WHY DO NEW CUSTOM BUILT BASSES seem to make strings dull so fast ???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mb94952, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS

    I have had the pleasure in my life of having two custom basses built for me. It is NOT the economical way to go and if I could do it over again I may think twice about dropping all that dough, even though in other posts I have said everyone should try it once. Maybe since I am broke now, and could use the money ...

    That being said, when I put new strings on my old Cirrus they sound bright and new for a long time, but on my new custom it eats strings. It seems like new wood or newly built basses make strings sound old and dead after only about 5 hours of playing.

    Why is this ?? Is there a science behind this ?
  2. I have one custom and a bunch of off the shelf basses.

    The custom doesn't seem to eat strings, but it plays so easily compared to the others I could underestimate the PT on it. What seems like four hours of PT may actually be 16 hours.

    That's my experience and may no way apply to you. I only replied because the thread had 48 views without a response and I felt bad about that.
  3. WaskoDS


    Nov 22, 2009
    Allentown, PA
    Maybe you've got stainless steel frets on your customs and you're using nickel strings? Without any details on your basses' specs, it's impossible to tell what the problem actually is; it can't be some inherent trait specific to custom built basses that causes new strings to die quickly, as you seem to be implying or asking about.
  4. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS

    Wow, yes. Good brain you have there. What does that mean ? What do you recommend ?

    Thanks also to the previous poster, as well.
  5. preside


    Aug 7, 2010
    Scottsdale Az
    In addition to the steel fret / nickle string question, it could be a matter of the preamp. I can "HEAR" when the strings start to go dead on my custom because the pre sends a larger amount of the info coming off the strings to my amp. On my older passive basses that info is just not there and I don't notice them going dead so fast.
  6. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS

    I don't understand the steel fret / nickel string thing.
    Why is that a "problem" ?

    As for the preamp, it's the same. I chose a Cirrus preamp and pickups in my custom because I ave yet to find a better sounding electronics. Dead quiet, natural compression, and transparent.

    My other basses are Cirrus's, too. My '99 has strings on it that seem to last forever.
    My custom seems like the E string especially dies fast. Same wood combo, too.
  7. bootsox


    Apr 28, 2012
    Biloxi, MS
    try some stainless strings like rotosound 66s or d'addario prosteels, if you've got stainless frets they're probably putting tiny dents in your strings
  8. preside


    Aug 7, 2010
    Scottsdale Az
    The possibility that the steel (hard) frets are wearing the Nickle (soft) strings faster than one would normally expect. Thats really just a good sounding hunch and could be a bunch of malarky. :)
  9. My Defil bass from 1988 has a brass frets, and the strings have nickel wound. Never replaced. To me they still sound very good.

    Anyway, to me it can be also a matter of the wood. When you got an old bass, the wood is much more dry, while new basses are still having water in their wooden elements. Its only my theory, never tested, so I think its actually not very important.
  10. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS

    I've heard that, too and there are seriously divided camps over this - Like Braveheart divided. :)

    I am hoping that over time it will change.

    I have never heard the nickel string theory (get it - string theory) before and I will try stainless next...
  11. IronLung1986


    May 19, 2010
    Exeter, NH
    maybe your custom basses have a really hi-fi tone that takes advantage of the higher frequencies more than your other basses. so as your strings age, the drop off in those high frequencies is more noticeable on your customs. I don't have any custom basses, but my active basses go through strings much faster than my passives and im pretty sure that's the reason.
  12. Tristan


    Jan 28, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    This is what I'm thinking too. I find Stingrays really prefer new strings as well.
  13. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    My experience was that my strings would go dead in 36 hrs on new small maker basses. Whether I played them or not. Cause? Out gassing from the new cases.
    Switched to Body Gloves and strings last through months of hot, sweaty summer gigs.
  14. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    The stainless frets vs nickle strings makes a little snese, but, "not in a few days" kinda sense.
    Case outgassing...that could happen I guess.

    Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had this issue, and I pretty much only play "custom" basses.
  15. Off gassing... very interesting!!