Jump to content

The Joy of fresh String Tone


Recommended Posts

Clearly everyone has a different idea of what a bright sounding string sounds like. Granted I sweat a lot when playing under lights and in busy bars but I find strings less bright after one gig. I used to wipe my strings with a beer mat after every song but still found them going too dull for my liking. I have found no strings stay bright for more than three gigs tops. As I say, if I could afford it I would change strings every gig.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ubit said:

Clearly everyone has a different idea of what a bright sounding string sounds like. Granted I sweat a lot when playing under lights and in busy bars but I find strings less bright after one gig. I used to wipe my strings with a beer mat after every song but still found them going too dull for my liking. I have found no strings stay bright for more than three gigs tops. As I say, if I could afford it I would change strings every gig.

It’s crap regarding strings when you have sweaty hands. I am lucky to have quite dry hands so can make mine last a reasonable time, but a guitarist friend of mine can kill strings after one gig! I once let him try a bass of mine and could noticeably tell the difference just minutes afterwards. He uses Elixirs and they’ve been a godsend for him, not only saving money on strings but also time spent changing them a lot. He reckons you get used to the feel of them after a while too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Reggaebass said:

I suppose it depends on what you play, I don’t like new strings, most of the strings on my basses are between 5 and 15 years old ,and if I need more I usually advertise for used flats, but they obviously wouldn’t be any good if you wanted that nice bright tone for slapping or funk 

 

 

Definitely mate. You play reggae and dub so old strings would suit this more. I like rounds with the new ring for rock and indie. We did cover Iron Lion Zion right enough and I pushed the bass for this. Turned down the tone and gave my bass dial a wee tweak. It worked ok for me even with new rounds but I'm sure aficionados of this genre like your good self would consider this wrong.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two bases I for which I keep 4 sets of strings in rotation - 2 on the basses and 2 soaking in a methylated spirit bath. Swap out a set with the freshly cleaned set about once every 2 weeks, the 4 sets last almost indefinitely and I get a very consistent bright sound, the meths doesn't bring them back to absolute new but its good enough. Using headless bases with double ball end strings makes the constant swapping very easy and doesn't stress the strings.

Edited by bassman7755
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, bassman7755 said:

I have two bases I for which I keep 4 sets of strings in rotation - 2 on the basses and 2 soaking in a methylated spirit bath. Swap out a set with the freshly cleaned set about once every 2 weeks, the 4 sets last almost indefinitely and I get a very consistent bright sound, the meths doesn't bring them back to absolute new but its good enough. Using headless bases with double ball end strings makes the constant swapping very easy and doesn't stress the strings.

 

 

I found boiling got more crud out than meths but to be fair I didn't leave them soaking for days. Ive heard people saying that boiling rusts the core but I never noticed any difference in sound plus I didn't boil them more than twice. Second time never had as good results.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, ubit said:

 

 

I found boiling got more crud out than meths but to be fair I didn't leave them soaking for days. Ive heard people saying that boiling rusts the core but I never noticed any difference in sound plus I didn't boil them more than twice. Second time never had as good results.

Yeah I tried boiling and it works but it stresses and corrodes the strings, only time Ive ever had a bass string breakage was with strings boiled multiple times.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ubit said:

We did cover Iron Lion Zion right enough and I pushed the bass for this. Turned down the tone and gave my bass dial a wee tweak. It worked ok for me even with new rounds

Sounds perfect ubit 👍, and a great Bassline to play, a few friends of mine use rounds with foam under the strings at the bridge just to mute a bit ,and they sound great 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/10/2021 at 16:47, Ricky Rioli said:

 

John Entwistle, fresh rounds every gig. Steve Harris, fresh flats every few gigs.

I read Steve Harris uses fresh set every gig. I wonder what they do with the strings after one gig. Probably bin them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a good number of top name bass players have their strings changed every gig but when you have an endorsement and a tech it’s ‘no sweat’ 

I’ll say DR’s too 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, SH73 said:

I read Steve Harris uses fresh set every gig. I wonder what they do with the strings after one gig. Probably bin them.

My guys do a full guitar change about every three or four gigs, except for the acoustic which only sees one song so usually lasts twice that. Bassist gets a fresh set at the start of the tour and then only if they break. They're all on Elixirs and I wipe down with Fastfret before and after every show so we could easily make them stretch a bit longer without degrading but if they have the budget I'm happy to do them - can do a full five guitar clean and change in about 45 minutes now as long as I don't have to do the Gretsch. 

 

They're all keen on recycling so old strings get put to one side, electrical taped together in a little bag, and then at the end of a tour I'll take them all to the recycling centre (bass strings get kept separate to use as emergency spares). Bit wasteful overall so ideally if somebody could turn them into art or jewellery we could sell on the merch desk that would be perfect, but I'm still working on that side. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/10/2021 at 16:47, Ricky Rioli said:

 

John Entwistle, fresh rounds every gig. Steve Harris, fresh flats every few gigs.

Indeed, new strings every gig, or every other gig or so is the normal at that level.

 

Of course, at that level they may be earning 10 or 15 grand a night for playing a large venue, so can afford it. Or they may even have sponsorship deals with string manufacturers.

 

For mortals like myself its a case of finding a sting that sounds consistent for longest.  Not necessarily new or bright, but decent enough once played in and then consistently maintaining that for a long period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, bassman7755 said:

Yeah I tried boiling and it works but it stresses and corrodes the strings, only time Ive ever had a bass string breakage was with strings boiled multiple times.

 

 

Yeah, as I say, I only boiled the strings more than once on a couple of occasions as I found the second boiling didn't bring out the newness as much.

I did start buying strings from Amazon or Ebay that were cheap stainless and were pretty good. not quite as bright as Rotosounds or Elites but they did the job for a fraction of the price. If you are a prolific changer like me it works out cheaper.

My brother in law is a fantastic guitar player and a while back he asked me if he could borrow my American P for some recording he was doing. I reluctantly agreed as I had only just restrung it with brand new Rotosound steels. He gave it back to me a few weeks later and the strings were dead. I couldn't believe it. Not happy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...