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Chromes for fretless?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by LemmyLicious, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. LemmyLicious


    Sep 27, 2010
    I love my Steve Harrises (well, Roto 77's) on my fretted axe, and I'm leaning towards getting something like them for my fretless. The "but" here is that the Roto's are really tense and while they're fine on the fretted one, I'm thinking they're too tight for a fretless (I've had nailons on the fretless so far and have really liked the super-smooth and light touch), then again I'd love to have bright flats on the fretless too... I'm thinking of the 045-132 set, how tense are they on a half-step down tuning?
  2. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Half step you should be fine & I prefer a good tight tension fretles--loose is not necessarily good.
  3. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    I love my Chromes on my fretless. I went a gauge lower to compensate for the tension (I use 45 rounds on my fretted, 40 flats on my fretless - both in standard tuning). They feel very comfortable and sound great. YMMV, etc.
  4. LemmyLicious


    Sep 27, 2010
    Well, the more I think about it, there might something to tense strings on a fretless, but for now I think less-tense-than-Rotos would be the way to go.

    How bright are they? Also, the obvious problem with thinner strings is that you lose some of that boom (I play metal and NEED that thunder)... :ninja:
  5. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I put a set of D'Addario XL Chromes (ECB81- .045", .065", .080", .100") on my Ibanez fretless and I like them a lot. I had pressurewounds on it before and they were good, but didn't quite do it, for me.
  6. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    THey actually aren't as bright as some reviews might lead you to believe. I find them comparable to the average nickels rounds, actually - clear, but still plenty of low end.
  7. Metal on a fretless with flats? Spectacular!
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I really like labella nylon wrapped on fretless for the whine and mwah... The again for the most part my fretless is on a Stingray so it's got aggro built in already...
  9. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    So why not get lighter gauge of the roto's for less tension?
  10. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Can you still get a nice mwah with flats? I always thought that it was rounds that got the best mwah.
  11. LemmyLicious


    Sep 27, 2010
    Funny you should mention, I'm gonna change the cheapy pickup to a Stingray 'pup in the future. :ninja:

    An extremely valid point!

    Well, it really makes sense when you look at the speeds one needs to play (outside doom, sludge and other slow genres), and the power of bass slides. Flats really make a difference on high speeds, it's just so comfortable yet thrilling to play, say, those Rotos when they've really got that thundering sound while being super-easy on the fingers. Makes you wanna go nuts on the bass. I don't actually play THAT fast (no need to play 16th's very often because they end up sounding quite flat like a sonic carpet against the guitars and drums) but still, they're great for a little speedin'. Also, even though I play pretty basic and mostly not very independent lines, I can generate great momentum with the slides (guitar pick scrapes would dictate the song too much, bass slides on a fretless are great for bridge-like parts).
  12. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I have Chromes on my Stingray 4 fretless and am really enjoying the smooth feel, thump and booty of these strings. They don't allow for the same amount of mwah as rounds would but its still a very warm tone with enough highs and mids to satisfy. Plus there is no fingerboard wear at all!
  13. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    Half step down a tension of around 44 pounds can be expected. The 132 will do a little less, about 38 pounds. This is still well within the limits of playability. For a standard BEADG tuning some 50 punds may be expected, a little less for the fat B-string.
  14. LemmyLicious


    Sep 27, 2010
    Fingerboard wear is another point in favour of the flats. Also, one reason for me to go fretless was to minimize random string noise (no fret clank), this being related to the issue of killing zings from rounds, which can be tough at speed. I know I should maybe practice more for a dead-noise-free technique, but then again why bother when you can have bright flats to do the job without zings... I'm also starting to love the upped tension, tried some basses with rounds today and they felt both wobbly and grainy on the fingers. Picking sounds and feels better on flats too.
  15. +1000 for chromes on a fretless. I have chromes on my Squier VM fretless jazz and I think it sounds great! I can get a decent amount of mwah if I play right up to (or on) the fingerboard) and they can still thump and sound great on slides. If I solo the bridge pup, I can still get a pretty nasal, midrangey "Jaco-ish" tone as well. I also play metal with this bass and completely agree with the speed thing.
  16. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    Flats seem to be better for everything. It depends on what you play and how you play. I use flats for everything. I tuned my Ibby to BEAD with EB flats, which are quite equal to d'Addario Chromes. This is what they do through a cheap guitar pedal
  17. LemmyLicious


    Sep 27, 2010
    @obsidianbass: Hey, nice to know I'm not alone! You play that bass in the band you mention in your sig? Could check it out later when I'm at a computer. :) @Jay2U, my fretted Ibby has those Roto 77's (the B being a stock round, I only use it as support for plucking thru' E) on BEAD (well, half-step lower). :)

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