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Converting to Flatwound

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Chico16, Jul 31, 2012.


  1. Chico16

    Chico16

    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    Well my friends, I'm currently playing an Ibanez SR605 strung with GHS PressureWound Flats. I like the feel and tone, but I'm thinking about converting to real flats since I'm always trying to set my EQ to a deep clean bass. I figured flats would help me achieve that sound a lot easier. I've searched endlessly on YouTube for bassists with GHS flats and D'addarios flats since those appear to be most popular. I liked both (never actually played either or), but the gauges for the GHS seem a bit unbalanced each string set at .020 difference. My current string gauges are .044 .062 .084 .106 .128 and I love the way they feel string to string. The D'addarios Chromes are .045 .065 .080 .100 .132. I'm wondering if this gauge switch will make a noticeable difference since I feel so comfortable with the pressure wound gauges. Also, I'd like to hear some of your own experiences with the Chrome flat wounds. I want a mellower sound for the reggae/ska/blues music that my band plays. Thanks for your time and insight!!
     
  2. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland

    Well I don't know about 5 string chromes, but the 45 - 100 set I've got ATM is sweeeeeet. Roto 77's have a more warm low-mid sound that'd nail reggae better IMO - but they are very taut strings IME.
    You can probably compensate for a gauge change with action adjustments. You'll end up playing a little differently on flats... probably, I'd just jump in and see how it goes!

    P.S. flats are great. Rounds too!
     
  3. Chico16

    Chico16

    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    Honestly, I don't know how to do my own action set up. However, I understand that since the gauge difference isn't that big I will most likely not need new adjustments. I was just wondering if you perhaps thought they felt unbalanced string to string, I now notice that was an idiotic question since I'm sure somebody would've written a review about that by now or they most likely wouldn't be so popular... Sorry it's late and all I've been doing for the past few hours is read about strings lol
     
  4. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland

    Don't beat yourself up over it - there are no wrong questions.
    I'd start by learning how to set up a bass... takes a few goes to get it right but as long as you take your time and are fairly careful it'll be alright. Flats feel really weird at first... I started loving them after a half hour - some never do, some find they grow on them gradually. The chromes (45 - 100) set I tried had a less taut E and A - which is odd at first but works out fine with low action. The roto 77's (45 - 105) I tried had very even, very high tension and so were not a match for me (I tried to love them - I will try with a lighter set again).

    I figured this out, and so did a lot of people with less, and more likely more practical sense. It's a learning experience you won't regret. Probably:bag:
     
  5. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I'm not the only coward.
     
  6. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    I wouldn't call it cowardice - it's perhaps the best choice for some. I'd rather get to know my instruments setup - it's a logical extension of cleaning and changing strings...

    I haven't rewired/modded my basses (yet). I don't do it because it takes time, and while it might save me money in the long run I know I don't need to learn it yet.

    Same might be true for some w.r.t. setups. They're your instruments. YMMV as always! ;)
     
  7. Chico16

    Chico16

    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    Hmmm... I'm starting to think it twice again. I was just about ready to order the Chromes but, I actually like the tension to be high I think tight strings feel more comfortable. I love the way my current strings feel, and the gauges don't differ much, except for the E string which have a .006 difference. Now I'm starting to think if I'm gonna like that .100 E string :$
     
  8. Chico16

    Chico16

    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    The D'addarios 4 string set have a .105 E string. I might have to buy a four string set and a Low B separately in order to get the gauges similar to the GHS pressure wounds I'm currently using. OR I might just go with the Rotos you have suggested... I can't find any videos though of someone giving an example of how they can sound like... Damn lol
     
  9. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    Depends on how much tension you like. I'd recommend getting the 40 - 100 chromes set - my logic is:

    The 80 and 100 A and E on the 45 - 100 set are about as tense as a 85 - 105 round string (maybe a little stiffer). The 45 and 65 G and D are much more taut than the same gauge of round... YMMV.

    P.S. you can adapt. Unless you like really high action, my experience is that low action makes varying tension a lot easier to play. The 45 - 100 chromes sound really good. I'd need to have tried the 40 - 95 or the 40 - 100 set to know if they hold up. There is no good or bad, just better or worse for you.

    EDIT: Just to make it 'easier' I'll also throw in that the bass, you and your setup all make the choice of strings better or worse. And the setup and the way you play can change every day.
     
  10. Chico16

    Chico16

    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    I prefer a low action I don't like high action at all. But I'm just gonna go for the Chromes 5 string set as is. No need to make everything complicated and im sure I'll like them either way. If not I'll find a way to make them sound better for me, or just switch back to the old strings. I was also looking at GHS precision flats but too many people say their tone is dull so I'll just give the Chromes a go. Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences I appreciate the help!
     
  11. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    You're welcome, TB is awesome. You'd probably like the GHS flats too, but for a smooth flat feel plus lasting 'clank' you can dial out on most basses... chromes seem to be a common choice.

    The great thing with strings is if you don't like them you can change them.... If you like chromes you can leave them on for years! :D I'm about 2 months in and loving them.
     

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