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flatwounds bad for neck?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by paintandsk8, Jul 7, 2003.


  1. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I was in my local guitar store and was looking at some flatwound strings when a salesperson told me that flatwounds put more strain on the neck than roundwounds and may warp it. Is this true?
     
  2. D'Addrio Chromes (flats) are ever so slightly more tension than the XL roundwounds of the same gauge.
    G 45.7 lbs (flats) 42.8 lbs (rounds)
    D 52.0 lbs 52.3
    A 43.7 42.0
    E 38.4 36.5

    So they do have a tiny bit more (at least those two types in comparison), but not a significant amount. Lots of people have used nothing but flats for decades with no ill effects.

    Having said all that, if all you did was switch to the next thickest gauge of roundwounds, they would already have MORE tension than the previous thinner guage flats. So your salesperson, using the same logic, should be discouraging you more from using heavier roundwounds too (which shouldn't really be a problem either).
     
  3. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    well, they have more tension. And you will have to adjust the trussrod. I put them on my squier. It took a truss rod adjustment. That was all. It'll be allright. Try it out.
     
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    ahh yes that makes sense. I hadn't thought about the truss rod thing. How much of a difference will it make? Like unplayable or just noticeable?
     
  5. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    it will make it a pain in the nehind to play. just tighten the trussrod until it flattens out again. shouldn't give you any trouble.
     
  6. bollefen

    bollefen

    Mar 13, 2003
    CT
    thomastik infeld jazz flats are low tension, lower than many round wounds. i had to release the truss on both my basses when i installed them, a good thing imho.

    excellent strings, have them on my mim jazz fretless and warwick rockbass corvette classic 5 string.

    they keep getting better (only on 1 month) others say it takes 2-3 months for the most stable, best tone.

    ymmv :p

    bill
     
  7. RonnoR

    RonnoR

    Jul 8, 2003
    I couldn't agree more. I like to keep an extra set around just in case but have never needed them.
     
  8. LaBella 760FX and LaBella 760FL are fairly low tension too.
     
  9. I run TI Flats on my P bass and was marveling at last night's gig about how wonderful they've been over the last 2.5 years. They don't go stale at all, and the feel is great.

    I had to loosen my truss rod also, as the TI do have a much lesser tension.
     
  10. mobax

    mobax Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    New Baltimore, MI
    I put a set of TI Flats on my MM5 and played three 60 minute sets on both Saturday and Sunday. Very smooth. Did not find it necessary to adjust tenson rod. Received many favorable comments (mostly from players) on bass sound quality. First time I've used flats in 30 years. Can't remember why I ever changed to rounds.
     
  11. Mobax, how's the sound of the Stingray with flats, compared to rounds? Is the characteristic snarl gone?
     
  12. mobax

    mobax Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    New Baltimore, MI
    carl-anton,

    The sound is more smooth. Virtually no string or fret noise. The guitar player I worked with on the weekend remarked that it sounded like a fretless at times. That said, the strings are not dull sounding. I am mostly a finger player, but was able to do some slapping with these strings. I would say give them a try, but it will be an expensive experiment. The cheapest price I've seen is at the Dudepit = $52 + shipping.
     
  13. mobax

    mobax Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    New Baltimore, MI
    You can get the Stingray growl with TI Flats. I'm playing while writing this; it works.
     
  14. mans0n

    mans0n

    Jun 15, 2002
    It depends on the wood of the neck really. I am an avid fan of flatwound strings on bass, they feel amazing sound even better and are just all around the best thing to do to a bass (i find a bass with roundwounds almost unplayable)

    anyways..

    I recently convinced a friend to change his guitars (not bass) to flatwounds, and he loves them..

    he changed 3 guitars, a Fender Powerhouse Strat, and a Gibson Les Paul special and a much nicer Gibson Les Paul, all had the same sets of strings on before (ernie ball rounds i believe) and upon changing to flats (all the same kind) only 1 of the guitars needed a truss rod adjustment (the gibson les paul special)

    The action went from ~2mm to about 7mm ! at the 15th fret and above

    needless to say, such a dramatic change in tension could ruin the neck, though leaving it for a month should be fine, fixing it as soon as possible is definately recomended!
     
  15. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I had been using GHS Pressurewounds and loving them for several years but they have been getting harder and harder to find. So last time around I changed over to flats. They sound pretty good but not much more mwah than the Pressurewounds and they feel wierd to me like my fingers want to stick to them. These are the Fender Flats. Would better strings feel less wierd?
     
  16. Thanks Mobax!
    Sounds like I'll have to try them out sometime when my finacial situation allows it. (which might be some time! :rolleyes: )
     
  17. drd07

    drd07

    Jan 19, 2003
    Any time you change to a new brand of strings, you should set up your bass for those strings. Just go through and give the bass a basic set up (truss rod, string height adjusted at bridge, check the saddle height, and finally intonate) after the strings are put on. There are a lot of great resources here at TB to do that too in case you are unfamiliar with a set up.

    As mentioned above, different strings have different tensiosn, affecting playability. However, slap the new strings on and if it feels good when you play it, go with it!:)
     
  18. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Well, I answered my own question by putting Rotosound flats on my fretless today. MUCH better sound than the Fenders, and much better feel.

    But now the bad news, I found a low spot on my fingerboard today. It's around D on the A string and is about three quarters of a step worth of horrible buzzing nastiness. So I guess it's time to get the fingerboard sanded again. This time I'm thinking of asking them to coat it with something like Pedulla's diamonkote(tm) stuff to reallyreally bring out the mwah.
     
  19. drd07

    drd07

    Jan 19, 2003
    Before you level the frets or anything, check the relief in the neck and string height. The new strings could have effected both of those factors which could lead to the buzzing.

    Even when I changed brands of strings that were the same gauge (45-105), I had to fix the relief and string height.
     
  20. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    There aren't any frets. That's why this is a big problem. I already tried adjusting the bridge. It had no real effect other than to make the bass less playable, with a horrible buzz.

    It needs to be planed down again. It has only been a few years since it was planed. I want to put a hard coating on it like Pedulla does. But my luthier says nothing will stickk well to rosewood.


    he used to do fiberglass resin, but it peels up. Drag.:crying: