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Flatwounds or Roundwounds on your fretless bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Jay Mastro, Jun 29, 2014.


  1. Jay Mastro

    Jay Mastro

    Jun 23, 2014
    New York
    Which do you use on your fretless bass? What brand are they? and what kind of bass are they on? Let me know, I'm very interested in what you have to say!
     
  2. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    SEPA
    maestrovert likes this.
  3. WillieB

    WillieB Battling Bass Guitar Bulimia since 1975 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    The last setup I tried was LaBella quarter rounds on a PJ pup config. Nice bit of brightness added over flats without
    worrying too much about wear on the lined ebony fingerboard.
     
    Jay Mastro likes this.
  4. Jay Mastro

    Jay Mastro

    Jun 23, 2014
    New York
    Fxpmusic and josiah goldfish like this.
  5. WillieB

    WillieB Battling Bass Guitar Bulimia since 1975 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    it is a nice list though JM
     
  6. Jay Mastro

    Jay Mastro

    Jun 23, 2014
    New York
    I would not doubt it Willie, it is just that this is the second of my posts he has commented on and every comment has become seemingly more condescending
     
  7. WillieB

    WillieB Battling Bass Guitar Bulimia since 1975 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    yeah ... I understand that ... what a pisser.
     
  8. Jay Mastro

    Jay Mastro

    Jun 23, 2014
    New York
    Plus, sometimes post's get old, people discover new strings in the meantime that they enjoy, opinions can be updated so I feel that post's should be updated aswell
     
    Timmah and josiah goldfish like this.
  9. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    My mexican jazz fretless with model J Dimarzios is incredibly picky about what will sound decent on it. TI flats, the seemingly holy grail, be all and end all of flats, sound gawdawfull on it, ECB 80 chrome flats sound decent, but I keep coming back to DR Sunbeams. To hell with fingerboard wear.
     
    Jay Mastro likes this.
  10. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Typically I'll use nickel round-wounds on my fretlesses, but I keep one P-bass (rosewood board) strung with Ernie Ball flats (light gauge) just to have another flavor and my fretless Rickenbacker is strung with TI flats to better preserve the finish on the board (although I also like the way they feel and sound on that bass).

    In most cases I prefer an unfinished board and use rounds regardless of whether the board is ebony, pau ferro or rosewood. I've always liked rounds with ebony in particular.

    I tried a set of Ken Smith Compressors on a fretless Stingray a while back and liked them enough to keep using them on that bass (pau ferrro board). I may try them on some other basses as well. They are more like rounds than flats and I like the way they feel and sound on a fretless. I'll probably try them on my Sabre next.

    I have never cared much for ground-wounds (half-rounds). I know they have a big fan base but, to me, they are the worst of both worlds. YMMV, of course! I've only ever played tape-wounds once or twice and I actually liked them more than I thought I would, but I haven't ever bought a set to try long-term. Just stuck on my nickel rounds, I guess.
     
  11. On my VMFJ I use rounds and on my Foundation FL I use an old coated set of Kaman performers Teflon strings.
     
  12. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    TI flats can sound pretty aggressive on a J-Bass, IMO. Much, much warmer tone from the Sunbeams, I'd imagine. Fingerboard wear is often disproportionately emphasized on TB, IMO. It takes a long, long time of very hard playing to ruin a board, and dressing it occasionally with 600 grit sandpaper can put off replacing it just about forever in most cases.

    Sunbeams get a lot of fretless love - with good reason! They're great sounding strings.
     
  13. Usually it's flats, but currently I am using D'Addario Tapewounds on my fretless. Initialy, I installed a set to complete the 'stealth' look, but took then off and installed Chromes. After I while, I kinda missed the tone of the tapes, and back on they went. The tapes are tonally flexible enough to thump or mwah when needed so I can dial in or out the amount of 'fretless-ness'.
    IMG_2321_zps69b9ab56.
     
  14. Funky-Wunky

    Funky-Wunky

    Jun 15, 2004
    Maryland
    I just use flats since rounds do wear away at the fingerboard.
     
  15. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    If you want real growl on any bass, you gotta have rounds. There's no two ways about it.
     
  16. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Whatever I use, I go for super duper low tension.
     
    fretlessguy likes this.
  17. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
  18. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    I am almost the exact opposite. I like the higher tension of a hex core, and do not like floppy low tension strings which is why I moved away from round cores. I like 40-45 pounds of tension. Nothing over 50. Be they rounds or flats.
     
  19. NeroJazz

    NeroJazz

    May 2, 2011
    Denmark
    I have Thomastik flat wounds on my fretless jazz. The low tension really adds to the dynamic expression of the bass and it is bright enough compared to other flat wounds.
    Oddly enough, I love the fretless tone others get when using rounds, but I can't stand it when I use them myself, so I've just stuck with my good friend Thomastik.
     
    sonicnuance likes this.
  20. CMPANDABASS

    CMPANDABASS The Moon Machine Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    I prefer flats on my fretless basses. I use Fender 9050 ML or GHS Precision flats. I like a thumpy darker sound with the option to get a little "brighter" if needed.
    I agree with NeroJazz 100% on the sound of rounds on a fretless, but I have tried them myself and always return to flats.
     

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