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How often to change non-steel strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Chris Paget, Apr 20, 2010.


  1. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    I've had Eurosonic Lights on for most of a year; I know that steel strings can be left on for a number of years potentially, but I'm wondering what the average time is for you guys between new strings sets for strings that are not steel (Eurosonics and Innovations in particular)?
     
  2. George700DL

    George700DL

    Jan 9, 2009
    Maryland
    I don't know if this is relevant to you, but I know people who have had plain gut strings on for well over a decade, and they still play fine.

    George
     
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yeah, it's not either of the brands you mention, but my personal record was five years for a set of Animas. And I only changed them because I got a new bridge and didn't want to risk the "crimp" from the previous bridge breaking...
     
  4. nealw

    nealw

    Sep 9, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I've had Eurosonics on for about 5 years now. They've sort of turned green in places (inside the transparent tape windings) but they sound better than when they were new. I don't plan to change them anytime soon.
     
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    That made me happy :D

    Part of me would like to pop for a fresh set of Gamuts, just to see what they're like from start to finish. But the the bass sounds and feels so frickin' great at the moment, the other part of me wants to just leave it alone.
     
  6. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Strung with...?
     
  7. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I saw Peter Washington Sunday. He's using his first set of Velvet Blues, has had them on for a year and they're still going strong. He plays the hell out of them, too. He told me he usually gets only a year from strings.
     
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Evah Weichs E&A, Gamut Lyons D&G.
     
  9. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I must be an odd duck....

    Weedwackers on for about 7 years on one bass, and spirocore wiechs on the other for 4 years now......

    Neither set show any signs of breaking...and they hold their pitch REALLY well...in fact, unless there is a massive temperature change or unless I bump the bridge, I almost don't have to tune either...(or at least it seems that way)



    http://www.myspace.com/lucasvigor
     
  10. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    Yeah, I've got the green oxidation thing going on in places as well w/ the Euros. It's a nice science experiment:p

    Good to know you've kept them on and the sound's improved. I just put on a fresh set of Innovation Silver Slaps last night. Will definitely keep the Euros around.
     
  11. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    That's crazy and awesome you've had the ww's on for 7 years!!! I keep underestimating how far a set of those can go. Are you happy with the sound compared to other more expensive strings?
     
  12. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    What I have found is that the longer you keep the wackers on, the better....but people who try them need to understand their limitations, of course. It's not a string for clarity, or good for bowing, etc...but for music where you want a punchy, deep fundamental bass tone...I have nothing but good experiences with them! So yes, I am happy with the sound...if you use these for Hawaiian, folk, bluegrass, early jazz, western Swing, Rockabilly, Mariachi, styles like that...I don't think they can be beat (for the price and value). But you know, when I want to play different kinds of music I use another bass with steel strings.

    a HUGE plus for me is the tuning stabillity..weather does not seem to affect them near as much as regular guts.

    I have read people complaining about the E string, but that too works really well once it's been on at least 3 months.

    What I did was, I bought 5 sets from Barefoot Larry years ago...and it's a good thing I did, because I got them for 20 bucks each set, and I heard he does not make them anymore, or can no longer fill orders!

    And about Euros, I have encountered some problems with them and wonder if anyone else has? They react really, really different depending on how hard you press them to the fingerboard. I also had a nasty mid-range honk out of them, which I did not find pleasing at all. I had them on the E and A at one point, with the wackers on the other strings, and especially when playing in a rockabilly style I noticed a big difference when going from string to string. The Wackers were deep and round sounding, where the Euros were flat and metallic sounding. The tension on them was right, but something about the tone made me remove them and go back to the wackers on the E and A.

    http://www.myspace.com/lucasvigor
     
  13. I had my first set of Evahs (Regulars) on for about a year and a half before I changed them - and I am really not sure they needed to be changed even then.

    I played them seven days a week, more or less 360 days a year for between 1 and 3 hours a day, depending on schedule.
     
  14. lucidmule

    lucidmule

    Aug 10, 2007
    Bella Vista AR
    I've been using the gut strings that came on my bass since I bought it about 3 years ago ('62 Kay S-1.) They seem to be holding up well, though I'm considering making a change. I like the tone for my bluegrass project, but sometimes they leave me wanting a little more clarity with the blues/jazz styles. I don't have the luxury for a second bass. I use a realist with a fishman bass pro eq, btw.

    I'm thinking about changing to something like a spirocore, but I'm having trouble bringing myself to make the change. I suppose I could always put the gut strings back on if I really hated the sound and/or feel of the new strings. I rarely bow, though I don't want to eliminate that option...I'm looking for a little guidance. I've read enough to know that spirocores are considered the standard, so I'm willing to give them a shot.

    I'm wondering how much of a difference should I expect in the string tension, and a suggestion for if I should try lights or mediums would be helpful too. (I should mention I'm leaning towards the S42 medium tension, but apprehesive as hell, hence my reason to seek advice from some experts.) Also, looking for opinion on whether changing to spirocore is going to give me the clarity in tone that I'm craving. Sometimes my bass sounds more like a giant rubberband than I want.

    thanks in advance for any helpful advice.
     
  15. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Polar opposite in feel and tone(Gut to Spirocore). It will give you a lot more clarity and definition, but you will have to change the way you approach the bass. I started with Spirocores, went to gut for a while, and ultimately ended up back with Spirocores. They just give me the clarity I like to hear when I am playing with a group. They "sit" in the mix the way I like to hear myself. That said there is something to be said for the sound and feel of gut. It really depends on the player and what you want in your sound. Only one way to find out...
     
  16. lucidmule

    lucidmule

    Aug 10, 2007
    Bella Vista AR
    Thanks for the post. I've played steel strings on some low-end basses for short periods of time, mainly Cremona basses with red label super sensative strings. I know they are higher tension, and I don't seem to have a problem with it, at least for a short period of time. When you say "change the way I approach the bass," what are some changes you noticed? I'm imagining my right hand is going to be a different approach with the attack. I like how you decribed how you 'sit' in the mix. It sounds like what I'm looking for. I really appreciate the feedback. URB is an elusive instrument around here.....few and far in-between. If I only had a dollar for every time I've said "no, its not a cello, its an upright bass."
     

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