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JPJ - the old did he use flats or rounds thing.. Solved.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by miles'tone, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Yeah yeah that old topic.
    He says he always used Roto rounds whereas alot of us swear they sound like flats (on the early classics that is)

    Well, I just watched this old Dazed and Confused live vid again for the first time in a while and just noticed he's got the Fender foam mutes in place and on his strings.
    So yeah, he did use the rounds as he always says but muted enough to sound like flats. Just sayin'.

    Meanwhile, enjoy the vid. It's an oldie but a goody.


    * sorry if this has already been acknowledged as I did a search to see but there are SO many threads on this subject I may have missed it.
  2. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    I was listening to some old Zep and went no way are those rounds. But with mutes makes sense now. Thanks now I can sleep :)
  3. Except he said he used flats in like a '77 issue of guitar player IIRC.

    Awesome link BTW
  4. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    He also plucks way up by the neck which also reduces zing and twang from a round wound.
  5. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    You can watch "The Song Remains the Same" Zep film and see the familiar smooth gleaming reflection of flats onstage.
  6. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I don't recall JPJ ever saying he used flats. In every JPJ interview I read, he said he used Roto rounds on LZ albums.
  7. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    That may be true but I was referring to the early classics. Led Zep I & II in particular.
  8. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    That's because you have not read the interview in the 1977 (July I think but it's been almost 40 years) issue of Guitar Player Magazine. He said then that he used flats on his basses until he got the Alembic and realized that the flats weren't doing justice to the bass so he started using rounds then.

    Because that was so much closer to the time of the events, I'm going with that rather than his more recent comments about always using rounds.

  9. david fitch

    david fitch

    Feb 20, 2007
    John Paul Jones says himself he has an awful memory. I have read the Guitar Player interview....going on that (and my ears), I'm gonna say Flats on the Jazz he used for most of the early recordings....though I do believe his early P-Bass had Rounds.
  10. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    I think we need to ask his tech. They sure sound like flats, even with the mutes.
  11. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    This '77 Guitar Player interview is always brought up as the main argument against what JPJ actually says today.
    Does anyone have a link to it if it's online anywhere (tried searching for it myself) or a scan if you still have a copy?

    Would like to read it myself.
  12. Hold yall's horses... I'll go with what he (supposedly) said in the early interview.

    First off, muted rounds really don't sound quite like flats to me. IME, by the time you tame enough enough of the zing and clank, they sustain way less than flats... noticeably different sound.

    Second, (as was mentioned) numerous photos of him with the Jazz exhibit the distinct smooth, metallic sheen of flatwounds.

    Finally... I've endlessly noodled around on the first two albums along with the recordings with various strings (SS rounds, nickel plated rounds, tapes, numerous different flats)... LaBella flats NAIL the tone on 95% of the songs every single time. The only other strings that come close are (wait for it...) GHS flats.

  13. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    Nice call on the mutes. I've seen that video before, but missed the mutes.
    Makes sense, old rounds and mutes, would get close to flats.
    Early Zepplin, from that time frame were amazing.
  14. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sounds like flats to me.

  15. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Yes they do don't they.
    Never heard that in isolation before, thanks!
  16. Holy hell, what are you guys gonna bicker about when you finally figure out the true answer one day? (the true answer, in all liklihood, being that he used both at different times of his tenure with LZ).

    Personally, I think his bass was a hologram, and he was actually playing a 6-string Musicman Bongo with one triple-coil pickup, given to him in the 60's by time-travelling aliens. For that matter, ALL the musician's instruments were holograms: Jimmy used Misha Mansoor's custom Jackson 7-string (no time-travelling there... Jackson actually existed decades before most people think, and Jimmy passed it on to Misha), and Bonham played a Roland drum machine.

    Also, 9/11 was faked by Jewish chickens, and the first guy to land on the moon was actually a soldier on Normandy beach in 1944, who got hit by a really big-ass mortar. He didn't make it back to Earth though cause of the radiation.
  17. A lot of words and digression from what was an interesting thread...

  18. Good one... that's always been a telltale track for me. No way that's not flats.
  19. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    You know, changed my mind again after hearing that isolated track and checking out some '69/'70 photos on google (defo look like thick shiny flats)

    So, Roto flats and mutes in the beginning then probably?
    Later pics show the mutes removed but with thick shiny strings still (remember reading an interview somewhere where JPJ said he changed his strings every two weeks, so this would also mean no consistently dead rounds if this was true)

    And there was me saying this case was solved. :p

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