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Half-round Shootout

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Soulbanana, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. Soulbanana


    May 7, 2004
    This has probably been covered in part, so I apologise in advance.

    I'm looking for a 5-string set for my fretless. It has an ebony board and 40DC+BTC electronics, alder core and walnut top. I'm not worried by fingerboard wear, but don't really like the clack of rounds when I dig in.

    I can't find any half-round 5s here in Perth, so I'd like your opinions on the following strings from Bassguitarstrings.us.

    D'addario Halfround Nickels
    SIT Silencers
    Roto Solo Bass
    Ken Smith Compressors
    Ken Smith Slick Rounds

    I don't really like heavy-guage strings. I want to hear the upper mid swirl on the fretless, hence not using flats. I also dig in a fair bit at times with some songs and would like strings with some punch but less clack. What would you guys reccomend?
  2. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    I used d'addario halfs on my fretess 6. Couldnt play it worth a damn but the strings were nice. To be honest, if you are playing a fretless, go for the fretless sound and look at flats.

    I honestly havent gotten a set yet, but on my wish list is a set of thomastic enfelds jazz flats. Supposedly they are the holy grail of strings. I used TI's on my fiddle and can vouch for the quality.
  3. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    "The fretless sound" doesn't have to be flats! Flats are great for the "thump", but roundwounds on a fretless sound superb and bring out the midrange for that MWAH much better than flatwounds. I've actually got Dean Markley Fretmasters on my fretless at the moment - these are roundwound strings that are burnished over the fingerboard section for smoother feel, reduced fingernoise and less fretwear. They work pretty well in these respects, sound really nice and seem to be lasting okay, but they were a bit pricey. I've got some Rotosound Solo bass to try next. In my view half rounds are a good compromise on a fretless if you like more mids and highs than flats give you but want to spare your fingerboard a bit of the grief that rounds can cause. That said, I used EB Slinky nickel rounds on my Yamaha fretless for 5 years with no signs of wear at all (steels may be different, though).
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    The following also comes to mind:

    1) DR Nickel Lo-Riders should also merit your consideration. Like Ken Smith Compressors, these are a "compression-wound" string, and are likewise considered a good choice for a modern fretless sound;

    2) There are in fact several hybrid string manufacturing techniques that falll into what's commonly known as the "groundwound" category - including actual ground-wound, compression-wound, pressure-wound, inverse-wound, and at least one or two others. Plus various combinations of these...

    Each type generates a subtly different hybrid tone. Happy experimenting...


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