do p's with flatwounds sound good growly?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thelastofus, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. thelastofus

    thelastofus Guest

    Jul 3, 2002
    Bakersfield, Ca
    not overly growly, but with some nice overdriven tube growl? when i think of flatwound i think of real smooth jazzy tones but was wondering how this would sound through an svt?
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I dont think growly is the right word.
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Growl is a vague word. Most define it as the signature J-bass tone, but my definition is more broad. I do think P-basses can growl, but in a different way than J-basses. John Entwistle and Pete Farndon (Pretenders) got growly P-bass tones IMO.

    Semantic quibble aside... a P-bass with flats wouldn't be the best way to achieve growl, but it could be done by emphasizing the right midrange frequencies and being careful not to add too much low end.
  5. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    A P-Bass with roundwounds can give you that deep "clanky" kind of sound ala Kansas, Head East...almost a Ric type of clanky sound.

    And yeah adjusting your EQ can help you get that growl.

    Flatwounds IMO will give you deep, thumpy sound...but I wouldn't think you could get a "growl" with flatwounds, as there is no "bite" because the strings are smooth.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I cant hear any growl in that set up.
  7. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Just to add a contrasting opinion, I had a 97 MIA P with TI Jazz Flats on it and that bass had as much of that midrange P-bass growl as I could have wanted. It wasn't clanky, but it had really nice "growl".
  8. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I have an old P with Thomastic flatwounds on it. It doesn't have the J type "growl" you get with roundwounds. But it's not necessarily smooth and mellow either. The Thomastics are a very well balanced string that gives a good mix of everything. How you EQ it, how you play it and your pickups and amp make a big difference in what sound you get.
  9. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    I always thought that Duck Dunn had somewhat of a "growl" in his sound with the mg's. Especially when you hear his pbass juxtaposed against the electric piano, like in a groove such as green onions. Even in the blues brothers, in taht sound I hear a growl. If you listen to the song at "ray's music exchange", Duck goes up on the fretboard and that growl comes out. Just what I hear.
  10. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    I can't remember on blues brothers but it sounds from what i can remember more like roundwounds that are dead or just rounds??? i'm sure, please correct me...

    but he also used a maple board p latter on. i think of paul jackons p tone having growl... like mapleboard/rounds...
  11. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    +1. of course, a P bass can be growly, just in a "P bass" kind of way. It's the roundwound strings that cause the growl, not so much the bass.
  12. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W' Sconsin
    I'm thinkin' more like bloody nose.
  13. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    Duck Dunn used flatwounds, I've heard that he changes them every twenty years!

    In the movie he makes use of two p basses, one with maple and one with a rosewood fretboard. Considering he probably tracked the material in the studio, I'm not sure whether the bass tone in question came from a maple or rosewood fb'd bass. But there isn't that big a difference between an old p bass strung with flats with a maple or rosewood fretboard.
  14. Stolen from a fellow TB'r whos name I can't recall.:ninja:

    A J bass growls, but a P bass barks.
  15. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Two words: signal chain

    Fingers, preamp, EQ, and speakers have as much to do with this as the bass and strings. That said, I agree that most people see 'growl' as an affair of the midrange, while most P's (flat strung or otherwise) are all about the "smiley face" EQ.
    Stinga1990 likes this.
  16. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    :confused: The pickup on a P bass is flat until about 1,200Hz peaks up to 1,800Hz (although not much, max 6dBish) and has a fairly steep drop off from 2,000Hz on. Not my idea of a smiley face. :confused:

    Caveat emptor: Stock Fender P bass pickup, no tone control, with 250k volume control, fairly high capacitance 1,200pF 20' cable, into an 1M amp. IMHO, YMMV, dealer may sell for less.