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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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the longest time period you kept strings on a bass(be honest)


two years
they just held up pretty good!!!!
March 30, 2005 @10:38pm
Ed Belknap

I've had the same set on my Ibanez ST-980 since 1991. But that's atypical, I usually change strings every 4 - 6 months.
They say James Jamerson never changed strings unless he broke one.
March 31, 2005 @03:19pm

Six months
April 8, 2005 @03:58pm

Okay, I know this is cheating, but 15 years. I pulled out a bass I haven't played for 14 years the other day. But I normally change 1-2 years.
April 26, 2005 @12:20pm

About 16 months.
But these were Thomastik-Infeld JF-344 flats on a Precision bass, and believe me, the older they got, the better they sounded!
June 4, 2005 @01:34pm

every month just about, unless im short on cash then about every two months.-andyboy
October 22, 2005 @06:50am

Depend on the string brand. The DAddario EXP sound good for about 5 to 6 months
I use Ken Smith burners and usually change them every 3 to 4 months.When you install them sound very good but before 2 or 3 moths they sound a little darker.
November 27, 2005 @02:37am

February 1, 2006 @01:29am

About 16 months.
But these were Thomastik-Infeld JF-344 flats on a Precision bass, and believe me, the older they got, the better they sounded!

Hey, in case anyone still cares about this thread -
I am wicked happy with the tone of these same flats through my
Ampeg combos.
I think they've been on about a year and a half.
Being a former guitar player, I'm used to replacing strings every couple of months, so I keep looking for a reason to throw these away. Can't think of any reason.
They may even (subjectively) sound better now.
Maybe and only maybe, I'll try Deep Talkin Bass next set. Too bad they're not 100% nickel like the TI's.
September 11, 2006 @03:24am

I will be very honest. I play bass for more than 30 years and also in this period I been own more than 10 brands of basses. I acctually Own a Pedulla Thunder Bass a Modulus Q5(neckthru) , Modulus Q6 , Fabreguez 5 String Frettless and a Schecter Exotic 4 String. Iam tell you this because I try a lot of strings brands on diferent basses and also perform on more than1,000 TV recordings. This experince allow me to evalute basses and strings in a close matter. Bass strings are a lot more expensive than guitar strings and most of us try to keep them for a relative more time than guitarist.
the longest time period you kept strings on a bass depends on several factors , evrioment, phisical (some people sweat at hands more than others) and how much time you play or use the instrument a week. Some brands last sounding good than others to give an example DAddario Xl EXP (extended play coated) and Elixir last long than the average due the coated applied at manifacturing.
I personally likes a lot Smith Nikle Plated steel round wound burners and DAddario. read an article of laboratory test on strings (I don,t have the article at hand at this time) that shows that bass strings sound decrease after 12 hours of use. the problem is that normally are not percieved. I in the past change the strings every 3 moths, I try several strings preservation products an the only one that really prolongs life to metal strings is a product from Caig laboratories. DeoxIT® Axe Wipes Caig.com. I my experience using them as directed increase sound life of the strings by 35 to 40 % longer about 2 months more.
I hope that this info will help you . If you have any question that i will help let me know.
God bless
Ricardo Gil
September 11, 2006 @03:22pm

Additional comment
One of the biggest drawbacks in pursuit of a certain sound is the relatively short life of strings for your bass. Most of us have to make a new set last 2 to 3 (or more) months. The ideal for most of us would be to change strings every four or five playing days, and if wealthy (or an endorsee) every 6 playing hours.
Ultimately, the matter of finance dictates your sound in this arena. The sound of most strings is greatly altered and diminished after those first 6 playing hours...a sad truth.
With bass strings costing often 7 to 10 times what a set of guitar strings costs, money is a major consideration. A bassist has every bit as much a right to his sound as any guitarist. So we need maximum life for our hard earned money.
Hope this help
God bless
Ricardo Gil
September 11, 2006 @04:04pm

Hey just found the Bass section...
In the old days I went years before changing. That was on a Fender Tele bass. Then I bought a Jass bass and changed them about once per year.
Now with a Musicman Sub as well as the Jazz I change about every six months. I haven't found anything better than Thomastik-Infeld. Granted I have not tried very many others but I love that bright piano sound.
I may try the Smith Burners though as the Thomastik-Infeld are getting hard to find.
January 5, 2007 @04:48am

I honestly can't remmember the last time I changed the whole set. I usually change them when they break.
February 1, 2007 @05:09pm
Ed Belknap

I honestly can't remmember the last time I changed the whole set. I usually change them when they break.

?!?! How often is that?
FWIW, I have never broken a bass string in over 30 years of playing.
February 6, 2007 @04:46pm

Back in the 70's I had a set of Labelle Black tape wound strings that never did ware out. I finally changed them cause I thought I would get stuck some night with a broken string. I know they lasted at least 4 yrs.
February 13, 2007 @12:41am