Reviving / Cleaning Old Bass Strings

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Jazzbass
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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by Jazzbass » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:45 am

I too have been through the ultrasonic, boiling etc stages but never found they improved the string's tone.

In the old days when I used to buy a couple of sets of strings every year, I'd be spreading talcum powder over them as soon as they were on the bass to try and dull the sods down.

Today, I still use talcum powder over the neck when my hands get sweaty or cold, but that's a playing aid rather than a debrightner.

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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by dannowilso » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:27 am

.......In the old days when I used to buy a couple of sets of strings every year, I'd be spreading talcum powder over them as soon as they were on the bass to try and dull the sods down..........
Haha....and you'd smell good too!
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Jazzbass
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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by Jazzbass » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:40 am

dannowilso wrote:
.......In the old days when I used to buy a couple of sets of strings every year, I'd be spreading talcum powder over them as soon as they were on the bass to try and dull the sods down..........
Haha....and you'd smell good too!
LOL - indeed!

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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by vandalinjandals » Mon May 17, 2010 3:15 pm

Soaking them in meths overnight does a good job too, but yea its real gross what comes off them!

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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by ryla » Thu May 20, 2010 8:29 pm

use silk gloves and your strings will last and last.

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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by martyforrer » Fri May 21, 2010 10:58 am

Jazzbass wrote:I think the flats on my Precision are around 18 years old and I've never cleaned them...
The flats on my Strat are now close to 4 years old.

The sound of new/bright strings on bass or guitar just sets my teeth on edge.

Amen to that!

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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by pins » Fri May 21, 2010 12:12 pm

Funny how we all differ,but thats the spice of life for ya ! I gave up on trying to bring old strings back to life 20 years ago.

I totally detest "old strings",to me strings are "off" after a Fri/Sat night of gigs.I would fit new strings every week if I could afford to.
I love the sparkle new strings have,always use round wounds and a heavy guage.

When my Gretsch turned up I was so dissapointed with its sound because the strings were dead,it had no sparkle or life.
Fitted new strings and wow it sounds great.

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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by dannowilso » Fri May 21, 2010 3:46 pm

Chris wrote: I totally detest "old strings",to me strings are "off" after a Fri/Sat night of gigs.I would fit new strings every week if I could afford to.
I love the sparkle new strings have,always use round wounds and a heavy guage.....
I agree man
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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by beagle » Mon May 24, 2010 5:07 pm

I've setup a poll.... would be really interested to see how the numbers stack up on this; http://www.bassplayer.co.nz/viewtopic.p ... 408#p12408
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Jazzbass
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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by Jazzbass » Tue May 25, 2010 3:20 pm

I predict most will prefer new strings, however that doesn't invalidate anyone's opinion or preference.

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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by beagle » Wed May 26, 2010 12:46 am

Jazzbass wrote:I predict most will prefer new strings, however that doesn't invalidate anyone's opinion or preference.
So I guess we may just have a vocal minority then? Ain't it always the way ;-)
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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by kiwijetpilot » Sat May 29, 2010 10:44 pm

I have also resorted to cleaning my strings, the problem for me being that I have to import the Steinberger-style strings for my bass, so I try and make them last as long as possible.

I used to soak them in petrol for an hour or two, and then boil them for thirty minutes, and that worked pretty well. The petrol got rid of the oil and grease, and the water got rid of any remain petrol contaminants.

I am currently experimenting with a mild chemical pre-clean and etch bath (used in anodising), if it works out I'll let you know.
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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by sonicfantom » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:09 pm

dannowilso wrote:What is PHS foal30?
I think the flats on my Precision are around 18 years old and I've never cleaned them...
The flats on my Strat are now close to 4 years old
!!!! I don't think i've ever had a set of strings on for 18 days, let alone 18 years. Does it still sound like a guitar?
Doesn't it just sound like you're playing a dead piece of wood with no overtones or sustain and wouldn't the strings be extremely worn by the frets (unless its a fretless P of course).

But I guess if it suits your style its all good aye.
Flats last for ever, literally. You don't need to clean them, because they don't have the ridges that roundwounds have. On the other hand, they are about as mellow as you can get in terms of sound, and they have less sustain than roundwounds.

Besides, how long are you going to hold the same note for? I think two bars is as long as you'll ever need. :D

Sounds like I should try putting my strings into one of those sonic jewelry cleaners, see if it works...
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Re: I can clean your strings really well!

Post by ryla » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:31 pm

Made the mistake of recording with brand new roundwounds on an L2 - sounded way too tinny - always figure (for me anyway) is new strings are best after acouple of short sessions - seems to give the mids their head.

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Re: Reviving / Cleaning Old Bass Strings

Post by beagle » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:43 am

I just came across this on 'No Treble' and nobody had mentioned this before.
I've given it a go on my Jazz which was sounding a bit dead and it really brought them back... not like new but a major improvement.
A def improvement and it only took 10mins and didn't need to take the strings off the bass. 8)

Here's the article; http://www.notreble.com/buzz/2013/10/01 ... -approach/

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