I'm probably the only bass player in the world who still has his first bass, bought in 74, with the original strings. In fact, I own 5 basses - and the only strings I have ever put on were on my Fender American Standards Jazz when I decided that fluorescent ones looked great on stage. I have never broken a string, and as I hate the twangy bright bass tone, I'm very happy with the electric basses sounding old. On the DI front - the only real thing I need them to do is be transparent and have an earth lift switch. I'm not Toine deaf - I did put different pickups on the Jazz when I put on the coloured strings - they're wrapped, which means the tone is a bit mellow - Even mellower than I like - so I put some brighter pickups on it. This difference I can hear very clearly. The difference between DI's? No. In fact on stage just before Covid wrecked things, I experimented with DI only - losing the 8 x 10" cab I used on big stages, or the 2 x 10" or 4 x 10" for smaller ones. With my in-ears, the DI is fine, and better in my ears than a miked up cab, or the DI socket on the amp, I think.