I hate them brand new... too crisp and stiff. I need them to be broken in but if you go too far in that direction, they're dead. Some people LOVE new strings and change them constantly. I've heard of pros that change them every show. New strings are too bright and clanky and metallic sounding. I need it to be warmer and darker. It does them good to be a bit worn in. On the other hand, absolutely blackened strings only go "thump" and I need them to ring out a bit more. I don't want dead strings any more than I want a piece of foam stuck under the strings at the bridge. Does anyone else feel the need for that perfect balance or am I just choosy?