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New strings, or clean strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Curtybob, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. New set!

    43 vote(s)
  2. Clean the old set!

    14 vote(s)
  1. Curtybob


    Jun 2, 2007
    Jackson, MO
    When your sound loses the new string zing to the point where action must be taken, do you buy a new set, or clean the strings via the cleaning method of your choice?

    If you clean them, what method do you use?
  2. Curtybob


    Jun 2, 2007
    Jackson, MO
    I clean mine in a PVC tube filled with denatured alcohol. I just keep on rotating 3 sets until I start getting intonation problems, which is alot longer than you'd think. I have made it 1.5 years on these 3 sets, changing strings once a week, and I play alot.

    And as for carrots, I was not here when the whole carrots bit started, and I don't care to be a poser. So, yes. I left carrots out on purpose to avoid being a posing tool.
  3. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    You forgot "I play flats and don't worry about it" LOL
  4. IntrepidCellist


    Sep 10, 2009
    Does that "Denatured Alcohol" thing really work? Sounds like a decent way to get more life out of my stainless Dingwall roundwound strings if it does!
  5. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    I don't really have any schedule for cleaning, but lately I've been boiling just the E string. That seems to give a more balanced tonal quality amongst the other strings. I use Chromes and Hi-Beam Flats.

  6. I always thought that the pvc tube was a good idea, but I never considered keeping rotating sets in them at all times, I'll have to remember that one. I usually just pull them off and wipe liberally with a lint free rag soaked in naptha.
  7. bertrand TB

    bertrand TB

    Apr 10, 2010
    I put my strings in the dishwasher ... High temperature.
    must be dried quickly. It's ok for one more time...
  8. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    screw new strings. Keep playing until one breaks. then replace the set.
  9. bassandbeyond


    Aug 28, 2004
    Rockville MD
    Affiliated with Tune Guitar Maniac
    I used to take off my strings to clean them, but after being restrung several times, I found that strings were more likely to break. Now I just make sure to wash my hands before playing, and still get about the same useful life out of them, and I never break strings anymore.
  10. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    denatured alcohol is the best way. There is no water in it. If there is steel in your strings (some SS rounds have a steel core) steel & water = rust. I use a Tupperware sandwich size container to soak them at least over night. I only have one bass with rounds on it, but my son goes through strings fast. He just rotates them and they last a lot longer.
  11. Curtybob


    Jun 2, 2007
    Jackson, MO
    Yeah, water is no good. Besides the rust factor, water will leave mineral deposits that can add up to a not-so-smooth feel, and possibly clog up the strings. Denatured alcohol keeps my strings sounding new, and as close to brand-new as my ears can detect. I have read here and there that the fretwear will kill a string, but after 1.5 years between 3 sets of strings, I say that possibility is more long-term than you need to worry about for round-wound strings.

    And did I "forget" flatwounds? Nope. A good sounding set of flat wounds is nice and funky.
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Don't be such a tight ass. Buy new strings.
  13. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Not the case at all. The strings are broken-in and just need refreshing.

  14. I agree, I don't want them to sound brand new. Cleaning them makes them sound like a new set that's just been broken in, and that's just right for me.
  15. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    I just use Elixirs, been going strong for over a year now. Otherwise I'd kill a set in no time.
  16. I only change them once! when i get a new bass...
    After that they stay on forever! Oldest set is 4 years old and still going strong.
    I had a bass teacher who had a set of roundwound strings that where 17 years old! It was used on many basses and he never boiled them or cleaned them, just swaped them from one bass to another as he sold and bought basses...

    The older they get the better they sound!
  17. TortillaChip520


    Jun 3, 2008
    +1. I really like Elixirs, they stay bright for a very long time.
  18. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I wipe them down with good ol Hoppes #9. Cleans lubricates and prevents rust. Plus it smells awesome!

    I replace them like clockwork every year or 14 months or so......
  19. dose


    Nov 2, 2008
    ^ This :bag:
  20. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Cool! My bass case can now smell like my gun case!


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