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Flats and Groundwounds for 5-string

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Sep 8, 2002.

  1. I'm looking for a set of groundwounds or maybe flats for my Yamaha BB5000 fretless, which has an unfinished rosewood board.

    One thing I've often heard is that many flatwound low Bs are just awful--muddy and indistinct. I realize that no low B is going to sound truly mighty on this bass until I change the bridge (it rattles when I play notes on the B string), but can anyone point me to a really potent set of grounds or flats that includes a powerful B? I'm looking for medium to high tension.
  2. My one experience with T-Is makes me think that they may have problems with the low B too. I'd be interested in what you find out. I've got a set of D'Addario Half Rounds on order; I'll post when I've had a chance to test them out. Decent price at www.juststrings.com, BTW.
  3. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    After having tried out many brands, I've settled on LaBella and Dean Markley for my StingRay 5. Both have reasonable B's. The LaBella are pretty high tensioned, have a surprising amount of usable highs to them (slap doesn't sound bad on em) and are on the pricey side. The Dean Markley's are loud, thumpy and solid (no slapping on these), medium tension and relatively cheap.
  4. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I tried some Ken Smith Slick-Rounds (on a fretted P-Bass) some time ago, and I liked them very much. They had a smooth tight feel and they were brighter than flats. However, I only used a 4-string set, so I have no idea what a Slick-Round B-string is like.
  5. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've got TI Jazz Flats on my US curbow 6 string fretless, and I like the way the B string sounds. Big, fat, and warm. I also get plenty of musical Mwah from them.

    You could also try the Jazz Rounds. They wouldn't eat up your board. The tension is low, but the sound they make is amazing.
  6. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I had LaBelle flats on my SR5 and I didn't think the low B was muddy at all. I really dug the smooth mellow tone, but I kinda miss a bit of the zing of rounds. I'm going to try the Rotosound Solo Bass pressure wounds. Here's what their web sit says. 'Solo Bass' is made by rolling the wire as the string is being made. This string has 3 advantages over the conventional roundwound.

    1. Smooth feel, ideal for fretless bass and studio work
    2. No finger noise/reduced fretwear.
    3. Retains the brightness of the roundwound string.
  7. I use TI jazz flats on my fretless 5. The B is fine.
  8. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    SIT Silencers.
  9. D'addario half rounds,

    used them on my ray5 fretless for about a year now.

    good tight tone, med tension, little or no fretboard wear
  10. I've used both D'Addario Chrome Flats and T-I Jazz Flats on my Ibanez BTB405. Both sets have played well for me including the Low-B string. Even though the T-I flats have a rated lower tension than the D'Addario flats, the T-I low-B seems have a little tighter sound than the D'Addario.
  11. Thomguy


    Oct 15, 2001
    New York, USA
    Richard Lindsey:

    Please let me know if I can be of assistance here. Most players report such positive results regarding our low B after trying our flats. The tension and output is almost identical to the E string (and the rest) and that's difficult to find. Did you recently try a set and found the B to be less than desirable? If so, is it possible it was defective? If there were any specific properties of this string that did not seem right, please describe. Feel free to call or email directly if I can be of assistance.

    Best regards,
    Kevin Reynolds
    Connolly & Co.
    Exclusive US Importers of Thomastik-Infeld Strings
  12. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Hey Thomguy-is it OK to string Jazz Flats through the body? I have a Godin bass with top load/string through ability. I've heard from some that flats on string through body bridges tend to break or unravel more easily (but it worked for Leo Fender on the original Precision!) Thanks in advance for your help.
  13. I had a set of TI flats strung through the body on a P bass for two years. Gigged twice a week. Strings just kept getting better.
  14. Thomguy


    Oct 15, 2001
    New York, USA
    Andy nails it! As long as they fit, I think you're in for a treat.
  15. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Just installed the Jazz Flats through the body in the Godin. Talk about super fudgy sound with great playability! This is the sound I knew this bass should have. Since I got a 5 string set for the 4 string Godin maybe I'll try the low B next time I restring one of my 5's.

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