Fretless... flatwounds vs pressurewounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Jon R, Oct 19, 2001.

  1. Of course I use flatwounds... doesn't everybody?

    28 vote(s)
  2. I use pressurewounds all the time...

    7 vote(s)
  3. Makes no difference to me... I'll use either if it's cheap!

    0 vote(s)
  4. I use roundwounds... fingerboards are replaceable.

    16 vote(s)
  1. OK... so now I understand the difference between flatwound and pressurewound, but what do you use? And more specifically, WHY? :confused:

    I really like the sound from my RotoSound Pressurewounds, but will I need to change to flats for the longevity of my fingerboard?

    Once again, Thanx!
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I don't really play fretless much, probably because I don't have a decent fretless, but I really like Fender 9050 flats. What I like about them is that they give a very string-bassish sound, with good sustain and depth. These would not be the string to use if you are looking for the Jaco/Bunny/Dann sound, as they don't have the required brightness. I don't know much about fretboard wear, except that pressurewounds will give you less than roundwounds, and half-rounds will give you less than pressurewounds, and so on.
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I wouldn't worry about pressurewounds harming your fingerboard. Wear is going to be rather minor compared to roundwounds.
  4. tried a set of didarrio half rounds on my fretless, didnt like them at all, felt too "sticky", not smooth at all. Someone told me that pressure wounds are simmilar to halfs, so i have not tried them, becausei dont want to spend another 50 bux and not like them. Went back to diddario chrome flats, really like sound and feel of those, but when it is time to replace them i think i will get a set of ti flats.
  5. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    I used to use GHS Pressurewounds exclusively on my fretless basses. They have great brilliance, almost like a roundwound, but a bit more subdued. They also give you the same mwah factor as rounds if the bass is set up right. I had an aversion to true flats for a while, but I got a set of Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Bass flats a while back and I'm in love with these things. They really added a ton more body to my sound and are incredibly full feeling overall. Right now I could flip a coin as to which I'd use. I like them both equally, but for straightahead jazz I tend to like using the bass with the flats. I still sound the same with either bass, so it's whatever I feel like playing at the time.

    Definitely check out the TI's if you want some awesome flats with a very punchy, rich sound that still has some great high-end detail.
  6. Thanx for the input... I may have to try a set of TI flats before I decide what I'm going to use long term.

    Kind of suprised by the limited number of replys... is that because there aren't that many fretless players around?
  7. Joe_Atlanta

    Joe_Atlanta Guest

    Sep 13, 2001
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Maybe round wound players have been put off by not being listed in the title of the thread? ;)

    For years I used Roto swingbass, switched to a groundwound when I was doing just r&b and country, then to D'Ad XL chrome rounds. Having just a p type pickup in my old fretless, the bite of rounds help give me a more versatile sound.
  8. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    I've tried 'em all on my fretless, and here are two other names you might want to try. DR Sunbeams are ideal for fretless--I personally like them better than the GHS Pressurewounds, which I used for a long time. And I just got a set of SIT Silencers, which claim to offer roundwound brilliance in a smooth string that's great for fretless, too. Haven't tried them yet, though. They'll be a backup to the DRs. But as long as you're not using roundwounds, you should be fine. Half round, groundwound, pressurewound--they're all much kinder to your board than rounds would be. Plus it depends on the wood, too. Composites will be hardest of all, ebony is very hard, rosewood/pau ferro is not as hard and might need a little more oversight. But you can always have a board dressed, so use what sounds and feels right to you.
  9. I like my TI Flats. I originally switched because they're easier on my fingerboard, but now I like them for their sound more. Even if fingerboard wear wasn't an issue, I'd keep my flats.
  10. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I like the tapewounds on my 5 string, but I think I'll try the TIs at some point on my 6 string (which currently has flats on it). On my fretted (4 string), I like rounds.
  11. I've tried flatwounds and pressurewounds on both my fretless basses and I just couldn't get the sound I was looking for. I am now using Lakland Nickel/Roundwounds on my 55-94 and it get's that fat 'mwah' I like. I don't use my fretless nearly as much as my fretted so I figured it will still be awhile before I have to replace the fretboard. Getting it sanded on occasion isn't a big deal.
  12. I've always used stainless rounds on my fretless basses. I coat the board and keep up with the wear.... so I didn't vote


    I've recently "come out of the closet".

    I can look y'all in the eyes and say "I LOVE FLATWOUND STRINGS!"
    (I'm sending a MO order to Dude for a set of TI Jazz flats next week)
  13. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I use LaBella tapewounds on my 4- and 5-string fretlesses; a little more high end than regular flats. I used to use Rotosound rounds, which did wear the board, especially rosewood. I prefer the flat or tape sound better anyway. I tried groundwounds, but it seemed like the worst of both worlds to me: they weren't as fat or as smooth-feeling as flats, and not as bright as rounds.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've always used roundwounds on my fretlesses and have never had to have any work on my boards. Wear is not a given. I play with low action and slap and pop on most of my fretlesses in addition to fingerstyle.

    I've tried all manner of half round, ground wound, pressure wound, flat wound, etc. none of them sound like roundwounds. If you can't figure out how to play without damaging your board, I guess these other compromises may be in order. No thanks for me.
  15. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck Guest

    Sep 26, 2000
    I've played with roundwounds on my fretless for two years, and haven't seen a bit of wear. If I ever do see any, though, it's a MIM Jazz. I'm not that worried. Those Moses graphite necks look pretty keen...
  16. gruffpuppy

    gruffpuppy Guest

    Aug 15, 2000
    In your basement.
    I have had Ken Smith roundwounds on my Pedulla Buzz for about 15 years. Fingerboard still looks fine.
  17. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    D'Addario Chromes all the way. Use them on both my fretless and my fretted. Great mwah sound with plenty of thumpy lows and smooth (but not harsh at all, almost dulled in a sense) highs. And they last forever too!
  18. Plus

    Plus Guest

    I'm currently using ground wounds on my fretless. It's an unfinished pao ferro board.
  19. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    I use Rotosound swings, but i find them somewhat "Buzzy" on a epoxy coated fingerboard. I'm gonna try some TI Jazz Rounds next.

  20. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Guest

    May 28, 2003
    I'm from Venus.

    John, I'm fortunate enough to have several basses.

    I use TI flats on a couple of basses, my 66 P bass and my 83 P fretless.

    I also use the TI power bass series on my 67 jazz different strings for different tones/styles I play.

    I will continue to use the Thomastik brand because, their life is long and they are easier on my frets/boards!