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Rotosound Jazz Bass 77 review

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BassPlayer900, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. BassPlayer900


    Oct 19, 2011
    So I got these strings last week and I thought I'd review them. I am using them on a FSR MIM Fender Jazz bass.

    The string sizes are .45 .65 .85 .105. These are the first flatwounds I've ever tried. In the past, I've used the roundwounds that came on my bass, Ernie Ball Nickel Slinkys and Cobalts, DR stainless steel Lo Riders, Rotosound Swing Bass strings and Rotosound Solo Bass strings.

    The Rotosound Jazz Bass strings are higher tension than any of those strings. Playing anywhere between the neck and neck pickup feels a lot like playing between the 2 pickups with roundwounds of the same gauge. These strings were REALLY rough on my fingers, but now my fingers seem to have gotten used to them.

    Well, when I first put them on and started playing, I thought "Roundwounds!". They really don't/didn't sound like flatwounds. More like roundwounds with not as many overtones. They had a great finger/pick/slap tone, although they aren't THAT great for slap now that they've been on the bass for a while.

    It seems like the D and G strings have lost more zing than the A and E strings. It's not that bad though. The finger noise was quite low since they are flatwounds, and they've been getting less noisy the more I've been playing them.

    With both pickups on full, it's a great classic Fender J tone. The tone really shines when I solo the neck pickup. The midrange seems to ROAR. It's a great tone. They are nice and twangy with the bridge pickup soloed, and it seems like they sound less harsh than roundwounds with that pickup.

    I really like these strings, and I think these may wind up being my string of choice. They have an awesome sound in the midrange. They can get a really good flatwound-like sound with a mute and the tone knob rolled down. Almost exactly like John Paul Jones's sound on Led Zeppelin II. They can get a really good roundwound-like sound with the tone rolled all the way up, the treble boosted on the amp, and by digging into the strings. I would say they sound like a cross between roundwounds and flatwounds. These are possibly the most versatile strings I've ever used, and I wonder how they'll sound as they age! :bassist:
    Pbassmanca and keith1r like this.
  2. BrentSimons

    BrentSimons Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Vergennes,VT USA
    I tried out a 100-40 set of those a long time ago. I remember the E and A strings were just a tiny bit rough. I usually use Rotosound Swing Bass 66's. How did the neck like them? I remember those being really high tension. Did you have to adjust the truss rod much?
    Take Care,
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  3. Epac


    Jan 6, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    I recall playing these and feeling like they didn't have enough sustain for me on my P-Bass..After reading this I feel I should probably give them another try....
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  4. BassPlayer900


    Oct 19, 2011
    Before I put them on, I had Rotosound Swing Bass 66 strings in the same gauge, and my neck was pretty flat. When I put the Rotosound Jazz Bass 77's on, I noticed recently that I now have more relief in the neck.
    Pbassmanca and tim68 like this.
  5. BassPlayer900


    Oct 19, 2011
    They have plenty of sustain for me so far.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  6. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    I used to use them on my jazz and I found them to be fantastic. Any notes that were maybe unclear before were punchy as hell with these on. I found them a bit hard to slide around on at the time as they felt 'grippy' but this was a good few years ago before I learnt to use guitar polish on a rag on my flats. I found they lost their initial sustain quickly but again, with a good polish or rub down with WD40 on a rag this may be preserved.
    I'm using Fender flats (CL) right now and they give me a similar growl with a bit less tension but the Rotos are great for sure.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  7. BassPlayer900


    Oct 19, 2011
    I found them to be grippy too. I tried some GHS Fast Fret on them, and that feeling was gone. It made them very playable! I like how they are high tension, because I like playing close to the neck a lot, and the added tension makes it very easy to do that.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  8. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    I didn't like these strings at first, but gave them a second chance on my P-bass and pretty much agree with what's been said above. Pretty versatile across many styles. Got used to the higher tension pretty quickly--that and the chunky P neck force me to stay in the pocket which ain't a bad thang. Might have to give them a try on the J as well.
  9. Thanks for sharing your experience! I've been meaning to try these for a while now, but it seems whenever I experiment with something a little "edgier", I always end up going back to my trusty old thumpy LaBellas within a couple of days. :rolleyes:

    But if it worked for JPJ... :D
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  10. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    Was thinking the same thing when practicing last night. They're definitely not old-school, and I would go back to the LaBellas for more of a Motown/Stax/Pino tone.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  11. basmicke


