Mudd discovers flats, and also finds conflicts - opinions requested

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by My name is Mudd, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Hey y'all -

    I recently put a set of flats on my Schecter and am probably a total convert...I LOVE these things! However, I've been told by two people locally, who's opinions I trust and respect, that flats will hasten fret wear. I did a number of searches here on this and found that the general TB opinion, which I also trust and respect, seems to be that rounds will trash frets faster than flats will...totally opposite from the local opinion.

    Also, one of them suggested that flats on an active is a contradiction, but could not elaborate on that.

    Discuss either or both, please...and thanks in advance!
  2. SUNNydayr.

    SUNNydayr. Guest

    Jul 1, 2008
    San Franish
    Your trusted sources are wrong on this one. I recently bought a 1978 AutumnGlo 4001 Rickenbacker that wore flats for most of it's life and the frets are pretty close to new. I myself put the lightest set of pure Nickel Fender round wound strings on it. I wanted TI's flats but the local dealer quit selling them.
  3. LowBSix


    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    Frets last longer with FLATS.
    Frets get ridges with roundwounds.
    If you like the sound on an active bass; run with it.

    IMHO; someone was probably thinking that flats get you the old school sound, therefore not needing the preamp... Active basses with preamps on the bass simply give the player more control and less eq-ing is then required through the amp....
  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I always assumed flats would be easier on frets but haven't done any scientific measurements to confirm or debunk that. (Could also have to do with the outer winding material - harder metal = more wear?)

    Active basses generally provide a more high-fidelity response that some might say is wasted on flatwounds since they don't give as much "zing". I say, whatever - the active EQ and (8-year-old) TI flats work wonderfully together on my 5-string fretless.
  5. Doodaddy


    Jan 11, 2005
    West Monroe, LA
    That's probably based on that flatwounds, not having rounds, will have more contact area on the frets. Whether that wears them down faster or not, I have no answer.
  6. lmfreeman9


    Sep 1, 2007
    Flats wear down frets less than rounds and that is why they are recommended for fretless basses. Also nickel wears down frets less than stainless because it is softer.
  7. king_biscuit


    May 21, 2006
    Flats are much easier on frets than rounds.
  8. This...
    ...and this...
    ...were my thoughts also. Admittedly, one of the locals is the classic cranky guy/shop owner who is a total wizard at repair/setup/etc. and frankly, I'm not totally sure he's aware that I have an active (he has not worked on the bass). I couldn't see what he was on about as far as active&flats in general, but I wasn't about to 'discuss' it (as in - disagree) with him at the time...he was already fired up from previous customer.

    As far as the lack of 'zing' goes, that's exactly why I tried the flats - the bass (Stiletto 4) came stock w/40-100 steel rounds, which were a little too bright for my tastes; I tried a set of D'Adarrio (sp?) 45-105 steel rounds which were a little better, but these flats (nickel, BTW) are The Shizz as far as I'm concerned.
  9. becker4567

    becker4567 Guest

    Jul 26, 2008
    First off, roundwounds will wear down you frets faster than flats, if your talking about a fifteen or twenty year period using your bass every day for 3 to 4 hours per day...every day. But if you use your bass like mose bassists, even preofessionals, you won' see much of a difference. I've played bass since 1966, and used rounds (rotosound RS66) up until 5 or 6 years ago with the same bass (Gibson EB3) and haven't had any problems. I now use flats (LeBella 'Deep talkin" flats) exclusivily. I love the sound and tension (just my humble opinion), but use your own opinion and feel, and don't be swayed by others. Like the man said....Make your own sound, ....and make it yours!
  10. It's not uncommon for me to practice for two hours or so, and at least an hour a day almost every day. Given your formula, I'm still OK then.

    Now, if I just knew what brand, etc. these strings are, I'd be in great shape. TB'er marwady sold me a box of take-offs that had these included. I asked him about them; he suggested they might be GHS Brite Flats and while I have no reason to not believe him on this, the descriptions don't match - every description of Brite Flats I've found say that they have purple wraps. Mine are 45-105, nickel, with medium-ish blue wraps on the tuner ends, bare on the bridge ends, and brass barrels. Sound familiar to anyone?

    And once again, I thank y'all for the input. I do appreciate it.
  11. Number27

    Number27 Guest

    how do you know they're nickel? 90% of flats are steel..
  12. Brite flats have, to the best of my recollection, blue wraps. GHS Precision flats have purple wraps. It's been ten years since I used Brite flats, so I may be hazy on that.
  13. Brick Top

    Brick Top

    Dec 7, 2008
    Not that I will ever use my bass so much as to wear out my frets...but I look at it this way......which string is harder on the fingers. Flats or rounds? Should be the same to

  14. mrufino1


    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    brite flats are not flats, they are groundwounds. Precision flats are flats and have purple wraps. As far as flats on an active, I have ghs precision flats on my stingray 5 now and can't be more pleased. I had TI's on there but they did not work well on this bass. As for fret wear, if the frets wear down, get a refret. But play what you need to play to get the sound you want. I don't think you'll have a problem with fret wear any more with flats (probably less so) than with rounds.
  15. These are a dullish, almost grey-ish finish, as opposed to the shinier steels I've used so far; also, my technique coach seems to think that they're nickel (this guy is not one of the locals mentioned earlier, BTW), but do I 100% absolutely totally KNOW that they're

    re, real flats vs. groundwounds - I know what the difference is as far as how each is made, but as far as the playing-them bit goes, is there a difference? Also, (stupid question ahead) are TI flats actually titanium or is that just a marketing term?

    In the broad picture, it doesn't really matter what these specifically are, I guess - they're an intro to flats, one I might not have had under different curcumstances.
  16. The TI stands for Thomastik-Infeld, their maker.
  17. Flats are pretty awesome. they can (but not always) cause a bit of fret buzz, just because. But, 99.9999% of the time you wont notice.

    I rock flats for aggressive industrial bass noise. Especially if you really spank them with a pick.
  18. classic57

    classic57 Guest

    Jul 14, 2009
    Plymouth, MA
    I have GHS Pressurewounds on my Sterling. They feel very comfortable and have all the brightness I could want. I will try some Brite Flats for comparison, but the EQ will let me shape the sound any way I want.
  19. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I have D'Addario Chromes on my 5-string Sadowsky (active) and it rocks! I can get as bright as I need to, and I have loads of attack and fundamental.