Fretless Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by progplayer, Nov 8, 2001.

  1. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    What do u fretless players use?

    I'm looking for strings that will not wear the board as fast and give me that famous "mmwhaa" tone. Thanks for suggestions.

    I know every guy has told me so far "USE FLATWOUND ONLY!!!!!!!!!" Well ok then... but is this true? A guy I saw the other night told me he uses DR Sunbeams on his Pedulla Fretless (very very very nice, cry cry cry) and says he might take them off because he's afraid of wearing out his board. But they sounded awesome, hmmmm please suggest brand, thank u please!
  2. Pedulla fretless for me, with Ken Smith Compressors.

    They are not flatwounds but they are much smoother than roundwounds.
    A little hard to bend but the tone is nice.

  3. The Ken Smith's are very good strings, I used them for quite a while. The last time I put on new strings I tried Elixers: very nice also, but a little darker sounding than the Smith's.

    I have never used flat wounds.
  4. I've used tapewounds. Just bought a set of D'addario 1/2 rounds. Stainless over nickle over hex core. I've got to stick em on, and set up the carvin again. Season change around here has it a little outta whack.

    I did really like the GHS tapewounds. BIG strings, very very deep bass. Easy to move around on. I have no Idea what made me buy some different strings. I just wanted to try something snowboarding...

    well, maybe not exactly like snowboarding. But I did keep the GHS's just in case I wind up not liking the new strings.
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    GHS Pressurewounds on all my fretless basses.
  6. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Lakland Osborn flats do the job for me.
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    You don't HAVE to use flats- I do, but that's just me. Fingerboard wear is a consideration to make when using strings. Roundwounds will wear out the board faster than flast, but that's the tradeoff you make. I've heard nothing but good things about Thomastik-Infeld flatwounds; I plan on putting them on my bass when the current flats are done. I'm using Fender 9050's right now, but they aren't exactly "mwah" material. More like "thump". :D
  8. I've been using LaBella Slappers on mine for the past year. They have a nice tone & feel.
  9. I use roundwounds. Get the board sanded if it wears too much, no big deal. I heard a guy with D'Addario bright flats that sounded pretty much like a round wound.

    BTW, "mwhaa" depends more on setup than strings. I played roto swingbass for a while with a high action, no "mwhaa" unless I REALLY dug in.
  10. I've used a number of roundwounds on my fretless and they all have their "character". It really depends on the bass and what sound you want. I've been wanting to try the Thomastik Jazz strings on my fretless. I've tried their Powerbass strings on my fretted. They're designed to have even tension throught the range of the instrument and they "feel" different from any string I've ever used. I think they're probably the most "correct" string I've encountered. I've also found that when I take a set of almost dead Blue Steels off my fretted, they work really well on my fretless. Two basses outfitted for the price of one.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I use Ken Smith Burners NPS roundwounds on my Zon and DR Sunbeams on my Elrick. Wear is extreeeemely negligible on both basses.

    I've never had anything more than extreeeemely negligible wear on any fretless I've ever owned (or fretted for that matter) and I only use roundwounds, Nickel only for the last few years. I think playing with a light touch and using parallel vibrato might have something to do with it.
  12. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    Well i went with Roto Swing Bass roundwounds for my fretless. Tone is more important that saving the board. I usually play hard but with the fretless I'm trying to tone it down. The tone from these Roto strings is pretty good, hey aren't these the first bass strings ever??????
  13. rsautrey

    rsautrey Inactive

    Jul 27, 2000
    Rotosound supposedly manufactured the first stainless steel roundwound bass strings with the "british" gauges.
  14. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    The comment made by the Pedulla fretless player is curious, because DR claims that Sunbeams are "ideal for fretless bass." I generally use them on my fretless and don't find them to be particularly abrasive. I always go with the "middle ground" between rounds and flats--pressurewound, taperwound, or groundwound are some of the designations that manufacturers use, depending on which technique they use to flatten the winding a bit (squeezing, grinding, etc.). GHS Pressurewounds are worth a try. I'd say try the Sunbeams, which are perfect for fretless IMO. And another one worth trying is a set of SIT Silencers, which to my ears seem somewhat brighter than the GHS Pressurewounds but are much smoother than rounds. I just put a set of those on my Roscoe fretless and I like them very much. We'll see how much life I get out of them. But the Sunbeams are my fretless string of choice.
  15. Hey Copycat,

    Keith Roscoe just finished a bass for me and I've never used DR strings before. My Yamahas have been served well with Blue Steels due to the fact that I'm very tough on strings and that extra bit of brightness seems to outlast most other strings i've ever used. I also love the Thomastik Powerbass strings for feel and quality of tone, but they're a little shortlived for me. How long do DR strings "last" compared to Blue Steels? Seeing that a Roscoe seems to not need as much help in the brightness department, would you recommend the DR "hi-beams" for a fretted Roscoe?
  16. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    i havent yet changed the strings on my fretless bss sice i got it, it came with regular strings for a fretted bass and it is marking into my fretboard somehting terrible, but the sound is somehting else!!!

    i am unsure whenther to change to flatwounds and risk losing the tone but screw up my fretboard, or save the board and risk the tone,
    it is a dilllllllleeeeeeeeemmmmmmmmmaaaaaa:confused:
  17. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    I really say use the strings that give YOU the best tone. In the years to come just have the board "polished", its not that expensive I don't think. Tone is first.

    Besides a grinded down fretboard might even give you a cool fretless sound? who knows. I'm stickin to Rotosound Swing 66. Awesome tone on the warwick. Might even try sunbeams, don't ask me about that pedulla dood, he plays in a fusion band that plays at the local bar here in town. very good player but very arrogant. :rolleyes: oh well.
  18. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Elixirs wear less than nickels, and have a slightly less edgy tone right out of the box, though their tone does not change for a REALLY long time. I'm faithful since 1999 -- and I'm on only my second set! :cool:
  19. I had RotoSound Pressurewounds on my fretless and really liked them... except for 1 little point. I thought they had too much finger noise.

    I've since switched to Thomastik-Infield Jazz flats... now I'm in LOVE. These sound great... feel like silk under your fingers, and... well let's just say that I'm a convert!!!
  20. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I'm using the new Nano-web elixers on my fretless. they do seem a bit on the dark side but they don't seem to change tone with age. They also don't seem to agressive on the board. I got them at GC when they were on special for $20. I shoulda bought several sets.