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How long does it take for upright strings to be broken in?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Seiki, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Maybe it's a common question, but I have no clue. I recently restrung my upright for the first time.

    In short, after changing my strings, they sound too "new" for me. I prefer a "round"/mellow tone. I'm one of those baddies that doesn't even like to change strings on fretless once a year (I typically play with fairly boosted mids and a little more bridge pickup + roundwounds anyway so I get all the brightness I want/need), but electric strings are not quite the same as the mighty upright's.

    The other concern is the simple feeling of them. I know that new flats always feel stiff, but they just feel unnatural to me at the moment.

    I'm guessing around six weeks or so assuming an hour of play a day? What do you think/feel from your past experiences TB? I'm looking forward to when I can consider them broken in, but it's just.. awkward for now! :unsure:
  2. Leo Smith

    Leo Smith

    Oct 21, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    What strings did you put on? Brand / model.... each type takes a different amount of time to settle in.

    Also, did you get a set of strings that can get the sound YOU want? For example, Spirocores are not considered "mellow" sounding, and Bel Cantos are not considered "bright"...

    Regarding the tension / feeling, upright strings also come in various weights. (weich / light, medium, stark / heavy, solo, and so on....)
    Jake deVilliers likes this.
  3. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    depends on the strings.. its a gradual process

    the first hour or so leaves the strings a chance to settle down in the first place, but lots of strings continue to stretch for a week or so. i just put superflexibles on my bass and they were 100% stable after 5 minutes though, so it all depends.

    as far as the tone mellowing out, that can take months depending on the string.
  4. And depending on the taste of the player some consider strings with a long break-in time dead after they have broken in and others throw them off the bass in the first place, not waiting for the sound after break-in time.

    Well there are better signs for a dead string than degrading sound, like always sounding out of tune or a non-stable pitch.

    My old Spiro Mittel 4/4 (S42) sounded awfully bright to me bowed when I got them new on a new bass many years ago. After a year of weekly bowing in a student orchestra the strings mellowed down and responded better to the bow. They also got much more flexible than in the beginning.

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