1985-ish Fender Jazz Bass Special Fretless...Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Yetti Bass, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Yetti Bass

    Yetti Bass

    Jan 14, 2017
    Hi Guys,
    I have been a guitar player for 35 years. I just bought my friends Fender Jazz Bass Special Fretless. I was with him when he bought it new at Guitar Center in Chicago, and it had been sitting under the bed for about 25 years. It was silver when new, but now the finish looks to have faded to a light green color...looks cool.
    Anyway, the stings on it are so old, and appear to be roundwouds, or maybe what you call groundwounds. I would like to replace the strings, but seems like more string choices than I know about. My style of music is mostly classic rock, 60's, 70's and 80's.
    Any sting type and guage advice for an old newbie would be much appreciated!
    Fun Times ahead!

    Yetti Bass-

    Fender fretless bass.jpg
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Nice bass, I like the way that finish ages. String preference is really a personal tastes thing, especially on fretless.
  3. Yetti Bass

    Yetti Bass

    Jan 14, 2017
    I just don't have experiences with different bass strings to have form a preference yet. lol
    I would say I like the little bit of snap and bite you get out of normal bass strings, but I don't want to choose a string that will damage the fretless fretboard.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Sounds like a job for ground or compression wounds then (rather than flats). My personal favorites for electric fretless are Ken Smith Compressors and Slick Rounds.
  5. Yetti Bass

    Yetti Bass

    Jan 14, 2017
    Many thanks bholder, this is the kind of advice I was looking for. I'll check these out.
  6. My recommendation would be the GHS Pressurewound ML7200 (44-58-80-102).
    Yetti Bass and Linnin like this.
  7. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Agree & Second
    SpiceMan68, Yetti Bass and michael_t like this.
  8. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    That bass needs some 9050 Fender flats, IMO, at least to get started.

    There are lots of bass string shootouts on YouTube - that should give you a frame of reference
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  9. Too bad those strings on it aren't flatwounds -they'd be perfect about now.
    armybass likes this.
  10. Yetti Bass

    Yetti Bass

    Jan 14, 2017
    That's interesting..I would have thought flatwounds would be completely dead sounding with age.
    The strings on this bass actually sound pretty good, feel smooth...but they have to be at least 25 years old.
    I typically change my guitar strings every 2 or 3 months, so this bass stuff is new to me. lol
  11. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Every string will damage the fingerboard. You're pressing metal into wood.
    If you play it a lot you might have to get it sanded down a little in 10 years.
    Don't let that prevent you from using any kind of string that gets you the sound you want.

    That said, I prefer GHS Pressurewounds on fretless electric. Not because of board wear, but because they feel smoother while doing slides while sounding like broken in rounds.
    They're basically roundwounds that are run through rollers at the factory to squash the outer windings down a little.

    vin97, Yetti Bass, Jon Moody and 2 others like this.
  12. 80jazz


    Jun 28, 2008
    I will back up lz4005 on this. I have an '87 Jazz Bass Special fretless I just restrung with GHS Pressurewounds and so far I like the feel. I used the 40-96 set. I have yet to run it through an amp to hear the sound, but if they sound like they play and feel they are excellent.

    If it matters, I also plan to try the SIT Silencers and the Rotosound Pressurewound before I settle on a choice, but I think that Pressurewounds would be worth looking at.
    Yetti Bass likes this.
  13. Yetti Bass

    Yetti Bass

    Jan 14, 2017
    Hey, Thanks a lot guys for your input and advice.
    I'm listening to you, and learning...and playing the heck out of this new bass, right 2 fingers fricken hurtin.
    I came across Dadarrio Half wounds during my string searching. Any experiences with those?
    I have using Dadarrio Nickel wound for my Strat guitar for years, happy with that.
  14. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
    Chromes, TI Jazz Flats, mmm, maybe Labella Low tension Flats, or................

    I'm a flats guy, can't you tell?
    armybass and Yetti Bass like this.
  15. Yetti Bass

    Yetti Bass

    Jan 14, 2017
    My fretboard does needs a little sanding down..it's not too bad, but I noticing a few areas a little grooved out.
    Since this bass is nice, all original, I have scheduled an appointment at my local luthier in a couple weeks to go thru everything.
    I'm researching gauges now...Thinking medium is safe, but I am open to opinion on that too.
    For guitar, I use light guage .009 - .42
  16. One thing to keep in mind about the GHS PWs is they're slightly stiffer than a typical set of rounds.

    Here are the actual tension numbers:

    Pressurewound L7200:

    G 040 - 37.2 (lbs.)
    D 054 - 36.5
    A 076 - 39.3
    E 096 - 34.2

    Pressurewound ML7200:

    G 044 - 43.3 (lbs.)
    D 058 - 41.9
    A 080 - 44.6
    E 102 - 39.5

    GHS Pressurewound M7200:

    G 044 - 43.3 (lbs.)
    D 062 - 48.6
    A 084 - 47.2
    E 106 - 48.0

    I personally find the ML7200 the best-balanced of the three both in tension and tone. But that's just me...
    Yetti Bass likes this.
  17. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    I like half-rounds better on a fretted instrument. Well, on some fretted basses, they seem to be just the right thing.
    My fretless has med. GHS Precision flats: stiff flatwounds which retain some brightness.
    I'd recommend them on a P/J. On a Jazz, it all depends of how much high you want.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
    Yetti Bass likes this.
  18. Yetti Bass

    Yetti Bass

    Jan 14, 2017
    Many Thanks for this. Medium Light pressure wounds sounds like the winner. I'll try em, and report back
    michael_t likes this.
  19. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    The correct answer is Nylon Tape Wounds (LaBella 760N).
    Clearly, the TBers who know this haven't chimed in yet.:)
    Yetti Bass and TN WOODMAN like this.
  20. Yetti Bass

    Yetti Bass

    Jan 14, 2017
    Many Thanks again for the advice Guys! This is a cool forum, I like the online store too...bought a couple sets to try. One set for this Fender fretless, and another set for a recently acquired old fretted bass Capture.JPG 20170118_225019.jpg
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