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Expressive, middy strings for fretless

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dancehallclasher, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. as you may remember, i defretted one of my basses a while ago but i left the old strings on. they are old DR nickel lo-riders and they sound pretty good, but i want something that will be slightly lesser tension, be gentle on the fingerboard, and most importantly, be punchy and middy and expressive. i have fender 9050L flats on another one of my basses, and while i dig them, it's NOT the sound i'm going for with my fretless.

    so i'm considering these options, none of which i have tried before:
    -TI flats (by all accounts very low tension - not too low, i hope?)
    -DR sunbeams (these are roundwounds, but with a round rather than hex core, supposedly good for fretless)
    -tapewounds, which i know next to nothing about. labella? rotosound?

    i know that an obvious solution is to finish the board with poly and continue using roundwounds, but i want to give new strings a shot, because i'm not crazy about the feel of coated boards. any advice on the above list, or new suggestions, would be much appreciated.

    by the way, i use the p-pickup on this bass most of the time.
  2. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i'd go with either the sunbeams or hi-beams. if you want lots of mids maybe the sunbeams would work better, but i know the hibeams have LOW tension.

    however, the nickel wound sunbeams would probably chew up your fingerboard less than the SS hibeams.

    so there's my vote then - Sunbeams.
  3. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Can't go wrong with TI flats, imo. I have a set on my fretless MIM Jazz and on my fretted P. They sound great in both fretted and fretless applications and have more high end and growl than other flats I've tried. The tension feels lower than other flats but about the same as medium gauge rounds. I think they're very expressive strings, and I know they last a long time (haven't changed the flats on my MIM in 18 months and they still sound great).

    I also really liked Fender black tapewound strings on my fretless. Fun to play... higher tension than the TI flats and less treble response.
  4. Although they're expensive, I would definitely recommend trying out the TI Powerbass strings. They have a very nice and musical sound to them, and are pretty gentle on your fingerboard.
  5. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

    Have you looked into GHS Pressurewound strings. They are standard roundwound, but they're compressed to feel smoother to the touch and easier on fingerboards. I used them for years when I had a Fender fretless and I loved them. They don't stay bright forever, but that may not be what you want.

    Give them a try.

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