    May 31, 2008
    Thanks for the review.
    I bought a set of these a couple of month ago and put them on my P-bass.
    They sounded good but felt a bit to metal sounding for being flats for my taste.
    But now I'm thinking it might be a good idea to try these on my Jazz bass.
    I usually like old Rotosound swingbass so I'm not really a big treble fan anyway.
    The thing I find hard is if the string sound dead or too metallic. I like to have an organic sound that has warmth so on my P I settled for Sadowsky flats or LaBellas. But the Roto flats definitely seems to be of good quality and since I'm used to their roundwounds on my J-bass it might be a good match. It's really interesting how different basses seems to need different strings.
    Had an old sc P that sounded perfect with DR low riders and the maple fb but when I tried those strings on my Jazz with rosewood fb it wasn't that good. So I guess it takes a lot of experience and money to try different strings on different instruments before you start to get a grip on what's suits your taste.
    This is also why TB reviews like this one is so good. It makes you think in new ways :)
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  12. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    But let's not forget that even Jamerson used his foam mutes to make that Motown sound.
    Put some foam under the bridge and you'll get there with these Rotos too.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  13. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    I am thinking of giving these string a try since a couple of month... Had great experience with Chromes, but I wasn't able to fit them into our band sound, because they were TOO muddy, had not enough sustain. We play Heavy Rock to metal with just ONE guitar, so I have to fill a gap there :)
    Playing Rotos 55s now - classic 66s are too bright/classical for me (I like it special :p ). I wondered what 77s would sound like, but I was done with spending money on different sets of strings anymore. The bandsound changes continiously which is annoying, too. But maybe, I should give the 77s a try!!!
    Sounds like a winner!
  14. basmicke


    May 31, 2008
    I did put them on my old jazz. Seems to be a great combo. They really feel high tensioned but on the other hand I was able to lower the strings a bit wich gave an overall smoother but very stable feel.
    I will now gig a couple of times on them and get them broken in and then make a verdict. First impression though is that they, as the name says, matches very good on a jazz bass.
    On a P I think they are a bit to stiff and thats where LaBellas shine and maybe TI as well. Haven't tried them yet.
  15. .
    Sorry for digging up an "old" thread (to those who complain about that sort of stuff).

    I found exactly the same with the Rotosound 77s I put on my Precision a month or so ago.
    Soaking the (new) D & G in metholated spirits (or denatured alcohol) brightened them up, not quite to the brightness of the E and A, but getting there.

    .... I like bright flats.
  16. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    I strung a set on my Ibanez in early November. The tension is a little higher than normal for flats of this gauge (about the same as typical 55-110 rounds). The top 3 strings feel great but the E feels sort of rough, almost jagged between the windings.
    My A-string was the first to break in about 5 weeks ago; its got a nice, plummy sound with just a tad of top-end crunch. The D and G strings only stopped sounding like nickel rounds in the last week and a half which I don't really understand because I use all 4 strings fairly equally; the E-string again is different: until few days ago it retained it's brand new clank
    but has mellowed out nicely now. The sustain has always been much shorter on this string for some reason, despite the fact that it used to be the brightest.
    Overall, these strings are great if you like the sound of warmer rounds but want a flat wound feel. If you want vintage thump however, look elsewhere.
  17. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    I read that these don't retain their "Broken-In" sound like other Flats do? As in when new they're bright, after break-in they're still bright-ish but warmer, but then start to go downhill. So I've wondered if Chromes would stay brighter over their lifetime compared to the Roto's?
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  18. Yeah. They go from clanky, zingy, twang to a warmish sort of growl to lifeless "thwunk"... in about a month or two, for me.

    Chromes are really bright for the first week or two, but once they mellow out (they'll still be on the bright side for a flatwound), they stay that way for months or even years.
  19. Never liked them...not enough bottom, and unlike most flats that get better with age they seemed to just die out and lose their punch, especially the E string. I prefer La Bella flats.

    Flatwound String Reviews
  20. paololoap


    Sep 17, 2015
    After reading the great reviews, I decided to try one of these out on a Fender Jazz bass for which I was looking for a thuddy flatwound tone, but possible bright in order to get a nicely aggressive slap tone. Labella stainless steel flats are great, but I was looking for even brighter high end with thud (to me, best of both worlds). And, while these Rotosound Jazz bass Monel flatwounds do sound bright in their own right (but in a harsh way, at least to me), they do have 2 imo major charateristics one should be well aware about before buying :

    1. High tension, they are really stiff. Upright players might be at home with this, but if u're used to a certain flexibility then this comes as a not so good surprise ! Moreover, be prepared to adjust action and truss rod, for this high tension will really pull much harder on the neck and increase its bow.

    2. Significantly lower output (due to the monel material I presume). It's really at least 3 dB weaker if not more, especially in the low mids range. If that is what you were looking for (like me), it could come in as handy but for me it was not really in a good way, still don't like the global sound - too harsh and not really thuddy.

    So for me it's finally a nono after trying them on 4 different basses (Fender Jazz, Wal mkI, Aria Pro II CSB-300 Cardinal, Höfner 182), I'm not saying these strings are no good, but these 2 tradeoffs are something you should know about in advance, unfortunately not documented in the specifications.
    RenanDias likes this.

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