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Flatwounds on fretted basses

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Metaldood19, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. Will it work? I know there's a ton of threads on here about flats (or tapewound) but I'm new when it comes to flats. I'm thinking about throwing on a set of flats on my fretted six if they sound good. Also any recommendations of brand helps too.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    THE classic vintage P-bass sound Is flats and frets. Oh yes, it works. As far as brand recommendations, you've already seen those, and I guess decided not to read them?
  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    TI or Chromes.
  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Banned

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    We don't know anything about your instrument, style of play, the material you play or what you're looking for tonally. If you can get a bit more specific send an email to Jason at bassstringsonline.com and ask him for some specific suggestion. He has a wealth of knowledge to share.

    Personally I would never put flats on a 6 string bass and you may find your choices more limited in that regard. One string you may want to consider is a pressure wound flat like the Ken Smith Compressors before going all the way to a regular flat. I use GHS Pressure Wounds on my Jazz Bass. Not as dark or muddy as flats not as bright as typical rounds and really more a variation on a round than a flat IMO. I really like what they do for the tonality of my bass.

    Like I suggested though. Send an email of to Jason and he can steer you towards a good choice.
  5. Sorry about that! I knew I forgot to put something (was on my phone when I posted this). No, I've read the brand suggestions, but what I meant by the question was for my situation (which I neglected to describe) and instead made myself come off as a moron :/.

    The instrument is a Brice HXB-406: Brice HXB-406 6-String Nat Bubinga at RondoMusic.com

    We play really drop tuned progressive metal (djent if you all know what that is). This type of stuff: Animals As Leaders - An Infinite Regression

    Tonally, im just experimenting. I currently use D'Addario ProSteels D'Addario Electric Bass ProSteels Super Long Scale 6-String, .030 - .130, EPS170-6SL. I've been following the flatwound threads as much as I can and am definitely interested to see how much it could change my tone. It'd be interesting to see how my current tone which is a subtle mid scoop with a little boost in my high end for articulation to just dead flat and muddy.
  6. enricogaletta


    May 21, 2011
    in my opinion I'm not crazy about flatwound strings, I'm using regular roundwound on fretless too, the difference in matter of tone between round and flat on fretless are not little.
    Cheers. Enrico
  7. I love my flatwonds, but don't use them for slap or pick, they sound terrible.
  8. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com

    Do you want a bright sounding flatwound? Or a deep dark thumpy sounding flat? That will make the difference as far as which brand and type you should go for.

    On the other hand, there are really only a few Flatwound makers that have a High C or Low-B available.

    Listed from Brightest to Darkest in tone:

    D'Addario Chromes
    Rotosound Monel Jazz Flatwound 77's
    Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats
    GHS Precision Flats
    LaBella Deep Talkin' Flatwound

    These go from bright and clear to deep dark and thumpy...
  9. I agree that flats on a 6 are not the norm. But I just put a set of Chromes on my 6 last week. It's an amazing tone- especially the B. The higher tension and smooth response of the Chromes produces a B that is tight, deep and powerful. I've never played anything like it. And the C string is smooth and rounded, not zingy like the rounds it replaced.

    I'm sure it's not for everyone, but at the moment I don't see moving back to rounds on my 6 any time soon.
    thabassmon likes this.
  10. AmadeusXeno


    Mar 8, 2011
    I've used to Rotosound flats on both of my 6 string Ibanez basses when I was in a progressive rock band. I played with fingers, a pic, and slap all depending on the song. Even got complaments from the guitar player who normally hates the sound of flats.
  11. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    Some manufacturers (D'addario for example) make a single high c flatwound which you have to buy in conjunction with a 5 string set.
  12. Thanks for all the help guys! I sent the guy at bass strings online a message. Waiting for a reply. In response to purchasing single strings, I assume I'd have to and that's perfectly fine with me :)
  13. Joospocks


    Jul 1, 2010
    For djenty stuff, I'd probably prefer a brighter, tighter sound. I don't think I'd use flats for that kind of music. But there's nothing wrong with trying them; you might like them. I liked d'addario chromes a lot when I tried them. (I love Animals As Leaders btw :) )
  14. Haha I'm loving the new album. Absolutely amazing music. Oh that's my current tone, bright, tight and punchy. Like I said, I'm just experimenting :). I'm definitely looking at chromes. I'm a huge D'Addario fan.
  15. funkyjudge

    funkyjudge Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2010
    Langhorne, PA, USA
    I agree with jmattbassplaya -- Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats (nickel flatwounds) are on my short scale Birdsong Cortobass, and I generally use D'Addario polished stainless XL Flats strung through the body on my P-Bass; however, I have been experimenting with using DR "Legend" stainless flats (.045 - .105 gauge) on my P-Bass, and I currently have these strings on my US-made Lakland 44-94. We (my wife is also a bassist) have a set of short-scale D'Addario Chromes on her classic Fender Musicmaster Bass (with an Aero pickup and strings-through-body bridge), and she just requested that I put a set of Super-Long Chrome Flats on her 5-string Ibanez SR Prestige 5-string.

    Can you tell that we are flatwound fans? :cool: We do have stainless rounwounds on ONE bass, and I go back-and-forth between nickel rounds and the DR Legend flats on my Lakland.

    By the way, somebody said that you should not use flatwounds for pickstyle playing -- I disagree; however, you need to use a brighter-sounding flat (like the D'Addario Chromes) ... and a felt-covered bass pick works best with the flatwounds if you want that classic Berry Oakley (Allman Bros.) tone when playing with the pick on flats.

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