Flats and Rounds, Bright and Warm sound basses

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by 999Brent, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. 58 P with Flats, 63 P with Rounds

    27 vote(s)
  2. 58 P with Rounds, 63 P with Flats

    28 vote(s)
  1. 999Brent

    999Brent Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Hey all, I have a 58 maple fretboard and 63 AVRI Rosewood fretboard, both currently with nickel round wounds on them which I love the sound of.
    GHS balanced Nickles incase anyone wanted to know.

    I want to try flats on one of them, which one would you suggest to try first?
    I was thinking the 63 with Rosewood as I figured flats would accentuate the warmer Rosewood.

    I thought flats on the maple and Rounds on the 63 may make the basses closer in sound, darken the maple a little and brighten the Rosewood, but I could be completely wrong, if so please correct me.

    Looking forward to you advice...

    Apologies for making this a maple vs rosewood thread.
    Really mean brighter bass flats or Rounds vs warmer bass flats or Rounds...
    Not sure that I can edit the title, but there has been plenty of good information, btw I am trying the flats on my 63, the warmer bass of the two.

    Thanks all!

    Poll attached...
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  2. Maple vs. rosewood... (Here we go again...)

    I don't think the actual real-life tonal difference between them is significant enough to determine your choice between rounds and flats.
  3. 999Brent

    999Brent Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Fair enough, maybe it is the pickup heights, but the basses do sound different, 58 is brighter , more aggressive sounding, the 63 is warmer sounding. Maybe not due the fretboard but that is the case with these two basses.

    Thanks, I have edited the poll so it is about the basses, was not meant to be maple vs rosewood, I love both.
    n1as and Linnin like this.
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I’d go with a set of light guage GHS Precision Flats on the AVRI. I think you’ll be pleased with the tone after your flats break in a little. Flats take some playing and time on the bass before they open up and get their full tone. Figure at least a week or two of regular playing to get there.
    fermata, bebi and dagrev like this.
  5. Do you like the basic tonal character of each bass and want to enhance it? Then rounds on 58 and flats on 63 would be the logical thing to do, Captain. ;)
    Marihino and 999Brent like this.
  6. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Leave your Balanced Nickels on your '63! The rosewood really complements the warmth of the nickel. I have a 10 month old set on my American Professional Precision with rosewood fretboard, and they are moving into a deeper reality that I like a lot. I have a new set, but wanted to leave this set on for a full year before changing. Review: GHS Balanced Nickels 4M-NB

    I have a five year old set of Precision flats on my 1976 Precision with white neck. (That means frets in a white maple neck, No fretboard.) I think it is perfect. The brightness of the maple brings a definition and clarity to the intonation. It also brings out the woody acoustic properties of the stringset. It will help to make your '58 reissue far more authentic sounding and period correct. Praise Report: GHS Precision Flats
    dagrev and 999Brent like this.
  7. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    You might not, but I do.
    It is more than that. The pickups most definitely are wound differently and will therefore exhibit unique tone signatures. Each stringset will require a set up that is specifically tweaked to the individual bass. The split pickups of the Fender Precision make them extremely adjustable to fine tune the string-to-string volume and also to finesse the tonal sweet spot. You need good ears and patience.
    I think just the opposite is correct.
  8. Just so I understand you correctly...

    Are you saying the brightness of the 58 with the maple board should be matched up with flats to enhance its inherent tonal character, and the warmth of the 63 with the rosewood board should be matched up with rounds in order to complement and bring out its basic character?
    Linnin likes this.
  9. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    I know I am a contrarian, but yes as counter intuitive as that may seem, that is correct. Let me just add that I know the 1963 Fender Precisions also came stock with V.C. Squier made Fender Flatwounds too.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  10. I think I'm starting to understand what you're saying...

    Instead of matching up two of the same, ie warmth of rosewood with warmth of flats and brightness of maple with brightness of rounds, it's better to match up two of the opposites, ie warmth of rosewood with brightness of rounds and brightness of maple with warmth of flats, so each pair can complement each other to make a better whole.
    Linnin likes this.
  11. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    That is a Gestaltist approach (to which I subscribe) where the whole is something other than the sum of it's parts. In this case we are always striving for a whole that is greater than the sum of it's parts. As musicians we do this all the time even if subconsciously. When poor choices are made you end up with far less than you anticipated. This is one reason why.
    bdplaid likes this.
  12. Or, the simpler approach, aka "Old Blind Mikey" approach, is to put GHS Pressurewounds on all basses and let them bring the best out of each and every bass. :D:D:D
    Linnin likes this.
  13. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have a P bass with a maple fingerboard and a P with a rosewood fingerboard. The tone of the rosewood necked bass is thumpier than the maple neck bass so I put flats on that one. The maple neck bass has a spankier tone. I have even tried that bass with flats but it is still brighter than the rosewood necked bass.
  14. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    The obvious: they’re easily switched, so try both. I would have to have both basses in front of me to be of any further help as to which one would sound good with a given set of strings.

    May I suggest that you just bite the bullet and get a set of TI flats? I am a recent convert to this religion and let me tell you, it’s a great religion to have.
    Buzz E, JMarkD and 999Brent like this.
  15. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I like flats on rosewood boards and pressurewounds on maple boards but I do have a 50s Fender Road worn p bass with flats that’s killer!!
  16. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    OP - are you looking to use flats life or for recording? My limited experience with flats is that they don't sit in the live mix nearly as well as rounds do. The bassist may disagree but when you get out in the room the overall mix / sound is different than you hear on stage and the flats just sort of get lost.

    For that reason I'd be thinking flats on my brightest bass to try to preserve some clarity and keep it from becoming mix mud.
    Frank77 and 999Brent like this.
  17. AngelCrusher


    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    The avri 63 pickup is a perfect match for flats. I have never had more engineers rave than when i track mine with flats. Mine is rosewood as well.
    BillMason and 999Brent like this.
  18. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    How about 58 with labella LTF4A and 63 with Ti JF344 ?

    You get one old school p vibe and modern p vibe with both similar string tension and stiffness.
    999Brent likes this.
  19. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    Maple rounds.
    Rosewood flats.
  20. BassBeginer64

    BassBeginer64 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2018
    Riverside Ca
    My MIA P Bass has a Maple Fret Neck, and Growls like all heck with Chrome Flat wounds, My GL-L2000 with Rosewood frets also growls with Flat wounds now to be honest here the P Bass run Meds, and the L2000 has Chrome Lights, plus it has active pickups but with the lights and the active controls it sounds just as warm and low as the Fender P Bass. Goal is next to get a Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass and see what flat wounds sound on that too.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
    999Brent likes this.
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