Author Topic: Dean Markley string issues  (Read 215 times)

gearHed289

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Dean Markley string issues
« on: July 10, 2017, 08:47:02 AM »
I have to share this story, and this is a good semi-private place to do it. I was a lifelong GHS guy (Super Steels) until one day, I accidentally discovered Dean Markley SR2000 sets. Great tone and amazing lifespan. They are taper core, which is generally not my preference, but it's fine. The biggest problem I had was FINDING them. I used to have my local store order them, but practically every time, some kid that worked there would end up putting them out on the rack rather than calling me and letting me know they came in. So, I started ordering online. About a year ago, I got 2 sets from a vendor on Amazon. Starting putting them on and noticed the A was dead, and the D not much better. So I grabbed the other set - same thing! So I ordered 2 (or was it 4?) more sets from juststrings.com. MORE dead strings! The guy there put me in touch with a guy at DM, and I explained the situation to him. He said there were some issues they were working through and offered me some sets of Blue Steels to hold me over. Fine, cool. Even though it was over a month before I received the Blue Steels, and I had a lot of dollars wrapped up in strings at this point (I had to buy MORE strings to get me through gigs - back to GHS) I was happy with the customer service. Since they had sent me the Blue Steels, I figured we were done, and I'd eventually buy SR2000 sets again. Then a few weeks ago, out of the blue, I get a package from Dean Markley - 6 sets of SR2000 in newly designed packaging. Cool! Start installing a set - the A is dead as can be. Go to the next set. Same. ALL 6 sets have a dead A. WTF?!?!? I went and ordered 6 single Super Steel contact core A strings from juststrings.com so I could at least get some use out of these sets. It's really strange. It's as if they're coming unwound internally or something. One thing I've noticed on all of these is that they are wound unusually tightly in the package. The diameter of the wound up strings is almost half what it would normally be. Not sure if that has anything to do with it. I also noticed there's no silk on the tuner end of one of the D strings in the latest batch. What's going on over there at Dean Markley? Really disappointed. Anyone else having problems with them lately?

4stringer77

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Re: Dean Markley string issues
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 09:59:33 AM »
I don't use Dean Markley strings, I have heard that they no longer continue to exist as an independent manufacturer. They are essentially just a private label which subs out their manufacturing to who knows who. Seems the subcontractor doesn't have the kinks worked out yet.
Contrary to what James Bond says, a good Gibson should be stirred, not shaken.

bassilisk

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Re: Dean Markley string issues
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 10:56:05 AM »
Whoa! I've been in and out of DM's for some years and currently keep several sets of Blue Steel Nickels around. I have them on a couple of basses and like them. I have not had any issues (so far!) and hope my stash doesn't begin to crap out on me. I hope the ones I have are from the in-house batches.

I've always considered them a reliable brand. This is distressing news.
Stable....for now.    www.risky-biz.com

Pilgrim

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Re: Dean Markley string issues
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 11:08:30 AM »
That is bad news!  Sam Bolle uses only Blue Steels when he plays for Dick Dale....
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

Dave W

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Re: Dean Markley string issues
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2017, 12:07:50 PM »
I don't use Dean Markley strings, I have heard that they no longer continue to exist as an independent manufacturer. They are essentially just a private label which subs out their manufacturing to who knows who. Seems the subcontractor doesn't have the kinks worked out yet.

That may be true. Dean Markley went into the string business when he bought the Sterlingworth string factory in Vicksburg Michigan from Stan Rendell, who founded it in the 70s after he left Gibson (Norlin). For years Dean made private label strings for others as well as his own name brand. But he sold the company, the new owners apparently closed the Michigan factory 3 or 4 years ago and relocated to Glendale Arizona. From what I can gather, they seem to be only a distribution operation now. As always, I could be wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that their strings are being made by another factory.

Tom's troubles also make me think so. If they are operating a factory, it wouldn't have taken them a month to send him Blue Steels and months to get the SR2000 sets.

Psycho Bass Guy

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Re: Dean Markley string issues
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 05:02:30 PM »
I've always hated Blue Steels: dead in a second and often dead out of the box, and this from a guy who changes strings every few decades! You don't have to look hard to hear similar tales about Blue Steels going back a very long time, but I've always loved the SR2000's; they're on my Marcus Miller Jazz. I hate to hear that they're not good anymore and wonder if maybe the same QC issue or perhaps design flaw got ported over to the new factory and they've now screwed up the one bass set that Dean Markley put out with a good reputation.

I have a similar story with Ernie Ball Slinky 5's except about length for stringing my G&L L2500 through the body, and the new strings they sent me for free still didn't work, but I adjusted to stringing it through the back of the bridge. I may get a set of longer scale strings for it one day, when I change strings again in another few years.

Tim Brosnan

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Re: Dean Markley string issues
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 06:01:31 PM »
I have switched most of my basses to D'addario pro steels, and I think I'm going to get a lot of mileage out of them.

Ed Friedland plays a p bass with 10 year old LaBella hard rockin steels on it.