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Stainless Steel Strings and sweat

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Intrepid, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    My hands sweat excessively and I was wondering stainless strings handle under this because I've found myself looking for brighter string types, but I've heard these don't fair well under sweat.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    IME, stainless strings start out brighter, but go dead faster than nickels. The sweat probably doesn't help.
  3. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    My experience is the other way around. I think most people will tell you stainless lasts longer before going dead. My hands don't get really all that sweaty but I do keep a towel near me on stage so I can dry them if I need to. Then after each set I wipe the strings down. I think might help make any strings last longer.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I'd be one of "most people", swing. They last longer simply because stainless simply resists corrosion better (admittedly, small amounts of other alloys are also used in strings).

    I think what makes it confusing is that the tonal change in stainless strings is more dramatic over time/use than nickels. Steels lose the bright "zing" that many stainless owners buy them for.
    So, many of we stainless users restring more often than players using other string types. As a matter of fact, I'm restringing a bass this week even though its stainless strings have plenty of output. But, they've lost too much of their brightness for me.

    If your hands always get very sweaty, you might consider a product named "Stringlife," a polymer protectant that you apply to strings to increase their lifespan - http://www.stringlife.com/

    Elixir makes strings with a coating that extends their life.
  5. Howdy,

    Being another bass player with sweaty mitts, I'll give you my $0.02 (Canadian). I used to buy nickel strings - usually D'Addario XLs. I stopped because I could never get more than 4-5 weeks out a set. I was hesitant to try stainless steel because I didn't want anything too 'zingy,' but eventually gave in and bought some DR Low-Riders. Now, I don't have to change my strings for *6 months* per set - big difference.

    I can't really say much about whether stainless steel strings go dead faster than nickel - I'm just happy to be able to save so much money *not* buying strings (and good strings at that). Try stainless steel.
  6. I thought strings went dead due to junk collecting between the outer wraps and the inner core.
  7. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've noticed that stainless steels are brighter than nickel and last longer.

    Sweat definitely is a major reason for strings going dead. I surmise that dried sweat eventually becomes the "junk" that gums things up between the round wound's string windings. It attracts further junk to collect on to the string, perhaps dust and other particles floating around in the air, thus resulting in further loss of zing.

    I don't mind changing strings every 4-6 weeks (I usually play my basses 2-4 times a week.
  8. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Yep, sweat, your bodies natural oils and little bits of skin all and up to the human goo that kills off your strings. Of coarse alot of players like that sound and don't change their strings for years.
  9. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Swingbass, you got that right. Some of the more notable studio recording greats were James Jamerson and Joe Osborn. I think they left their dead strings on their basses for several years.
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    The answer to the sweat/string life dilema: Elixir. Put 'em on and forget about 'em for a LONG time. If you like the sound when you first string 'em, you're gonna like it 6 months down the line. They just don't age like regular strings.
  11. Second the Elixirs recommendation.

    Alternatively, would ground-wounds (rounds that have been ground down to be more like flats) help?
  12. I use Rotosound Swing bass stainless steels, and apply GHS Fast Fret before and after gigs, using the cloth to wipe down the strings after.

    I sweat a lot, and the Fast Fret helps keep the strings bright.
    I managed to get a month's gigs out of the set on my Warmoth P before they became dull (not quite dead) and I took them off and boiled them.
  13. jelloyacket

    jelloyacket bass > guitar

    Jun 14, 2002
    McMurray, PA
    My vote is Elixirs. Our church's Fender has had Elixir's forever now, and it still sounds nice and balanced.
  14. I vote for Elixirs as well, and I'm hoping the XLs I ordered will work on my Cirrus 5...

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