Pressure Wound vs. Ground Wound

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Ryan Mohr, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I know this topic has been covered, but it has not been covered in detail. I know that pressure wounds are roundwounds that have been compressed and flattened, and ground wounds are roundwounds that have been ground on the surface. Fairly obvious differences in construction.

    But, the differences in feel, look, and tone have not been addressed. I am mostly concerned with the differences in tone.

    Here are the strings I am considering:

    Ground Wound
    GHS Brite Flats
    Ken Smith Slick Rounds

    Pressure Wound
    GHS Pressurewounds
    Ken Smith Compressors

    I am especially interested in which strings are better suited tonally for a fretless bass because I am getting a fretless SX P bass soon.

  2. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I have no idea why I posted this in amps, can one of the Mods move it over to strings? Thanks!
  3. This sounds like the coffee I drink.:rolleyes:
  4. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I don't like the feel of groundwounds.
    I LOVE the feel of Ken Smith Compressors.
    I have used them on fretted basses for years, and I use them on my fretless Zon Sonus Special. They have plenty of MWAH without being as over-the-top as DR SUnbeams.
    I really like the sound and feel of those strings.
  5. Subscribed.
  6. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks! What don't you like about the feel of ground wounds? Also, how do the compressors sound different than normal nickel rounds? Fatter and mellower?
  7. Pressure wounds are a little brighter, and slicker feeling. Ground wounds are grabby, from the grinding process. IME.
  8. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I know I've posted in lots of threads in STRINGS about Smith Compressors and GHS Pressurewound especially.
  9. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    :p I really didn't post in amps on purpose, I thought I had clicked on the strings subforum. I will search your posts on those then.
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    I'm looking for something maybe to replace flast that are not as hard on the hands and fingers...Subscribed

    Which one of these thud?
  11. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Loved the Pressurewounds ... hated the groundwound.

    The Pressurewounds are silky smooth and have a great "growl" on a P-bass with a pick! Still have them on my LeCompte VB bass ...

    :) ...
  12. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Greenboy - I saw your post on GHS Pressurewounds and Ken Smith Compressors. I am pretty much convinced to try them. Between the two, which is slightly warmer/mellower/darker? I know you said they are simlilar, but there have to be a few differences tonally.

    Great! Good compromise between rounds and flats for you? I'm interested in trying these on my Jazz now...
  13. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    It's been 10 times and maybe more (cue Led Zep) that I've posted about 'em in depth. Compressors and Pressurewounds are the same, with lightest sets a little closer to roundwound feel and sound, and the heaviest sets a little closer to flatwound thump. Only their B strings truly differ (one is taper, one is not).

    But all this yap about something as cheap as strings is tedious - which is why I rarely post any more. Anyway. No amount of yapping beats JUST BUYING what intrigues you and giving it a fair run on your own gear, with enough time to experiment with gear settings and to acclimatize your ears and hands.
    MirandM likes this.
  14. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    My favorite string manufacturer is Status Graphite. I use their groundwounds on my Fender Jazz, and black nylon tapewounds on my Tacoma Thunderchief. Whenever I get a new bass, I buy one set of each kind of strings and try them on the bass to see how it sounds and feels. No better way to reach an informed decision!
  15. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    not to confuse matters in any way, but perhaps you could consider TI Jazz bass strings. These are some of the nicest sounding roundwounds for fretless that I have ever used. The are truly round wound, but are so "flat" that they don't feel roundwound at all. They are also VERY light (e=80!) with a fairly light tension .. so they are a bit "rubbery" ... but boy do they sound good, and once you adjust your right hand to the lightness, they are a real pleasure to play.

    OTOH, if you have a real aggressive right hand technique, the lightness of the gauge may not work for you.

    I have used ground rounds and pressure rounds and did not care for the ground rounds at all ... very sticky feeling and they just seemed like a bad compromise between round wound tone and feel of flats.

    good luck
  16. I've used both. I'd go with a set of GHS Pressurewounds. Still has the round definition, but the deeper tone of the flat.
  17. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks, they are very tempting. Where is a good place to buy them from?
  18. I buy mine at Bass Northwest, but you can also get them at
    dennisn likes this.
  19. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten

    Do these strings feel more like rounds or flats when you play them IYO?
  20. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Another thing, the GHS website says these are bright strings due to this alloy they use. Are they really bright strings?

Share This Page