How to make nickel roundwounds last as long as possible.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by lo-end, Sep 15, 2001.

  1. lo-end

    lo-end Guest

    Jun 15, 2001
    My all time favorite bass string is Ernie Ball Slinky. They are nickelplated roundwound strings and they have the best sound of any string I've ever played on. My only gripe about these strings is how quickly they seem to go dead on me.

    I tried to remedy (sp?) this problem by stringing up with Elixirs. I really didn't like them at all. Way too floppy, not bright enough, didn't like the nanoweb coating on them. So I want to go back to the Ernie Balls, but before I do, I would like to know any precautions I can take to make sure these strings last as long as possible.

    So far, I've learned (the hard way) not to take the strings off and put them back on a whole bunch of times, not to tune from E to D to E to D to E and so on and so forth, and to wipe them down after playing them. If anyone has any more ways (short of boiling the strings) of how to make my strings last longer, please tell me! I love my Ernie Balls, but I hate to pay for 'em!
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    There are several kinds of stuff to apply to the strings to keep them bright. I've had pretty good results with Fast Fret, made by GHS.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Like you, I love EB slinkies. I used to use them a long time ago and returned to them last year on my fives.

    Basic string care is wiping down the board after playing. I leave a cloth in the case just for this purpose. I don't know how much good the use of petroleum solvents (fast fret or its equal) actually does. If I am getting a little finger drag, I usually rub my fingers accross the bridge of my nose or forehead for a little nose grease. I would guess that isn't on the list of life-lengthening formulas.

    If I have an extra special gig and I go to the trouble cleaning up my basses extra nice and don't restring, I usually let all of the tension out of the string so I can stretch it off the PUs far enough to get the lint bunnies and goo from around the PUs. I also take lemon-oil dampened cloth and wipe down the board. When I do this, I also take a rag and stray a little autoparts cleaner on it, surround each string and wipe it down as far as I can without rubbing rag around the bridge or nut. You'd be surprised how much goo comes out of the strings. They are usally a little brighter after that.

    I don't know where you buy strings, I usually go to Mars Music. EB Slinkies are one of the cheapest 5 string packs they sell. That's another reason I like them so much. $21 or so. I change them out every 6-8 weeks or so.

  4. lo-end

    lo-end Guest

    Jun 15, 2001
    I get mine from Guitar Center for 15.99 a set. I use 45-105, but I might try the 50-105 since I like to use a pick most of the time and tighter strings might make it easier on me.

    The one thing I do differently than you when it comes to string care is I never take the tension out of the strings because I believe that every time you take the tension out and put it back, it decreases the life of the string because the string is getting a slightly different witness point on the nut, or so I've heard. Anyway, Im really superstitious (and cheap) about my bass strings, so Im not gonna take any chances. I appreciate your advice anyway, Chasarms.