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Fretless string question....

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by David Harrell, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. I just got a Brice HXB fretless 6-string. It has a rosewood board on it, and I'm not getting a bad sound out of it with the stock strings.

    I would really love to get more punch out of it though, and retain as much mwah as I can. The tone Scott B. gets on McCain's "honor among theives" album would rock, and is really what I'm looking for.

    Problem is, I have no experience with flatwounds whatsoever (well, other than these stock strings..and I do like the feel). The board is uncoated, and I'm a little scared of putting rounds on it. I'm running through a GK 800RB, and a Peavey floor ported 4X10....

    Any ideas? What do you fretless guys use on your uncoated rosewood boards?
  2. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    D'Addario XL's (nickel round wounds).
  3. I have a Rebop 5 w/DR Black Beauties(low B). I've tried flats & half-rounds, but neither sounded as good as these, although they were on different basses. I'm hoping the coating protects the uncoated rosewood fingerboard. I just put on the second set of strings, & the board is a bit scratched, but not bad. I think to get the ever-elusive(for me)mwah, you have to put up w/some wear/maintenence issues. I'm very interested in coated boards, though. I played a Pedulla Pentabuzz a few weeks back- bad mistake, & if you're happy w/your bass, I suggest you DO NOT TOUCH a Pedulla fretless. If you're like me, you'll want one BAD.
  4. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    I've tried various round-wounds on a custom made fretless with ebony fingerboard, DR's, D"Addario's (and also their Chromes flatwounds), and others, with no satisfaction. Then I tried a set of Thomastik-Infeld's Jazz Flats about a year ago, and have been quite satisfied with them. They have a little more presence than the Chromes and I like the lighter guage of the Flats; even have a little growl on the E and A compared to the Chromes. Very nice. I had switched from passive to active EMG-P pickups about two years ago and with the addition of the TI Jazz Flats, I've decided this setup will do me for the foreseeable future. At least until I get the itch to try something new.
  5. I have DA EXL-220 rounds on my uncoated rosewood fretless, and they are starting to leave marks in the board. This will be normal wear and tear, if you want to run rounds.
  6. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I highly recommend TI Flats for fretless....easy on the board, easy on the hands, and killer tone!
  7. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Me? I use DR Hi-beams on my fretless.

    Sure, it murders the fingerboard... but at least it sounds good.
  8. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    D'addario XL Nickels on an uncoated but treated board (Watco Teak Oil) - I highly recommend this to people don't want the overly high-end sound that poly coating can give but desire a "stabilizing force" that will help resist the wear that roundwounds produce.
  9. What kind of finish does the teak oil produce?
  10. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    None that I can tell apart from a slight darkening of the fretboard and perhaps some "filling in" of some of the minor pores in the wood... but not like a coating of poly, this is much more a "natural" feel. I'm so impressed with the results (since I did a successful home-defret I've been practicing fretless at least two hours a day for about 3 months now and have quite literally no marks or grooves* of any type) that I'm going to oil all of my boards, fretless or not, during their next string change.

    For just over $5 for an pint which will last years, this many very well be the best choice I've made on a cost/improvement ratio.

    *That being said, I have made the concession and switched to nickels on fretless as opposed to my usual steels. Great results are one thing, tempting fate is another. :smug:
  11. Hear ya loud and clear. The only thing that kept me from walking out of Guitar Center with the Pentabuzz under my arm was cash flow, and a committed and disciplined restraint from selling my dogs and kid.

    Whaddaya mean that's sad - they got no mwaah! :D