nylon / tapewounds... are they as smooth as d'addiro chromes?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    i just noticed on ebay that you can get black nylon strings. thus i am one more step closer to having my geddy lee jazz be almost completely black in colour.


    -are the nylons as smooth as d'addiros or smoother?
    i play classical guitar. are they as smooth as classical guitar strings?

    -what is the tension like? i want as low tension as possible.

    -what do they sound like? bright, thuddy etc?

    -is there anything i should know about them that might make me reconsider buying them?

  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Any particular reason you feel that you need two threads on this topic?:rolleyes:

    Some nylons are as smooth as classical guitar strings. I use Fenders, and they are as smooth as any flatwound I have used. Labellas aren't quite as smooth, but they are brighter sounding.

    The Fenders are pretty thuddy, although not as dead as chrome flatwounds. They are also very low tension. And quite a bit larger diameter than other strings. I had to file my nut for them to fit.

    The Labellas are brighter, but not as bright as a roundwound. The tension on them is more comparable to a roundwound. They are roundwounds, with a layer of black nylon tape over the final winding. They are also larger diameter than comparable roundwounds, butnot as thick as the Fenders.
  3. :cool: Fender makes two types of "Black" strings. 9120s, which are the flat, tape-wound you're referring to. 7120s, which are a nylon filament wound wrap over the steel inner cores, that has been ground down into a "half-round".

    I've tried both the 9120s and 7120s on my fretless. I like the 9120s, but I LOVE the 7120s. The tension is light, at least I think so. The sound is as close to an URB as I've ever been able to get out of an electric bass guitar. And they feel real nice. Price ain't bad either.
  4. I've only ever played the Fender 9120's on my fretless but I really like them. Definately thicker and lower-tension ( I finally had to go to my local luthier for a new set-up just because of those strings! ) but I really like them; much deeper than flatwounds, IMO.
  5. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Sammy, could I get you to give us some more? You are the first person I am aware of speaking very highly of the filament strings. Others have described them as plastic-y feeling and sounding. From your profile, it almost sounds like you are after a rock-n-roll slap kind of thing. What style do you play with the filament-wounds on a fretless, and do they have a lively sustain or do they thump and die?

  6. :cool: Our band plays rock from the 50s to the 80s, C&W from the 40s to the present, blues from all eras, rock-'a'-billy, and a smattering of other styles.

    As for my preferred sound, on my fretted 4s I like old school "thump/thud" with just a little sustain. That's why they're all strung with flat-wounds, which stay on my basses for a long, long time. I also use bridge covers with foam mutes. My first P-bass was like that, and I like it.

    As for the Fender filamentwounds, they are on my fretless. I tried them once on a fretted bass and was not impressed at all. However, I really like them on my fretless. My fretless is used for a little different style of music than what our main stream is. I keep trying to get as close to an upright as I can with my fretless. I use it for music that is more old-school, main-stream pop in the vein of Sinatra, Prima, Benett, later Darin (I think you get the picture).

    The filaments have a deep thump with some sustain. They are very warm. Even the "G" string has a nice sound, which in my experience isn't always the case. They are very comfortable. They are large and feel nice under my fingers. As for plasticky feeling, I don't agree.

    The price of these things isn't that high. Check 'em out at "juststrings". If you're interested you haven't invested a fortune to try them. However, when you put them on, leave them there for while. Give yourself a chance to get used to them as they are different in feel and sound from most other strings.

    Oh, and sorry I didn't reply to this sooner. I simply missed the thread.
  7. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Thanks very much. Very helpful, and appreciated.