Do you reuse your bass strings, move them from bass to bass sometimes?

lungimsam

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Sometimes I find myself in need of strings but then find I have a used set that I kept leftover. I put it on whichever bass needs the strings.
I use the same gauge of Chromes set on all my basses (short or long scale) so turns out no truss rod adjustments needed when changing sets. Neck tension remains the same. Necks stay flat. Business card at 9th fret with first and last frets depressed.

Was wondering if there are any issues with doing this. Have not found any yet.

I know the point where the strings sit on the bridges and not slots of one bass is different than another, but I have not experienced any problems yet.
I also found that if I remove the strings then put them back on they sometimes brighten up almost like new again.

I once had a tech who told me that if you move your bridge forward or back to set intonation while a string is at tension it ruins the string but I have never noticed a problem, and I always adjust intonation with strings at tension.

Anyway, just wondering if you all reuse your used sets when needed. Strings are getting expensive these days. At least the D'Addario Chromes are now $39.99. Cannot find a cheaper price anywhere. Cheapest for LaBellas I have found is 30$ at Imperial Guitars, NY. But I don't use LaBellas anymore.
 

fronobulax

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I have reused strings. I never heard any stories about nut or bridge wear causing problems. The scare story I heard was that anything you did to separate the outer wrapping ultimate weakened the core. The usual example of damage was putting a string designed for a 34" scale on a bass closer to 32". Being wrapped around the post broke the string winding. Boiling old strings was supposed to rejuvenate them but I have no recollection of trying it.

Since I am self taught as far as being a guitar tech, I'm not sure how you intonation without tension. I do check the intonation at pitch, loosen slightly, slide the saddle, re-tune and repeat. Is that "without tension" with the alternative being to not slacken the string before moving the saddle?

Oh yeah, I have a pair of Roto Sounds that I bought in 1978 or 9, kept on my Starfire for decades and then moved to my JS when I wanted it to be brighter and someone gave me a gently used set of TI Flats to try on the Starfire.
 

adorshki

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Oh yeah, I have a pair of Roto Sounds that I bought in 1978 or 9, kept on my Starfire for decades and then moved to my JS when I wanted it to be brighter and someone gave me a gently used set of TI Flats to try on the Starfire.
Wouldn't this be a great time to boil up the Rotosounds and try 'em out on the Betts?
:glee:
BTW the boiling was reputed to simply remove grunge at the time but later was also said to "rejuvenate" the metal by virtue of the gentle heating/cooling which is a genuine metallurgical phenomenon, for some metals and alloys, at least.
Helps re-establish ductility.
The one thing I find on regular guitar strings at least is that fret "notches" (the compressed windings at point of fret contact) DO affect the clarity of the string's sound acoustically, they introduce distortion into the acoustic waveform and cut down overtones and harmonics, not sure if that's audible through pickups.
 

mellowgerman

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I have re-used strings many times and it can work, depending on a few factors.
For example, if I took the strings off of my Mustang bass (string through body bridge) and put them on my Starfire, I would likely run into issues with the crimp from the hard break angle now being in front of the saddle. That can result in unsolvable intonation issues and could also prevent the string from vibrating or ringing out freely.
On the flip-side of the coin, I've taken strings off of a Starfire bass and put them onto an Epiphone Rivoli with no issues... that being because 1.) on the Starfire, the string doesn't see a dramatic break angle over the bridge saddles and 2.) they were Thomastik Infeld flatwounds, which are low tension, flexible strings that don't really develop crimps without being subjected to a dramatic break-angle. Might have been a different story if they had been higher tension Fender or D'Addario flatwounds, which are stiffer and will start to develop a stubborn bend point even at minor break angles. Put that crimp/bend in front of the saddle and you run into issues.
So I would say it comes down to the bridge-saddle break-angle from the 1st bass, the stiffness/tension of the string set, and if there is a crimp present in the string, whether it falls on the "speaking length" of the string or not.

EDIT: Al's point of fret notches or divots also is a point to consider... but the appearance of those also depends on a few factors -- how hard you press down with your fretting hand, how tall your frets are, and the tension and softness of the strings.
 
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Nuuska

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....I once had a tech who told me that if you move your bridge forward or back to set intonation while a string is at tension it ruins the string ....

Hello

On electric guitars and basses I use to either loosen the string a bit or lift the string off the bridge when turning the intonation screw.
Less friction on thread. Also at least in theory the string could act like a file and cut the bridge groove deeper.
Easy to think, that if you have to move the bridge more than a windings length there is theoretical danger of damaging the winding.

Much depends on break angle - is it a roller bridge or "ridge"-blocks - plain strings etc.
 

Happy Face

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Unlike most of you, I really like the sound of fresh strings. Flat or round.

That said, I haven't changed the TI flats on my 60s Yammie hollowbody for years. On purpose.
 

mgod

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I don't, but I used to - like 45 years ago, and old habits die hard so I still keep them. But I almost never change strings either.
 

Guildedagain

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Funny, I was just considering taking the flats off my PBass (don't recollect what they are) to put my Rotosound roundwounds back on, but then decided not to, seeing as a P Bass still had a lot of growls and clanky overtones even with flats.

I kinda wonder about some TI flats for the P Bass. it needs a treat and I've never had a set.

Also need to raise my p'ups to the strings a little way too low, need new foam, some replacement screws.

This is a monster of a PBass, 1971. Very relic-ed.
 

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fronobulax

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For various reasons my Pilot has been the go to bass for a few weeks. It has rounds on it but I am sorely tempted to see if there are any flats around that will fit. Otherwise it's back to the Betts or a Starfire.
 

GGJaguar

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Yes, but only if they haven't been used for very long (less than a couple hours of play time). Usually, the (barely) used set didn't sound the way I had hoped on one bass, so they come off and wait for a new recipient.
 

edwin

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Hah! I used to remember boiling strings in the 70s and 80s. It did brighten the strings up a bit but it doesn't last long and re-boiling doesn't help. I was pretty happy when I started getting enough gigs to pay for new strings regularly!
 

walrus

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At an open mic years ago there was guy who announced that he boils his strings to make them last longer, and pretty much said everyone should be doing that because he was.

Then he proceeded to play, and his strings sounded like crap...

walrus
 

walrus

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I remember putting bicycle chains in a heated pot with Vaseline.

Is this considered too much of a veer, even for LTG?
It's been my experience that there is no such thing...

walrus
 

The Guilds of Grot

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Pardon my poor english - what DOES that mean ?
Well veering means to change direction suddenly. In the context here it means to change the suspect from the original post. Although there usually is some sort of connect from the veer.
 

DThomasC

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There are probably much better solutions today, but I recall that swishing a chain around in a pot of melted petroleum jelly really did do a good job to lubricate it. It didn't last forever, but it lasted longer than motor oil.
 
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