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Reusing bass strings??

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bassjnky1, Sep 25, 2010.


  1. bassjnky1

    bassjnky1 Supporting Member

    In reading some threads on bass strings I have discovered that many of you will reuse or save used strings for later. As a guitar player I would have never done this, but, evidently this works out OK with the bass. What has been your experience with putting used strings back on your bass?
     
  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Works on bass and has always worked for me.
     
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Some of us like used strings as well as new - and many of us never change strings when we use flats.
     
  4. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Might be OK with flats.
     
  5. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Inactive

    Jun 30, 2010
    Manhattan
    They get a little zing back but die in a few days. On some basses dead strings are fine. I had a set on my P until they started to fray -- now I have to break a new set in all over again.
     
  6. SMILEYSIXX

    SMILEYSIXX

    Dec 29, 2009
    I honestly can't stand to leave strings on for too long, but that's mainly because I have an everchanging desire for my sound. I want different things sometimes. I take em off, slap a new set on, get bored with them and either buy a different set or go back to what I had before. It's not a matter of dead strings, but my desire to get a new sound every once in a while.
     
  7. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tempe, Arizona
    Look up threads on boiling. Looooads of 'em.
     
  8. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Inactive

    Jun 30, 2010
    Manhattan

    That never seems to work.
     
  9. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    I think there are some threads on alcohol soak for used strings. That works better than boiling them. Ultimately, you can't reuse strings indefinitely because they will break at the stress points (bends).
     
    rodl2005 and Arvin like this.
  10. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tempe, Arizona
    Maybe you're not quite as slimy as me :)

    20+ years of working, here. Never tried the denatured alcohol bit, but it sounds like it'd be less damaging. Boiling starts to drop string tension after a couple few dunks in the electric string wok.

    Another good point brought up was using alcohol wipes (Walgreens, CVS, what have you) after you play a gig.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    denatured alcohol to be exact. i've been rotating two sets of rounds on my p lyte for the past 2 years, but i think i'm going to have to give them up pretty soon. they're not coming back like they used to.
     
    rodl2005 likes this.
  12. As long as they were in good shape when I took them off, yes, I will use them again, usually on another bass. after giving them a wipe down or cleaning I will store them in the sleeve the new set came in and mark what they are for future reference.
     
  13. Essen

    Essen Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Norway
    I try to keep a set of used(not dead!!) strings in my bag when I'm dong gigs, if a string breaks, I don't have to "wear in" a new set of strings. This is with flats though.
    I need rounds to have that "zing", and used strings just won't cut it.
    If using a string cleaner makes no difference, that means they are dead, not just used.
     
  14. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Yeah, that. I'm using 91% isopropyl from the local Wal-store, and that seems to work nicely, too. Denatured if you can, and hi-test isopropyl if you can't. Less water issues than 70% isopropyl.

    Jimmy, do you reuse the alcohol soak? If so, how many cleanings do you get out of it?
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    so far it's been about 2 years worth and there are always strings in it, although i should probably clean it out and start over since the bottom of the tupperware bowl i use is getting pretty nasty.
     
  16. DBTOYS

    DBTOYS Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Bend Oregon
    Can we say Cheeeeeeeeppppp??Lolz
     
  17. Bennet Pullen

    Bennet Pullen

    Aug 31, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I do exactly the same thing, rotate 2 sets between the alcohol soak and strung up on my bass. I've changed the alcohol probably 3 times in 3+ years, and tend to get a fresh set to start rotating every 6 months or so.
     
    rodl2005 likes this.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    hell yeah i'm cheap! a gallon of denatured alcohol is $15. i use about a third of a gallon to fill the bowl i have, and then every couple months i have to put more in it because of evaporation. so in 2 years i've gone through close to a gallon. i don't know about you guys, but i really don't like spending that kind of money on alcohol. why spend it if you don't have to?

    i might try isopropyl next time. if the results are as good, i can be even more tight fisted!
     
  19. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    sure, you can maybe dissolve out some accumulated finger gunk, but you won't be able to repair the actual wear, like the dents in the windings at each fret.
     
  20. dan.africano

    dan.africano

    Sep 21, 2010
    I run my roundwounds through the dishwasher to get them sounding bright again. Alot of the time when strings sound dead it's because they're covered in oil and sweat, not because they're actually dead. Also, after a wash, they have a minimal stretch/break in period. I've washed and reused the same set of strings more than a few times.
     

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