I've heard a joke that suggests that a pedalboard is a hole in the floor into which you pour money. But I'm starting to think that my real problem is strings. For any bass that I own, there is the quest to match it with the perfect strings. Right now, I have five axes in rotation, and I believe I have found the perfect strings for three of them. For now, anyway. Two of them I'm still up in the air about. One of those basses is especially frustrating, because I've owned it for over 20 years. I speak here of my Rickenbacker 4003. Now, there was a time when I was a simple man, with simple tastes. If I needed strings, I went into the local store. The fella behind the counter would ask me difficult questions, like "what gauge do you want?" and I'd answer with equally probing queries, such as "uhhh, what are the cheapest?" And in this incredibly scientific way, I soon found out that my favorite strings were D'addario XLs. And I used them happily, for years. But, alas, I eventually was seized with a perverse desire to explore my options, an expensive little habit that would sometimes find me throwing almost-new strings in the garbage, and would eventually end up with me stringing my Carvin LB76W with DR Sunbeams, my Schecter Stiletto Studio 8 with S.I.T. Powerwounds, and my Fender Precision with good old La Bella Deep Talkin' Flats. And it would also leave me pondering two questions. One, what am going to settle on for my Carvin BK40A? And two, for the love of God, after 20 plus years, what am I going to settle on for my Ric already?! The last time I thought I was happy with the Ric, I had Rotosound 77 Jazz Flats on her. The tone, without actually "nailing it", was notably McCartneyesque. And I really thought that was cool. And then I got seized once again with that old perverse urge to throw money away. I got it into my head that I wanted roundwounds on that bass again, and strung her with my favorites, DR Sunbeams. And of course, being the genius that I obviously am, I took that perfectly good and nicely broken in set of Rotos and tossed them in the garbage. And then I put the bass in the closet and didn't play her anymore. It just wasn't as magical as it was with the flats. So there I was sometime last week, messing around on my Ric, a bass that was strung with Sunbeams with maybe 5 hours of playing time on them, and thinking, "man, I want to go back to flats". Now remember, I really loved the 77 Jazz Flats. But I had never tried DR Legends, and how could I let that go unaddressed? So instead of getting another set of Rotos, what did I do? You guessed it. And now I have a barely-used set of Sunbeams sitting on my floor, and a set of flats on my Ric that, frankly, leave me feeling uninspired. They are WAY thumpier than what I expected, something more like what I'd want on a P-bass. So of course what I ought to do is get another set of Rotos. But I'm already thinking "gee, I've never tried TI's, and everybody raves about them, and they're supposedly bright for a flat, and I like the lighter tension of the DR's compared to the Rotos..." And I'm probably going to do it to myself again. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the Legends, but this time I won't throw them out. As for the Sunbeams sitting on the floor, I think they're destined to be tried out on my Carvin BK40A, which is currently sporting DR Fat Beams. I think I may be finally ready to admit to myself that I just don't like stainless steel roundwounds. But wait, you say? There's a brand I haven't tried? Oh boy, here we go again. So, who else wants to share a shory about their expensive quest for the ultimate string?