Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Achilles LS, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. I've been using a set of D'addario XL's on my bass for about a year and a half ( that is, since I've been playing! ) and I've noticed there's some fungus on the back side ( the one that's faced upon the scale ) of the low strings ( B and E ). Those strings are expansive, and can last for about 5 years - so I was told!

    Well, there's not any sound disturbances... yet. So I dunno... is that natural or not? If it is, how can it be softened?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If it's black it could be from a combination of dirt/oils from your fingers and very low-grade rosewood. The dirt and oils get into the porous rosewood, mix with the rosewood's natural oils/resins, and leave black gunk on the underside of your strings.

    My first and only guitar did this to strings. It was a bottom-of-the-line Sears Silvertone with really awful rosewood.
  3. Actually, it's olive-green...
  4. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    ...I think it's time to change your strings. Most non-flatwound strings get really dirty well before the one year mark.

    Like rickbass said, it's probably oil and sweat all gunked up, but thats quite normal after 18 months.

    A year and a half is a long time to go on rounds, I usually get...uh...about 2 months...maybe. :rolleyes:
  5. Gee, 2 mounths? :eek: You must spend a lot on strings!

    See, I paid 80 bucks ( in my currency, it would be like 25 dollars... ) for one set of strings... it really would be a pain in my budget...
  6. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    I didn't say I replaced them every 2 months, but I lose the sound I like after that time. If I had a string deal with DR and got free strings, I'd probably replace every 2 weeks, as a lot of pro's do.

    I've gone through strings in a matter of hours though, it's very depressing especially when some guys can leave their rounds on for 6 months and still have bright tone. :( I'm diggin these DR Hi-beams I have on now, still far.

    I hate dull strings, I could be playing the nicest bass through the nicest amp ever, and still be totally bummed about the sound. Some guys dig it, though and that's cool.
  7. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    ...AND lose all their tone AND go dead very rapidly AND have a much higher risk of snapping.

    :rolleyes: :)

    But thats just my experience. I used to boil and do the alcohol thing with strings, but they never came out sounding "good", as expected. I understand that some places can't get cheap strings, so I guess it's always an option.

    Try it and see if it works for you though, definately nothing wrong w/ saving money. :cool:
  8. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    That's because boiling ruins your strings.
    I'm not talking about boiling, or soaking in rubbing alcohol (which contains water)

    I'm talking about the post by mchildree which should be the first thing that comes up when you click the link. Soaking in denatured alcohol has none of the drawbacks of boiling.
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I will agree 100%. I have tried soaking in denatured alcohol, and it gets you pretty darned close to that 'new string' sound. Much closer than boiling. And, the strings do not go dead after a day or two like they do when you boil them.

    The one thing that you cannot do is replace the mass that is lost, or repair the damage that is done by normal playing wear.

    But, for $10.00 worth of supplies that you can reuse over and over, you can stretch the life of your strings considerably, if you are on a budget.
  10. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    Cool...I'll have to try it again using that technique, thanks for the tip guys.