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Mixing string types on 8/12 string basses.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Will_White, Sep 26, 2018.


  1. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Does anybody have any experience with mixing flat wound fundamentals with round wound octaves?
     
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    I can't find it, but there was a thread a while back about doing that. Whomever started it was after the separation of tone it gave them. Wanted to sound more like two separate instruments.

    It makes sense. All it will cost you to find out is a set of strings and a little setup fine tuning. Go for it.
     
  3. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Nevermind what others think, you only know if you like it by trying.
     
  4. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I remember that thread and I couldn't find it again either. I was hoping to get a general idea of how it works, and what others experience with it were. If Jason gets Bass Strings Online back up and running in time it will be pretty easy to try. It's an unorthodox instrument I'm building so I can't just get a standard long scale set of strings.
     
  5. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    Don't think I started that thread, but I do have an 8-string with TI Jazz flats as root strings, half a D'Addario set of 8-strings for the octaves — so rounds (and a plain).

    But TI is not your typical flat. Been meaning to try it with some GHS flats.

    Never thought about having it sound like two instruments, although I did try bi-amping it one time using an FEA dual-band compressor through the usual bass amp as well as a guitar amp for the highs. I liked it.
     
  6. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    How do the flats and rounds compare to just the rounds?
     
  7. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    Don't think I've ever tried it with all rounds. :)

    I like flats anyway, so my thinking is that the octave string provides plenty of harmonics, don't need a bright roundwound root string adding even more. After all, I am still the bass player and still want it to sound like a bass.

    In a band environment, I don't think you could tell if half the strings were flats or rounds.
     
    Will_White likes this.
  8. RodRy

    RodRy

    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I've been thinking of a flat/round 8-string set myself. I looked into D'Addario's string tension guide and found that I can mix and match strings with them to get a very low-tension 8 string set. I put together a set with flats, and a set with all rounds. Now I just need an 8-string bass to try them out on!

    Abner, do you have any sound/video clips of this bass? I'd love to hear it.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  9. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    I'm afraid I don't, and I don't get to play it as much since adding a second guitarist to the band. :(
     
  10. RodRy

    RodRy

    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Here's your chance to get it out! You don't need a new song and performance like Miguel Falcão's New Pictures, just a quick clip of how it sounds, how you've got it set up, and how you like to play it. I'm just curious about your bass, strings, and tone.
    You can do it! :-D
     
  11. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    I'll see what I can do. But don't hold your breath... ;)
     
  12. RodRy

    RodRy

    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    OK, updates! ;-D
    I just purchased a Schecter Riot-8 Session and the Previous Owner put on Rotosound flats because he liked the sound. I'm not sure I do. The flats stop ringing before the octave strings do, so the sound goes from a fundamental with a chime, to just a chime rather quickly. I'm planning to get some Stringjoy roundwounds for the fundamental (they don't make piccolo gauge strings) and Dunlops for the octave.

    Any thoughts on how heavy to go? Is lighter better, or will they just be more likely to hit each other and choke the sound?
     
  13. RodRy

    RodRy

    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Played it some more. I think that the flatwound's less flexible nature makes it harder to press down far enough to engage the smaller strings. Ordered new roundwounds, sizes .040, .055, .075, .095. Need to order up a set of piccolo strings for the octave set.

    Let me know what you think, and I'll post updates when I have them.
     
  14. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    Rotosound flats may not be the best flats for you. They are reputedly high tension, even for flats. You could try some TI Jazz flats for easier fretting (and longer sustain). Or even some TI Jazz rounds. I have a set of those somewhere, but never got around to putting them on anything yet, as I am pretty much a flats player these days, so can't really elaborate further on them at this point.
     
  15. RodRy

    RodRy

    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    That makes sense. I've been thinking of getting some TI Jazz flats for one of my other basses. Of course, the price of TIs is about twice what the roundwounds I ordered were.

    Stay tuned for more...
     

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