a Fender P-Bass with nearly 17-year-old GHS Precision Flats on it.
  10. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    I am impresssed with the record keeping you guys maintain to be able to state with authority how many years a given set of strings have been on a bass.
    Do you guys keep notebooks of service records or what?
  11. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    No, it's just that I seem to dedicate a functioning part of my brain to remembering such things. Like, I can remember putting those strings on, back in the spring of 1996... but I can't remember what my wife just asked me to pick up at the supermarket. :rolleyes:
  12. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I had a 5 string set of HRSs from before they ruined them by making the E nontapered. Played them for years and they sounded perfect. Just a little edge left with loads of growl and low mids.
  13. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    No wonder his bass playing to me sounds like bass with strings well past needing replacing.