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RIC owners: Flats or Rounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by tim4003, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. Flatwound

    2 vote(s)
  2. Roundwound

    4 vote(s)
  1. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    I've owned my RIC for a year now(ain't they GREAT) and have only used roundwounds on it.
    The last few days I've been listening to a lot of BEATLES cd's and I really like McCartney's tone he gets with his RIC using flatwounds.
    To get to my question, I was wandering who uses flats, and who uses rounds?
    If you've used both on your RIC, which do you prefer?
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I use Lakland Osborn stainless flats on my 76 4001. I guess I should mention that it is fretless.
  3. Nylon Filament flats here, I just got my RIC so these are the strings that came on the bass but I love them! They're much easier on the fingers and the nylon filament strings look very cool (they're black). I think after a couple months I'll put on some Thomastik-Infeld Powerbass strings to see which more I like but for now I'm content with my flats.
  4. .45-.105 stainless round ernieball strings!
  5. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    45-100 Stainless "Hi-Beam" DR
    I like a bright, brilliant sound, so I haven't really tried flats on the bass.
  6. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    I use Markley Blue Steels 45 - 105 Med lite gauge on my 72 4001. I have for the past 15 years. They're great strings. I've never had a problem with them or my bass!
  7. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Voted roundwound. But there are indeed two ways to get distinct tones from a Ric.

    Roundwound way : Chris Squire, fat sound, "piano-like" resonance

    Flatwound way : Paul McCartney, punchy but smooth (listen to "Venus and Mars" and you'll quite understand what I mean)

    I love both, in fact. But I currently use my 4003 with roundwounds.

    All the best,
  8. Sprinkler

    Sprinkler [account disabled]

    Jul 31, 2002
    why are they named flatwound? are they square? i'm kinda new to this, i always had roundwounds.

    are there much differences?
  9. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    There are huge differences between the two. The short answer is that there was a really good article in Bass Player Magazine that discussed the differences between strings, and even rated dozens of different sets for different uses. Try to find the article. It can be found on the bassplayer website http://archive.bassplayer.com/index.htm

    The name of the article is "All Wound Up - The Controversial World of String Design." You can access the article if you click on "Gear", then click on the link.

    In the meantime, think about it like this: the strings you normally use, assuming they're roundwounds, have a rough texture: it's the windings around the core that create this texture. Now, consider those windings are actually flat on both the inside of the windings and the outside (where you feel when you touch them). This gives the strings a completely smooth feel, and changes the tone dramatically.

    Going from rounds to flats will give you a smooth tone that tends to not accentuate the upper-end harmonics and treble response in the same way. Flats produce a sound that's often described as smoother than rounds, but lacking in the "piano-like" clarity.

    It's very difficult to describe beyond that, and everybody has their own take on it. But I will say that there are also a lot of misconceptions about flats. Again, the article in Bass Player does a good job of debunking some of those myths.;)

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