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I tried Flats but changed them after 2 days

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Thom Fioriglio, May 10, 2020.


  1. Hi all, just curious if others have had the same experience as me.

    Over the last several weeks, I've been thinking of putting flat wounds on my Fender P Bass. I did all the research, watched comparison videos, sound samples, etc. Got a set of Fender 9050s and put them on. Right away, a very different feel - tighter tension, obviously smoother feel (maybe too smooth). I liked that I was able to lower my action. I really wanted to like them but after 2 days I took them off and put my rounds back on. I missed the punch and the friction of the strings. I seem to have more control of the tone with the rounds, and if I want that flat sound can roll off the tone knob on my bass.

    Anyone else have the same experience? Should I give them another chance? There is part of me that says put them back on and give them a month.

    Thanks for any thoughts you share.

    Thom
     
  2. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    It is personal preference, since roundwound work well to you , don't waste your time and money to force yourself to love Flatwound.
     
  3. Flats are an acquired taste. It's either they work for you or they don't depending on your tonal goals and general expectations. I personally got into flats because I liked the smooth feel with no finger noise. But I eventually came to a realization they didn't meet my tonal goals. So, back to rounds/semi-rounds I go...

    I usually advise first-time flatwound users to stick with them at least for a few months before passing judgment, but based on what you said in your post, sounds like you may be better off sticking with rounds.
     
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    What gauge did you get? I see a lot of first-time flats users buying standard gauge when they should be trying light gauge. Otherwise, they're just distracted by how stiff they feel.
     
  5. 45-60-80-100. Lighter than my roundwounds which are 45-65-85-105
     
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  6. Thanks, that's been the advice I've been seeing, hence my post. I was thinking of giving them another go. I learned bass in the 80s when a lot of the music was that roundwound picked style though I do have an appreciation for classic rock, Duck Dunn and blues.
     
  7. CallMeAl

    CallMeAl

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I tried Chromes maybe 6-8 months ago, and I did like the different feel and sound. But they didn’t last long, I soon went back to rounds. I realized I was trying to replace the rounds...

    Just last week I got a new set of the very same 9050s, along with some GHS Pressurewounds. I put the flats on my P, and the PWs on my PJ. I’ll tell ya I’m loving these flats, but I’m Loving the PWs just as much. But the big thing is my shift in perspective: enjoying each string for what it is, instead of trying to be “a flats guy.”

    my 2¢, if you only have the one bass, I wouldn’t force myself into something I wasn’t digging.

    But before you take em off, maybe play with the EQ. Try adding a little mids and/or (a touch of) OD, you’ll give them a little more cut/punch/growl... (you may not be playing live, but this thread has a lot of content on EQ with flats vs rounds)

    Flats and playing live
     
  8. CallMeAl

    CallMeAl

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    For Example:

     
    Rip Van Dan likes this.
  9. Samatza

    Samatza

    Apr 15, 2019
    Australia
    I've had a similar experience with flats. They really work on my Hofner so they live on that permanently. On my P Bass I sort of have a on and off requirement for them. If I'm doing a gig where the tubbier flatwound sound is going to work I put them on but most of the time I prefer the pure nickel strings for what I do.

    I think it depends on your specific requirements, for most stuff I do I found that the flats don't really have enough cut and my EQ gets a little weird. For some quieter gigs though they work a treat, now I wish I had two P Basses...
     
    Steve York and Thom Fioriglio like this.
  10. Lowend65

    Lowend65 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    IMHO Roundwounds are more useful in most instances, which is why they are so much more common.
    For me, flatwound strings are a tool for a specific sound/feel. The good news is that sound is not hard to produce. I actually keep a cheap P-Bass with flats just for times I need that flatwound sound.

    If we are talking fretless bass, that's a different ballgame... although in the last few years I've moved away from flats and to D'Adarrio tape wounds with outstanding results
     
  11. Thanks for the suggestions about EQ. I think that is part of the problem. I finally got the EQ sorted out with the roundwounds to where I want it and know what to tweak if needed. With the flats, its like starting over with the EQ.
     
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  12. LexD

    LexD

    Aug 17, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: D'Ambrosio Guitars
    Like em on my Pbass, dislike em on my Jazz bass.
     
  13. I've had several fretless basses over the years, and preferred the flats on them. No longer own one and its been years. I think with the rounds, its easier to get a flats tone than vice versa.
     
  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I also tried flats, but changed them after two weeks.

    Did that three times.

    I’m addicted to that roundwound bite!!
     
    Low Crow, JRA, scuzzy and 3 others like this.
  15. Yeah, something about the punch that just feels so right.
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  16. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Play what you like. I prefer rounds over flats myself as well.
     
    Low Crow and scuzzy like this.
  17. Liam Wald

    Liam Wald Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    California Coast
    Fender 9050's are pretty cheap. Like around 20 bucks. So that isn't all that much money to spend to try something.
    Personally I like 9050's. First time I tried them it took a couple of weeks to get used to them. I also found that using a bit of FAST FRET made them feel better at first. I have them on my '77 Jazz Bass. They are about two years old and feel great. You might want to give it a little more time.
     
    Thom Fioriglio likes this.
  18. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I really love LaBella LTF's on my P-5 Pro. 80% of my set-list sounds fantastic with them but the other 20% is a big problem. Just not enough zing for some tunes. Think "Twilight Zone" by Golden earring. Show me some flats that can work for that song and I'll be sold. Until then I use these: (Best Rounds on the planet IMO)
    ivsincmgvyo7pny4d3wq.jpg
     
    Zooberwerx and Thom Fioriglio like this.
  19. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Two days is about how long rounds last when I give them another try on one of my basses.

    The closest thing I have to rounds are SIT Silencers (compression rounds) which have survived only because I have them on an acoustic bass strung BEAD. I use BEAD tuning on everything and needed the skinny strings on the AEB because the bridge is of course not adjustable. It's the skinniest BEAD set on the market which makes it great for anyone wanting to try BEAD without adjusting the setup.
     
    Ross McLochness and Bass Blender like this.
  20. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    They suck
     
    db59 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 11, 2021

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