Purchasing "used" Strings...Why?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by fishtx, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    I constantly see sets of used strings for sale in the classifieds and just don't understand why people sell and buy these...am I missing something? When you change your strings, do you not want a new/fresh set?...
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I'm curious as well. I'm assuming the buyers are not slappers. I'm guessing they like that broken in sound.
  3. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    It makes sense with flatwounds. Not so much with roundwounds.
  4. Dominic DeCosa

    Dominic DeCosa Habitual Line-Stepper Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Vero Beach, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    Some people try a new set for a day and realize they don't like it and sell them as nearly new strings.

    Some people prefer the sound of flat wounds after they're broken in and would rather buy a used set.
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY

    I've sold used flats a bunch of times. They always sell quick. I buy them, don't love them or need them anymore so I sell them. I've tried all the flats I've wanted to try and recouped most of the money spent. I'd buy a 10 year old set of chromes from the classifieds in a second if they were there.
  6. Not to mention that used strings have been cut to fit a particular bass, and might not fit on another ... just sayin'
  7. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    Well, I get your side of it...you try them, don't like them, and re-coupe some of your dough by selling them...it's the "buying" them side of it I don't get. "Buying used strings doesn't make any sense to me...

    When I change my strings, I want a clean/fresh set...that's why I'm changing them in the first place...If I want "used" strings, I'll just leave the old ones on the Bass...
  8. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Expense and string safari. Especially with flats, they are generally more expensive than rounds. But they hold their tone longer. The flip side is that they can take longer to settle in. So by purchasing used, a player can get a better idea of the true tone and feel of a string, or a variety of strings, without the substantial cash outlay and without the settling in time necessary for new strings. This can help in a pinch when a string breaks or unravels, and a new string would twang by comparison, or sometime a player's cash flow is such that this is what is affordable.

    You think these are expensive? Try average $200 for a new set of strings on the double bass side of the forum. The used market is very strong. In the short time I have been on the forum, I know of at least one set of double bass strings that have traced through at least three, possibly four owners, and still going strong.
  9. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    That's just it. I like flats in general or dead rounds. Different strokes and all. If Ed friedland ever sold the 10 year old labella rounds he has on his pbass, I'd buy them.
    Also I never ever slap. If it was required of me as a bass player I'd keep fresh rounds on a bass. Not that fresh rounds don't sound great too in general.
  10. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Biggest problem I can see for buying used strings. Is getting set with different distances to tuning peg. Due to inline instead of 2x2 etc. Or if string thru body and not using that option on buyers bass. Which could be problematic due to the bend in the used set toward the ball end. I like new and newly broken in sound for strings myself. But some prefer well worn in sound, esp for flats. So while buying doesnt make sense for me, it could for some.
  11. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    Yes this would/could be an issue as well...
  12. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore? Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten

    Before you buy you ask 2x2 or inline thru body or top mount.
    Seems pretty simple.

    I prefer flats, the older the better. I only have one bass w/Rounds and the last time they were changed was the early 90's.
    Yeah I like old strings. Yes I play slap. No I don't own the best bass for metal, or play w/ a pick like a man.

    Everybody is different and nobody's perfect.
  13. walldaja


    Apr 27, 2011
    Don't tell Fender, they'll start selling new strings at a premium as relics.
  14. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Shhhh! No, don't buy any of those. I'll buy them all, just tell me where!

    Actually-not interested, I've shipped them to others (for free) for use in making jewelry. I have no interest in boiling strings for extended use. YMMV...
  15. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    all as mentioned ... and IMHO it only applies to used flatwounds ..

    ... price: .... a very affordable way to experience hundreds of dollars worth of strings, at usually less than half price, and if you find they are not of interest, you can move them along and generally recoup your 'investment'

    ... string 'life': ... generally many that use flats do NOT want a fresh set as it can sometimes take a while to get them to their 'broken in' state .. this gives you the opportunity to eliminate the break in process and to expedite the evaluation ... you try them new, you have to guess what they will be like a couple months/years/decades down the road and may be erroneous in your evaluation ...

    .. generally you buy used strings, you ask questions ... as mentioned, top loaded or STB, what body type were they cut for, # of windings at the post, etc. ...

    ... if you find they are cut a tad short, there are ways around that, and if you find you really like them, you can certainly then spend the $$ on a new set, cut them properly, etc .. as you will have a very good idea of what you have down the road ..

    .. buying/selling used flats has allowed me to sample probably 15-20 brands/sets over the last year or so ... a very inexpensive education, and a greatly expedited process compared to what it would have been purchasing new .. JMHO
  16. Tony B. Filthy

    Tony B. Filthy Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    I have a used set of flats I purchased in Detroit that are certified ex-James Jamerson strings that he used in the mid-late '60's. They cost me $800 due to their historical value. ;-)
  17. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I've sold a lot of used strings. Like everyone else, the flatwounds are the real key. I sold a few rounds that were sort of used, but I sold those extra cheap. They're worthwhile if you want to see what a certain particular set of rounds sound like, if you're curious.
  18. I've sold several used flatwound sets and they sell real fast!
  19. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Not really an issue if the seller is specific about what bass they were on. I've sold used strings a few times (ones I tried and didn't like) and I always made sure to mention that they were top loaded on a inline headstock for example.
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not a fan of touching strings that others have rubbed all over with their filthy boogered-up fingers. My own filthy boogered-up fingers are bad enough.