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New Strings on Bongo Sounding Dead After Less Than a Week

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thejamesjordan, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Thejamesjordan


    Mar 2, 2006
    I have a Musicman Bongo 5 string, which sounds amazing with new strings.

    I am in a band that has recently been playing 2-3x week. If I put new strings on Friday, by next week they are already sounding dull.

    Unfortunately with strings being so expensive, I am trying see if others have this same issue, and if there is any good solution?

  2. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    a little rubbing alcohol on a cloth may go a long way in this situation , just rub the strings down after your done playing. try to use the 99% stuff, the 75% has too much water content and may rust strings or fret wires
  3. Thejamesjordan


    Mar 2, 2006
    I appreciate it tmdazed. I will definitely give it a shot.

    I have also heard that boiling the strings sometimes temporarily brings them back to life.

    Admittedly I am looking for a long term solution.
  4. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    There isn't a long term solution to this; all bass strings die like this in a short period of time and you'll go broke trying to keep that "zingy" new string sound.

    Fortunately, strings ultimately sound better when dead anyway, they give a better fundamental and just sound more like a bass once they die. So best to just get used to the sound of dead strings. I muchly prefer them dead nowadays and my string bill has dropped dramatically since then :)

  5. bigsnaketex


    Dec 29, 2011
    Down South
    I use flats - they last forever!!

    You can EQ up the sound some if you're not a flatwound fan.
  6. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
  7. austentaciousC


    Mar 17, 2010
    Heres the trick. Find a bass that sounds great to you with "broken in" strings, and go from there! And by broken in i mean settled, not dead.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    What strings are you using? Some last much longer than others.

    I find DR to last pretty long.
  9. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    Where are you getting your strings? Chances that if it isn't bassstringsonline you're getting ripped off.
  10. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    What makes you say that?
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Ridiculous nonsense that has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of the thread.
  12. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    You'll probably catch some flak for that viewpoint, but I, for one, agree with you. I play flats almost all the time now, but for many years when I played rounds, I much-preferred them after they got older and lost that "zinginess". We're probably in the minority, but that's my preference.
  13. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I'll just say, from experience, STAINLESS STRINGS will sound newer for longer.

    The strings that I've always found to do what you described are Ernie Ball nickel strings. Every set sounds great for the majority of playing a C Major scale... but after that, it's BLAH CITY!
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I don't agree with that. Nickels seem to hold their zing for longer. Once SS lose their zing they just sound dead.

    That I do agree with. EB strings never lasted more than a week or two for me.
  15. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    If a Bongo is anywhere near as zingy as a Stingray, you will naturally notice the loss of high end presence much faster than you would notice it on a J or a P bass.

    I have heard some guys say that when they record they always start with a new set of rounds.
  16. To me, passive basses sound better with broken-in strings than active ones. So I have to change the strings on my bongo 5 way more often than my p bass regardless of the string type. But at the moment I have d'addario nickels on the bongo and I'm pretty happy with the way they're aging. I'm not losing the high mids as quickly or as much as with some other brands. You might try them and see if it's the same for you.

    Off topic but related, I like to let the bass choose the string. All five of my basses have different brands and different gauges. It takes time to experiment and see what string works best with a bass but it's worth it because the right string will bring out all of its strengths.
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    New Strings on Bongo Sounding Dead After Less Than a Week


    I have found that if I play somewhere that is unpleasantly hot and humid that I can ruin a fresh set of strings in one day. But I have also found that in my basesment most of my basses have the strings stay good for 6 - 12 months

    It is a matter of sweat and oil from your fingers fouling up the strings.
  18. This. Your Bongo 'wants' to sound that way. Been there done that with a Pedulla. Don't fight it, it's a waste of time.
  19. I would consider getting some TI jazz flats for your Bongo. They are flats but sound nothing like any other flat out there. They can be EQ'd in either direction, toward a brighter rounds type sound, or to a thumpy flats type sound. Amazingly versatile. I struggled with many different string types and brands until I discovered these and they have replaced them all, round or flat. Best part? They don't die. They retain a crisp attack for pretty much as long as they are on a bass and
    and (though I can't prove it) actually increase in fundamental presence the more they are played. The unique thing about them being the silk under wrap, which absorbs a players sweat, creating another layer or wrap so to speak, basically bonding the inner and outer wraps together. All while staying as bright as the day they were put on, with a turn of the tone knob.
  20. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I'll do like that myself

    OP: look no further...
    Thanx Petrus

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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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