1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Rotosound 88 Tapes in this recording (Serge Gainsbourg, Herbie Flowers content)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by e-flat, Apr 19, 2017.


  1. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    I understand that Herbie Flowers used Rotosound 88 Tapewounds on his famous blue Jazz Bass. This album just blows me away for the tone that Herbie is pulling out of his Roto 88s & Jazz.

    I've tried La Bella White and Black tapes in the past, and while I really loved them both I don't feel like they could cop this sound. Perhaps its a tension thing, or maybe its the wrap, but pick playing on those strings produced a more subdued attack than what I hear here, and they weren't this "plucky".

    Anyone else know of a tape that cops this sound, or should I just bite the bullet and get the Roto 88s?

     
  2. I used D'Addario tapewounds for a while and I feel like those could get somewhere in the ballpark with some EQ, though it's always hard to judge your own live sound against tracks recorded through some classic high-end studio gear by people at the top of their game. I've heard people using Roto 88s who didn't sound much like this album either!
     
    e-flat likes this.
  3. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    Yeah, there's definitely some studio wizardry going on here. The D'Addario tapes are on my radar, too, as are the Fenders.
     
  4. The D'Addario tapewounds do get some of that non-metallic brightness that sounds really good with pick playing - that was one of the things I liked about them.
     
    e-flat likes this.
  5. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
     
    Tony B. Filthy and fermata like this.
  6. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Um, it's unclear why you are reluctant to go with the most obvious option of getting the real thing.
     
  7. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy...

    Hey is that Buddy Rich? Preparing to go swear at a bus load of people?
     
  8. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    I'm not reluctant, just looking for opinions regarding string options. As I mentioned , I've tried La Bella black & white tapes in the past & felt that they were great but not exactly what I was looking for. The 88s are next on the list, but I figured I'd ask around as someone might have direct experience comparing Rotos & other brands of tapes.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  9. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA



    Conchords satire:


     
    e-flat likes this.
  10. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Montreal
    The thing to remember is that Flowers' action on his Jazz (and apparently, he dimes both pups, volume and tone) is apparently sky-high. Not to mention since he has possibly a prototype Jazz, the frets were really small compared to the more modern frets one finds on Jazz basses now.

    It certainly sounds like at times there's some flanging going on with the sound. Or it could be his pups are slightly microphonic and was picking up the monitor speaker.
     
    e-flat likes this.
  11. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    Thanks for the input, nerkoids.

    While we're on the topic, here's an awesome piece by Curtis Novak regarding Flowers' blue Jazz Bass. Any of you Flowers fans have probably already seen this ;)
    CurtisNovak.com - Pickups and Guitars: Vintage: Jazz Bass 59, Herbie Flowers
     
  12. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    I wonder if last year's if last year's relic MIM Flea bass is a good place to start (with Roto 88's) to get a sound like Herbie's. I'm really enjoying listening to the whole album.
     
    nerkoids and e-flat like this.
  13. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    My current Franken-Jazz Bass is a Squier VM Body (kept the Duncan Designed stock pickups, too... they're surprisingly good), Fender standard MIM Jazz neck, stack pot wiring. It's simple but very growly (little relief, low action) with all but the darkest flats. Something like that should serve you well... I've got less than $350 into it if memory serves, and it's great. I ran a '76 Jazz w/ maple board as my main bass for 20+ years, and while it was awesome it was also a boat anchor and actually pretty tame compared to my cheap Franken build.
     
    Tony B. Filthy likes this.
  14. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Had a listen and that tone is not that hard to get, granted your not going to sound exactly like Herbie Flowers but you can get very close by using a set of broken in Rotosound Trubass 88 , a foam mute,a pick and boosting the treble
     
  15. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    Yeah, I'm thinking the Roto 88s are the real missing component for me. Time to pull the trigger... always good to find a reason to try new strings!
    EDIT:
    @shoulderpet , I tried bumping the treble on my amp up past where I'd normally have it, then busting out the foam. Even with the DR Legend flats that are currently on my bass I was able to get incredibly close. I'm running an old Plush 1000S tube head into a Sunn 1X15 loaded with an old alnico JBL K130, and dropping the bass down & pushing the treble up really helped. Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  16. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Yes the Roto 88s will get you that sound easier than most strings, they have that kind of clacky,plucky kind of tone, another album to hear there tone is Look sharp by Joe jackson, the pick and the foam are important though to get the tone
     
    e-flat likes this.
  17. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Not exactly the same tone as the Serge Gainsbourg but a good indication of how the Roto tapes sound


     
    nerkoids and e-flat like this.
  18. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    Love that plucky, metallic, hollow tone. Great examples.
     
  19. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    they are great strings, i used to use them but i like very very low action and tapewounds dont work well with very low action
     

Share This Page