Best flats for that "clank" sound of Steve Harris/Geezer Butler and so on..

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ChorusPedal88, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. ChorusPedal88


    Aug 25, 2007
    Ok after about 3 or 4 months of serious experimentation with my sound, I have come to love that dirty clanky sound of flatwounds with metal :bag:

    Theres just something about the sound that connects me with my bass emotionally and I have ALOT of fun jamming to Geezer Butler and Steve Harris basslines and the very occasional improv, weird I know.

    And I'm just really wondering what the best set of flatwounds that you can get to get pretty close to the clanky sound? Sort of a mix between Geezer and Steve

    Thank you in advance!
  2. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Any flat will clank with low action, and "proper" tenique. Chromes are pretty bright and Rotos are too.
  3. markdavid


    Jun 29, 2007
    +1 , low action will get you that clank, Rotos or Chromes are probably your best bet for that type of sound and get a set in a light gauge as this will help as well. I know what you mean about flats , they have a different type of clank to rounds
  4. Steve Harris uses Rotosound. His own signature series strings.
    Klonk likes this.
  5. bassnug47


    Oct 7, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    life is good, Dead is better
    seang15 likes this.
  6. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    But they are much more mellow than Chromes or Rotos. The Rotos especially have an almost angry sound when new!
    jmattbassplaya and Linnin like this.
  7. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    Yeah, to me the TI flats just sound old, and feel like a flopping fish.

    A maple fretboard really helps with any clank. It really adds alot of snap to the sound.
    Linnin likes this.
  8. whereeaglesdare


    Aug 13, 2007
    I've tried using Rotosounds a couple times but each time they wore out verrry quickly. I wouldn't recommend them. Plus I heard they chew up your frets quicker than certain other strings after a couple years. I'd highly recommend DR strings. Geezer himself uses DR Hi-Beams heavy gauge if I'm not mistaken. After trying DR strings (the hi-beams to be exact) i haven't looked back. I bought a pack of DR Lo-Riders to try and they should be arriving in the mail today, I've heard good things about those too. Not to mention DR strings last a good while.
  9. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth

    Jan 2, 2015
    heart of darkness
    I was sitting here for quite a while this morning trying to rediscover the clank, and was just about to give up or even order a different amp.
    Finally I was able to achieve some clank using the very tips of my fingers.
    D'Addario Chrome Flats
  10. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    This sounds pretty self explanatory :)
    seang15 likes this.
  11. StevieMac

    StevieMac Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Low action is key IMO and I find the clank comes through a little better for me with a maple finger board YMMV...
  12. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Get up on the fretboard.. As far from the bridge as you can get.
    Hard calloused fingers help too.

    Funny.. Guess I didn't know how to spell calloused when I created my forum name.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    seang15 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  13. Yes to all of the above. Roto flats are high tension, and you need that in order to spank your clank.
    TI's stink like one too. Way WAY Overpriced.
    SwitchGear and Killed_by_Death like this.
  14. I've two Precisions. I've only strung them with D'addario Chromes and Labella DTB or Labella LTF. These pretty much represent opposite ends of the dull/bright spectrum. Both types can clank with ease.

    My action is very close, and so I have to be very mindful of technique if I wish to avoid clank.
    So...if I wish to have clank present at all times I just bang away on the strings with a reasonable amount of gusto. Nothing too hard mind you, as it's not required. Some of my clank is from fretting, as spirited playing can contribute to hammer-ons simultaneous with the pluck. Again, this is from my technique being less than subtle at times.

    Bass guitar tone knob pretty much on full treble.

    Most of the clank will be lost anyway as the guitarists and drummer wail away in their strident manner.
    Klonk likes this.
  15. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Worse strings I have ever owned. I wouldn't recommend them to my own worse enemy.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The key is new flats more than brand. Steve Harris changes his strings after every gig. Once they start to go dead, they lose the clank.
    Klonk likes this.
  17. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth

    Jan 2, 2015
    heart of darkness
    Steve's strings are probably comped.
    Now all I need to do is get a deal like that.
  18. I'm sure they are since they have a Steve Harris signature set. Steve Harris is plenty wealthy enough to play anything he wants. Plus other string manufactures would be falling all over themselves to get him to play their strings instead of Rotosounds. Harris may play Rotosounds strictly out of national pride.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth

    Jan 2, 2015
    heart of darkness
    Well, he does have that dorky football logo on his bass.

    From what I've read he prefers to only eat ham from the West end of town.
    mrb327 and JimmyM like this.
  20. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    I suppose anything's possible, no matter how far-fetched it may sound. Or, he might just like Rotos, and like them fresh (Anthony Jackson has strings replaced in between recording takes, for that matter). Occam's Razor.
    There are other string manufacturers in the UK, at least one of which (Picato) also makes flats. Also, why should his national pride weirdly apply to his choice of strings - and override tone/feel preference - and not instruments? It's not like there aren't bass makers in UK, or strictly England for that matter: if we're making wacky hypotheses, I'd bet at least one of them would be willing to put their own soccer allegiance aside and put a West Ham logo on a Steve Harris signature model.