Anybody mix flats and rounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sonicvi, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. sonicvi


    Jun 10, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Does anyone here mix flats and rounds on the same bass, like flats for the E and A and rounds for D and G? I like the sound of flats on the lower stirngs but the better sustain of rounds on the higher strings.
  2. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I think that would give you some pretty screwy tension on your neck. I would imagine that it could lead to neck damage in the long run.
  3. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
  4. Hoover

    Hoover Inactive

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Never on purpose! But that's how I discovered roundwound strings in the first place: 30+ years ago I had only ever used flatwounds. Had a gig coming up, my bass was broken or unavailable for some reason, our singer said her boyfriend had a bass I could showed up with 3 flats & a roundwound G string. My first impression was "this sucks!"

    Two hours later I was like "holy crap, I've gotta get a bass strung up with all roundwounds, these things are awesome!"


    I read an old GP interview with Fernando Saunders where he said he strings up his fretless Modulus 5-string with all rounds except for a flat low B...or maybe it was the other way around, all flats except for a round low B? Said he did it because he liked how the tension & guage of that particular B string matched the rest of his set.
  5. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    There's a guy on here, Andyroo, who did that.
    He used an MTD Z6, and had TI Jazz flats, but in a few songs it required him to be thumping on the E string. So everything (If I remember correctly) was Ti jazz, except the E.
  6. Yeah, I broke my Flat G-string and had only a round to replace it. It's still there. It's my back up bass.
  7. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    I doubt that the neck "sees" different tensions string to string, but rather the overall tension of all the strings.

    I think sound is the biggest issue here. If you like the sound, why not?
  8. Sahm


    Dec 18, 2007
    Delaware, OH
    Why is that? What's the difference in tension between flats and rounds?
  9. jasyr


    Jun 7, 2008
    i use half round d'addario on g,d,a and a round wound on the e. it feels great when i'm doing a run and then hit the low string and there's that wound bite there to meet me. mind you i play slightly distorted & with a pick. there's usually keyboards going on so there's already a full spectrum happening. and since i palm mute the E to a certain degree its always in check. sort of like having it go to 11... know what i mean?
  10. skiltrip


    Jun 12, 2008
    When I was a little kid, I bought my first bass used from some other kid (A big red Cort). It had all rounds except the high G was a flat. I was like.. what is this weirdo string???? I was a guitar player, so all I knew was roundwounds.

    Who woulda thought, that 20 years later I'd actually switch over to those "weirdo" strings for good!?
  11. On my Jazz, I have E and A flat with D and G round
  12. Yvarg

    Yvarg Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Lake Forest, CA
    Not yet, but I'm working on a semi-acoustic bass right now where I defretted the E and A string half of the neck and left the D and G half fretted; I'm gonna string the bottom half with flats and the top with rounds, but they'll both just be the E and A strings. :cool:
  13. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Yeah I have all 4 strings flatwound up to the 12th fret, then they are roundwounds the rest of the way.

  14. Yvarg

    Yvarg Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Lake Forest, CA
    Ha! I'd try that if they made them. :)
  15. Nappa


    Dec 20, 2006
    Fargo,North Dakota
    I use Ernie Ball's flat(wound) top, round(wound) bottom strings.

  16. SpaceYourBass


    Aug 28, 2007
    I once used a flat for my G when the round G was worn out. It just didn't go well as far as sound goes. I think you'd have better luck putting on one round and 3 flats. You could use the round for slapping or popping and the rest of the strings would still be that good old flat sound. I would try to find some strings that give the same tension either way.