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Different strings for fretless?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sdavis63, Dec 31, 2011.


  1. sdavis63

    sdavis63

    Aug 2, 2010
    I got a used 6 string fretless and was wondering are there special strings for fretless or can I continue to use the type of strings that's on my other fretted bass?
     
  2. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
  3. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    You can use any strings on a fretless bass that you use on a fretted.

    However, some round wound strings may have more immediate wear on your fingerboard (depending on fingerboard / playing style / gorilla grip etc...)

    There are a lot of different strings available besides standard Round Wounds... Pressure Wounds / Compression Wounds are pretty sweet on a fretless instrument, even fretted for that matter... Less finger noise from the more rounded outer windings, and a smooth punchy tone. Also less wear on the fingerboard since the windings are not as aggressive.

    There are some standard round wound strings that have smaller diameter outer windings which will also have less of an immediate effect on your fingerboard. DR and Fodera strings for example have the smaller diameter outer windings.

    There are also Half-Round / Ground Wound strings that are literally Round Wound strings that have been grinded flat. These are flexible like ROund Wounds but have tonal characteristics of Flat Wounds.

    It really depends on your instrument finger board the tone you are going for.

    FWIW - I use light gauge round wounds on my 6 string fretless Ken Smith with unfinished ebony fingerboard. In the past I used Compression Wound strings on it, but I mainly play the instrument only on a gig / session rather than practice on it.

    On my 3 other fretless basses, I have Standard Rounds, Black Nylon Tapewounds, and Smaller Diameter Round Wounds... I guess one for every type... :D
     
  4. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya

    Dec 28, 2007
  5. rockosocko

    rockosocko Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    First, it depends upon what type of wood your fretboard is made of. If is rosewood or maple, steel roundwound string will wear the board away. In that case, you should stick with nickel strings (such as DR Sunbeams) or go with flatwounds. However, if it's a harder wood such as ebony, pau ferro or bloodwood, you can go with steel roundwounds. True, you'll see some wear, but it will be many years before you'd have to replace the fretboard. I've been using steel round wounds on one of my fretless basses for seven years, and it's still in pretty good shape.
     
  6. sdavis63

    sdavis63

    Aug 2, 2010
    It's a Dean bass, my girlfriend said she only paid $200 out the door at a pawn shop. I'm not sure what type of board, pickups or mix-matched strings that's on it now. It tuned up and kept in tune overnight, I figure I would treat it and give it a new set of strings. If you heard me play, you would probably say she over paid, lol... thanks everyone!!!
     
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Nickel rounds like Sunbeams were always my favorite strings for fretless, as I like to get that 'mwhaaaaaa' sound. I put flats on my Zon one time and I was shocked by the sound..or lack thereof....I ripped them off and threw them away! Never thought about re-selling them back then :)

    I had two fretless basses, a Zon Sonus and a Hamer Cruise. Both had expoxied boards, so wear was not a concern. Man I wish I had that Zon back now. Well, thanks for this trip down memory lane :)
     
  8. Audiophage

    Audiophage

    Jan 9, 2005
    I can definitely coax some mwah out of my fretless strung with chromes on an ebony fingerboard. It's not as present as with rounds but it's more controllable.
     
  9. I use GHS pressurewounds on my fretless. They get the mwahh without the shifting noise that rounds get.
     
  10. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Alabama
    GHS black Tapewound strings on my fiver are the answer!
     
  11. Blue

    Blue

    Jun 19, 2004
    Central NC
    I disagree. Wear on the board can be an expensive repair ... however long the wait.

    ... of course if it's a $200 disposable, then maybe disregard my disagreement.
     
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Just like every time this topic comes up, use what sounds good to you. Wear is part of doing business.

    Search for this common topic to see all the prison and cons reiterated.

    John
     
  13. oldprussians

    oldprussians

    Jan 7, 2008
    United Republic of Europe
    IT Professional!

    Is there really that much difference between Half round/Ground Wound and Pressure wound??

    I mean most places that talk about strings put them in the same category.......

    Only GHS as far as I'm aware do both.

    Most manufactures do one or the other... The end goal is the same it's just the method of how to get there that changes....
     
  14. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Id vote for DR coated strings. Neons being my fave of those for me but lots also really like the black beuaties. Neons are round core (lower tension), bb's are hex core (little bit higher tension).
     
  15. Shifting? What do you mean by that?
     

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