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Half Wounds...seems like few people use 'em

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Powman, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Powman


    Apr 28, 2009
    I recently changed all my gear. Upgraded to a MM Sterling and a Markbass CMD 112H all in a period of 4 weeks. My wife is gonna kill me when she figures this out:(

    Anyhow, I am always torn about the type of strings I use. Sometimes, I like the agressive tone that rounds give me, but hate the finger noise. I mean I REALLY hate finger noise.

    I LOVE the smooth sound of flats for some songs, but sometimes I feel they lack clarity.

    So...I tried halfwounds. I am really liking them. They still have clarity but a significant reduction in finger noise. I think they are the perfect all-round string. But it seems so few people use them. And not everybody makes them.

    Why is that? Do you know something I don't? Or should more people give half-wounds a try??
  2. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    D'Addario Half Rounds will be the next string I try.

    What are you using?
  3. markseb1


    Jul 11, 2007
    +1 for D'Addario half rounds
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I'm with you Powman! IMHO the 1/4lb P-bass pick up was made for ground round strings. I absolutely love the tone of my P-bass! It's been wearing the same set of strings since last February, and they just keep getting better!

    So, what is your ground round / half round of choice? I dig GHS Brite Flats myself....
  5. I recently fell in love with using Ken Smith Slick Rounds. I always was looking for the lows to be low and the highs to be high and these strings do it greatly. I've got them on my SX 5string and my Graphite guitar systems 5 string. I don't get why half rounds aren't more popular, so maybe it will just be our little secret how awesome they can be.
  6. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I've been using Elixirs on my Sterlings for years. Great tone,and no finger noise.
  7. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I think that "Finger Noise" is a matter of practice. I have a *vague* memory of finding it annoying, but I started on roundwounds back in the early '80s, so I just learned out to play without the noise. I did try half-rounds, tape-wounds, ground-wounds... They all sounded like mud to me. To my ears, putting anything but rounds on a Sterling would be a crime...

    I say stick with the rounds and woodshed a bit. You'll be fine.
  8. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    I've been into GHS Pressurewounds.
    Not to bright, but still has good thump.
  9. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    IME it's not about technique, or "finger noise". The tone you get out of a ground wound string is just freaking awesome!! (IMO) Rounds for my Ric, certainly, but on a P-Bass?? Blech! Gimme the Brite Flats man!!
  10. Yep,I'm going back to GHS Brite Flats on my fretless Jazz bass.

    I tried regular GHS Precision flats for awhile but found them too dark.The Brite Flats gave me more openness in the tone and still didnt mess up my fretboard.

    Now all I have to do is find some.You'd think in a metropolitan area of over 5 million...... :rollno:
  11. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
  12. I have D'Addario half rounds on my Peavey Fury. I love the smooth feel. It really cops that Old School tone, very mellow. For my Yamaha BB bass I use DR Sunbeams to get the best of both worlds. Finger noise is a problem, I roll off the treble to reduce it a little. I may try Brite Flats next.
  13. Powman


    Apr 28, 2009
    I agree...its not just finger noise. I want my bass to sound like a bass, not a guitar. But I find many flatwounds great for R&B, Classic Rock, but not bright enough for all genre's.

    Seems like the half-rounds are the perfect string. With round wounds I was rolling off all the highs. There was no room left for fine-tuning. But with half rounds, I can add some highs, or take away, depending on what I am doing.

    The only half-wounds or ground wounds my local stores carry are the D'Addario. But this is a good brand, are they not? I use the 45-100. String tension is a just bit higher than with round wounds but not much.
  14. Powman


    Apr 28, 2009
    Sunbeams are a half round? I didn't know that...

    Who makes Brite Flats?
  15. ^ GHS
  16. No the Sunbeams are round wound. Sorry if I did not make that clear. That's why I mentioned the finger noise. GHS makes Brite Flats.
  17. Powman


    Apr 28, 2009
    What do you think of the Ernie Ball Flats?
  18. I have been using the D'ads half rounds for a few years now; just put some on a fretless Jazz and I think they're great. Got tired of flats pretty quickly.
  19. Powman


    Apr 28, 2009
    So I played with my gear last night for about 2 hours...trying out different settings etc.

    Recall I have the Markbass CMD 121H and a MM Sterling 4 string maple fretboard 1 Humbucker.

    Set low and 2 mid eq's at 12 oclock. Before I had to really roll off the highs on both the bass and the amp. Now highs are set to about 9 o'clock on the amp. On the bass, I can raise the highs a bit whereas before they where completely rolled off.

    Lots of flexibility in my tone now that I half the halfwounds. I can even do a bit of slapping with these strings. Not that I do that much slapping, but it still possible. Or I can use the VLE control and make it sound more Motown.

    Well, I am convinced that halfwounds make a great all round string.
  20. As I'vre written in other threads, I would rather play a bass with only one rusty flat than play with a sparkly new set of grounds.

    I find, personally, that grounds are uncomfortably rough as compared to flats, more finger-grindy than rounds, and they have the combined worst tonal characteristics (IMHE) of rounds and flats, without any of the benefits. I can't stand 'em.

    However - to each their own! Whatever you like is what you should play, and while I will give my opinion and my advice when asked, far be it from me to tell anybody else what or how they ought to play!

    (I was using D'Addario grounds when I formulated this opinion, BTW.)

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