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Anyone just hate flatwounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Mark Wilson, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I've got a fretless, and I really hate flatwounds. They feel wrong, and just sound wrong to me. I'm just wondering if anyone else prefers rounds.
  2. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Since roundwounds outsell flatwounds by about 100-1, I'd say "yes" a lot of players prefer rounds.

    BTW, it is so great to have Geddy Lee here on TB. I mean.. I saw you in 1977 on the Hemispheres tour and it changed my life.
  3. deezle4


    Mar 3, 2005
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I'm a half-rounds kinda guy myself.
  4. His profile says that he was born in '87

    ...So I doubt it's the real deal. ;)

    ...Plus, under influences he put Geddy Lee. I don't think he'd be his own influence. :p
  5. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Oh Man, I was gonna tell Geddy that I saw him on the Roll the Bones Tour. I thought may be he'd remember me. :bawl:
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine

    I spent my entire career til just recetly playing rounds. Mostly Rotosounds, then SIT nickles. I had a bad experience with a Gibson EB2 and flats that really left a bad taste in my mouth for decades;)

    But, about a year ago I moved to playing primarily upright. Now flats don't "feel wrong." And, I just got a Lakland Skyline hollowbody, and Laklands factory installed flats have sustain, and are actually acceptably bright...

    So, I'm changing my mind...
  7. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Haha My quote is also "My name is Mark"

    I'm not Geddy. Just a rush-a-holic.
  8. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    I don't have ill feelings for rounds, but for most of what I hear for a bassline I prefer flats. I've used Fenders, Roto's, Chromes, and currently my favorite, LaBella's. The labella's have a nice even voice and really put the lowend out.

    When I use rounds I have settled on GHS Boomers. I even like Fender strings. They tend to have a nice dark tone to them.

    I've said it before, a Jazz, and flats are perfect in almost any situation. I'am listening to "The Lemon Song" right now as I type this. Man, What a tone! Flats all the way.
  9. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I don't hate them, but I have this weird idea that using flats is kind of cheating. What tells me that I am playing sufficiently are the calluses and ruts that rounds leave behind. I fear girly-hands if I use flats.
  10. KSDbass


    Mar 25, 2005
    I've found that with my almost year of bass playing, I prefer to use dead roundwounds. right now I have factory installed strings, where I won my bass(!!!!!) at bass up, and who knows how old the strings are. but it gives a nice flatwound sound, but no girly hands. the only problem is that they mark up my fretboard, and make it ugly. then I take the strings of to sand it with steel wool, which does nothing, so I switch to like 1500 grain sandpaper, which just scratches it up even more, so I give up, put the strings back on, and end up with a scratched up fretboard, and a really loud buzz on my open E.
  11. I personally love flatwounds. I play both upright and electric and out of the 5 years I've been playing, I've found advantages and disadvantages to both.

    It seems these days that everybody equates flats with a dull thud sort of tone. I never have heard this problem in any of my electric bass playing. In fact, in both electric and upright i look for pretty bright sounding flatwounds. When I play fretless, it's usually because I'm playing something I should play on my upright in a place that my upright doesn't fit so I try to make my fretless sound like an upright.

    In my opinion, flats give the original sound of a bass and always have this warm, supportive feeling to it. In order to get the full advantage of flats you have to find GREAT (not just good) flats. From my experience the best are TI Jazz flats, Rotosound RS77 Jazz Bass, and LaBella Deep Talking. Of course I wouldn't use nickel strings. steel (or monel) just brings out the brightness and cuts a lot more and has longer life. So give flats another chance. Remember that if it sounds bad, it could be many other things besides the strings such as the bass, the amp, or something wrong with your hands. To quote Rufus Reid, "Your left hand is the sound and your right hand is the sound producer."

    And about the callouses, flats won't give you girly hands. You just get callouses from playing hard and practicing a lot. If you begin to lose callouses you probably aren't playing enough. Round vs Flat shouldn't be a consideration in developing callouses. There are barely any upright basses with roundwound strings (A&E for baroque strings I believe) but upright players always have thicker callouses than electric players. They definitely don't have girly hands.
  12. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    I like rounds, but I also like flats. Tapewounds rule.
  13. ganga


    Jul 14, 2005
    I like them.. But I usually play with rounds.
  14. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    I like rounds on my Carvin lb70p but not flats that I tried on it. I don't listen to Iron Maiden but read the Steve Harris uses flats on his p bass so I tried them on mine and loved it. My other Carvin, a fretless 5'er, wears LaBella tapewounds after trying several rounds that I didn't like. Absolutely woke it up with the tapes.
    I guess with the right bass/pickups/playing style/ and your own ears will determine what you like to put on your ax.
  15. beam


    Dec 29, 2002
    I think it really depends on the bass, and the type of music you are playing ;)

    Certain basses and styles love flatwounds, others hate them.

    I use both, myself :)
  16. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    LOLZOR! :D :D :D :D
  17. My answer is Yes.
  18. 60hz


    Oct 7, 2005
    To me, flats only really work with fretted basses. Just imho.
  19. i prefer flatwound
    warm and smooth and long-lasting
    tone and feel i like.
  20. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I know that flats have been used lots of times with fretted basses, but I don't associate myself with that tone. I always have my fretted basses loaded with steel rounds, but I love flats for my fretless. Besides, that way I have the best of both worlds.