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String upgrade for a cheap bass

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I’m pretty new to the upright and needed something to play during lockdown so have bought the only bass for sale locally - a second hand Cremona SB-2...

It definitely needs a string upgrade - I’d guess it still has the factory supplied ones which feel pretty horrible. But it seems mad to spend £100+ on strings for an instrument I don’t anticipate keeping for more than a few months.

Any thoughts?

 

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Buy the strings you want (used or new) but keep the originals somewhere.  When you sell the bass, reinstall the original strings and sell the good strings separately.

 

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No idea - their electric bass strings are pretty good VFM - I use them because they make 40-95.

I was shocked when I saw the price of "real" DB strings. Don't suppose people change these every 3 months.

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Another cheap option would be to buy a second hand set of decent strings from the for sale forum.

 

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15 hours ago, TheGreek said:

I wouldn't recommend gut strings as the first call for someone new to the instrument; while some players swear by them, they're a bit of a niche interest today and quite finicky and high maintenance compared to steel or synthetic strings. They're something to explore later if you're drawn towards that sound, IMO.

And the Alice strings are unlikely to be an upgrade from the stock strings on a cheap bass. Quality steel strings have a braided steel core (sometimes called rope or spiral core), while the cheap ones have a solid steel core which makes them stiff feeling and often with poor intonation and pitch stability.

So I'd second the suggestion of finding a lightly used set of quality strings.  Spirocores in particular can go for years and withstand being swapped between basses better than many.

 

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£90 is the cheapest set of DB strings I’ve bought, Presto Jazzicatos, but as has been said here, strings can last for years, especially for pizzicato playing, and the cheaper the bass the better worn in or old strings sound IMO. I’d agree with buying a used set of quality strings, anything with up to three or four years of use.

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Thanks for all your suggestions. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for second hand set. Seems they’re more likely to be listed in the double bass section rather than the accessories one?

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I persevered with a “rubbish” bass for many years (and still have it now), by periodically changing strings and getting a decent set up done by a professional. Same for a pickup if that is relevant to you. I found decent strings always hugely flattered this mediocre instrument. 

Therefore I wouldn’t hesitate - even if strings seem expensive compared to the value of your  bass. And I wouldn’t scrimp either - even if the decent strings you fancy are £200+. As has been said, they still have a second hand value. And I reckon would increase the value of your bass if you wanted to sell in the short term. And your playing pleasure will be much better for it (which is what it’s all about right?) 

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Personally, I wouldn't think about only keeping the instrument for a few months, and just buy some decent strings-they will probably make the bass sound and feel better.

I'd get a set of Spirocores and a set up if necessary, and enjoy the bass.

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I bought a set of these https://www.thomann.de/gb/presto_balance_hybrid_34l.htm

They're a steel string but not too stiff/too much tension. I tried them on one bass and they now live on my EUB and make it sound/feel very DB like. They're a little fatter feeling than spirocores and they bow ok too.

Good price. Read the review on Thomann and see if they might work for you.

Edited by TPJ

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On 09/01/2021 at 10:56, TheGreek said:

I was shocked when I saw the price of "real" DB strings. Don't suppose people change these every 3 months.

My dadarrio hybrid strings are 20 yrs old, my Spiro's came with the bass 32 years ago.  Only last year I upgraded to a 2nd hand set of Spiro's from a basschatter .. those may be less than 10 years old!   They last forever really; only change them when they break or when I fancy a change of sound.

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