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I just hate bass strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by diverse379, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. diverse379


    Mar 4, 2015
    I play guitar and piano
    But bass is my love

    I love everything about playing bass but I hate bass strings

    I mean really 4 weeks and they sound dead
    And they cost like 30 dollars a pop?

    I have eight basses

    And I am forced to not play all of them because I can’t afford to buy multiple bass string sets.

    Boiling strings give you an extra week of life
    I’m just bummed
    Benny Bennett, Gooney and TinyE like this.
  2. Gigglingbuns


    Aug 26, 2017
    one mahical word - elixirs
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Lower your standards for longevity, play with clean hands and spend less on strings.
  4. diverse379


    Mar 4, 2015
    What do they last longer ???
  5. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Look into other types of strings beside roundwounds: nylon tapewounds only eventually go dead because of metal fatigue, but are impervious to environmental agents; flatwounds can last decades (what little brightness they have at the outset gradually disappears over time because of usage and exposure to the air, but the basic tone stays pleasant and even improves); even processed rounds (groundwounds and pressurewounds) tend to last longer. If you think you may like the tone (from Youtube videos and online reviews), try an unexpensive sample of the type that interests you.

    Some rounds may agree with your body chemistry more than others; strings wound in Alloy 52 are said to last longer.

    There are really cheap strings available on Amazon or eBay, such as the Chinese brand Alice. If you try them and they last at least as long as the 30-buck sets you use currently, you'd end up saving money, even though you wouldn't be spared the hassle of changing them every now and then.

    Finally, coated strings. Most are coated pre-winding, and you get at least 3 or 4 solid months out of them (unless you're obsessed with the sound of fresh, uncoated rounds); Elixir strings are coated post-winding, like a micro-film-stocking over the entire string, which gives them a distinctive feel but keeps humidity and crud out of the winding gaps until the coating lasts, for an even longer potential life. They cost more but are a good value in the end (again, provided you like the tone).
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  6. C_Becker


    Mar 30, 2017
    +1 in the Elixirs. Perfect for a larger collection since they don't go bad just sitting in a case. They even last for months on my guitars.
  7. diverse379


    Mar 4, 2015
    Really glad I put this rant up

    I didn’t know anything about this.

    I really didn’t know flats lasted that long.
    And had no idea about coated strings
    Or that different alloys play a part

    I just started buying the cheapest strings but now I have other choices
    EspeciLly for the other basses that don’t get the playing time but still sound great in the studio.

    Thanks this was a blessing
  8. diverse379


    Mar 4, 2015
    Like duh I never thought about playing with clean hands

    I notice Scott Devine plays with a surgical glove
    It seemed like overkill until my collection grew
    Koala of Doom and chupacerveza like this.
  9. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Two gigs is about all I get out of a standard set of strings (although I'm finding that the lighter gauges I'm using right now are lasting longer). I'll boil my strings several times before putting new ones on. But yeah, having string-killing pH is a drag.
    The Rage, Gooney and hieronymous like this.
  10. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It's not that duh. Plenty of people haven't thought of that. The glove is I think cotton, not surgical, and is for a medical issue with his fingers touching strings, not cleanliness.
  11. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I’ve given up on the magic of Roto 66s on my 4003 as the frequent changes (couple of weeks) are just too expensive. For me, DR SS LoRiders are close enough for that bass and last lots longer.

    My 4003S has EB Slinky Flats (Cobalts) and those last quite a while.

    My ‘51 Reissue has GHS Precision Flats and my Jack Casady has TI Flats. No problems there. :laugh:

    There’s no way you could keep 8 basses in fresh strings unless you are a pro with good income and a tech. Find a way to keep things simple whether that means lowering your standards, using different strings with better longevity, or considering flats for some. Nickel seems to keep their fresh tone longer than ss as well, but the trade-off is nickels just don’t sound quite as bright/crisp as ss.

    YMMV. Some people do have body chemistry that deadens any string after a night, so if that’s you, definitely look at the coated or tape wounds.

    People like Geddy Lee and the late Chris Squire used a fresh set of Roto66s for each gig because they could afford to and had techs keeping their basses freshly strung.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  12. What's your definition of "dead"?

    I ask because we all have different perspectives on what's considered "optimal bass tone". One's "dead" is another's "well broken in". I for one hate the initial zing of a fresh pack; I'd rather have the lean bass meat where it counts without the sizzle.

    Could this be a case where you're trying to define your optimal bass tone the same way you would define your optimal guitar tone?
    Dega60, dhp10, Rabidhamster and 15 others like this.
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Elixirs do last longer..but they cost 3 times as much. So....tradeoffs.
    AstralBirth and MattZilla like this.
  14. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Elixirs. They last considerably longer and only cost about twice as much.
  15. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    You don't have to boil them. When they sound dead, loosen them, snap them on the fretboard a couple times, then tune them back up. Also, if you don't want to boil them, just soak them in a sink with tap water and Dawn dishsoap. All 12 of my basses are strung with TI's and they all sound as lively as the day I put them on. One of my basses has had the same set since 2013 and gets gigged regularly.
  16. I'm a huge fan of Alloy 52 (nickel-iron alloy) not only for its longevity, but also for its tonal character. In fact, I intend to convert my three basses to Alloy 52 of three different flavors in the next few months.

    GHS Pressurewound (Alloy 52 rollerwound) for my P bass.
    GHS Brite Flats (Alloy 52 groundwound/half-round) for my J bass.
    GHS Progressives (Alloy 52 roundwound) for my Yamaha 5-string.
  17. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    I'm amazed by modern bass strings. I use DR Nickle whatevers, lowriders, blues, hex core on fretless, the rest round core, I consider them a medium brightness string that lasts 1/2 year. I wonder what you are playing through? All that goes away after 2 weeks is the upper freq that the majority of bass players consider to be In The Way so they turn the tone down a slight tweek... lots of people are tweeterless...I would never play loud without tweeters because I play chords and 2 octave up parts, but I keep my use of tweeters a secret around here. They are not cool apparently.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  18. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    That is a very risky procedure known to damage some strings and puts unecessary stress on your bass.
    C_Becker and michael_t like this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Different strings last longer than others. Also, every time you are done playing, clean your strings - at least wipe them down.
  20. jazzyvee


    Aug 11, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I have heard of guitarists and bass players soaking their old strings in methylated spirits to get rid of the grease and crud from the strings before drying them off and using them again. I have only tried boiling once but it didn't add much extra time to the brightness I was seeking.

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