New strings that doesn't sound like new strings (bass)

Discussion in 'Bass' started by mertzi, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. mertzi

    mertzi Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    Hello!

    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!
     
  2. Reverend Lucas

    Reverend Lucas Active Member

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    May 5, 2014
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    Fargo, ND
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    Hi, Mertzi

    Flatwound strings would mellow out your sound. Even then you'd have some zing with brand new strings, and I don't know how you feel about them. I think to some degree new strings just need some break in time before recording with them.

    I'm
     
  3. mertzi

    mertzi Active Member

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    Jan 11, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    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.
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    have you tried boiling the old strings?

    OTOH, I find it hard to believe that you haven't changed strings in 11 years.... o_O
     
  5. mertzi

    mertzi Active Member

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    Jan 11, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    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.
     
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    If they aren't holding tuning tension anymore, then yeah, they've broken down, and boiling won't help.
     
  7. moles

    moles Active Member

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    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    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
     
  8. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. Jensenmann

    Jensenmann Active Member

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    Location:
    Karlsruhe, Germany
    Boiling strings never did it for me. I´ve always cleaned them in alcohol.
    Regarding OP question: there are gold plated strings available which are sounding a lot less bright than steel or nickel strings. Maybe that´s an option: http://www.optima-strings.com/
     
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

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    Pacific NW
    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.
     

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  13. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Nice bass Dave!
     
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    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)
     
  15. ric3xrt

    ric3xrt Active Member

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    Jan 16, 2014
    Location:
    Trumbauersville PA
    Mmmm 62s, great neck, the SH Roto's are pretty easy on the frets,
    I use a set on my 65P-bass , ....for a real deep tone, the SH roto's on a PB with the Fender Aerodyne Pb split pick ups, gives you a nice James Jamerson tone
     
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

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    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    No fret wear for these.
     
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