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Flatwound and Roundwound Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by nirvanarules28, Apr 12, 2001.

  1. nirvanarules28


    Mar 7, 2001
    Whats the difference of flatwound and roundwound strings??? I know they are two different things, and I suspect that they are wound differently, but I dont know exactly what is different. Tell me the difference and which ones you think are better.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Check out the Strings forum and do a search.
    This question has been answered pretty thoroughly several times. :)
  3. Ciaran


    Apr 4, 2001
    Flatwounds are meant to be played on a fretless bass so as to keep from scraping the crap out of the fingerboard.They look like tubes and they are 100% completely smooth.
    I've never seen anybody use flatwounds on a fretted bass and using roundwounds on a fretless will eat into the fingerboard.
  4. I've regularly used flats on a fretted bass. I love that thump they give.

    In answer to the question, in brief, flatwound strings are wound with a metal ribbin instead of a wire, which makes the smooth. Rounds are wound with - you guessed it - round wire. I would search the string forum for more information.

  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    No Bootsy, flatwounds are used on fretted and fretless, to get a vintage 50s/60s sound (roundwounds were introduced in the late 60s/early 70s).
    Though you're right about fretboard wear, the main reason is the sound.
    Most people do use roundwounds on fretless to get the 'classic' Jaco-influenced sound..

    To avoid further confusion...



  6. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Near as I can tell, none of this is correct.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

  8. Nirvana, short and sweet. Flatwounds have a short sustain and a thumpy sound; roundwouns have a much longer sustain and a much brighter sound. The
    only way to really find out is to join the club.

    Which club is that? The club of buying a set of each
    and forming your own opinion. There's no right or wrong answer. It's up to you. For what it's worth,
    roundwounds outsell flats by a big margin.

    Also you can hear rounds as they start to "die", whereas some people keep flats on sometimes for years and insist that they sound better with age.

    Mike J.
  9. Mild Side

    Mild Side

    Apr 9, 2001
    Also, round don't make any string squeak noise, but I guess that's pretty obvious.

  10. Well, the last part was correct. Roundwounds WILL eat into fretless fingerboards.
  11. nirvanarules28


    Mar 7, 2001
    Yeah, I have only used roundwounds, and when they started to lose their tone and good sound, even I could tell, and I havent even been playin for 2 years. I bought new roundwounds without even thinking of getting flatwounds....... cause I didnt know what they were. I might have go go buy some flatwounds and try em out. Thanx for the info.
  12. I use flats on my fretted P bass. Sorry. I didn't know I wasn't meant to. I will stop immediately.

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