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Flatwound suggestions for a 36" scale 5-stringer?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by J3G2, Nov 29, 2012.


  1. J3G2

    J3G2

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Hey guys!

    Just wondering if I could get some opinions on buying some new flats.

    I've got a set of rounds on my 5 string bass which happens to have a 36" scale. These strings have been on the bass for long enough to make it sound like a £50 instrument, not cool right?

    My 4 string bass has a set of D'Addario Chromes and I love them. Perfect for what I want in a set of strings and I'm thinking that it'd be good to have some flats set up on the 5'er too.

    There's a couple of things I'd like the strings to have in terms of tonal characteristics but I'm a realist and know that not everything is possible. If the strings were to have a relatively high amount of tension then that'd be sweet (this may be quite easy to achieve as I tune to C,F,A*,D*,G*).
    The other thing which would be great is if the flatwounds have a natural "grindy" sound to them.

    Quite frankly I would get a set of rounds but my hands tend to get extremely sweaty when I play which means that they would only last 5-6 weeks before I'd have to replace them, and that's without doing any gigs or rehearsals!:(

    Any advice or tips you guys could offer would be much appreciated. Also, I'm based in London, England, but testing strings at shops isn't an option sadly.

    I'm open to all suggestions as they may open my eyes/ears a little!

    Thanks
     
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    LA California
    Disclosures:
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    What is the distance from the back of the ball end to the nut?

    Once this measurement is given there will most likely be two sets that will fit.
     
  3. J3G2

    J3G2

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    The distance you're asking for is exactly 36", which may mean that I got the scale length wrong but I'm sure it's right. The longest distance a string will have to reach for it's corresponding peg is 42" if that helps?

    Cheers!
     
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    LA California
    Disclosures:
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Then your instrument is certainly not a 36" scale instrument but the winding length required is 36"

    Sounds like this is a 34" instrument and you can use pretty much any set of flatwounds on the market that is labeled as "Long Scale"

    The area marked in Green is where you would measure to get the scale length (Saddle to Nut)
    The area marked in Red is where you would measure to get the required winding length of the string (back of ball end to nut).
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Root 5

    Root 5

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Location:
    Earth
    A better way to determine the scale length of an instrument is to measure from the fingerboard side of the nut to the top of the 12th fret. Then multiply this number by 2 = scale length.
     
  7. J3G2

    J3G2

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    I have been a fool! Thanks for educating me guys, that makes my life much easier.

    I'l start checking the FAO section to find out about my other questions.

    Cheers fellas!
     
  8. Root 5

    Root 5

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Location:
    Earth
    You're not a fool! We all learn things from one another; no one knows everything.
     
  9. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    I'm not a huge fan of flats or D'Addario electric strings but the Chrome Flatwounds worked the best for me when I tried them. Second best was the Fender flatwounds for a 'real' flatwound.
     
  10. Root 5

    Root 5

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Location:
    Earth
    I'm not a huge fan of Chromes. They're well made, nice feeling strings - just a little too bright for my liking. I prefer D'Addario tapewounds or half-rounds when I want something other than a flat.
     
  11. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    Maybe it was the half-wounds I tried .
     
  12. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    LA California
    Disclosures:
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com

    no way, you are actually a step ahead knowing the length of string you actually need for your instrument.

    it is common for users to purchase strings based on the actual "Scale Length" rather than the length required for the instrument.
     
  13. J3G2

    J3G2

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Thanks Slappin, it's always nice to hear some reassurance! Great bunch of guys here and I appreciate all the comments. Gunna go with the chromes 'cos they seem to be the brightest sounding which'll give me the chance to cut it out or EQ to its strengths when needed.

    Take care all!
     
  14. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    LA California
    Disclosures:
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    If you are based in London England why not support Rotosound and get some Monel Jazz Flats! They are very bright just as the chromes and probably more readily available than anything else (they are made there!)
     
  15. Root 5

    Root 5

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Location:
    Earth
    Yeah! What ^^^^^^^ said!:D
     
  16. J3G2

    J3G2

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Y'know, if I knew that Rotosound's flatwounds sounded very much like chromes (bright and crunchy(relative to flats)) then I would have definitely checked them out!

    But here's something I want you guys to hear about. I was looking for a pack of chromes for a 5 stringer the day before y'all suggested the Roto's and every single place in the Uk was charging about £40 for a pack, including delivery! I knew that was a bit too much, so I looked on Ebay and found a seller based in the States who was selling them, for what was eventually converted to £'s, for £32!!! That's including international shipping costs as well!

    I'm just making a general observation here but you guys in America are lucky in the sense that you can get strings for what I would call "dirt cheap". I don't know about the differences in our basic minimum wages and general living costs but I feel that we're really having a tough time in keeping up bass maintenance when compared to our brothers across the sea! This also applies to the average prices of basses, amps, fx pedal and other necessities of bass playing which is quite sad really.

    Sorry to have a rant in the middle of my reply but I genuinely don't know what to do when I want to replenish strings on a regular basis.

    Regardless of all this, thank you very much for all your advise and help!
     

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