Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Revelation: FLATWOUNDS!!!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by btrag, Jun 18, 2005.


  1. btrag

    btrag

    Mar 7, 2005
    Chicago
    First, thanks Jive1 for allowing me to try flatwounds on the cheap. Putting them on my P-Bass, they have solved so many problems in my sound:

    1. String noise; all but gone.
    2. I can do slides now, without any of that noise.
    3. Chords sound so much better
    4. Harmonics ring out better on the 12th fret
    5. By decreasing the extreme lows and highs a tiny bit, and boosting around 500hz, I got a nice midrangy tone without any honk or nasal sound.

    I'd don't ever see myself ever going back to roundwound. Simply awesome. Thanks Jive!
     
  2. EricTheEZ1

    EricTheEZ1

    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    As long as you don't need a hard rock, Entwhistle type of sound, and you don't slap, they should be great for you. P-Basses always seem to benefit the most from Flats, IMO.

    -Eric.
     
  3. PhilMan99

    PhilMan99

    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I *love* flats (I go with TI Jazz Flats, myself). I don't slap, though - wouldn't want 'em for slap.

    One thing that surprises me is improved 12th-fret harmonics, though. I'd think rounds do a better job for that...
     
  4. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    If you want to hear someone slapping on flats go here or listen to early Larry Graham.

    I have no problem slapping on flats, it sounds a bit old school, but is quite doable. Even Me'shelle N has several tunes where she slaps on a Jazz strung with flats. IMO, TI's are the most slappable flats with Chromes coming up behind them.

    Dan
     
  5. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    You aren't the only one Btrag. I play flats with a pick on a P-bass. I will never ever ever ever ever ever go back to rounds on an electric. Unfortunately rounds are a necessity for the acoustic I'm buying next. Oh well, fingernoise here I come.
     
  6. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    As I have a new J bass just arrived, I thought I'd swap the rounds (RS Swing Bass) on my old MIM J for flats (RS Jazz bass), just to give some variety.

    I haven't played a bass with flatwound strings for nearly 30 years! And I have to say I'm just not keen at all - they feel great, but the sound is not good to my ears. I didn't expect them to be bright, but I did expect a fair bit of punch. They just sound a bit dull and lacking in any sort of strong character. The bottom E is especially weak (and this was one of the bass's strengths with the roundwound strings). Dunno what to do next on this one - any other flatwound suggestions?
     
  7. PhilMan99

    PhilMan99

    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I'm fond of TI Flats, but they're a bit "odd" compared to old-school flats - they have a nylon winding.

    For true "old school", try some LaBella "Deep Talkin'" flats.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You might like TI Jazz Flats. They're expensive as hell, but they have a very pronounced midrange hump to them that you might find suitable. They're sort of like a cross between rounds and flats tonally. I took mine off after a month because I hated that midrange hump and never could get rid of it. I also hated the feel. But I know tons of guys who swear they're the best string ever made. I personally don't see it, but whatever.

    I'm using my 6-year old set of LaBella stainless steel flats now, and I like it much better. However, you might want to try D'addario Halfrounds if you really want to try a flat that gives you more tone than regular flats. Otherwise, I'd just stick with roundwounds.

    BTW, many of the greatest slap lines in the 60's and 70's were done on basses with flats. All of Sly and the Family Stone's stuff, Brick House, Boogie Oogie Oogie...slapping on a flatwound bass is quite cool.
     
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Didn't Bakithi Kumalo slap on flatwounds on the Paul Simon tunes?

    Anyway: if you don't need twang or zing in your sound, then flats are a good way to go. I especially like flatwound tone on the G string. I'm not crazy about their feel - to me, flats are either too smooth or too sticky, depending on humidity - but I suppose that's because I'm not used to 'em.

    I'm very curious to hear how nylon tapes compare to flatwounds.
     
  10. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    "As I have a new J bass just arrived, I thought I'd swap the rounds (RS Swing Bass) on my old MIM J for flats (RS Jazz bass), just to give some variety.

    I haven't played a bass with flatwound strings for nearly 30 years! And I have to say I'm just not keen at all - they feel great, but the sound is not good to my ears. I didn't expect them to be bright, but I did expect a fair bit of punch. They just sound a bit dull and lacking in any sort of strong character. The bottom E is especially weak (and this was one of the bass's strengths with the roundwound strings). Dunno what to do next on this one - any other flatwound suggestions?"

    Bassybill, in my humble opinion, the flats you chose (RS Jazz) are the wrong direction if you are looking for a good E and "strong character". I found the same thing with RS flats. To me they lacked the low mid push that I can get from Fender flats or Labellas. I much prefer Labella over any other. Of course, if the whole flatwound thing is what turns you off, you're better off staying with rounds...but I have been able to get a great low end punchy sound, with very nice attack from Labella flats. And the E is very good.
     
  11. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Lakland Joe Osborns would also be an excellent choice given what you are looking for in a string. They are very affordable as well.

    Dan
     
  12. superfly

    superfly

    Aug 4, 2004
    I prefer LaBella medium Flats. The TI'S were good sounding and feeling, but they were too floppy for me. The Fender flats are good, and the Rotosounds just plain SUCK.
     
  13. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    You're very welcome.

    BTW, you just can't go wrong with a P bass strung with flats.
     
  14. FunkSlap89

    FunkSlap89

    Apr 26, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Flats are great. I recently started using them. I love the warmth, yet they're still very punchy... and yes.. you can slap on them... It sounds different, but yeah... I think I may actually like slap better with flats :eek: :eek: :ninja: :eyebrow: