FlatWound Brands

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by peterock1025, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. peterock1025


    Jul 13, 2004
    I am a new bassist converted from playing guitar. Because of this I play with a pick. I play a 4-String EB MusicMan Stingray and use the heavy purple Dunlop tortoise picks and play through an svt-4 pro w ampeg 8x10 cab.

    After reading some threads I decided to try out flatwound bass strings. My only question is (because Im short on cash and cant afford to experiment w 8 sets of bass strings) is which, in your opinion, is the best flatwound string to try..

    Ernie Ball
    fender etc etc

    thanx for the help!
  2. Rotosound flatwounds are great. that's what i use. as far as pro's, steve harris of iron maiden uses them, the late great phil lynott of thin lizzy used them and a few others. they are very lively when new. they are more "in control" than round wounds when new but the only drawback is they lose that "liveliness" kinda fast compared to some roundwounds. the feel is great though and they have less "noise/scrapes" that you hear when sliding up and down the fretboard in comparison to roundwounds. I've played rounds and flats for years and now i'm stuck on flats. i play pretty heavy-handed especially when i am finger picking so i like the smooth feel with lively sound. I've heard some great things abou the new Dean Markley flatwounds. I've never used them (yet) but they are supposed to hold the tone and liveliness more than the rotosound. you just have to try for youeself.
  3. Are these brands availiable at local music stores? I always wanted to try this type of string i havnt come across it locally yet.
  4. Yes, Rotosound bass strings are available at most guitar and music stores. The same for dean markley flatwounds. I cannot vouch for the other brand flatwounds like Diaddario steel chromes. Other guys in here seem to like those too. I'm sure in a larger city like El Paso you can call around and find Rotosound flatwounds. The actual name is ROTOSOUND JAZZ BASS STRINGS/ Monel Flatwounds. I would go with standard gauge which is i believe 45 65 85 105.
    You also mentioned you play with a pick. I do sometimes also for some songs. A pick cuts thru really good when your playing rock and metal. I would definately suggest JIM DUNLOP STUBBY 3mm or jazz III. They are small and very stiff, with really no flex at all. I can't even really play with any other picks than those because I'm so into those. Try 'em out.
  5. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Fagedaboutit. Sorry. I been in Philly all week. Texan translation: Y'all are dreamin. I have never seen a good selection of flatwounds in a local music store, including Manny's or Sam Ash in Manhattan. Online is the only real option in my experience, or a real boutique place, if you are overwhelmingly lucky. I have seen the occasional Fender set, but D'Addario, Rotosound flats, Thomastik-Infeld, SIT, Pyramid, La Bella, etc? Not.
  6. Sam Ash both locations here in Orlando have Roto's, Diaddario's, Labella's are at at least one location, flats too. I once saw on a bumper sticker..."We Don't Care How They Do it Up North"...
    p.s. I'm not from the south .
    Anyway, online is a good idea if you can't find 'em local. Maybe we can post some links for the guy...
    Grace and Peace.
  7. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I'm not going to try to steer you away from Rotosounds, but I don't think they're very "traditional" sounding as far as flatwounds go. You might like them, but if you want the old-school thump, you might be better served by a set of Fender flats (and the Fenders are pretty cheap), Ernie Ball flats, La Bella Deep Talkin' Flats, or D'Addario Chromes. IME these are pretty durn punchy strings. The Fenders are pretty high tension so don't buy the "Medium" gauge unless you're looking for a really stiff feel. I really like Chromes, but YMMV as always. Right now I have a set of Chromes on my MIA Jazz, and they're just about perfect on that bass. I have Ernies on my Essex, and they sound OK, but of course it's not the equal of the Fender.

    If you want a bright, almost roundwound sound, the Rotos are good.
  8. :cool: I use Fender 9050L (my favorite) or D'Addario's light flats. I've tried SIT (which aren't bad), GHS (which also aren't bad). Most others I don't care for.

    I think the Fender strings are probably the best buy for the money. Not the best string, but they're still quite good.

    The D'Addario are good if you get a good set. I've come across a lot of bad strings with them. But, to their credit, they always stand behind their product.

    SIT are good, but I've only ever found them on-line.

    GHS are pretty good, but again, their flats are usually only available on-line.

    TI's have a large following, but I've found them a little to loose and way to expensive. Don't know how they would stand up as I took them off after about a month. (I usually leave strings on for two years or more.)

    Rotosounds are probably the worst flats I've ever used. They felt like they had a glue coating on them, and no matter what I tried, I couldn't get rid of it. They were the Steve Harris ones. However, as you can see, there are some who really like them.

    Try www.juststrings.com. They have a very large selection of strings for all stringed instruments, and they're reasonably priced. Check them out, pick out a few sets that you think you might like, and go to the manufacturers website for additional info.
  9. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    TI jazz flats, or D'addario chromes.

    The TI jazz flats are very easy to play, and IMHO are a very good all around string. The only thing is, they are very low tension, and that may take some getting used to. However, since you've been a guitar player up till now, you may have no problem adjusting to them.

    I'm finding that the chromes are pretty similar to the TI's in sound and feel. They are also about half the price. The chromes are a little higher in tension, but are still easy to play.
    I like how these sound on my Dimarzio equipped MIM jazz fretless. Since you play a stingray, I think you may find these more to your liking. Also, since you use a pick exclusively, the higher tension may be better for you.

    I would say give the chromes a shot. After about 1 to 2 weeks, they really start to break in nicely. Hope that helps :hyper:
  10. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    I have D'addario Chromes on my fretless jazz adn they sound great. Very smooth but they don't sacrifice any definition for this.

    Hope you find something you like.
  11. peterock1025


    Jul 13, 2004
    thanx for all the opinions... Im going to try the D'addario flats and see if I like them

    thanx, Pete
  12. I have TI Jazz flats on my MIM P since 2000 or so. They still sound about the same. Mine has a DiMarzio Will Power Middle pickup and series/parallel switching.

    The TI Flats do not thump on my bass. This is either the strings (likely) or the pickup (less likely). I changed out both at the same time, so have no comparision.

    I'm OK with the low TI tension, but would prefer a bit more to avoid clank. The TI strike me as very "middy", but surprise, surprise, they sounded really great recording DI into my guitar player's cheap TASCAM deck. Go figure.

    I want to try a set of DA Chrome Flats, or LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats next. The TI have a superb life span, which makes them cheap in the long run.
  13. I use D'addario chromes on my Hamer CruiseBass and I love them. I use Fender 7050L's on my P-Bass clone and I love them. The Fenders have higher tension but they work perfectly with the low set-up I have on the P. I agree with Sammy Camden that Rotosound flats are the worst flats I've ever played. They feel so rough that people often don't think they're flats and they seem to go dead quickly.