Flatwound VS roundwound strings ???

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Turlu, Feb 3, 2001.

  1. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA

    I have been playing Bass for more than 12 years and always used roundwound strings and don`t have a clue what flatwound strings are and their differences.
    I would like to know their specifications and their appropriate usage.


  2. Well, the basic tone difference is that flats have more bottom end and probably a bit more midrange. Some brands of flats also have quite a bit of treble too - Thomastik, Rotosound and D'Addario.

    The most important thing to remember about flats is that they are best judged in the final mix of a band. They don't always sound immediately appealing when played solo, but mixed into a band, they really project well and can be very clear sounding.

    They work extremely well with a pick too. The pick can add extra clarity and a real percussive attack, but with flats, you still maintain the warmth of tone. Often when picks are used with round wound strings, there can be a noticeable reduction in warmth.

    The other plus with flats is that they last a LONG time. They tend not to change their tone after they are initially broken in, so you could easily get many years out of one set.
  3. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Rob W. said it better than I could. I would add, however, that they don't have the "ring" of roundwounds. It's really a very different sound. And, fortunately, the brightness of the TI's wears off after a few weeks, and then they sound really great :D . IME, the Rotosounds sound closer to rounds than other flats do. Probably why I don't like 'em. If you want to know what old flats played with a pick sound like, listen to "Horse With No Name", "Tin Man", and others by America, and you'll hear Joe Osborn mixed up pretty loud.