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The "I hate new strings" thread

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BoomBoy, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. BoomBoy


    Apr 1, 2005
    Anyone else but me??

    I know I change strings far too rarely, but I really hate the sound of new strings on most basses.

    And how is a string defined as "dead"? What sounds dead to some just sounds right to me. I happily use a set for over half a year. Is there something wrong with me? Am I just not listening properly? To me new strings just have a nasty metallic sound.

    Bring it on/educate... :bag:

    PS. And don't give me that each to his own crap
  2. i agree. completely. no comment really, i just agree.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I like 'em fresh. If you like D'Addario XL's, I'd be willing to sell you 2 month old strings. I prefer the zing.
  4. BoomBoy


    Apr 1, 2005
    Buy two month old strings? But I'd feel.. used :eek:

    Thanks for the offer, but I'm int the U of K. It'd be too much of a hassle. Sure I could break in a new set of strings faster than the post can deliver..
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Haha... I was half kidding. Just don't ask which half, still haven't figured it out.
  6. BoomBoy


    Apr 1, 2005
    Cheeky :smug:

    On a serious note. I'd probably prefer flatwounds if I like the used sound? Didn't know much about strings when I last bought some. My girfriends got loads, but they're all G's.

    Also, keep your opinions coming. Define "dead strings". I got a feeling dead strings are when they stop making that annoying noise...
  7. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Well, I use DR LoRiders on my Spector, and they go through three stages:
    1) Really bright and clangy/zingy for about 1-2 weeks
    2) Nice clear tone and more mellowed out thump for about 5-8 months
    3) utter deadness, almost no highs, and pure thump, and I remove them

    Some qualify strings as "dead" when they lose that fresh zingy sound, which doesn't last very long with most bass strings.
    I think the more common defination of dead strings is when they don't really do anythign but go thump, and you can't get good high tones out of them. I change my strigns about twice a year, and I ahve enver changed the TI's on my fretless. The deader-the-better for fretless thump.
  8. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Southern California
    I prefer new strings. The Smith strings that have been on my jazz for just a couple months are at the stage where I would change them if I had a gig.
  9. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    James Jamerson never changed his bass strings either. All those Motown hits made on one set of strings and a Jazz Bass. When the Funk Bros moved out to LA with Gordy someone gave James a new set of strings. When he died that new set of strings was found still unopened in his guitar case.

    I like new strings but I'm too cheap to get 'em. I don't bother boiling 'em either (yes - it works).I change 'em twice a year around Christmas and birthday (great gifts!). I figger I can pull enough highs out of 'em with fingers and amp settings. Although I admit new strings make slapping a lot easier.
  10. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    OK, so it's not to each his own ...

    I hate old strings. They have no life, no zing. They sound like you're playing a piece of twine fixed between two twigs and tightened ... to me anyway.

    I like the brightness and twang of brand new Rotosound RS66 LCs or DR Hi-Beams ... I'm not one to over-emphasize the bass end of things, tone wise ... I like high end, tweeters in my sound, so new strings are very important to me personally.

    I keep my strings about 3-4 weeks at most, depending on how much I'm playing a particular bass in my stable.

    How do I know they're dead? Well, it sounds like ... somebody just rubbed sugary BBQ sauce into the strings, let them sit for a week then tried to play the bass. Think flatwounds (for those of you who use roundwounds). In short, dead, no treble, no snap, and definitely not suited to slapping. Strings for half a year? Might work for you, but definitely not for me. I like bright, and I can't get that with old strings.

    My two cents.


  11. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego

    Anyway, I like new strings. If they're roundwounds. I like old flatwounds fine, because they're not supposed to sound the same in the first place. Hope that makes sense.
  12. groove100


    Jan 22, 2005
    i kinda hate new strings too...

    thats all
  13. BoomBoy


    Apr 1, 2005
    First of all: Thanks 5stringDNA, appreciate the definition!

    2: Yes, this is definitely not a "oh, you just got to try what sound you wanna get, each to his own" thread. That's the right attitude abngourmet! I wanna hear what you think and why.

    3: This is not a flatwound vs. roundwound thread, but flatwounds sound more like old roundwounds? A brief definition or links to useful threads would be appreciated.

    4: Call me weird, but I don't even like brand new zinging strings for slapping (at least on some of the basses I've tried). Brand new strings on a Trace Elliot (while still sounding professional) just sounds too mechanical. And this is not a TE thread either, so don't start..

    5. Really enjoy hearing about who uses old/new strings to get a certain type of sound. Keep'em coming!

    Finally: I'll try to get some pics for Flatwound (the TBer, not the string) and the rest of you as a reward for keeping posting. And if there are any lady TBers following this thread I can post a pic of my boxers aswell :eek: .
  14. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    AFAIK, the "funk machine" as it was called, was a P
  15. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I'm planning on getting DR LoRiders after my Fender strings die soon. Are those 5-8 months with intense bass playing? Or just occaisional practicing?


    I don't like the sound of brand new strings, but after a week, they sound perfect for me. Then from there on, they slowly die. I've had my fender strings on for about 2 months, but these two months have been really intense, usualy they die out more slowly.
  16. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    message deleted because BassikLee said it before mine got posted. And I can't delete it so that why this has been written. :)
  17. Magelus


    Sep 12, 2004
    Boomboy, I agree with you on not liking the zing even for slapping. Personally, it just doesn't sound like a bass to me with the zingyness (is that even a word? Well it is now) of new strings. Personally, I've taken a bit of a liking to my D'Addario XL's. They've got that zing for about two weeks, then settle into a nice thump. Actually, it isn't really a thump, it's more mellow but still really clear with a bit of punch to it. Great for jazz. Despite that, they've still got a really great slap sound (and that's playing through an Ampeg BA-115. I have to disagree with most people in saying that those amps don't work for slap, but I'll save that for the amps thread if it ever comes up). The set I've got on I've had for about four months, and even though they're starting to lose a bit of their life, I should be able to get another month out of them with a bit of luck.
  18. I think no matter what sound you like, you have more options with strings that are not dead. To remove the zing on newer strings, just back off on treble. With dead strings, you cannot add any top end, nor can you play any harmonics, tap etc. Dead strings have less definition IMO, and you can't add definition. You CAN make zingy strings sound muddier by removing all treble.

    I define "dead" as when harmonics cannot be clearly heard(i.e. no harmonic ring, just a thud). I often tune to the string harmonics, so this would be impossible with dead strings.

    For the "lively string" fans, another way to revive deader strings (besides boiling) is to soak them in denatured alcohol, wipe them clean, and then twist them a few rotations at the back of the bridge just before tensioning them. Make sure to twist in the direction of the string windings, so you are twisting the coil tighter.
  19. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Not for brightness (OK I like that too) but for intonation. Old roundwounds tend to sound "out" to me as the intonation drifts (all that gunk in the windings keeping them from vibrating correctly I guess).
  20. I like 'em fresh. Stretch 'em and play 'em for a couple hours and they're perfect.

    Jamerson's P was stolen from him before his death. Don't know if the case was though.

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