When to replace my spiros?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jonathan Baylis, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Jonathan Baylis

    Jonathan Baylis

    Aug 7, 2017
    I've been playing daily on my Spirocore strings for at least five years. They still sound great to me. How will I know when it's time to replace them?
  2. When they break! :)
    Honestly, some players are really waiting they break before changing them.
    But if you sometime seem to be unable to tune them correctly, or they sound somewhat false, it may be the moment!
    geoffbassist likes this.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Francois is right on the money above. Two things will get me to replace a Spirocore:

    1) it breaks
    2) it gets a ding in the surface of the string that annoys me

    On very rare occasions that can get so crusty that they start to go false in terms of pitch. But I've only ever had that happen with strings that I got from somebody else before I put them on my own bass. Never had one that I bought new do this.
    geoffbassist and damonsmith like this.
  4. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Gold Supporting Member

    Why, every 1 - 1.5 years! Thanks for asking! I just threw on a new set - 3 Spiros/1 Evah P.
    (and they call me a "Cheap Bastard"! More like "Poor Bastard".)
    Naplesllew likes this.
  5. Jonathan Baylis

    Jonathan Baylis

    Aug 7, 2017
    Thanks, friends! With the mention of 1.5 years, I think I'll buy a new set to be ready.

    Another question- I play a lot of trad jazz. It has been suggested that I switch from Spiros to Velvet Garbos. Has anyone made this switch? If so, can you describe the difference in sound and feel?
  6. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    I live in New Orleans and can say I see a lot of trad music. Most of the guys are using spiro weich strings or a full set of guts.
    Steve Boisen and Jonathan Baylis like this.
  7. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    One day I hope to have a box that looks like that haha
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  8. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Gold Supporting Member

    Be careful what you wish for!
    Jonathan Baylis likes this.
  9. My string drawer looks like that, maybe worse.

    Two or three years ago I cleaned it out and paid for Christmas.
  10. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    You'll know when it is time. I just replaced a four year old set of spiros with probably 200+ gigs on them. They still worked well, but a little something was off, so I swapped them out on a hunch. I put on a 1 year old set and I was back in the sweet spot; broken in perfect. The others had lost all sizzle. A little sizzle is good... a brand new set that sounds like a telecaster on the bridge pickup run through a Fender twin with the treble all the way up....not so good.... 'got a sizzleless set of reds available if anyone is lookin', but I was thinkin' of loading them up n my ALCOA....
  11. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    That's easy! When there's only rust holding the G string together a whole step from the nut! ;)
  12. Jonathan Baylis

    Jonathan Baylis

    Aug 7, 2017
    Thanks Everyone,

    This discussion has been great!

    Listening to everything I've heard, I'm thinking my medium Spiros may be best on my 1960s plywood Hoffner upright. I use a David Gage Realist pickup with a Fishman preamp and a GK MB 150 amp. It's all been working amazingly well. I'm getting the impression that the Weichs might sound a little weak on my bass and the Velvet Garbos might choke it back a bit.

    Since my Spiro mediums are very old and I have a lot of important gigs coming up, I think I'll buy a back-up set of Spiro mediums and change them up when I have to.

    The conversation is not over. If you have other suggestions, please respond.

    With gratitude,

  13. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    When you can no longer tune them to each other using harmonics, it's past time for them to go.
    the_Ryan and Jonathan Baylis like this.
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    And when they start playing "false" (more difficult to intonate than usual).
  15. Jonathan Baylis

    Jonathan Baylis

    Aug 7, 2017
    Thanks Carl, Eric and all who have offered advice. I have learned a lot.
    Carl Hillman and Eric Hochberg like this.