Skip to main content


I had to change my 11 year old strings on my bass because unfortunately they just couldn't hold the pitch any longer despite being tuned correctly. So I bought a set of D'addario Balanced and put them on in May. I haven't played much since (mostly been watching the world cup) but yesterday I recorded a bass line and it sounded just awful. There's the well known metallic sound new strings give but there's also some weird chorus/flanger like tone. I know that it's probably just because I haven't played enough since the change but that brings me to my topic, are there some string model that is manufactured to sound like old/used strings but still gives the benefits of new strings? Google only gives me a lot of "old vs new strings" articles and forum posts.

Have a nice day!

Topic Tags


mertzi Sat, 07/12/2014 - 04:50

Thanks! I've never played flatwound strings, been watching a few youtube videos now where nylon strings also have been mentioned. Wouldn't nylon be even more suited since they wont give any metallic ring? I only play with a pick and I want that muted sound that dead strings give.

Correction: With nylon strings I mean nylon tapewound strings. D'addario has a set they introduced in 2010 but I can't find any demos where they play with a pick.

mertzi Sat, 07/12/2014 - 06:42

True story, I've only used that bass for recording. On my two live basses I've changed strings several times, but I don't care so much of how they sound because we play punk and everything is just drenched in distortion. I've never tried to boil strings although I know about the trick, but I've read that it only works one time. And the old strings don't sound bad, they just can't hold the pitch.

moles Thu, 01/08/2015 - 15:04

If you're getting of chorusing sounds, it could be that the strings aren't seated properly in the bridge and nut. Does it look like the strings have a sharp angle over the bridge saddle, or more of a gentle bend?
A good thing to do is give them a little pinch downward on either side of the bridge saddle and the but, so the witness points are a nice sharp angle

paulears Thu, 01/08/2015 - 15:39

The only time I have ever put any new strings on any of my basses was when I bought a set of flat wounds to try last year. I have never broken a string, or had one die on me. I still have the first bass I bought in 1974, and it still has the original strings on it, and they've always been quite dull. I never play with a pick - ever, but I do use my hard nails when I need to, and my bass collection numbers 6 in total, a mix of 4,5 and 6 strings, including a fretless 4 and 5 string. I never break a string, and like their tone. My newest one bought last year is a Fender American Standard Jazz, and maybe in a year, the twangy tone will have worn off.

audiokid Thu, 01/08/2015 - 16:24

paulears, post: 423423, member: 47782 wrote: I still have the first bass I bought in 1974, and it still has the original strings on it, and they've always been quite dull.

WOW! WOW! WOW! I've never heard this before although I have known guys to keep them on a Precision for a long time. That is amazing, Paul.

paulears Fri, 01/09/2015 - 04:46

I also play guitar, and although I do change them when my fingers feel spots of rust starting to appear, I'd think that maybe in the same time my strings for those are pretty few and far between - my 12 string my wife bought me as a present in 1980 still has the originals on. The guitarist in our band changes strings each show - and I laugh when he asks me when I last put on a new string and I tell him never! Some have been on longer than he's been alive! I like the mellowness but they still play well - I'd happily replace a set if I broke a bass string, but it's just never happened.

Davedog Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:58

Old strings have a certain sound but need to also have the harmonics in place so you don't lose the 'root' tone of the note. It doesn't do any good if you're played a G and theres not difference between it and an F #. Thats when the strings get changed. I recently completed a Fender 62 P-Bass build and started it with the round wounds. But the noise and overtones just don't do it for me anymore so it got a set of RotoSound Steve Harris Flats. I'm very impressed with these strings. A very balanced tension and they are bright but not a noisy brite while still retaining the serious thump you want from a bass string. In recording, its all about the control of the decay with the bass if you want clarity and that low-end you can sit in the mix without dirtying up all the other instruments next to it.

Attached files

DonnyThompson Mon, 03/23/2015 - 22:46

Davedog, post: 426669, member: 4495 wrote: got a set of RotoSound Steve Harris Flats.

Do they eat the frets like the original Roto's did? LOL

I used to use Roto's exclusively, back when I was playing bass in a touring band, ( we had an endorsement) and truthfully, I loved the tone, but those puppies did some serious wear on frets. ( at the time I was using a Fender J and a Spectre)