Page 1 of 1

New toy, and question about strings

Posted: January 5th, 2014, 2:15 pm
by jmb-d
So for Christmas, I got a new toy: Image,
a Washburn AB40 VSK 4-string, acoustic-electric, slim-body bass.

How slim? My wife's Yamaha CPX15S 6-string is deeper.

It sounds good, and is easier to play than the Michael Kelly Dragonfly acoustic-electric, which makes me feel like I'm playing in a mariachi band.

The Washburn came from the factory with D'Addario strings, which sound good but aren't as smooth as the Elixirs on my Rickenbacker or the Phosphor Bronze strings on the Michael Kelly.

I'm thinking about putting flatwounds on the Washburn, and am looking for suggestions about that, having no experience with them. A cursory glance online show products from D'Addario, GHS, Fender, Rotosound, et al, a variety of string widths, e.g., 65-115, 50-105, not to mention various materials, e.g., black nylon tapewound, chrome flatwound, stainless flatwound; the mind boggles at the number of choices.

Any/all comments appreciated.

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: January 5th, 2014, 3:32 pm
by dhodge
Can't answer for all the various brands or all the materials, but can tell you that the nylon-tape flatwounds give you a sound very close to an acoustic stand-up bass. Flatwounds, in general, don't ring out all that much, resulting in less overtones (also less sustain) and more control over string noise in general.

If you're a slap / popper, you're not going to want flatwounds at all. If you're going for a more melodic and acoustic style, then you're definitely going to want them. It's not that you can't rock out with flatwounds, but you have to work harder at it, even to the point of occasionally playing with a pick.

Lovely bass, by the way! Congrats. Hope to get to hear it in 2014.

Peace

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: January 6th, 2014, 6:09 am
by Nuno
Can't answer either but really nice bass. Looks terrific!

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: January 6th, 2014, 3:31 pm
by Laz
Nylon wrapped with or without flat tape will work very nicely, and look cool too. Fender makes both kinds.

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: January 7th, 2014, 2:05 pm
by jmb-d
Thanks for the advice, David and Dan, and for the compliment, Nuno.

No worries about the loss of the slap/pop thing -- you've heard me play, David... While I have a deep appreciation for the art of slap/pop, I lack the ability to do it. :?

I talked to my teacher about it today, and he's got a set of flats that he's going to give me to try out. I'll post an update after I've tried 'em out.

The Washburn's treble control gives a very bright sound with the factory-issued D'Addario strings; I'm thinking that boosting it with the flats may give back some of the brightness that the flats inherently take away.

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: February 11th, 2014, 7:05 pm
by jmb-d
OK. so UPS delivered a set of D'Addario ETB92 nylon tapewound (medium gauge: .050-.105) strings today (along with a Dean Performer Koa Acoustic-Electric guitar for Lee (don't tell her: it's a Valentine's Day gift)).

I'm going to take the Washburn and the strings up to our music store/school tomorrow while the gymnasts are in class and have them string it up all neatly for me. After all, we're about to get hammered with snow tomorrow night, so when I'm not shoveling on Thursday I'll get to play with the new strings. 8)

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: February 13th, 2014, 4:10 am
by Nuno
Let's know how they sound and feel.

BTW nice gift :wink:

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: February 15th, 2014, 10:17 am
by jmb-d
OK, here's the scoop.

Strings look and feel awesome -- the black strings on the sunburst body with the black hardware is a cool look, and feel smooth as glass.

I like the sound: warm, and even with the bass rolled all the way off and treble all the way up it's not overly crunchy.

Side-note: Lee really likes her new guitar.

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: February 16th, 2014, 11:28 am
by Nuno
Double-great!

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: February 16th, 2014, 3:39 pm
by jmb-d
Forgot to mention the minor annoyance I discovered after the re-stringing: the individual string volume controls on the back of the Washburn are labeled wrong -- the one marked "G" is actually for the "E", "D" is actually "A", etc.

Took me an embarrassingly long time to figure that out... :oops:

Levels are good now; digging the sound, looks, and feel of the strings.

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: February 21st, 2014, 7:24 pm
by jmb-d
Finally got around to taking a photo of the Washburn with its new strings:

Image

Re: New toy, and question about strings

Posted: February 23rd, 2014, 6:36 am
by Nuno
Nice pic, cool bass! 8)