1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

New or Old

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Quinn Roberts, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. New

  2. Used

  3. Indifferent

  1. tl;dr: Which do you prefer? (A comment about you preference and what genre you usually play and would be interesting too!)

    Over the past few weeks, I've started to notice that there seems to be quite a few many people who enjoy the sound of "broken in" strings. I personally strive for that "fresh out of the pack", bright sound you get from new strings, and, if possible, like to change them almost monthly if possible. That being said, I used to be on the side that argued that new and old made no difference. I'd play strings that were years old, and would even argue that they sounded no different than the day I bought 'em. However, after some indulgence in slap bass and a couple string changes later; I was sold on the sound and feel of new strings, and have been since. I figured that most the talk of playing older strings (and preserving them by boiling and whatnot) came mostly from the fact that a new set of strings generally ain't too cheap, and why overspend on something that may be just a hobby to somebody? I'm starting to see that this may not be entirely true, and that there may be a certain "tone" people are seeking by playing older strings. Would love to hear your all's preference and opinions!
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    With rounds, particularly the DR nickel Lowriders I have on most of my basses, it takes 10 hours or so of playing to knock the initial harshness out of them. Then they sound good to me for several hundred hours of play. And they don't change much in that time. Then they suddenly sound too dull and I change them out.

    Part of this is related to my preference for passive basses with the vol and tone all the way up, if not removed from the circuit completely. And using one pickup near the P pickup location.

    On my basses with flats there's little or no break in period. They basically sound the same from day one until they go bad months or years later.

    I play a little bit of everything. Jazz, rock, blues, folk, etc. Whatever pays.
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  3. I like my strings "worn in" but not "worn out" - sort of like a comfortable pair of jeans. I don't care for the fresh zing of new rounds or the dull, lifeless thud of decade-old flats.
  4. saabfender

    saabfender SUSPENDED

    Jan 10, 2018
    I like the whole natural life cycle of strings. I like ‘em when they’re new, I like ‘em when they’re worn-in. I don’t really have a preference, to be honest.
    Old Blastard likes this.
  5. I typically enjoy playing jazz, fusion, and the likes on my own time, but will play anything if the opportunity arises.

    I've played the medium gauge D'addario Nickel Wounds more than anything (local store is limited), to me they sound good out of the pack (maybe too pitchy for playing with others, but good enough to start enjoyably playing solo as soon as I switch them). After about a month, depending on how much I've played, they tend to start sounding dull, and I switch them out.

    I recently have been wanting to try some different gauges/brands, and went for their "Regular Light Top and Medium Bottom" gauge. I wasn't very fond of them though, and sadly I grabbed two packs (most unironically the top strings were too light for me, go figure). I begrudgingly changed them again yesterday after about two and a half months (The set of strings sounded about dead to me at this point), and, as usual, was blown back by the tonal difference a new set can make. After today, I can also say that the light tops definitely need tamed a wee bit before playing with others. Whoops! :rolleyes:
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I used to like them new till I switched to Dunlop Super Bright Nickels, and they're the only rounds I've ever liked when dead. I think I've hit a saturation point with the strings on my Hammersmith, though. They've been on there close to a year, and while I have been loving them for the most part, I didn't love them tonight on my gig. Might be time.

    That said, if I thought the new string sound worked best for the band(s) I work with, I'd change them a lot more often.
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Since the sound I'm most often after is like Chas Chandler's in We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, the sound of new rounds - of any brand - is the last thing I want to hear. I only have a couple of basses (out of 24) that regularly wear rounds anyway, and then only because I have another one just like it - that wears flats. And I change those rounds with great reluctance. I find the tone from a new set of flats a torment, and a punishment for sins in a previous existence... Give me a set of well aged, broken in flat wounds any time...:whistle:
  8. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    I change them every few years, usually when they start having intonation issues or losing tune.

Share This Page