Skip to content
Flatwounds vs. Roun...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Flatwounds vs. Roundwounds

8 Posts
6 Users
0 Reactions
4,115 Views
(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1435
Topic starter  

I bought my first bass (Jazz) used and it had flat wounds on it. At the time, I had little experience to compare. I traded even with a guy for a Precision and he had rounds on it. I noticed a huge difference. I seemed to have a lot more trouble accurately fretting the rounds. It seemed like the strings moved too much when fretting.

I went to Guitar Center at lunch and bought a pack of D'Addario Chrome XL Flats (50-105 gauge). Since I have practice tonight, plus since I've never actually changed the strings on a bass, I just went back and got their guitar tech to put 'em on for me. What a difference! They feel like little bits of heaven under my fingers and stay right where I fret them. I can't wait to get to practice to hear the difference.

Bass player for Undercover


   
Quote
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

It's a tough choice because both types have distinctive sounds. Personally, flatwounds tend to be better with my style of bass playing, so I usually have nylon-tape wrapped flatwounds on mine. But occasionally I find myself hankering for some bright jangling.

Of course, having one bass for each is certainly one way to deal with it. Perhaps one day! :wink:

Peace


   
ReplyQuote
(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1435
Topic starter  

Perfect justification for buying another bass! I was trying to explain to my girlfriend the other day why I needed to purchase a backup bass. My band is about to start gigging and you never know what could happen!

Bass player for Undercover


   
ReplyQuote
(@gabba-gabba-hey)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 355
 

I went to Guitar Center at lunch and bought a pack of D'Addario Chrome XL Flats (50-105 gauge). Since I have practice tonight, plus since I've never actually changed the strings on a bass, I just went back and got their guitar tech to put 'em on for me. What a difference! They feel like little bits of heaven under my fingers and stay right where I fret them. I can't wait to get to practice to hear the difference.

I have used those strings, in that gauge set. They felt great to me, though some don't like the high tension compared to say TI Jazz Flats. I found they give a BIG fundamental tone, but also with punchy mids. Excellent strings. They are brighter than some other flats, you can almost slap with them! Flats on a P-bass through an Ampeg B15 = vintage bass tone heaven.

However, I have since gone back to roundwound nickels, which I find sit better in the mix for our church band; partly this is because we have inexperienced sound people who don't seem to understand what a bass is supposed to sound like (hint: it's not the boom of a car stereo blasting rap music at volume 11), and I just find rounds to be a bit more versatile.

But yeah, you need more than one bass! 8)


   
ReplyQuote
(@daven)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 184
 

It's a tough choice because both types have distinctive sounds. Personally, flatwounds tend to be better with my style of bass playing, so I usually have nylon-tape wrapped flatwounds on mine. But occasionally I find myself hankering for some bright jangling.

Of course, having one bass for each is certainly one way to deal with it. Perhaps one day! :wink:

Peace

That's How I have it. My Hofner has short scale wrapped flats and the Peavey has nickel round wounds. I love the difference between them.


   
ReplyQuote
(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1435
Topic starter  

I got to practice and was playing and noticed that the G string sounded dead. I checked everything and nothing was touching it. Luckily, I don't play much on that string, so I was able to work around it. Took it back to GC the next day and the tech looked it over and was about to start adjusting things when I pointed out that it felt like the outer wrap could move up and down the string. Turns out it had come unwound inside. He threw a new set on for me and now it plays like a dream.

Bass player for Undercover


   
ReplyQuote
(@pvtele)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 477
 

Somehow I've never been able to get the same growl and sustain out of flatwound strings. I suppose "my sound" is just a roundwound sound... And a P-Bass with roundwounds is as near to my perfect bass sound as makes no difference 8) (With respect - huge respect - to James Jamerson, who always played flatties.)

I grant you flatwounds do feel nice - but if you were to persevere with roundwounds, I reckon they'd start to feel totally natural. It's just a matter of muscle memory to get that extra bit of accuracy in fretting... it's actually just as easy, only different ;-)

My two pennyworth is, choose according to sound. Don't let the feel or the perceived difficulty dictate to you. Practice will take care of that!


   
ReplyQuote
(@danlasley)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2118
 

I will reiterate that ground-wounds or equiv are a nice alternative - 80% of the tone and 20% of the finger abuse.


   
ReplyQuote