difference between flatwounds and others

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Christine23, Sep 12, 2000.

  1. Christine23


    Aug 31, 2000
    Hey, I just got my bass a couple weeks ago, and I was wondering about the difference between flatwound strings and other types. (i don't know much about it yet). and what type of music they're better suited for.
    p.s. I know i already asked this in another post but I'm not sure if anyone knew... has anyone heard of a Series10 bass? and are they on the better end of the scale? just wondering
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Bass strings are manufactured by winding a (steel)wire around a round or hexagonal core wire...if you leave it at that, you're gonna get a so-called roundwound string. It usually brings you the most modern and the brightest bass sound, great for Modern Rock, Metal and Funk. A drawback is that roundwound strings tend to wear groove in your frets or your fretboard (on a fretless bass).
    Roundwound strings are fairly new and were introduced by Rotosound in the 60s/70s (?).
    Originally bass guitars were strung with flatwounds, strings where the outer wire was 'sanded' down to achieve a smooth surface or consisted of a flat wire. Flatwounds are very good for vintage sounds of the 50s/60s and effectively avoid fret noise - but they sound too dull for most modern slapping and tapping techniques...
    A compromise are so-called quarterwounds - roundwounds that are 'sanded' down only a little to get the best of both worlds...

    I recommend getting roundwounds - the are today's standard and can be use for any style. You may also have a hard time finding flat- or quarterwound string at your local musicstore.
    You can choose between 'nickels' and stainless steel strings. The latter are just made out of stainless steel, nickels are coated with a nickel alloy. nickels have a warmer tone and are easier on the frets, but can cause allergic reactions.

    I don't know the brand you mentioned, sorry, I use (German) Pyrasound strings (stainless steel) manufactured by Pyramid.

    I hope I could help you - English is a foreign language for me, so please forgive me my mistakes :)

    [Edited by JMX on 09-12-2000 at 06:09 PM]
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Welcome to TalkBass, Christine.

    JMX's advice is good as far as the string thing goes.

    On the Series 10 bass, however, I have tried one out and found it to be decently made and playable, but it's the kind of instrument that beginners outgrow fairly quickly. A pickup upgrade usually makes it a better instrument, but who wants to spend $100 on a $150 or so bass?

    Will C.:cool:
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    In the September Bass Player Mag, they have sections on tone and have this to say about the subject:

    "Flats have a darker, smoother sound with less definition and sustain but a strong fundamental.