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Strings: Old or new?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Philbiker, Apr 11, 2001.

How old do you like your strings?

Poll closed Dec 23, 2014.
  1. UInder a week. If they're a week old they're DEAD!

    23 vote(s)
  2. Under 3 months old.

    70 vote(s)
  3. Under 6 months old.

    41 vote(s)
  4. Under a year - I change Annually.

    26 vote(s)
  5. Jamerson style - 2 years old is fresh to me.

    27 vote(s)
  1. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Do you like fresh new strings or old ones? Personally I like old strings. The older the better. I hate bright clickety clacky sounding strings. I am primarily a fingerstyle player, and dislike lots of finger noise. I also try to wash my hands before I play so as to not get my strings all greasy and dirty.

    In general I dislike slap style (which would tend toward newer strings), though it does have it's place and great players.

    So on average how old are your strings? I haven't changed a set in over a year. The oldest strings I've got on a bass are probably 3 years, youngest about a 14 months.
  2. I have rounds on my fretted and I generally replace them every 3-4 months, but flats on my fretless, which will probably stay there a long time.
  3. ASR


    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I don't need to change them that often, but I don't do a good job of washing my hands all the time before and during breaks, so I get a lot of build up on them. That negatively affects the sound.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Had to project a little at 3 months. I recently switched to DR "Marcus" on my primary bass and after a couple months of use, I still have an unopened box of them.
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I change the strings when I feel the time is right, but strings will last me between 3 and 6 months, although I do prefer them when they're fresh.

    Will C.:cool:
  6. BassDude24


    Sep 12, 2000
    I never really payed attention, I mean I do, but I don't have the cashflow to be picky, I play them till they break. I had a set on for about a year, then after my band got together they broke one at a time at seperate rehersals (we practice twice a week, one short rehersal for about five hours, and then a long rehersal, about eleven hours not counting breaks). I generally play more slapstyle while they are new and fingerstyle once they get warm and fuzzy. However I have been breaking them more often lately, so it looks like it is time to turn it into my tech.
  7. as long as they don't break and i can scrape the crust off they stay on.
    punchclock likes this.
  8. Monkey


    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I'm with the old crusty crowd. I'm primarily a finger-style player, and I like a sound that resembles an upright bass, so zingy strings are not my thing. I've been using flatwounds and tapewounds for a few years now, and leave them on indefinitely.
  9. NeoTrotskyist


    Apr 2, 2001
    I like my strings older, i guess, but they rarely get more than three months old, because i break them all the time. People always tell me that i play "too hard", but that's the way to get the sound i like. And i guess i don't mind the broken strings.
  10. String breaks = buy a new set.

    My current basses have strings that are 11 months (the flats on my fretless) and 2 months (experimenting with roundwounds) on my fretted. Respectively.

    Longest I ever kept a set? 8 years. Still have the strings, actually. I sold the bass they were on, and they guy who bought it gave me the strings back. God (or whatever you believe in) bless flats.

  11. I know with guitar strings, they get worn out with age and the intonation gets off I assume this is the same with bass strings. Therefore you have to change your strings when it does get off (unless you have a fretless).
  12. phil_chew


    Mar 22, 2000
    I like it fresh but not brand new. I would say between two weeks and 6 months old.
  13. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    2 months max.
    One month average.
    I really love the sound between the end of the first week and the beginning of the third week.
    My hands are sweating a lot and I suppose my sweat is very acid so I "kill" the strings quite rapidly, even though I sweep (is it the right english word ?) them frequently during pratice, rehearsal or gig.
  14. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    I tried the old, crusty string method, but after a few months I was struggling to get the right sound (they were TI flats). I like to play all kinds of stuff, and I find that new strings are much better for getting just the right sound. I can always fiddle with the EQ if they are too bright.
    Unfortunately, I must have HCL in my sweat because I tend to kill my strings quickly regardless of hand washing.
  15. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I can kill a new set of strings in one night of playing even if I wipe them alot. If I clean them right after the gig I can get amonth or so out of them. If I play a gig and it's a rush to get on and off stage and I just throw the bass in the case the strings are done next time I play. I like the tone of newer strings. I change them pretty regularly.
  16. I hate the clack of new strings. I'm lucky in that my sweat is not acidic, so strings last me forever.
  17. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I love me clickety clackities. I wish I could afford to change my strings every gig.
  18. BassDude24


    Sep 12, 2000
    I just had a thought, if you were wondering about anyones strings on their Double Bass, my first bass had the same set of strings on it for three years, then I sold it and got my new one about a year ago, so the new one has had this set on it for about a year. As far as I know, strings for the DB last longer than those turtles on the Galapagos.
  19. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    i love that sonic sound of fresh new strings.
  20. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    I personally like the sound of brand new strings - there's nothing better than the first week of having strings on your bass. I wouldn't change them every week though, and I can certainly live with older strings. I change every four or five months, but keep the old ones, so I've got of spares now!

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