How many chances do you give new strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by twinjet, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Just gigged a new-to-me set (40 hrs. playtime at time of purchase) of TI Jazz flats that sound good with only one tonal setting. They have no top end, some mids. Incredible low end, though.

    Played two gigs at two venues, both with odd room designs. My bass did not seem to sound how it usually does and had to wonder whether it was the strings or the rooms. These flats feel great but are extremely limiting tonally speaking, unlike Chromes.

    How much time is a fair assessment?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  2. sonic_boogaloo


    Aug 18, 2017
    yep, them there are flats you're playing!
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  3. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Sure, I wasn't expecting the same sounds as I would have gotten out of rounds, but I can't even cop a decent bridge pickup sound. Amp tweaking didn't help either.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Um, that's one of the primary reasons to change strings - because they won't sound like other strings do.

    It's always the strings AND the room. Acoustics work.

    But (surprisingly) to respond to the actual question, I sure wouldn't get in a hurry to change them. Strings sound different a month after you put them on, and flats get better with age.

    Edit: I was actually too hasty. I should have said six months.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

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  6. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'd say you've given those strings plenty of time to understand them. My experience with TI flats was nearly identical to yours.
    murphy likes this.
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    If the strings are broken in and I still don't like them, it's time to look for something different.

    That said, I can't say TIs have a limited tonal pallet - quite the opposite. But different strokes and all, and different basses like different strings.
    DaveAceofBass, kodiakblair and joebar like this.
  8. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Strings can change quite a bit as they lose the new string zing, and flats can take quite a bit longer. So I'll usually try to give them a chance to "stabilize", for lack of a better word, rather than give them a defined amount of time.

    That being said, the TB'er I bought my L-2500 from had TI Jazz Flats on it when I bought it from him. I gave them a little while before finally deciding I didn't like them on that bass. But, even if I loved the sound of the Jazz Flats, I just do not like the loose feel (also had them on my Precision V when I first bought it) I prefer a much stiffer feeling string. If I don't like the feel, those string will come off much quicker.
    eff-clef likes this.
  9. Every time I'm trying out a new set of strings for the first time, I try not to be too hasty in passing judgement. This means at least 3-6 weeks for rounds and 3-6 months for flats.
    jallenbass, Pilgrim and MCF like this.
  10. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I know I've given GHS products way too many chances and they've always disappointed. YMMV
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  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I hated TI Jazz Flats the second I put them on, I gave then 4 months, and you know what?

    I still hated them!

    So now I give strings one chance to impress me, no more.
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  12. Blue Steels, magic with my Cirrus, I'll think i'll stay with BS
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  13. jjmuckluckjr


    Mar 24, 2015
    JimmyM has a good point. Round-wounds lose some of their initial brightness. Flats get mellow, more thump. And certain bass/string combos just don't work. But something that sounds like caca today will never sound incredible a month down the road, regardless of cost or reputation. I can and have yanked disagreeable strings within minutes. Some lessons cost more than others.
  14. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    Well, I'm going to find out today when I string up a set of EB Cobalt Flats.
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Sounds like a set of TI Jazz Flats you're hearing. If they're not for you, you've heard enough by now.

    FWIW, flats take awhile to fully "open up." And by "awhile" I mean three months (or more) depending on how often and hard you play. They'll get more complex and round sounding with time. But they're not going to get any brighter sounding. So if that's what you want more of, you need different strings.

    Most strings only last a day (or maybe two) on my basses if I don't quickly start liking what I'm hearing. I've even pulled some sets less than 20 minutes after I've put them on. It all depends on the string.

    Sometimes it's also finding a good match. For example, I never liked Chromes. Tried and tossed a few sets over the years. But then I put a set on one PB I bought after I stuck an Aguilar pickup on it…and it's a match made in heaven. So never say: "Never!"
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  16. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I don’t have a set time frame, just as long as possible before I get sick of them or decide they are a keeper. Some resent examples:

    Optima nickel flats – Still have these, but they aren’t on any of my basses at the moment. Not really into flats like these at the moment, but did give them several months before taking them off.

    EB cobalt flats – Used them for 3 months, liked them quite a bit, but broke the D string while trying to put them on a different bass. Tossed the rest. Might get a new set in the future.

    Dunlop Super Brights – Took them off within an hour. Way too rubbery for me.

    GHS Pressurewounds – Currently have these on my Precision for about a month now. Really like them so far, will keep going and see how they do in the future, and might get a set for my PJ or even my Geddy Lee Jazz.
  17. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I have six hours of playtime and don't like 'em, but I won't give up yet...
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  18. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Yup, flats.
    murphy likes this.
  19. Rollin Thunder

    Rollin Thunder

    Mar 20, 2017
    Just put some DR High beams on one of my new EB bass, Really really tight tension, not sure about them yet, hopefully stretch and loosen a bit over next few days otherwise roto steels going on.
    As anyone had the same with these or do they stay tight high tension.
  20. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I have decided to stop trying different strings.

    I've used Ernie Ball Power Slinkies for 4 years now and whatever they called that nickel set of gauges back in the day before I quit playing for a bit.

    I have wanted to try all these new strings that are out there, but I keep being disappointed time and time again. I leave them on, thinking, let's do a few gigs and see. Shortly thereafter, off they come and on go the Ernie Balls.

    So why bother? I like what I like.

    I know, nearly everyone hates Ernie Ball strings. But I like how the Power Slinkies sound, how they feel, plus they are pretty easy to find, as opposed to a lot of strings in that gauge (I know, I know, gauges aren't the only contributing factor to the way they feel, I'm not going through that drill again). They stay bright enough for me for 4-5 weeks depending how many gigs and what kind of gigs I'm doing. So hopefully they won't stop making them because I'm seemingly the only guy on the planet that likes them.
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