Moving into the flats...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by NewWaveBasser, Aug 29, 2001.

  1. ... well, this is where I start to look like a dufus... I did not know there were different string styles :confused:

    I have never tried flatwound strings, only round. Now I'm venturing into Fender flatwounds for the first time. I figured I might as well try them out for once to get an idea of how they compare to roundwounds...

    BUT: How will my sound change? How will I have to change my playing style?

    Here´s the info: I play on a Euro, maybe indie, pop band (think Suede or Mogwai or maybe Blur) ... Style: I pluck and pick, depending on the song... I get this tsch tsch sound while i play which I suspect is what's called "finger noise"...the flats are smooth; I like how these felt on my finger...

    Since I will use them anyways, I would appreciate any feedback on how to get the most out of the flatwounds after being accustomed to roundwounds.
  2. fleetwood


    Aug 29, 2001
    Swansea UK
    To NewBasser,
    I've had Flats on my Aria for the last 18 years. Yes, the same set!!!!! I think they fab. I've just bought a 5 string Bass and it's got the usual Rounds on and it's hard to play without noise. I'm going to fit Flats as soon as I can. They're really great for smooth jazzy stuff, swing and all that.
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Hey fleetwood,
    Welcome to TB. Eighteen years!! That's got to be some kind of record.
    NWB, Don't fret (pun) over the flats. Just throw 'em on there and have fun with them. You'll get the feel of them in short order. Only you can decide if you like the sound for your styles of music.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    NWB- you can get a lot of different sounds from flats. If you're playing fingerstyle and pickstyle, you will find that they are pretty versatile. If you boost the mids, especially around 800 Hz., you can cut through all you want. By fiddling with your EQ, you can go from thumpy to bright, although they definitely have a different character than roundwounds, and they won't ring like roundwounds no matter what you do. That's an advantage, in my book. I find Fender 9050's to be inexpensive, long lasting, and thumpy, but with good upper mids and plenty of "cut" if you want it. They also have a really smooth, slick feel.

    If you do a lot of slapping, chances are you won't like them, although Larry Graham used flats some in his early days.
  5. From what I have read on the few posts on related threads I seem to get this message: flats lack sustain.

    Is that true? If so, does that mean these strings have NO sustain? What happens if I pluck the string: does the sound just go thump! or does it carry on some? How could I tweak the amp EQ or multieffect pedal for increased sustain if it were possible?

    Some songs have notes whole or maybe longer (of course many songs endings) and the sustain issue is important.

    BTW I forgot to add this piece of info: my bass is a MIM Fender J-bass...
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've never had any problem with sustain from flats. I've got them on a couple of basses (TI Jazz flats), and I have always been pleased with the amount of sustain.

    I've had similar results with Lakland Joe Osbornes, and Fender flats, as well.
  7. fleetwood


    Aug 29, 2001
    Swansea UK
    NWB --- No problem AT ALL with sustain on Flats.
    They do everything that Rounds do and if you have the mid or treble up, you dont get that ghastly finger noise. Try them, you'll never go back to Rounds. In my area it's very hard to get a 5 string set in Flats.
    Coming back to sustain, just how many bars do you need to sustain on normally. Take the descending bass line to the song 'If ' played slowly (If you know it), they sustain those notes with no problems.
  8. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I agree; I've never had any problems with sustain from flats. Geex, if you need that much sustain, go buy a bow and an upright! They do have more fundamental, as opposed to harmonics, in the tone, and sound more "thumpy", but they sustain fine for me. I love flats, but use tapes on most of my basses, which seem a little brighter than flats.
  9. I got my bass from the shop with the polished frets, the overall set-up...and the flatwound strings.

    Well...I plug the sucker in and hey...everything is COOL...I even slapped and it came out right. Great sound...didn't sound that much different from rounds to me.

    AND BEST OF ALL: So so smooth it felt good on my fingers...and sliding is a breeze with these strings.

    So far so good...

    and thank you all for the feedback...