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Looking for that flatwound thumpy low end that can still have the rasp of a roundwound.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Collin Bass, Sep 9, 2020.


  1. I've had flatwounds on a starcaster (semi hollow) and on a map bass (chambered) but not yet in a p bass. On the others they gave me the sound I was going for at the time, but I've always still had something strung with round wounds. Now, I love the attack of the round wounds on my p base, but it's the only bass I have now, so I don't really want to keep restringing it. I like that little bit of rasp I can get playing a little harder with rounds but could never get that from the flat wounds. I love James Jamerson and Donald Dunn and Cake for that matter... Which are flats on a pbass, but was also wondering how to keep some of that round wound mid punch and rasp which in my previous experience was still kind of needed in a band setting if I wanted to cut through the mix. I have no experience with tapewounds. I like the rounds, just looking for extra thud. Thoughts?
     
  2. Keep the rounds. Use neck pickup, roll off the tone, pluck close to the fingerboard with your fingers/thumb = thump low end!

    And adjust your amp for more bass and less mids & treble.
     
  3. tindrum

    tindrum

    May 2, 2007
    Suffolk, VA
    I would suggest Ernie Ball Cobalt flats. Very close to a round wound tone but still with the characteristics of flats.
     
  4. 4stringfarley

    4stringfarley Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2015
    Cajun Country
    D'Adarrio Chromes, Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats, GHS Pressure wounds. Also, DR low rider nickles are very smooth feeling, still raspy. Its what I use on a few of my more aggressive sounding fretted basses.
     
  5. I play all over the bass. Edge of the fretboard, over the neck PU, over the Bridge PU, and have played with my settings. Lots of variance, but still not quite what I am looking for. Thanks though.
     
    dkelley likes this.
  6. I think I may have to give those a try.
     
    petch, tindrum, Novarocker and 3 others like this.
  7. Lots of options, thanks. Will give those a try.
     
  8. Still open to suggestions however.
     
  9. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    TI Jazz flats are the closest i've got to that tone in a flatwound, never tried Cobalts as i have heard many accounts of them eating peoples frets
     
    Collin Bass likes this.
  10. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    The Cobalt rounds are like files, but the flats don't feel harsh - at least when I tried them. I hate, hate, hate Cobalt round, but liked the flats.
     
  11. slagbass

    slagbass Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Canada
    Have you tried putting a piece of foam under the strings near the bridge? Not sure if it will give you exactly what you want but it's inexpensive and easy to do.
     
    notJaco and REV like this.
  12. BobKos

    BobKos Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    I think the EB Cobalt Flat is good advice. I think of them as flats with an attitude. Not sure what the fret eating reference is all about. I have them on my EBMM Reflex for years with no damage.
     
    tindrum likes this.
  13. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    As Slagbass has said, a piece of foam under the strings placed right in front of the bridge may give you the effect you are after. You can experiment with different types of foam and different widths. I always carry a few pieces of foam in my case just for this purpose. If you are using a cover over your bridge you can place the foam in there so that it's over the strings. This is the method that Carol Kaye prefers.
     
    JES, notJaco and RocknRay like this.
  14. inthevelvet

    inthevelvet Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    Washington DC
    The Labella White Tapes might be worth trying. I liked them for this type of application.
     
    Tony In Philly and woodyng2 like this.
  15. bassfootballguy

    bassfootballguy Spectacularly Average Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    A small, small town
    +1 on the EB Cobalt Flats. I have them on my J bass and they snap and zing when I want it and thump when I want that.
     
    bassrique and Collin Bass like this.
  16. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    strings might be the answer, but palm muting on roundwounds will get you that thump.
     
  17. Thegrandwazoo

    Thegrandwazoo Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    West Virginia
    GHS Pressurewounds all the way. They're faster and better-feeling to most players to boot. They're my go-to for most electric bass applications. Less zing and sizzle than most rounds, very deep and powerful-sounding, virtually zero fret or finger noise, but you can still get a lot of classic roundwound stank out of them if you want to. They seem to be a higher-output string, too, with very long life if you keep them clean. Oh, and they even produce a good slap tone on most non-p-type basses I've played them on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
    ancjr, armybass, FFFH242 and 12 others like this.
  18. Fender 9050s are also pretty bright. I would say more so than Chromes.
     
    ancjr, lark_z and Kevin Teed like this.
  19. Mvilmany

    Mvilmany

    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Chromes have a lot of presence. They work well for just about everything except slap.
     
  20. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    I think that was in reference to the Cobalt rounds, not the flats.
     
  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 12, 2021

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