Robust bass strings?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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joachim33
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Robust bass strings?

Post by joachim33 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:17 am

Hi,

It seems I am wearing my bass strings to quickly by applying to much pressure. The strings mark very quickly (blank and indented wire winding) and are unplayable within 2 weeks. I had that with a set of D'Addario EJ45C (composite) and Hannabach 815 MT. Before hand I had a set of Savarez 520R, which I played for 6 weeks out of 8 (there was a X-mas break). The Savarez seem to be able to take this kind of punishment better than the others. Could someone suggest a string set with clear Nylon trebles that are more tolerant to this kind of punishment better?

Obviously I need to improve my playing technique before returning to such sensitive strings. Changing set takes me about 1-2 hours, which I can not afford every two weeks. This is time I should use for practising and improving my technique. The rough surface of the 520R trebles is currently an issue when changing position, though I am considering going back to them and put up with the issue.

Thanks
Joachim

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zupfgeiger
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by zupfgeiger » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:26 am

Two weeks for a set of bass strings is not unusual. Mine (EXP most of the time) are worn out after 10 days of intensive daily playing. But you should definitely train your string changing skills. 1 - 2 hours for fixing a new set seems to be quite long.
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petermc61
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by petermc61 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:55 am

Pyramid Sterling Silver are not cheap but last about twice as long as other bass sets for me. That also sound very fine!

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souldier
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by souldier » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:38 pm

Savarez Corums I have found to have a good life span and are reasonably priced. If you want a complete set, they can come paired with Alliance Carbon trebles or New Cristal nylon trebles.

If you want longer life span, then I'd go with the Pyramid Sterling Silvers as Peter mentioned. I like these strings, though I felt it was unsustainable due to their price even though they last a bit longer. I find it more economical to still use the Savarez Corums as they only cost 1/3 of the Pyramids yet the Pyramids don't last 3x as long.

You might be able to squeeze more life out of your basses if you wash your hands and use minimal left hand pressure when fretting the strings. I also use a string cleaner solution along with a device that runs up and down the strings on the top and bottom to give them a thorough cleaning. Also if you want to temporarily restore some of the vigor and zing of the basses you can tune them down for a minute then retighten them. Keeping your nails properly filed and polished will help as well.

You can also save a bit of time by just changing the bass strings. Trebles usually outlast the bass strings, so if you're only changing 3 strings at a time that should save you some time and money. What I do is I buy full sets and extra bass sets from SBM. It's also important to develop speed and efficiency with changing strings. 1-2 hours seems excessively long to do a string change.
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ben etow
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by ben etow » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:38 pm

Pyramid double silver wear out in a larger portion of the strings, which ensure a longer lifetime in good conditions IMO.
In my experience, Galli Genius are very durable. Augustine too, but colleagues said just the opposite...

You definetely need to see (and practice) Pavel Steild exercise with all LH fingers put between 4th and 7th fret (2 positions) to isolate the NECESSARY pressure on one or two fingers. You'll easily find several masterclasses where he teaches this. Works incredibly well. I do it once a week now after practicing almost daily during a few months (like 10 years ago).

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Beowulf
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by Beowulf » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:41 pm

You might also check your action height as a high action will require more force to fret the notes and could wear the strings faster. Are the frets properly crowned and smoothed?
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Jack Douglas
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by Jack Douglas » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:34 pm

petermc61 wrote:Pyramid Sterling Silver are not cheap but last about twice as long as other bass sets for me. That also sound very fine!
+1 for Pyramid Sterling Silver, Lovely strings!
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Laudiesdad69
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:59 am

I think the Savarez Cristal Corums are probably going to be your best bet as far as having trebles that are not textured and not carbon, and basses that last a long time. I have one of my guitars strung with Corums. I only need to change them every 6 or 7 weeks if I am playing the guitar everyday. The Savarez 520R set also has good basses that last a long time.

Really, having to change your strings every 3 to 4 weeks still isn't so bad if you are playing 2 hours every day. That is about how long most of my other sets of strings last. But I've played some strings that the D string was shot after about 10 to 14 days of playing just a couple of hours a day. The D'Addarios basses don't seem to last too long for me.

es335
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by es335 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:44 pm

Try Aranjuez Suave basses. They are made with silver plated bronze wire, which is much more resistant to fret abrasion and last significantly longer IMHO. Otherwise I do second Peter's recommondation of Pyramid Sterling Silver. Their extended lifetime exceed well the surcharge.

