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Rotosound Flats - are they good?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by gsummer, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. gsummer


    Feb 11, 2001
    I am interested in trying Rotosound's Medium Jazz bass strings (flatwound). Does anyone play these (either now or in the past) and what do you think? I want a string that is punchy and deep with some nice growl. Also, how do they compare to Thomastik-Infeld flats? (i.e. tension, sound, feel).

  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I didn't like them much. I used the Steve Harris guages which are pretty heavy, .050-.110, I think. They were pretty bright, much more than traditional-sounding flats like Fender or LaBella.

    I currently have TI Jazz Flats on my Precision, and they sound great. In terms of feel, they're pretty wiggly, being low-tension and round-core, but it's worth it. More midrange than Fender flats, but still with good low-end. I have to play with a pretty light touch, but I'm getting used to it. They're twangy at first, but mellow after a few weeks. After a few months, they're even better.
    wintremute likes this.
  3. gsummer


    Feb 11, 2001
    You used the steve harris gauges? are they the same strings as the medium jazz flats though? You mention La bellas, are they better than the rotosounds? I don't like the TI's taht much. They sound nice to me, but I would like a little more low end and a little more tension.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Yes, the SH guages are just heavier. I would prefer LaBellas to Roto flats, but I like traditional thumpy flats. Whether they're "better" or not depends on what you like. I like Fender flatwounds a lot, I just like TI's better at this point. The Fenders, to me, are more URB-ish, and the TI's sustain better. If you want to know about the LaBellas, just listen to some Motown hits with Jamerson playing bass.
  5. gsummer


    Feb 11, 2001
    yeah I love jamerson's playing. can a set of la bellas really capture that sound? I've also heard they are really high tension, is that true? I would be interested in a medium gauge so hopefully it wouldn't be that bad. Also, I hate to have to ask, but what do you mean by URB-ish?
  6. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California

    Since no one else answered,allow me to butt in.

    It means Up Right Bass.I've never tried the Jamerson set, but I hear they are thick.A thick string has to have more tension to bring it up to the same pitch as a thinner string at a lower tension.Imagine tuning your E string to the same pitch as your A,that would be extremely tight,since the E string is so much thicker than the A string.Comprendo ?
  7. i love the sound of the roto 77 monels on one of my fretted basses, especially for their highs & a modern sound, BUT i find the high tension of the strings fatiguing. therefore, i will not use roto flats again. (i had already tried them on my fretless bass with similar results.)

    i have TI flats on my fretless warwick & love their low tension & ability to get that standup bass jazz sound. i've tried other strings but nothing else plays or sounds like them.
  8. jbednarski


    May 31, 2010
    Chicago area
    Roto 77s are the string that was used primarialy by Roger Waters and John Deacon. They definitely don't have the LaBella sound and are stiffer. That being said , they last a long time and produce a sound entirely their own. I use them, LaBella and Fender flats on different basses and they all have different sounds.
  9. The roto sm77 set is .040 .060 .080 & .100. Wouldn't think the tension would be too high on those. Is it true the monel flats aren't as loud as other strings?
  10. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    Much of the time, people say tension to refer to the flexibility of the string. I haven't tried the Rotos 77s, but it would make sense from what I know of Rotosound that they'd be stiffer. They're known for relatively stiff strings. That's why I like them, actually. The feeling of the DR Hi Beams is too mushy for me. They're great strings, but I don't like them.
  11. AdamR


    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Im not a big flats fan but Ive used the roto 77s and would use them again.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  13. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    This. If and when I ever go back to flats, it'll be a set of Monels.
  14. strappa

    strappa Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    Roto 77s were my favorite flat
    when i bought my Lakland HB the store did not have the Rotos
    so the guy suggested Sadowsky flats
    I would still use Rotos but Sadowskys are my #1
  15. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    i recently put Steve Harris signatures on my Am. Standard P bass and effin' love them! They are high tension so it's like twice as hard to play. i've noticed left hand fatigue setting in about a quarter way through my band's rehearsal. we typically go for about 2 hours.

    but i can feel my left hand getting stronger and these strings give the impression of more power under my fingers. i seem to have more volume control too. i feel that i have a greater dynamic range. i can play real soft, then get real loud, just with my right hand.

    i love my SH rotosound flats!
  16. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    The 45-105 is a great set if you're looking for a genuine old school, heard on lots of '60s UK songs sound.

    Quite bright at first, they mellow out quickly and are a very nice sounding string.

    The heavier set is really, really stiff.
  17. .
    I have just fitted a set of Rotosound SM77 flats to one of my basses.

    I was surprised to find that the D & G strings were not as bright as the E & A.
    Strangely, the two thicker strings definitely have more "ring" and upper mids than the thinner two.
    This is a lot more noticeable when playing with a pick compared to finger plucking.

    NB: This is on a bass that I have set up properly to suit the new flats (truss rod, saddle heights etc.).

    It sounded toneally even across all four of the Rotosound RS99 strings it had on prior to this, so it's not a bass setup issue.

    If they don't even out after a while I might go back to either the RS99s or a set of D'Addario Chromes. (I like bright strings.)
  18. rotosounds have a very different sound than TI's & feel as opposite from one another as can be imagined. IMHO rotos are more a rock sound, TI's more upright bass sound. Rotos feel like telephone pole lines to some & TI's are far more elastic & some call them rubber bands. i love both strings but my fingers choose TI's.:bassist:
  19. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    First time I put a set of medium Roto 77's (45-105) on my P-bass I found the sound to be too bright for my taste. I did revisit them a few months later and found them to be a good compromise between the thump of other flats and the zing of rounds, though yes they do mellow out with time. And yes, tension-wise they're just short of bridge cables--they take some getting used to, though setting them up with as low an action as possible helped me.
  20. RambleOn


    Jan 15, 2011
    I'm in the same situation, recently put a set of SM77's. Initially bright but the D&G less so than the E&A. They're starting to settle well, the G,D,A are nice, the E is still a little brighter but it´s settling. They're settling quicker than the Fender 9050CL's I had on before them, but still, a little patience is required. ;)

    I'm liking them a lot, the tension is Medium, comparable to the lighter set of Fenders or D'Addarios, but they sound sooo clear, love those mids! As they settle and lose their initial edge they sound more "traditional". I find them very versatile.

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