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#1 Nich...

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:23 PM

Wouldn't it be great if your typical guitar shop had instruments set up to show off the differences between different types of strings? Or even just one or two guitars/basses that they'd restring, and kept one packet of each type of string open to show off? Surely it'd be something they can write off. I know that some sets of strings are relatively cheap. But bass strings especially, and I'm sure some guitar strings, can get reasonably pricey for a set, especially if you have an extra-stringed instrument (5/6/7/etc). I imagine that someone in the market for a new sound would be stuck buying multiple sets to take home and try out, which is, on so many levels, such a waste. It may be that I am totally wrong in my assumptions, because the last time I got new strings was perhaps a decade ago. My bass is now 15 years old and is still using the strings it came with. Do you think this'd work, financially and logistically? Are there any shops around that already offer this kind of service for customers?

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#2 Virtuoso

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:21 PM

someone in the market for a new sound would be stuck buying multiple sets to take home and try out, which is, on so many levels, such a waste.

With this observation, I think you just worked out the answer to your own question


the last time I got new strings was perhaps a decade ago. My bass is now 15 years old and is still using the strings it came with.

Ew! Buy some new strings and be amazed at how much more brightness and tone you get.


PS: my biggest issue with strings was the feel of them, not the sound. The best strings let your fingers glide, the worst are like cheese graters.
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#3 te0p

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:20 PM

I buy strings on ebay....from hong kong. i pay about $2 a set. And they are great...they are for a classical guitar though. The amount a guitar brand of guitar string will change the sound of a guitar is little any thing that is notciable and then even a discernible difference is negligible. What is more noticeable is the difference between new and old strings regardless of the make. That is why when you go to a good guitar store, they are in tune and new stings....this makes them always so much better than your other guitar...that said, the guitar (and or amp if appliacalbe) is what should make them so much better than what is at home....especially with acoustics...the room your in can make a huge difference. There is just to many variances in play to make any sound judgement. As long as they are new/ish it should be no real difference.

#4 katalyst

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:50 PM

I've found quite a difference to different brands of strings for my six string electrics. Mostly the scratch noise some make while moving up or down frets. Some can be quite abrasive on the fingers too. I'm amazed at how many shops have axe's on display, with rusty strings on them. Lame as.
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#5 Nich...

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:27 PM

someone in the market for a new sound would be stuck buying multiple sets to take home and try out, which is, on so many levels, such a waste.

With this observation, I think you just worked out the answer to your own question

I am, I guess, naive enough to think that losing a few sales here and there and trading it for a better rapport with the customer and increased loyalty - especially in the face of how cheap it is to import from overseas and not deal with shop front costs - might be worth it :s

Also, as an occasional double bassist, I cry a little at paying something like $50 per string.


Buy some new strings and be amazed at how much more brightness and tone you get.

That brightness is one of the main reasons that I keep not buying new strings! I constantly rue the day I opted for a maple instead of rosewood (or ebony, drool) fretboard :<


The amount a guitar brand of guitar string will change the sound of a guitar is little any thing that is notciable and then even a discernible difference is negligible.

You're right, there is probably not a huge scope of difference in different strings that are all of the same gauge and materials, and etc. I know I am personally a fan of high action tho', which pairs up well with bigger strings. While it's true that a lot of these differences will be felt in playstyle rather than, necessarily, tone produced, it'd be nice to test out (eg) flatwounds before buying a pair.

Edited by Nich..., 18 March 2012 - 11:28 PM.

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#6 Betzie

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:39 PM

Yea good luck with that...

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#7 komuso

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:12 AM

With many people playing them, the sound of the strings would change quickly. Nothing for it but to suck it and see. I tried thin strings for a time and I really liked them, but because of their lightness my fingers became weak, so I changed back to 105s. Used Ernie Ball for a while, pretty solid. I used rotosounds for a long time too, and they were good and durable, but the quality control is a bit iffy, and after a second dud string, I stopped using them. In the end I settled on D'Addario nickel wounds. Long lasting, and not as bright as many other strings. Ultimately, I've found that most of the sound is in my fingers anyway. Whether I'm on my bass, or a friends two hundred dollar bass, makes almost no difference any more. Don't get too lost in gear and strings, just practice the fucker.

Edited by komuso, 19 March 2012 - 01:14 AM.


#8 Virtuoso

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 02:26 AM

I used D'Addario nickel wounds too. But that was a loooong time ago, back when I could play. I picked up my bass the other day. Fuck it was depressing how much skill I've lost. My brain and my fingers were totally out of sync. So much for the reunion tour. Thank goodness I still play keyboards regularly.
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#9 i_am_banned2

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:02 AM

Not sure how well it would work for the shop - the strings wouldn't stay 'new' for very long. I'd just be happy if my local shop actually stocked flatwound strings instead of having to special-order them every time. Having a shop with different brands on demo display would make me feel like a princess!

#10 osama_bin_athlon

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:16 AM

back in the day, I used to make up my own sets - light bottom/heavy top strings - from memory, the last few sets were GHS Boomers
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