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
    Live or recording, I don’t know, maybe both if I like them.
    I do like my nickel Rounds, so one bass would always have them fitted.
    Some songs will likely sound better with flats.
    I know I can try flats on both basses in time, but for now will just try them on one set, I think most likely the 63 first as I prefer the maple neck when playing live.
    Mainly down to it been easier to see on stage.
    Thanks everyone for you comments.
  2. erhovey


    Nov 10, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    I think most people have the general consensus that the TI's are on the low end of the spectrum when it comes to tension and stiffness... are you saying the Labella's are similar? I've only tried Labella's a couple times, but they seemed really stiff and high tension to me, and I took them right back off. I guess I really prefer strings that fall somewhere in between these two.
  3. @Yahboy is talking about the La Bella Low Tension Flats, not the regular Deep Talkin' Flats.
    erhovey likes this.
  4. erhovey


    Nov 10, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    ahhh… that would explain it... thanks!
  5. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    The ‘58 has hotter and more aggressive sounding pickups, and IMO would be great with rounds. The ‘63 is perfect with flats, it’s almost a shame to use rounds with those pickups.

    The wood will make next to zero difference.

    Edited for typo.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
    999Brent and michael_t like this.
  6. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    I’m one of the ones who disagree! I love flats in a live mix, that’s where they sound best.
    n1as likes this.
  7. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Nah, I find pressurewounds to be neither fish nor fowl - unless you like what they do. But they don't snap nor ring nor pop like rounds, and don't thump like flats. Maybe they're the pork of bass strings, AKA "the other white meat."
  8. They do everything I want them to do FOR ME. And that's all that matters. Thanks.
    bdplaid likes this.
  9. Put flats on BOTH. I hated flats for years and years. Never understood why people liked them. Then I purchased a 59 Custom Shop P with TI’s. I soon understood the flat wound love. Now I have 4 P’s, 4 J’s, and a PJ all wearing flats.
    geof_ likes this.
  10. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    AZ, USA
    I suggest TB not to allow any more threads on flats vs rounds and maple vs rosewood :)
    Lobster11 and BillMason like this.
  11. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I used to like them a bunch too, but in the end I just decided I want either flats or rounds. IMO no string really does both.

    Now lets see if we can start and argument over nickel vs steel; and let's not overlook the cobalt flats!
  12. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    Buy one set of flats you think you'd like and try them on both basses. Since they're both Fenders you'll have no problem switching the strings between basses. Pretty simple.
  13. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Just flip a coin and live a merry life of random happenstance. Hey! A far better result than the stagnation of analysis paralysis.
    bdplaid likes this.
  14. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    waynobass likes this.
  15. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I put a neck on one of my basses recently that has Goncalo Alves as a fretboard. It looks kinda like Rosewood AND Maple at the same time. If you take away rosewood versus maple threads, I lose the ability to argue with myself in public about....the same fretboard. You wouldn't want that, now would you? ;-)
  16. garciawork


    Mar 7, 2015
    Meridian, ID
    I also don't think you will be able to tell a difference between the two aside from string type, so I voted flats on maple since I like maple and flats more...
  17. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I think I would rephrase the question to ask which strings to put on a "darker-sounding" bass vs. a "brighter-sounding" bass. The question of why one bass sounds brighter/darker than the other isn't really relevant.

    In that case, there are two obvious answers: (1) If you want to accentuate the difference between them, put the flats on the darker-sounding bass and rounds on the brighter one, but (2) if you want to minimize the darkness of the one and the brightness of the other, do it the other way around. Neither is inherently better than the other; it all depends on what you want to accomplish.
    BillMason, 999Brent and michael_t like this.
  18. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I think it's no more than a coin flip decision, simply because I don't think many people can actually hear the difference in maple & rosewood. I'll openly admit that I can't.

    I have two Fender necks with the same physical profile, one maple & one rosewood.

    I also have two Peavey necks, one maple & one rosewood, that are closer to identical than the two Fender necks.

    I can swap either neck of these pairs onto the same body (of the correct type), but I can't tell a tone difference between them.

    If you can tell a difference, you need to make the call.....
  19. 999Brent

    999Brent Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Thanks, I think you are right my question has been looked at a maple vs rosewood by some which was not my intention.
    I have assumed the brighter bass was because of the maple but as pointed out by others there is a lot of other reasons why it may be the brighter bass.
    I also never had the intention of saying one was better than the other, they are both useful and different.
    Interesting comments in general though.
    I have made a decision I am putting the flats on the 63.
    Lobster11 and BillMason like this.
  20. That is also my (limited) experience. One recent example I have in mind is the Badbadnotgood concert that flats kinda ruined for me. It was at a venue that I go to often and sound is always between "ok" and "very very good" - never had an issue hearing bass clearly there. Their bass player is known to favour a "duller" sound (he often plays an EB0 or a Grabber, always with flats). He showed up with a p-bass, strung with flats and with a foam mute: Complete mud. Takes the foam mute off halfway through: Somewhat better but still mud. That sound works perfectly on their albums, but live in a large venue it was difficult to hear actual notes.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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