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Flatwound on a marcus miller jbass ?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Etienned, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Etienned


    Jul 16, 2010
    I'm mainly looking for your 2 cents, I know strings fall under the «different strokes» and personnal preferences topic, but I'd like to hear input from you, knowledgeable people.

    2 months ago, I got a marcus miller jazz v, had the intonation and setup done by a luthier who suggested me dunlops roundwound. So I went with them.
    I know it makes sense to use roundwound with a maple neck which makes them more ''alive'' but I'm starting to find this bass a bit too unforgiving for my skill level. Lots of fret sound, unintentional tapping, noisy slides, etc.

    I have dhs flat brites on my acoustic bass (rosewood) and I really like them so...

    What would I gain/lose by switching to flats ?
    How about slapping, will it still kinda work or will my tone suck big time ?
    Will the intonation remain the same or will the bass need a new intonation/setup ?

    Should it be considered as taking it easy (flats) or learning how to play like a man (round) ?
  2. Try D'Addario Chromes, if you want flats. However, have you tried raising the action a little? Just might be worth a try.
  3. KYJazzy


    Nov 10, 2004
    Lexington, KY
    What? First off, real men play flats.

    The MM bass kind of caters itself to roundwounds for a bright sound. Putting flats on an MM is like reining in a wild stallion. But I am actually curious what one would sound like with flats and the preamp all jacked up. It's your bass, use what strings you want.

    As for what you will gain/lose in general and with slapping, well, that's been discussed to death. Just search and cruise the forum. AFAIK intonation can change with a string change depending on if you move the bridge saddles, which you may want to given that flats are a completely different animal than rounds.
  4. Etienned


    Jul 16, 2010
    At the risk of sounding like even noobier, how would an higher action help me in this case ? I though lower was usually easier to play...

    I was kidding,

    It was more of a ''should I use what's easier for me atm or learn to cope with those roundwounds and maybe devellop a better control ?''.

    I'm curious too. Doing what I want with my bass doesn't keep me from gathering informations / opinions before I do so.

    Thanks for the precision, I'll make to sure to think about it before I make my move.
  5. svenbass

    svenbass Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2002
    I loved my MM4 so much I bought a second one and put flats on it. One of those two wind up at 95% of my electric bass gigs. Flat's are fantastic on a MM4, very versatile and punchy without being muddy.

    FYI, I have no experience with a 5 string MM, but would imagine they are similar. Of course there are many brands of flat's so you may need to try a few and see what works for you. I personally have settled on the LaBella flat's, but that's just me of course.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  6. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    There is nobody who can tell you if you will like your tone except for yourself. So get a set, give it a shot and tell us what you think!
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  7. Joospocks


    Jul 1, 2010
    Raising the action could help get rid of some fret noise clackies. You can fret notes more easily with low action, but you may have to play with a lighter, more consistent touch to avoid that extra noise.

    I am personally not consistent enough to do this, so the solution for me is to raise it up a bit! :p
  8. Pretty much all of what you describe should be solved by turning down the treble on the bass itself. If that doesn't do it your frets may need dressing or you may just need a setup. If the string noise is "cut though a mix" loud then it could be the pickups. I've played a bass like that.

    I think flats would change the tone pretty dramatically but it wouldn't necessarily be bad. The slap tone would be very different and the finger tone would as well but it could work for you. Look up "jazz bass with flats" on youtube and see if you like what you hear.
  9. Etienned


    Jul 16, 2010
    Thanks guys for the input !
    its much appreciated, I'll report back after some experimentations
  10. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    I am with the other posters...try a set of flats. It is not like you are moding the bass...it is just a set of strings, and a little setup adjustment.
  11. Etienned


    Jul 16, 2010
    but the setup and intonation part raise a lot of questions.
    (easy there, before you click on the reply button, I know about the stickies, I read them)

    I'm not really comfortable to fiddle with the neck (I presume different strings means a different tension) and with the nut. I would try on my cheaper bass I leave at work but I'm slightly afraid to learn how to setup a bass on this one. Part that and part ''if ain't broken...''
  12. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    IMO having a bass that brings out sloppy technique is a good thing. Keep playing on it as is and your technique will improve, hide behind a muddier tone and it won't.


    Aug 21, 2006
    Try half rounds...
  14. Etienned


    Jul 16, 2010
    I brought the bass to the luthiers' shop today,
    I settled for a set of LaBella black nylon flats... The least i could say is that I expect them to be different :bag:

    Can't wait:hyper:
    Thanks again for helping me out
  15. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    After decades of using round wounds, I put some D'Addario Chromes on one of my basses and was SHOCKED at how much I like them. I have them on a Rick 4001 (which was designed for flatwounds) and am seriously considering putting them on my Warwick too. I never had noise problems with round wounds, but what I really like about them is how much more solid they sound without ringing and how well they push the beat along.

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