??Flatwound VS. Roundwound????

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by slapstick13, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. slapstick13


    Feb 5, 2010
    I've never tried flatwound strings. What is the differece between the two??(other than the obvious fact they are wound differently)

    I've always played ernieball super slinkys. Never really tried other strings. I like the sparkle when they are new, although that tone dies out after a week or so.

    Anyone have any suggestions for different strings to try?? I play in a punk band and would like strings with really punchy, tight tone that will last a little longer than my eb's..any help would be much appreciated!
  2. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Flatwounds never die. You buy a pair, you use them until they break. Which should probably be never.

    Try a pair of D'darrio Chromes.
  3. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    The search function is your friend.
  4. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Marietta, Ga
    A fresh set of flats is going to sound approximately like a really dead set of nickle rounds, IMO/IME. They will mellow out from there.

    Some folks like them. Some folks don't. I like them (and tapewounds too). There's no real way of knowing until you try a set.
    MoosEsooM and Old Garage-Bander like this.
  5. Jehos


    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    If you like the sparkle of new rounds, you probably aren't going to like flats. If you want to keep your strings sounding new longer, wash your hands before you touch your bass, don't smoke around your bass, keep it in a case instead of on a stand, and periodically wipe your strings down.

    Oh, and find really cheap strings that you like and replace them often. :)
  6. Blues Bass Man

    Blues Bass Man

    Feb 2, 2010
    This is not true. First,Bass Strings come in sets,not pairs. Second,Flatwound Bass Strings do not last forever. I don't care if Phil Chen has had a set on his Bass for 40 years,this is not the norm. Even Flatwounds go dead,lose intonation,and just start sounding bad. Try some coated strings,they keep the brite tone longer.
  7. +1 to Chromes, I'm a die hard nickel round player and I love them... I put them on my Pbass V to specifically play old-school funk but they sound great and that bass blends surprisingly well into a wide variety of styles. Lots of warmth and thump. The high end isn't completely gone either, think of turning your tone knob to 1/3-1/2 of full (or your treble knob most of the way down if you have actives) and you've got the idea.

    +1 to the search function as well, there's a lot of good info on flatwounds around TB... lots of people here have tried lots of different sets (DR, LaBella, Thomastik Infeld, etc.) and you'll find plenty of opinions on them all. ;)

    Here's a good thread to get you started:

    Confessions of a Flatwound Convert

  8. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I have Chromes on my bass. They have plenty of "brightness" to them. Enough that I EQ much of it out. The feel great!

    Why is this so? I keep my bass in a stand to keep it "ready to play".
  9. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Welcome to another age old debate. FWIW I've always left my instruments out, music on a stand and nearby pencils nearby and all ready to go. All these years never a problem.
    quickfix likes this.
  10. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I actually feel that TI Jazz flats have MORE brightness when new than many nickle roundwounds.
  11. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    GHS Boomers & Rotosound 66's are my fave strings. Ernie Ball to me emphasise crunch a little. GHS & Rosotound dont affect guitars crunch factor. Daddario's reduce crunch for smoother tone. Sparkle isnt necc a result of string brightness. That in part could be the pups and in part upper treble overtones. Rotosounds are not as bright sounding as most stainless steel strings. More like nickel strings in that regard. Strings that emphasise treble dont bring out sparkle to me, they only cause annoying excess treble to me. Sparkle to me is overtones and balanced sound. For example a deep bell tone can sparkle without being trebly, just cause it has nice overtones. It can also be helped by fast attack or by little bit depressed upper treble that lets overtones come out more.
  12. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    Same here. Although the wife did make me a cover out of car-seat cloth for each of my instruments to keep the dust out.
  13. I can say the same about the Fender 9050s stainless flats I have on my Stiletto. It's a darker tone than the XL rounds on my 004, but by no means zingless.
  14. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    I'll second that..... I have a 12 year old set here that has enough zip to slap with, especially when on my jazz.

    To the OP..... If you're primarily a fingerstyle player, then it's pretty easy to get into flats. I think a lot of cats think of flats as thump only, but today, that is just not the case. Sure, there are flats that thump like there is no tomorrow.... but there are some flats with incredible singing mids that as a fingerstyle player, gives your playing a richness that you just can't get with rounds.... TI's and Chromes for example. Our amps today are more than capable of bringing all of that out.
  15. I originally bought Chromes for just the two short scale basses(Jay Turser Beatle bass and Danelectro '58 Longhorn re-issue) I use for my 60's garage rock cover band. I love these strings so much I decided to try them on my Ric 4001. They are incredible. The highs are still there, only they are more in control, not piercing. Rounds absolutely drive me crazy now; they feel like sandpaper to me.
    MoosEsooM likes this.
  16. mcapote


    Sep 9, 2009
    Miami Florida
    I use rotosound 77s and play ska/punk and Oi. Ive been trying out many types of rounds and still end up going back to my 77s
  17. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    back to topic, flats sounds much better in mix, the percussive, fat, big bottom will shock you and your band fellas too! try la bella flats or TI......
    Turock and onda'bass like this.
  18. eyecandy


    Jul 28, 2009
    flats are warm and deep.. rounds sounds trebly with a touch of bottomness
  19. kimokeo


    Jul 7, 2009
    The flats vs rounds always seems to be a great topic for discussion. It does not matter which flat you buy, they do not have the sound capability of a new set of rounds. Obviously, some flats are better than others, just like some rounds are better than others. So, if you like a smooth feeling string with a deeper mellow tone, get a set of flats. If not, pick up a set of rounds.
  20. Fritsflow


    Sep 27, 2011
    Buy 2 basses and equip 1 with rounds, the other with flats! problem solved:D
    Chasarms, mikewalker and chrose1201 like this.