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Longest time without changing bass strings; share your experiences.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Ron Johnson, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. 1-4 weeks

    0 vote(s)
  2. 1-2 months

    6 vote(s)
  3. 2-4 months

    3 vote(s)
  4. 4-6 months

    9 vote(s)
  5. 6-12 months

    31 vote(s)
  6. 1-2 years

    48 vote(s)
  7. 2-4 years

    37 vote(s)
  8. 4-6 years

    30 vote(s)
  9. 6-10 years

    33 vote(s)
  10. 10-15 years

    18 vote(s)
  11. 15-20 years

    7 vote(s)
  12. 20+ years

    24 vote(s)
  1. My TI jazz flats have been on my Fender P since 2006 so 11 years and still sound great my Fender is one of two basses I have that are wound with flats the other being my EB-0 so they both share gigging rotation with all the others with rounds
  2. tuba_samurai

    tuba_samurai Yamaha BB Club #123 Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    When I first started playing, I didn't know you you were supposed to change the strings unless they broke. And I didn't live anywhere near a music store, and internet stores were not a thing then, so I went years on the factory rounds that came on my Epiphone Accu-Bass. Then the G string broke, and I played it as a three string for a couple of years.

    Nowadays I am changing strings every couple of months on multiple basses. Kinda an expensive habit...thank goodness for BSO.
  3. 4dog


    Aug 18, 2012
    Using elixers....when they start to get "hairy" its time.
  4. Acoop

    Acoop Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    I still have the original strings on my 74 Jazz that sound great. ... Once you realize it's the oils in your hands that break down strings you get use to washing your hands before playing. ... But if you're a nervous sweater forget it, you're cooked and so are your strings.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  5. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    You mean there are people who actually change flatwounds? :D

    Can't say I really keep track of this...probably change roundwounds about four times a year.
    bopeuph likes this.
  6. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I replace the TI Flats every decade or so whether they need it or not.
  7. bopeuph


    Jul 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    For me, it depends on the instrument . I love the punch of fresh roundwounds, so I change them when they're dead, I never change my flats, and I haven't changed the strings on my upright in 11 years.
  8. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Who knows. I sell basses long before they need strings

    Oh and if I do change them, I drop them in alcohol
  9. DocShocker


    Jan 31, 2015
    I've had the same set of Chromes for 5 years. The were on my VM Jazz 5 for the first 2-2.5 years, but after I got a maple board fretless (that came stock with rounds) I switched them out. The rounds just didn't seem like a good idea on the softer board.
  10. basspedaler

    basspedaler Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2013
    Only been at this 4 years, so I can't vote longer, but some day i will. I definitely have a few basses with flats and tapes that I'm happy with and I know are gonna go a long way on those strings. I have few that sport rounds and they have been thru some testing to find the right string. Mostly now my vibe is mellow so a new bass is quick to get some flats installed. This has allowed me to try several of the popular flats over the last couple of years.
  11. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I play flats almost exclusively, so I don't change them unless they break. My 67 Hofner violin bass has the same black tapewound strings that were on it when I got it 15 years ago. My '63 Hofner Seaatpr has Pyrmaids that I put on it when I got it 10 years ago. I mostly use those for recording. My live bass is usuallymy Rick and that has TIs that are a few years old.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i change them when (or before if i can help it) they start producing unwanted overtones or when they stop being 'properly reflexive' (too dead?), or when they acquire scars/nicks. so it's not really a time period so much as a 'state'. some strings, on some of the instruments just last longer, some not so much. but i voted "6-12 months" thinking that's probably a good average.
    matante and Jason Hollar like this.
  13. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Usually I'll put my favorite strings (D'Addario Chromes) on any new bass I buy and just leave them on.

    When I was playing rounds, I used to change them maybe once or twice a year. Then I realized I might as well be playing flats!

    Some players need the metallic sound of fresh strings for their playing style. Me, I'm a meat-and-potatoes player and I just need a round, warm thud. For more growl or clank I just dig in.
  14. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Back in the late 80s to early 90s I was the same - rehearsing or gigging 5 night a week with shedding in between times and changing strings every few weeks. Looking back, perhaps if my amplification had been up to modern standards such that I could really hear myself properly without needing a ton of top end things would have been different...
  15. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    It takes a few months for a set of flats to really sound good. Why would I change them just to start that process all over?
    bassbully and Atshen like this.
  16. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    2 years with the stock strings on my Squier CV. Not lazy, I just liked them.
    I eventually changed them because the E was dead (other 3 were fine).
    Now it has D'add half-rounds, and they won't stay there 2 years. Probably not even 2 weeks.
  17. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    I've bought and sold a number of basses over the years that had their strings changed exactly once: when I changed them to flats. Some of those basses I owned for years without further changes, and I'd bet that after I sold them, many of them probably still have those old flats on them with the new owners.
  18. Felken


    Jun 28, 2016
    Ottawa, CAN
    About 22 years, but that was an old bass, the previous owner was my dad, who bought it when he was 16, 20 years ago. And then I also started bass at 16, changed the strings 6 months later. I ised rotosound 66, so they lasted three days. Now here I am.
  19. I've been using Ernie Ball Cobalts for the past year with great results throughout. Recently changed to Dunlop Marcus Miller Super Brights which feel much rougher and produce annoying fret buzz. I've had to turn down the treble to compensate for this. I really want to like these strings and hopefully I can adjust to the different feel. Otherwise, I may go back to my used Cobalts.(tried and true) my two cents...lol

    Previously, I've been guilty of keeping the same set of strings for over twenty years...lol
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I bought a used Epi Viola at GC back in the late '90s (don't remember the exact year since it was one of those inpulse buys but I think it was '97 or '98) and put a set of TI Jazz Flats on it about a week later. And those strings have been on it ever since.

    It gets played fairly regularly (I rotate through the basses I own) and they still sound really nice. So I'll have to say going on twenty years for me.

    Properly cared for (a quick wipe down when you're done playing) and properly stored, a set of TIs seem to have the potential to last forever.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017