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Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FUZBOT WANAMKER, Nov 13, 2000.

  1. hey,i have a maple fretless and i was thinking bout using Fender nylon tapewound strings
    anyone know anythang?
  2. Yeah, I used to use them for a while in th elate '80's. Mine were the GHS ones though.

    My recollection of them is that they are similar in tone and feel to flatwound but the tone is maybe a little brighter. I also seem to remember that they hold their tone pretty well (i.e. they don't turn so "dead" sounding as true flats).

    On some basses, the black tapewound strings actually look really cool.

    I wonder how they would work on my Godin fretless. That's a thought. :)
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I used Picato nylon flatwounds for a while on one of my basses, a Gibson EB3. The bass sounds deep and warm, even muddy, with lots of overtones and the nylon flatwounds made it even more so, a bit towards the sound of a miked double bass. As Rob mentioned, they were black & looked cool on the cherry red Gibson. However, looking good gets you compliments, sounding good gets you paid.

    "You black guys would rather look good and lose..." - Woody Harrelson to Wesley Snipes in "White Men Can't Jump."
  4. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    I'm currently using Rotosound "Tru Bass" nylon tapewounds
    (the RS 88LD set) on my Rob Allen MB-2 fretless. They're
    gauged 65-75-100-115. The MB-2 usually comes with LaBella
    760N tapewounds. These are fine, just a little too twangy
    for me. I prefer a heavier gauge and the Roto set is
    definately heavy. It still gets that upright sound, but
    with a little more thump.

    Before the Rotos, I DID try the 9120 Fender tapewounds.
    They were fine, but the output wasn't as high as with the
    Rotos OR the LaBellas. It was a good thought to try
    tapewounds with a maple board. I've heard a few bad things
    Re wear on maple (vs ebony). Besides the board, what's
    the rest of your bass like?...pickups, electronics, etc.
    For instance, while I was swappin' the LaBellas for the
    Rotos, I got curious and tried the old strings on my Yamaha
    RBX260F (fretless) "project" with a passive P-type pickup.
    They worked fine. Surprisingly high output, good thump
    and woody tone. BTW...Fender makes an unusual set - 7120's.
    The outer wrap is a ROUND nylon filament (?!?).

    Whatever you choose, http://www.juststrings.com will
    probably have it. I've had good luck dealin' with `em.
    There's also http://getstringscheap.com . Their selection
    ain't as extensive as juststrings, but they are a tad
    cheaper...about $32 for a Thomastik-Infeld 4 string set?
  5. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Hey, if you want to try tapewounds, buy a set of La Bellas from Carvin. That's the cheapest place to get them, like $14 or so. They're pretty cool, and totally different from ordinary rounds or flats.
    woodyng2 likes this.
  6. There are a few makers doing these. My preference ended up being the D'Addario ones. The good thing about them (and maybe other makes but Rotosound excepted) is that they are the 'normal' diameters so filing the nut doesn't have to be done.

    Like most nylon wound they can be very 'clicky' on a fretted bass which gives them a sort-of plastic on metal sound. But that can be dialled out by removing a bit of the highs.

    Another thing not often appreciated .... being black in colour they're V difficult to see on an unbound board in subdued lighting. I'm a strong believe in players **not** staring at their fretting hands. But occasionally it's necessary and if you can't see the string it's makes life V difficult.

    Best. J
  7. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Cary, Il

    I think there was a zombie thread brought back the other day that was actually 17 years old, this one is very close though!!!!
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.
  8. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    November of 2000 was good times. Just started my senior year of high school. I remember thinking my problems were important.
    el_Bajo_Verde and trowaclown like this.
  9. Gumps


    Jan 1, 2017
    My preference is LaBella White Gold tape wound Standards. They really have and hold good brightness and the feel is awesome. My base is a Fender Custom Shop Active Jazz Bass with a rosewood finger board. I played half round D' Addario's for most of playing life to try to find good sustain in a flat wound feel. The White Golds work awesome!
  10. I use Fender tapes on my Carvin AC40 fretless. They are probably the least tensioned set of tapes. Very easy on the fingers and joints. They are not as smooth as the LaBella, GHS , or D'Addario tapes but are really cool and sound fantastic on a fretless or fretless acoustic bass guitar. They are thicker like the LaBellas and your bass may need or not need the slots in the nut expanded.
  11. Boristhespyder

    Boristhespyder Guest

    Feb 12, 2016
    I have LaBella black tapewounds on one of my Hofners. So far I like them.
  12. I've used several brands over time.

    Generally they are nice and butter smooth to play. I always thought they had a nice "stand-up" type tone to them. Which is what I was looking for. Fingerstyle.

    Slappers and pickers might opt for another choice.

    Usually the diameter of tapes is bigger than normal. So I had to do some careful nut filing to get them to fit. Careful as in making the slot wider but not deeper. Tricky.

    Once you file you can't go back.

    Although they are butter smooth and often lowish tension ( I used them on short scales) I noticed they have a pronounced effect on my fingertips after playing for a period.

    As in:- although they are soft/smooth after playing awhile they feel "hard" and are much different than playing roundwounds.

    On a shorty they are pretty flexible. When the strings run down the neck close to the edge of the fret board (E and G) as they do on one bass I own, I found I was "mis-cueing" every now and then and pushing the string over the edge accidentally, possibly because of the bigger string diameter.

    Best scenario would be an adjustable-spacing bridge and also making sure the factory got the bridge install dead-on. Ditto for a self bridge-replacement.

    I like tapes....but they are an acquired taste.
    woodyng2 likes this.
  13. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    DSCN0349.JPG Carvin LB-20 1.JPG I have tapes on these 2 basses; Roto 88s on the Rogue VB-100, and La Bella Black Tapes on the Carvin LB-20 (it's an old picture). AFAIC, with the Rotos on it? This is how a violin bass is supposed to sound...:wideyed:!! I put the 65-135 strings from a 5 string set on the Carvin, tuned BEAD, just for grins. They work fine and sound great - but, that tuning isn't for me, so they'll come off. Unless I can get a smaller G string; then, they'll just move over a little...:whistle:
  14. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I keep a set of Fender Nylon tapes on one of my J basses. Like them a lot.
    they're a bit mellower than flats and work very well for acoustic driven music. but they can
    get aggressive sounding with some tone setting tweaks and more aggressive playing.
  15. Fenders and Rotosounds are the darkest of the tapewound strings. For a fretless you may like DAddario or LaBella Black nylons. They have a little more mid and are less thumpy.

    I will be performing a tapewound string test next month with all of the currently available sets, except for the Fenders since they only make a 4-string set. The thread is here: Future Tapewound String Test

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