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Re: Ray Brown, Al McKibbon (etc) must have switched to steel strings for a valid reason!


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Posted by Jim on November 11, 2001 at 05:12:30:

Ray told me they hated the tuning and fraying problems etc., especially in temperature and humidity changes. Plus they could lower the action, especially with the early pickups coming out around the same time.
I guess to them it was like driving for years on a gravel road with potholes etc. and then discovering pavement... smooth and easy. But I think they lost a quality that metal will never replace.
Haden stuck with gut when everyone else switched. He said "Why would anyone buy a $20,000 bass made of 200 year old organic materials and then string it up with a set of tinny sounding metal strings?"
You may not travel as fast on gravel roads and they can be a pain, but there's something enticing about them...

PS Is Al McKibbon still with us / playing? He sounds great on that early 60's Phineas Newborn video.


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