Best Flat Wound Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lowblues, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. I have flats on my P-bass and miss how it sounded with the rounds. So...

    In your opinions, what makes the best flat wound bass?

  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    :meh: I really like the sound of flats with a passive jazz or passive dual humbucker setup. Gets a nice thick thumpy tone-all my basses have either flats, or half-flats (spector Q5, Austin Fretless, Vestax passive 4 NT). I don't know if I have seen, let alone played a P with flats on it-I don't think that is a very common combination. In general, any bass with flatwounds is going to get a more dead and thumpy sound- you won't get the bright edgy sound that round-wounds give you.
  3. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I also like the sound of rounds on my P-Bass, and put them back on after I had flats on. The flats only lasted a few days.

    I think lots of fretlesses can sounds good with flats, but then again, flats are matter of personal preference. Some people absolutley love rounds on a fretless, and flats on a P.

    I have flats on my fretless stingray, and I think it sounds wonderfull, so that would be my vote.
  4. Now I thought of doing this. What I'm after is a 3 bass set-up. The J, the P (both with rounds) and some bass with flats for the thumpy dead walking lines.

  5. Jamerson managed to sound servicable with flats on his P Bass... :rolleyes:
  6. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Haha...true. I was just pointing out that most bassists don't like the sound of flats combined with a P bass, because it takes away of the midrange "edge" that the P is known for.
  7. What I would do is put flats on a P, rounds on a J, and rounds on a fretless J.

    I want to get an MIJ P-Bass, put flats on that, and then get an MIJ J-Bass and put some nice rounds on it. Then for the distant, DISTANT future, maybe just an Essex fretless J.
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    gibson, guild or something hollow
  9. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Come to think of it, I played a 74 Epiphone Rivoli hollow-body with flat wounds on it the other day and it sounded just great, especially with the tailpiece dampener. For $370, it was really hard to not buy it on the spot, lol. A vintage hollow-body Epiphone or Gibson would be a great choice for a nice thumpy flat-wound sound.
  10. I think Pbasses and flats are a good match for many styles of music. In fact the Pbass was designed when flats were the only choice you had in strings. I currently have flats on both my P style basses. On my Fender Pbass I have Fender flats which are very thumpy sounding and my Custom PJ bass has TI Jazz Flats on it. The TI's definitely have that flatwound tone and feel but seem to be a little bit brighter than the Fenders. I love em. The one thing I did notice when I first started using flats is that they definitely sound better in a full band situation. The tone they create sits in the mix very well. Playing by myself they sounded odd at first but then again just because a bass sounds great alone doesn't mean it'll sound good in a full mix.

    My $0.02!
  11. In my opinion, flatwound strings ALWAYS sound better, especially when your using nice strings like Thomastik Jazz flats. I've been using flatwounds on my Warwick Fortress One for the past couple of years, and I don't miss round wound strings in the slightest. This is of course a matter of personal taste, and I realize that most people hear would disagree with me.
  12. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    I've had good luck with a 4003 Rick.
  13. :eek:

    your display of ignorance is impressive. that is, in fact, an extremely popular combination. the midrange on a P-bass gives definition to otherwise somewhat indistinct flatwounds. head over to the FDP someday, it seems like more than half of them do it.
  14. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I have flats on my MIM P right now and I love it. My eventual setup will be a P with flats, a P with rounds, a J w/ flats and either MM Sterling or Lakland Skyline 44-02 w/ rounds.

  15. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have to vote for P Bass. I like what Jamerson and many blues players did with a P and Flats.
  16. frosty


    Feb 18, 2003
    Southern USA
    I had Carvin tapewound on an acoustic 5-string I
    used to have and they gave a cool "woody" vibe.
    Made by Labella I think. I'd recommend em.
  17. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I have two P basses with Flats on then, and I love the way they sound. I agree with Zoom, the basses sound better in the mix with a band. I play in a Blues band with a guitar, keyboard, and harmonica, and they take up alot of midrange. Even if I had alot of mids on my bass, the lows are the ones that project out to the audience. The flats on a P create great thump, and tweaking your amp can even bring back some of the brightness. The result is a sweet, tight sound. BTW, the basses I play are 2 cheapo Essex Ps. The flats and Fender vintage RI pickups make the difference on these Basses. The setup works for James Jamerson and Donald "Duck" Dunn, so it works for me. Those guys have played on more hits that probably all of the people on this forum combined, so I won't argue with the sound of a P Bass strung with flats. Add a foam mute if you really want to go classic.

    But sound and feel is subjective. If you like the sound of rounds, but the feel of flats try a set of GHS Brite Flats or D'Addario Half Rounds. That will give you some of the brightness and growl of roundwounds, while retaining the feel of flats.
  19. bassbr


    Jan 20, 2003
    stage left
    I agree that flats sound better in the mix for most kinds of music. Especially if you're playing with guitars, the band sounds a lot bigger if the bass is in its own "frequency domain". All that grit and twang from roundwounds just winds up fighting with the guitars for sonic space!
  20. Ok Ok, you guys talk about hollow bodies and flats. I read somewhere about a Hofner Beatle bass and flats that was a cool set up. Anyone tried that?

    I have tried the GHS bright flat in the past and like them. (I use GHS Boomers only for the rounds currently.) The brand of flat string right now is not the issue. It is the bass. If you had to get a bass that would be used with flats only, what would it be? Another P? A hollow body? Tell me!!!! :bawl: