Longtime flatwound users who went to the other side

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by carolonbass, May 16, 2017.

  1. carolonbass


    May 14, 2017
    I would like to hear your story and what strings did it for you?
  2. Well I was a long time round wound user who went back to flats recently if that helps.:roflmao:
    Kukulkan61 and carolonbass like this.
  3. carolonbass


    May 14, 2017
    Thats what I think will happen to me as well :)
    I started on flatwounds and always get questioned about it, rounds they say are the right way. :p
  4. You always hear that round wounds cut through better, I think it's the opposite, flats occupy a space all of their own unlike round wounds which can compete with the same frequency space as guitars driving the volume up in a band situation, since I've switched back to flats (Labella Deep Talkin' flats in my case) the band loves them and the volume wars have practically disappeared. When i play now in a band people can clearly hear the bass and I get a lot of compliments on the sound of them. The leader of my band at first kind of sneared at them but he changed his tune quickly after a couple of gigs. I still have one bass with round wounds on it but almost always use the ones with flatwounds on them.
    petrus61 and Wfrance3 like this.
  5. carolonbass


    May 14, 2017
    I'm having the same issue, Bandmates asked me to try rounds on my ATK300 but then I felt Like I was lost in the mix.
    When I plug in my bass with the GHS flatwounds I feel right at home.
  6. There is or was a lot of prejudice about flatwounds, you gotta remember amps weren't what they are nowadays when flats ruled so most amps were muddy back then or too soft, when I started they were the only strings available and round wounds came on the scene and everyone includind me had to have them, I used them for so long I forgot how good flats sound and I think a lot of people are the same nowadays. there are as clear as a bell with a good bass and amp. Round wounds came on the scene around the same time as the first really good amps became available during the early 70's.
    carolonbass likes this.
  7. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    For several years I had flats on my 4 band stingray to tame its aggresiveness, and of course flats on my P bass. However in certain rooms I just couldn't get the clarity or articulation I wanted, so it's back to rounds(broken in of course) My current favorites are DR Lo-riders....sound great once the newness wears off, nice mid bump and the higher tension I was used to with flats.
    armybass and carolonbass like this.
  8. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I went in the opposite direction, rounds to flats...
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    Don't get me wrong, I still love flats on a P bass....problem is I only have 1 P bass and hate constantly switching back and forth. Guess I'll have to grab me another P at some point.
    armybass, bobyoung53 and carolonbass like this.
  10. I sometimes miss roundwounds when I slap or play melodies in higher registers - this is part of my style, but still the advantages of flats outweigh their disadvantages. I could imagine to bring another bass to gigs with rounds - if I wouldn't be as lazy as I am. But as long as I just bring one bass to gigs it will be one with flats. The bass universum is flat not round.
  11. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    From Round/halfround to Flat ,then back to round , later 1 round 1 flat, and now return to Low tension flat.
    Nothing wrong with the round, just i prefer the feel of low tension flatwound .
    armybass likes this.
  12. Radio


    Jan 8, 2010
    New Haven, CT
    That's what I did, although I have been taking the P With flats and my J with rounds to the last two gigs, trying different sounds.
    armybass likes this.
  13. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1 Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I have used flats for the last 7-8 years. I just started using rounds again. I went with TI jazz rounds. They sound great after they are broken in. Not too bright, very middy, and not abrasive on the fingers. I don't like any other rounds I have tried.
  14. I started out with nickel rounds like most people do just for the fact that's what came on new Fender basses from the factory. My first bass was a 2006 MIM P bass purchased in the spring of 2007. Six months later, when it was time for a new set of strings, I decided to try this "flatwound" thing (D'Addario Chromes). I was instantly hooked! I couldn't believe how smooth they felt compared to rounds; I could slide around all over up and down the neck with no finger noise! That P bass was eventually handed over to my son, who ended up playing it for three years for the high school jazz band with the same set of Chromes.

    I liked how that P bass sounded with those flats so much I decided to have my brand new 2008 Fender Jazz bass set up with a set of Chromes (ECB84) when I purchased it in the summer of 2009. Those Chromes stayed on that bass for the next four years as I was learning to be a bassist for the first time in my life in my early 50's, just having come out of a 20-year musical hiatus after being a singer/guitarist in my younger days.

    I started playing more actively as a church bassist in the summer of 2013 and that's when my "string journey" began. After numerous "experiments" and "test drives" with various makes and types of strings, I finally settled on the GHS Pressurewound ML7200 as my current go-to strings.

    As of this July, I will have come a full circle as my P bass (2014 Am Std) will wear a set of nickel rounds (GHS Boomers), while the Pressurewounds will stay on my J bass. Meanwhile, I'm looking to purchase a third bass so I can have at least one bass with flats, but only as a "specialty bass".

    One important lesson my 4-yr journey has taught me is what feels good to play on (flats) isn't necessarily what helps me achieve my tonal goals (rounds/pressurewounds). I guess I've matured a little bit as a bassist as I've learned to put my tonal goals first ahead of my "feel good" goals.
    carolonbass likes this.
  15. I really love the flatwound sound but hate the price. Being a money-stressed student is what really clinched it for me. Actually the specific moment that got me was snapping my G-string on a nearly new $80+ set. So yeah, I've gone back to $20-30 sets for now. Flatwounds really are great for mellowing an overly trebly, bright bass though.
  16. I'll use flats for awhile...then go back to rounds...then go back to flats...then go back to rounds..then go back to flats...then go back to rounds..

    One day I'll make up my mind.
  17. Don't make up your mind. Variety is the spice of life. Use both....;)
    ZenG likes this.
  18. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    when I have only one bass, I choose flats. when I have two or more, one has rounds, but usually is the one who won't get used much, and doesn't gig a lot.

    it all depends on the player's needs: I play in bands where the bass plays "the bass", even when I play with a pick, and I need the smoother and "sit in the mix" sound I easilly get from flatwounds.

    the few slapping parts I sometimes insert in some songs are usually only "pops" and no thumb, and I prefer the "upright vibe" I get popping flats.

    every time I take a bass with rounds to reharsals or gigs, I have problems in the mix, I have too much highs, few low-mids and too much lows, I can't just "sit in the mix", and when the bass is alone or leading the groove, it's too harsh, and fights with the guitar/s.

    however, to re-catch the topic title, I had a "bad period" a couple of years ago, in which I totally switched from flats to rounds :D
    since 2010 I've mainly used flats, as explained in the beginning, and kept using them in every band without any issue. I started from Chromes, went through Thomastik and then reached the Labella Jamerson (yes, different gauges :p ) to find my peace.
    then came an anexpected gig with a band in which I felt rounds would sound better, so I bought a set of DR Hi Beams... it was like I've always loved rounds, but forgot about it! it was in the summer of 2014, and since then, I started using only rounds for a while, and fell in a pit of high frequencies, used my P basses with different rounds, slapped the hell out of them, even bought an Ibanez EDB550 to have a "modern" sound (the kind of bass you can only use with nickels, or you get your ears cut by steel harshness!).

    however, although I was loving the roundowund sound, I was never happy with the strings, changing brands and gauges every time until I decided I had to retry flats...

    bought a set of Jamerson's and since December 2016, I'm still with them, and regained my peace of mind.
    Luckydog likes this.
  19. I'm confident flats give more definition for fast note lines. Rounds definitely have more sustain, more "ping" that is nice too. Flats sound less mushy and blurred for me, so flats for me.
  20. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Pier, you have restored my faith! I followed much of your string journey with interest, because you seem to be very thorough in your assessments, and dont simply relate the joys of the new "string of the day". You do very detailed reviews of what I believe are most of the critical aspects of string performance, and you do them in practical situations where those details matter most. And, very importantly, you give strings some time to be played, so that you are not giving opinions based only upon early thoughts. Nice work, and I hope you will give us some of your insight on your experience with the Jamersons, and how you relate them to the 760FL set.
  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.

    Jun 20, 2021

Share This Page