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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. heynorm


    Oct 21, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    While I don't get it into rotation very much anymore, but the Vox Cougar I got new in 1965 or 66 has its original flats that are still give some quite woody tones. I tried others along the way but slapped back on the originals many years ago.
  2. Chinchano


    Jan 18, 2015
    Atlanta, GA
    I use Nickel rounds so I don't change them often. I like the tone when they mellow out on a jazz because you can still get some grit out of them with a small treble boost
  3. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    1-2 years for Roto 77 flats - it's like what JRA said - depends on the overall condition - most often the intonation starts to go a little.

    I also bounce between 40's & 45's depending on my gigs so after a year or two I'll have a guy set up my bass with a fresh set.

    I play like 20-30 gigs a year on electric bass plus some lessons & sessions, so I'm not too harsh on my strings - could definitely get more years out of them if I quit farting around!
  4. I'm pretty sure the rounds on my 67 EBO are 25+ years old. I haven't played it consistently over that time, but it does get played.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  5. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    My Fodera Nickel Rounds still sound great. Maybe a 2 years now, but no need to change.
  6. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Have had Sadowsky flats on a fretless for over 3 years, that probably has 500 hours of play over that time. Love the sound, and these are amazing strings. But find myself tuning a lot more often on my A and D strings and wondering if it's the tuners or if the strings are having trouble holding pitch - also noticing that it takes longer to center the pitch while tuning…

    Otherwise, I'm pretty big on the sound of broken-in rounds, but if playing consistently (and I only gig 15-20 times a year, plus jams and rehearsals, and alternating with the fretless), I'm generally looking to change 'em out at 6-9 months.
  7. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    The Chromes on my fretless have been there for 12 years or so.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  8. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I play on rounds, and..no way I can compete with the times quoted here. Even with multiple basses, the only one I keep strings on for more than half a year is the fretless - don't play that enough to go through strings very fast. And a shortscale. Don't play that too often, either.
  9. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    This is a tricky question for me. My gigging basses' strings get changed like every 2 months for a majority of the year. They probably get changed out like every 3-4 weeks in the summer due to all the sweaty outdoor/beach gigs. I have a couple basses that hang on the wall and only get played once in a while at home. Those strings can last me a year or two. Then, my acoustic bass has elixir phosphor bronzes and my 51 RI has flats. Those never get changed.
  10. GuilhermeBMotta


    Jan 2, 2017
    Just realized I voted wrong lol. Just remembered the flats on my first bass are there for almost 5 years, and they still sound good. That's why I haven't changed it, otherwise...
  11. ak56

    ak56 Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Carnation, Wa
    Changed the original flatwounds after 37 years on my '78 Musicmaster.
    John B jr and Jason Hollar like this.
  12. Todd Haviland

    Todd Haviland

    Feb 3, 2015
    8 years. Hohner PJ Fretless. Christmas gift from my parents. The ONLY bass they ever bought for me. Had a gig out of town (touring heavily at the time). Finally changed my strings out. Roundwounds on a fretless. Mmmmmm. Played the gig. Sounded AMAZING!! Lots of compliments. Packing up at the end of the night and someone stole my bass out of the van...Never saw it again.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  13. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    I use flats but change every 1-2 yrs either to try something new or add back some brightness.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  14. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I have a set of Chromes that are over 10 years old...they are Gold to me.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  15. Ritchie_Darling

    Ritchie_Darling Bass @ AZ Supporting Member

    May 22, 2006
    Impulse buyer...
    I have an old p-bass knockoff that has had the same strings since I got it in 1984.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  16. I put 2 years but that's only because that's how long I've been playing. I can say that, in that time, I've only changed strings once over five basses: the strings on my acoustic died so I got new phosphor bronzes and replaced them. I don't know how old they were because I bought it used. However, I will keep the used strings and try the old soaking them in soapy water trick to see what happens. If it works, I'll have a nice backup set.

    BTW: I know someone who swears by the soaking method and insists he's not bought strings...ever. He's been playing since the early 70s.
  17. Wait... What?....Your supposed to change them?!
    Just kidding...
    Back in my punk rock days, when I was sawing on them with a pick, I'd change them as they broke. That, along with my skimpy finances meant buying the cheapest rounds I could find.
    Now, my P has a set of " blue steel's" that are are about 10 years old. The strings on my Japanese ho-bags and funky wall hangers?... I have no idea.
  18. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    My older brother put tape wounds on his Hofner in 1969 and when he gave it to me a few years later I never changed the strings. When I sold it in 1995 they were still on it and still sounded good. 26 years!
    John B jr, Jason Hollar and Phil508 like this.
  19. silvertone


    Nov 6, 2007
    SF, CA
    J Bass with Chrome Rounds: owned this bass since 2000 and changed the strings once in '08.
    Mod Q4 with Chrome Rounds: owned this bass since 2012 and changed the strings once in '15.
    Mod Bassstar Fretless with Chrome Flats: owned this bass since '14 and never changed these since replacing rounds.
    '54 Kay Upright - put on Pirastro Weich's after the bass was rebuilt in '15. Unlikely I'll change them for at least 5 years.

    Other than my upright bass I am a dedicated user of D'Addario strings.
    I replace my mandolin strings weekly and my Martin Dreads about every 3 months.
  20. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    1970 Fretless P-Bass. TI JF344 Flats. going on eight years. Still sound great.