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Rotosound: Steve Harris custom flatwounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by LemmyLicious, Jun 29, 2012.


  1. LemmyLicious

    LemmyLicious

    Sep 27, 2010
    I play in a medium-heavy metal band (pretty hardcore, eh?) and recently decided to go back to flatwounds, having had a set on my other bass some time ago. I decided to try these strings out hoping they would be brighter than the GHS flats I had but still more compressed and mellow than basic rounds. Roundwounds seemed to always have something too much for me; too much bass, too much clank, too much finger-noise. Might have something to do with the humbucking pickups that burst out with a little bit too fat output for finger-playing. These flats are just about what I was looking for: smooth playability with bright tone (not sure how long that'll last though, have read something about Steve changing his sets for each gig :D) and perfect for half-step down tuning. They are what I'd call very modern strings (well, they're not exactly modern but have such a feel): articulated sound with smooth, cable-y touch (not everyone's cup o' tea of course). Have yet to try these out at the practice room with distortion and wah, gonna report on that later. I can heartily recommend these to other metal bassists, pickers and pluckers alike (one reason I like flats is that you can pick them without the friction of roundwounds). :)
     
  2. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Are they the best flats for medium-hevy metal?
     
  3. LemmyLicious

    LemmyLicious

    Sep 27, 2010
    Haven't tried many but for those looking for the brighter kind of flats these are great. If you're looking for classic flatwound tone for, say, fretless, I'd look elsewhere though.
     
  4. odin70

    odin70

    Dec 26, 2007
    Love em!
    In case you didnt know the S.H set are the same string as the RS77LE set (only often more expencive)
    Imo opinoin the do not sound very good with overdrive.
     
  5. LemmyLicious

    LemmyLicious

    Sep 27, 2010
    Hey, good to know. Then again it's quite tricky getting flatwounds here in Finland anyway, gotta check if thomann has them.

    I can imagine flats being quite odd with 'drive since there's not much sonic range to distort in the first place. I've thought of dropping the fuzz off anyway. Steve's playing actually got me thinking of a sort of a minimalistic sound and made me start to think like a bassist, not a guitarist like I used to be. Not going for the clank of his sound (if I was to describe what I'm aiming for now is something like what Cliff Burton sounded on Kill 'Em All) but for a more mellow sound these strings are great.

    LemEdit: thomann has them but they're exactly the same price there.
     
  6. harmendebresser

    harmendebresser

    Mar 11, 2010
    the Netherlands
    Endorsing Artist: Höfner, Pyramid Strings, Dr. No FX & Asterope cables
    I've tried the S.H. custom set, but switched to the SM77 set (.40 - .100) for tuning down a half step, as the .50 - .110 gauge was too heavy for my taste even for that.
    A whole step felt good though, they still were pretty tight but in a good way.
    Rotosound flats are really good IMO!
     
  7. LemmyLicious

    LemmyLicious

    Sep 27, 2010
    I'm gearing towards thinking that they are a tad too tight too, but I'm gonna break them in and see how they do later. Can't really afford a lighter set now. :p Nailing that super-fast 3-singer tech on tight strings sounds and feels incredible though, no extra noise at all.
     
  8. Emilym80

    Emilym80

    Sep 15, 2011
    I wouldn't worry too much about how long they last, it's common for bassists to put on a new set of strings for every gig (Geddy Lee and Chris Squire are two guys who come to mind who do it too) particularly with Rotosounds, because they prefer them brighter. At least, it's common for bassists in high profile bands... And Steve doesn't exactly have a light touch either ;) can you comment on their durability once you've had them for a bit longer? I'm considering getting some but kind of need the longevity. Thanks!
     
  9. LemmyLicious

    LemmyLicious

    Sep 27, 2010
    Well yeah, still sounds quite odd to me, especially when you could have, say, groundwounds for soft touch but grindy sound. Much less hassle not changing sets every damn night: :& Then again Steve must have an army of possible bass techs at his command.

    If I remember to check in later then yes. :D
     
  10. odin70

    odin70

    Dec 26, 2007
    Because of the high tension you can set the action very low. I use the 50 - 110 set and i love it
     
  11. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    I have a set of 77's, .45 -.105 ... tight at standard pitch.
    They have lost most of the brightness after 2 - 3 weeks. Very deep warm tone, with a fair amount of sustain. Playing the .50 - .110's with high action would be agony after ten minutes.:bawl:

    Strings sound very nice though. Not as harsh as chromes, very good for blues... IME they turn from bright flats to fairly thumpy in a fairly short space. YMMV as usual.
     
  12. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    FWIW Steve Harris plays with low action and a very light touch. Changing strings every gig is expensive enough with rounds, but flats tend to be pretty pricey and changing them often isn't viable for most of us mortals.
     
  13. LemmyLicious

    LemmyLicious

    Sep 27, 2010
    I find it interesting how he can totally beat the sonic poopiee out of his basses with a light touch. :D With great tension comes a great need to lighten your touch, digging too hard will kill your fingers pretty quick.
     

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