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Best strings for fretless bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by kp_funk, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. kp_funk


    Jun 9, 2003
    Hey y'all,

    In your opinion, what type of strings (roundwound, halfwound, flatwound etc...) are best for a fretless electric bass?

    I love the fretless sound that Marcus Miller has when he plays his fretless. Does anyone know what type of strings he uses?
  2. Introvox


    May 21, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    As for Marcus Miller, as he has a signature set, I'm sure that's what he uses

    DR Strings MM45 Fat Beam


    Myself, I use Roto Swing 66 on both my fretted and fretless, both sound great.
  3. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I use roundwounds for the most growling mwah I can coax out of my basses.
  4. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Can't be beat, IMO.
  5. kp_funk


    Jun 9, 2003

    I know Marcus uses these strings for his fretted bass. Are they the same strings he uses on his fretless? Does anyone know this?
  6. "Marcus is also thumbing a stock ’66 Jazz and a fretless Fodera 5-string. Both Jazz Basses are strung with medium-gauge DR Hi-Beams (.045–.105); the Fodera 5 takes DR Marcus Miller Signature Fat Beams (.045, .065, .080, .105, .130)"


    Personally I like the Acoustic sound so I went all the way and put Rotosound Tru Bass on.
  7. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Fodera roundwounds or Rotosound swing 66's rounds. Always help to get an awesome tone!
  8. pdeon99


    Oct 8, 2005
  9. I use Optima Gold strings on my fretless. TI jazz flats on my 6 string fretted
  10. kp_funk


    Jun 9, 2003
    do people like or dislike Flats on a fretless (I see that the majority are using rounds)? Why or why not?
  11. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    I just put Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats on my fretless Pedulla. The bass sounds great and the notes are begging for slides :)
  12. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I like Fodera nickel roundwounds, D'addario XL's, and most recently, DR black beauties.
  13. BassSlave


    Mar 2, 2006
    Chicago via Park Forest IL
    Endorsing artist: Sadowsky Basses & Dean Markley Strings
    I'm currently using LaBella Deep Talkin' Bass Nylon Tapewound on my 5-string Citron AEFretless. It is a custom bass with added RMC piezo saddles and polyphonic synth driver. The tapewounds drive the synth very good, but the sustain is not as great as with steel strings but everyone has complimented the tone on that bass and it is indeed my deepest richest sounding bass compared to my MTD 6, Sadowsky Metro, Fenders, Pedulla, etc. I'm about to check out the Optima 24K Gold flats with it as I know those strings have tones of sustain and a unique zing. I used the Gold roundwound on my 6 string and loved every minute, but my frets didn't.....
  14. My guess is that more of the pro-rounds camp happens to be online at the moment. :D
    Some will tell you that roundwound strings will destroy your fingerboard in minutes, thought this has not been my experience. Also, you should consider what kind of sound you want to get. Again, in my experience, fretless bass guitar tone leans either toward the electric bass guitar vocal-type 'mwah' or upright 'thump'. Go rounds for mwah, flats for thump.
  15. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    I've used D'addario HalfRounds for years. Get plenty of growl and muwah 'cause that's all in the hands. I switched from RotoSound66 in the 80s because the rounds were tearing up my fretboard a little bit. Like the feel and sound. Like the SS a little better than the nickle because they're brighter - don't think D' is making SS anymore so may have to find something else.

    '77 Ripper fretless BTW
  16. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    I'm chalking this up to urban legend. What will happen is you will get somewhat unsightly marks on the fingerboard, but I'm convinced it would be years of heavy playing before you got actual wear, and even longer before it started affecting the playability and sound.