Dr. Junger Mysterions basses is another suggestion which are outstanding in this aspect. They are made with a higher density winding wire, why they are significantly thinner than bass strings usually are. They can last up to 6-9 months without audible sound degradation, provided they don't break before, which unfortunatelly happens occasionally. :(

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:16 pm

Savarez Cantiga NT seem to have a slow decay. Also maybe a reviewof the left hand usage might be helpful. A lot of indentations could suggest an unnecessary excess of finger pressure. Reducing the pressure reduces the hand fatigue as well.
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by kefroeschner » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:42 am

The longest lasting basses I have tried are Thomastik-Infeld 'Classic N'. They are flat wound with chrome steel and one version of the set has a 3rd which is of the same construction. They are very smooth (no string noise on slides) and have never become lumpy, like others tend to do. I think the lumpiness, which you can feel if you hold a string lightly between your fingers and slide up and down, is due to internal breakage of some of the fibres in the multi-filament core. The Thomastik's do not seem to suffer from this. They last a long time, come into tune within a day and stay in tune for months on end. They also sound really good. Deep and Earthy on my Asturias and the DeGama. ANd the red silk served ends are rather pretty. Minor down side is that they are rather stiff and not easy to tie.
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joachim33
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by joachim33 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:36 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:I think the Savarez Cristal Corums are probably going to be your best bet as far as having trebles that are not textured and not carbon, and basses that last a long time. I have one of my guitars strung with Corums. I only need to change them every 6 or 7 weeks if I am playing the guitar everyday. The Savarez 520R set also has good basses that last a long time.

Really, having to change your strings every 3 to 4 weeks still isn't so bad if you are playing 2 hours every day. That is about how long most of my other sets of strings last. But I've played some strings that the D string was shot after about 10 to 14 days of playing just a couple of hours a day. The D'Addarios basses don't seem to last too long for me.
I just replaced the Hannabach with a set of Savarez Corum Alliance 500 AR. I ordered that some time ago and had been reluctant to put it on, because of reviews that Corum basses wouldn't last. Based on your input I felt encouraged to go ahead with that (Thanks). It is my first set of carbon trebles. I think I need some experience with carbon trebles. I have a new Cristal Cantiga set (510CR) still to try. After that I hopefully have some idea on carbons vs normal nylon trebles and on the sensitivity of Savarez D-strings.

The lower tension of the trebles of the 500AR in comparison to the Hannabach 815 MT is directly obvious. Certain passages I struggled with on the Hannabach are a lot easier with the 500AR. Now I have to see how I get on with this over the next weeks. So far I was always impressed when having a new string set on the guitar. It is only after a few days that some sets didn't turn out as suitable for me and my guitar.

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joachim33
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by joachim33 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:51 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:Savarez Cantiga NT seem to have a slow decay. Also maybe a reviewof the left hand usage might be helpful. A lot of indentations could suggest an unnecessary excess of finger pressure. Reducing the pressure reduces the hand fatigue as well.
Thanks - Cantiga is something I still like to try - have a set of 510CR in my case. I currently try to reduce left hand pressure - I am aware of this.

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joachim33
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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by joachim33 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:09 pm

ben etow wrote:
You definetely need to see (and practice) Pavel Steild exercise with all LH fingers put between 4th and 7th fret (2 positions) to isolate the NECESSARY pressure on one or two fingers. You'll easily find several masterclasses where he teaches this. Works incredibly well. I do it once a week now after practicing almost daily during a few months (like 10 years ago).
You got an URL for this?

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Re: Robust bass strings?

Post by ben etow » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:05 pm

es335 wrote: Dr. Junger Mysterions basses is another suggestion which are outstanding in this aspect. They are made with a higher density winding wire, why they are significantly thinner than bass strings usually are. They can last up to 6-9 months without audible sound degradation, provided they don't break before, which unfortunatelly happens occasionally. :(
I second the Mysterion suggestion. Mines never broke, but 1) as they are very thin, the nut can be too large, which can cause some buzzing, and 2) you might get bored by the sound as we are used to change the basses more frequently...

The price mustn't be a problem given their durability.

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