What happens when strings go dead?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by John Webb, Sep 19, 2006.


  1. John Webb

    John Webb Guest

    Apr 20, 2006
    Some questions:

    1. Why do the lighter strings go dead first?
    2. Do the harmonics go dead before the full tone or is it just my imagination? Especially the false harmonics.
    3. Where can I buys single strings? The D and G are dead long before the E and A.
     
  2. 1kinal

    1kinal Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2006
    Montreal, Qc. Canada
    Endorsing Artist: SIT strings
  3. The Dave

    The Dave

    Jun 23, 2006
    Canyon, Texas
    What happens when strings go dead?

    It depends. Did these strings know Jesus?
     
  4. John Webb

    John Webb Guest

    Apr 20, 2006

    Perhaps, but I was more interested in understanding why they don't resonate as long ovwer time and why the thin ones go first.
     
  5. The Dave

    The Dave

    Jun 23, 2006
    Canyon, Texas
    That's interesting. My E and A usually go dead first because I play them more. You may have gotten some duds, but that's not all that likely. It could be that the skin, sweat, dirt and crud is just muffling them and they need to be cleaned with something like GHS fast fret, or, in more extreme cases, you can take them off and stick them in a PVC tube filled with denatured alcohol for about 24 hours and get them back like new.
     
  6. The Dave

    The Dave

    Jun 23, 2006
    Canyon, Texas
    Between you and me mb1, I was just trying to make him feel better about the strings. And, I hate to tell you this, but your puppy probably won't be there either. I think eternity with God is only for people.
     
  7. John Webb

    John Webb Guest

    Apr 20, 2006
    or, in more extreme cases, you can take them off and stick them in a PVC tube filled with denatured alcohol for about 24 hours and get them back like new.[/QUOTE]

    So, this means that the strings go dead just from dirt and stuff from my grubby little hands?
    Theoretically they can last forever unless damaged?
    Can other solvents be used? Is denatured Alcohol the same as rubbing alcohol?
     
  8. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Sep 9, 2006
    Yes its because the dirt gets stuck between the windings, you might want to look into Elixer if oyu want a longer lasting string
     
  9. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    dirt ... mainly dust and pieces of skin (yeuch)
     
  10. The Dave

    The Dave

    Jun 23, 2006
    Canyon, Texas
    So, this means that the strings go dead just from dirt and stuff from my grubby little hands?
    Theoretically they can last forever unless damaged?
    Can other solvents be used? Is denatured Alcohol the same as rubbing alcohol?[/QUOTE]

    1. Yes, mainly. You can prevent this, to a certain extent, by washing your hands before you touch your bass and wiping down your strings after.
    2. Sort of, but just being on your bass is damaging.
    3. I don't know of any.
    4. No. Rubbing alcohol is diluted with water, which you don't want to put on your strings. Denatured alcohol is not diluted, but it is poisoned to keep stupid people from drinking it and so that hardware stores can sell it without a liquor license, or something like that.

    BTW - You definitely want to let them dry completely before trying to put them back on. It might take a few hours, or even a full day.
     
  11. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Something to consider...

    I haven't changed strings on my basses for at least 2 years. I play professionally and I record a lot. I've been in EMI's studio for 3 days and I've been working on a song for a very famous British institution for 2 weeks at another studio. In ANOTHER studio I work at, I'm sure that the in house P-bass has strings on it that are at least 5 years old. There is rust on the strings in a few places and no one cares. The studio is a multi, multi million dollar studio and they LOVE the bass, and say it's the best investment they've made. (look here.. www.songphonic.com)

    There is a trend of people really not wanting the top end of new strings. I do a fair amount of studio stuff and I can promise you that boiling strings is IMO, more trouble than it's worth. In my experience, no one's gonna really notice (or care) but you..


    Oh, and by the way... Yesterday, a producer told me I had too much top end on my bass. Even though all the controls were centered?!?
     
  12. John Webb

    John Webb Guest

    Apr 20, 2006

    ...Well dang.............it's pretty obvious now why my strings go dead. There are rub marks, dents, flat spots, whatever you want to call them at the fret location on each string. The lighter ones go dead first or "more dead" because the marks are all the same size on all of them so therefore the marks are a larger percentage of the string on the ligther ones. I can soak these suckers all night long and those dents ain't gonna come out.
    So........this leads me to wonder "Is there something wrong with my fret height or my setup?? I use Fender Super Bass 8250s.
     
  13. The Dave

    The Dave

    Jun 23, 2006
    Canyon, Texas
    I don't think there's anything wrong with your setup. Maybe your left hand is just too powerful, you big stud! It's just the nature of the beast. It's metal on metal, man. I'd try cleaning them with some fast fret or something else first. If that makes a little difference, go ahead and soak 'em. It will help. I don't think you ever mentioned how old these strings are, or how much they get played. That's definitely got something to do with it.

    BTW - At least you have dents in your strings and not your frets!
     
  14. yeah, new strings are alot cheaper than a fret leveling
     
  15. John Webb

    John Webb Guest

    Apr 20, 2006
     
  16. The Dave

    The Dave

    Jun 23, 2006
    Canyon, Texas
    They really ought to have more life in them. You might try a stainless wound string. They're a little more durable than the nickel and little brighter, but they are harder on your frets. A coated string might be a good fit for you too.
     
  17. Luckydog

    Luckydog

    Dec 25, 1999
    "Between you and me mb1, I was just trying to make him feel better about the strings. And, I hate to tell you this, but your puppy probably won't be there either. I think eternity with God is only for people."

    Sorry Dave, I have been in communication with my passed on loved ones, and I can tell you that without a doubt, my heaven is filled with my past family member pups. I think you may be thinking of your eternity which doesn't contain animals who love unconditionally...IIRC that place is called something different than heaven...:)
     
  18. i'm an avid user of elixir strings. i've been using them ever since i started playing bass. i've been playing guitar for about 17 years now and i've played elixirs since they came out. i love those strings, and even on the bass, i change them every 3 months. maybe i'm a perfectionist or a freak compared to some, but i do recognize a big difference in the clarity and the tone of my new strings compared to the old ones i just replaced. and even if you don't touch your bass for 6 months, the moisture in the air and dust floating around can still corrode your strings. even if you leave them in a room that gets cooler and hotter within the same day, that will also have an effect on the longevity of your string's tone. i know alot of people boil them or soak them in alcohol, but really, you shouldn't take all your strings off your bass at the same time because it takes all the tension off your basses neck at once. i don't know, that's what my 10 years of playing has taught me.
     
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    In short: IME, strings go dead for a few reasons. Over time, they eventually go dead from metal fatigue, and also from wear.

    Over the short run, strings can go dead from dirt/sweat/soda/beer/BBQ sauce getting between the windings. This is why coated strings can be so effective. The coating does not prevent metal fatigue, and probably doesn't slow down wear by very much. The coating does keep dirt from getting between the windings... it does in the case of Elixirs, anyway, because those are the only strings coated after the string is wound.
     
  20. Luckydog

    Luckydog

    Dec 25, 1999
    yeah bo, the elixirs work great. I've got my stash of poly's and I'm not letting them go.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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