Round wounds vs flat wounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by MB_Speed, Oct 2, 2022.

  1. Round wounds

    137 vote(s)
  2. Flat wounds

    153 vote(s)
  1. MB_Speed


    Oct 2, 2022
    Which do you prefer, and why?
    Mastermold likes this.
  2. MB_Speed


    Oct 2, 2022
    I recently started using flatwounds because my main bass sounds unusually bright and I play with a boost pedal. Plus they feel much better for me compared to roundwounds.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  3. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
  4. MB_Speed


    Oct 2, 2022
    Well I guess I'm late to the party then
  5. Cadillac_Mike


    Jul 3, 2021
    Rounds are kinda like all season tires lol; they pretty much can do everything. I've never tried flats but thinking of trying them on my GSR200 to get those vintage tones!
    dbsfgyd1, scott sinner and turcmic like this.
  6. I don't "prefer" any specific type of strings.

    I currently have three basses. One wears rounds, one wears flats and the other wears pressurwounds (semi-rounds). Three different tools in my toolbox. They all work fine for what they're designed to do.

    EDIT: I see you're new. This question has been asked a million times. I would suggest you go spend some time reading like I did when I was new. ;)
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
    tindrum, BlueTalon and Phaidrus like this.
  7. I prefer rounds - I had flats on one of my bass recently and I did not like them, - they sounded fine but the string tension was TOO high for my style. Maybe there is a lower tension flat but I havent gone looking for it - rounds will work for all applications - my 2 cents
  8. Tapes.
    gypsyfelon, groovepump and logdrum like this.
  9. Flats because I like that ‘60s tone .. ya know!

    S.O.U.L. (?) - Music

    Using LaBella flats and playing between the neck and the Klein Epic ‘59 pickup …
  10. Welcome to the forum!

    Flats, for me.
  11. Rounds for me. I just need that full spectrum of frequencies and I couldn't deal with the extra tension flats bring.
  12. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    For one, they don’t put flats on pianos for a reason. It’s more conducive to blending with other instruments. Sustain is much better, they are cheaper and if not abused, can last a long time.

    I’ve been using round wounds exclusively since the 70’s when I realized my Ric 4001 was not going to disintegrate (as mentioned in the owner Manuel) if I used non-Rickenbacker strings. In the meanwhile, I’m been covering Motown material all the way to today, gigs and recordings. I have had zero complaints from band mates, sound engineers, and or producers over my tone. I have heard stories from the same talking about bassists using strings way past their prime as their ideal refusing to change them to the detriment of the project.

    As for flats, with good muting, EQ, and articulation technique I can get pretty close that most will not notice I’m using round wound strings. That said, there are certain timbres you get with flats you can’t get out of rounds, and frankly, some bassists prefer it.

    I claim no moral authority here as everybody should make that choice of strings for themselves based on achieving their artistic potential.
  13. BaldyLee


    Oct 2, 2022
    Apples and oranges. They both have their place.
  14. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Rounds...I can always dial out zing if I dont want it but I cant dial it in if it isnt there...The argument I hear a lot for flats is that they are naturally mid focused. This is true when they are brand spanking new, but a lot of folks have flats on their bass that are old enough to vote and require a tetanus shot before playing so that attribute is nullified in those cases - besides, with conservative EQ I can also dial in rounds to be midfocused

    I also get better trampoline response with rounds for slap bass. YMMV

    Flats have one thing I do like: they reduce finger noise.

    In situations where I need flats, I generally will use Pressurewounds ...and I refuse to put rounds on fretless

    $.02, YMMV, IMHO, and all dat
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
    barrenelly, Chicken Wing and dbsfgyd1 like this.
  15. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Now I want to hear flats on a piano!

    Makes me wonder how piano strings were constructed in the early days of the instrument. Dunno when wrapping metal around a core came into being.
    barrenelly and Jefenator like this.
  16. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    Welcome! I as @michael_t suggested I cruised the TB site quite a bit to get a temperature. As with many sites on the interweb there is a wealth of information. Finding it can be fun until you get a bit more acquainted with it.

    Also, as you can see some are quick to point you in a direction. Take this as a good thing it can be helpful.

    I've been playing bass off and on since the mid 70's. Consistently since 1998. And I never fail to learn something here. Sometimes when I want to or not.

    @MB_Speed sorry to derail your tread, just don't want your first post to be your last.

    I have been primarily a stainless steel rounds guy for years. Mainly because rounds were what was on the first bass I got. So I never looked back.

    In recent years I went down a very expensive string rabbit hole. Pure Nickel Rounds,
    Nickel Plated Rounds, Pressure Wounds, Flats.....

    In the end I have TI flats on 2 70's spaced jazz basses. I love their versatility and how they feel. I have 1 jazz with TI Power Bass Nickel Rounds. They started out a bit brighter than I wanted but after staying after it awhile they settled in very nicely. Mellow and balanced. But if I dig in I can get some nice understated growl.

    The rest of my basses have Dean Markley SS Blue Steel rounds. I bought a surplus of these as they don't make them anymore.
    After a bit the zing mellows they get darker that other SS rounds to my ears. Which is right where I want them.

    Again, welcome and hope to see you around here!

  17. I prefer 2 main basses, both PJ5, both active, but 1 with flats and 1 with rounds. I'll use flats unless I absolutely have to have rounds for a tone.
  18. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
    I prefer rounds because they just sound good. I dislike flats because they sound like the worn out rounds I pulled off and threw in the trash.
  19. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Barrackville WV
    I prefer rounds because I've been playing them since the early 90's and have developed my style around their added twang and sustain. Flats just sound dull and lifeless to me. On the other hand, flats are less wear and tear on the fingers and frets. Like I wrote earlier, play whatever you like and gets the job done for you. Only you and maybe the drummer will notice any difference. Choosing the perfect string for a bass player is like choosing the perfect mouthpiece / reed for a horn player. I've got a whole box full of trumpet mouthpieces to go with my drawer full of strings.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
    barrenelly and Eighthnoterock like this.
  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    No carrots. No poll.
    MGCollis, klejst, 220_Hz and 5 others like this.