Possible solution to Ubass sticky strings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bbao, Jan 21, 2022.

  1. bbao


    Oct 14, 2013
    Hi all,

    I wanted to make this as I haven't read any posts about my particular solution to the sticky string issue that Ubasses often have. Apart from Aquila's suggestion of baby powder, and another person's suggestion of Olive oil, I figured both solutions would be quite messy and ruin satin finish of my Kala Ubass/gunk up the open pores.

    I have recently tried out some automotive polishing compound and it has worked wonders!
    It's still not as slick as playing with flatwounds on my regular basses but it's still pretty good. I can now slide on my fretless Ubass and not drag along the strings.

    I will post an update on this thread in a week to see if the polished strings actually hold up.
    Winton, DrCannabass and jd56hawk like this.
  2. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    What about these or similar flatwound steel strings?
    pcake, KohanMike and DrCannabass like this.
  3. bbao


    Oct 14, 2013
    Those would probably work well for people who want metal strings.

    I personally want to keep with the rubber/poly strings to maintain the vastly different tone than what I would get from my other full sized basses.
    I figure the rubber/poly strings will also be a lot easier on my fretless fretboard too
    jd56hawk likes this.
  4. Giffro

    Giffro Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2017
    South Australia
    Justinian likes this.
  5. bbao


    Oct 14, 2013
    Nylon gloves, eh? I should give that a go.
    The labella gold flats on my jazz are particularly sticky for metal strings. I already use cotton gloves for those which work as well. Not so much for these rubber Ubass strings though
    Giffro likes this.
  6. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    These are supposed to be less tacky but still retain the sound of rubber strings.
    pcake, iiipopes and PrairieThunder13 like this.
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    On the Ashbory, an older cousin to the U Bass we used baby powder to avoir this phenomenon.
    Gunga Din, Dominic D and RichSnyder like this.
  8. bbao


    Oct 14, 2013
    Those were the strings originally on my ubass. I have a fretless rumbler. It was definitely less sticky than these thunderblacks I restrung with. Although polishing the strings makes it feel a lot better than the silver rumbler strings currently.

    Aquila mentioned that in their packaging as well. I read on another post that it was messy business for that OP though
    jd56hawk likes this.
  9. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I use baby power and it hasn't been an issue at all (Rumbler w/ original strings).
    jd56hawk likes this.
  10. mrperkolator


    Jan 4, 2020
    how are yall applying the baby powder?
  11. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Put SMALL amount in hand - rub on with bass facing down.
    Dominic D and mrperkolator like this.
  12. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I tried everything on the Aquila Thunderstickies. Nothing worked for more than a few minutes. LaBela Silverbacks worked. They don’t sound like the polymer strings, but it was the only cure I found that worked.

    What I tried;
    Baby powder
    Corn starch
    Vegetable / cooking oil
    Petroleum jelly
    Skin lotion

    None of these worked more than a couple songs. Veg oil did best, but wasn’t much better.
  13. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Yes. I use Silver Rumblers as my main gig set on my bubinga Kala U-Bass. They are/have less tacky, less finger roll, superlative stability after the initial stretch (which may be from one day to one year depending on how often you practice, rehearse and gig) and consistent tone and feel.
    jd56hawk likes this.
  14. mark107


    Jul 10, 2009
    The original black strings don't have this issue, and in my option, sound the best.
    bassfiddlesteve likes this.
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    So that's the secret to these soft pink cheeks?
  16. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    That sounds very French.
    Jazz Ad likes this.
  17. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    I've been through all the strings and find it ridiculous to be forced to put something on your fingers or strings when those flatwounds work so well, and do sound very good in my opinion compared to poly strings. FYI, Aquila just came out with reformulated black and brown which should come available in the US very soon. I'm going to test the browns for stickiness when I get a set. I also found that the poly strings stretch too much, which require trimming them too often.
    Fretless55 likes this.
  18. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    That's posting through smartphone for you. It takes twice as much time to type as with a keyboard, then twice again to correct the autocorrection.
    Iristone and Justinian like this.
  19. Lenny JG

    Lenny JG

    Aug 3, 2019
    I'd love to see nylon tapes on a u bass and see what that's like personally
  20. Lenny JG

    Lenny JG

    Aug 3, 2019
    I have the gold flats and do not find them sticky. Gotta love how subjective all this stuff is.
    Giffro likes this.
  21. Primary

    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.

    May 27, 2022

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