One with flats one with rounds?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lowdownthump, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. cxcxcx


    Mar 8, 2019
    I have a P with rounds and a P with flats. Historically speaking, a huge part of the music I love most was pick or finger playing on one of these variants. I typically never know when I’m going to need one of those sounds, so I happily keep both around.
    Craig T Vector likes this.
  2. I have 2 PJ5s. They are from the same maufacturer (Wilkins) but different in that they have different pickups and electronics, but one always has flats, 1 always has rounds. It took a bit of time and experimentation to dial in which string worked best on which bass preferred, but the config is pretty much set now.
  3. T-boneParish

    T-boneParish Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2016
    Austin // Charlotte
    Sean Hurley talks about working with Fender to create an exact replica of his '60 P-bass (strung with flat wounds) so he could have a second bass strung with round wounds.


    HELLonWHEELS Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2005
    Currently yes, 4001 on the left has flats and the 4003 has rotosound rounds.

  5. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    I do Precision’s, Ric’s, and Thunderbirds. Though I am thinking of swapping one of the Thunderbirds for an EB-O.
  6. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    At one point, I had one L-2000 with flats (3TS) and one with rounds (natural). I eventually sold the one with rounds.

    armybass likes this.
  7. I have flats-rounds bass pairings of the Precision, Jazz, Rickenbacker and StingRay Special varieties. (Yeah, I have too many basses.)
    dabbler and lowdownthump like this.
  8. ElectricBass72


    Aug 6, 2019
    Flats are overrated here on TB, IMO. I have them on one of my Precisions. Rounds are where the tone is at.
    gg22, sonojono and lowdownthump like this.
  9. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I mix it up. I use something with a second pickup and/or active electronics to accentuate the treble from rounds. For me, flats are the only way to go with passive single-pickup axes. (Even guitars!)
    But there are no rules, here. If one were sufficiently committed to a certain baseline sound & neck profile, I suppose two of the same model, one for each string type could make sense.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  10. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    I am generally a round wound guy.
    But lately, I have taken my 9 basses and determined that some of them either sound better with flats, or by using flats I can cover more of a spectrum of sound and styles.
    It's fun to experiment.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  11. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Rick with flats ..... Leon Sylvers :headphone::smug:
    HELLonWHEELS likes this.
  12. ElectricBass72


    Aug 6, 2019
    Not bashing flats... but rounds are much more versatile. I can make rounds sound like flats. With the exception of Ernie Ball Cobalts.... it's impossible to make flats sound like rounds.
    JRA likes this.
  13. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I defiantly have "stacked" my collection to get different tonal options. It started by chance with a couple of purchases, but realized the benefit of having two P's or J's for example at different ends of the tonal spectrum.

    x2 Jazz Bass's
    60's Voiced - 85 MIJ with nj4 60's wind
    70's Voiced - 1977 Original

    x2 Precisions
    Traditional P bass - Rosewood, SPB-1's, could have flats or rounds
    Grindy Rock P bass - Maple, GZR's

    The extra Flavor
    90's Stingray 4ST 3-band
    lowdownthump likes this.
  14. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I use TI flats and the B string sounds just as good as it does with rounds. I use it for 90’s and old school country. I generally like flats for bands with two guitars. The sonic range of flats is usually perfect for those types of gigs. I use rounds for most rock/pop stuff.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  15. Bonafide

    Bonafide 'RGJR' Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Austin Texas
    Artist: Band In A Box, Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone, Carr Amps + more
    Yes. P w/ flats and P w/ rounds. Both essential in my opinion.
    Rezdog and Killing Floor like this.
  16. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I have a J with rounds and EBMM Sabre and Ray with rounds. P and fretlesses with flats, semi hollow with flats.
    I think some techniques and some basses work better with one or the other.
    I have played a P with rounds. They ship with rounds because that is what the factory spec is. Take that! But I like TI flats on my Ps. I have flats on more basses than rounds. But my soul would be locked out of heaven if I put flats on a Ray. You know it’s true.
  17. No I don’t. I don’t have basses with flats.
  18. Barry Vestal

    Barry Vestal

    Nov 24, 2015
    Both pictured with rounds but currently have flats... IMG_20210702_133752732.jpg
  19. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    The bass picks the strings, as Bobby Vega says.
  20. BrentB

    BrentB Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2014
    Huntington WV
    My '80's Steinberger XL2 basses. The passive EQ '84 has chrome flats and the active HAZ EQ '87 has gold rounds. Night and Day!

    Jefenator likes this.
  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.

    Sep 26, 2021

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