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Rounds for a flat player

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by famousbirds, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    I've been playing Fender flats on my G&L L-2500 exclusively for a couple years now. Here's what I love about them:

    • Super-strong fundamental
    • Medium-high tension
    • Plenty of highs, for a flat
    • Very little string noise
    I've been playing Jamerson-style soul and they are about perfect for that setting. However, that group is wrapping up, and I'm interested in trying some rounds again.

    Here's what I'd like (and don't get from the Fenders):

    • Clear, articulate B-string (Fender is all thump)
    • More expressive, dynamic attack on higher strings for solo playing
    • More detailed sustain
    I want a complex-sounding round that "speaks", but still has some of that deep, smooth flat fundamental.

    I've been looking at:

    • DR Lo-Riders
    • Ken Smith Compressors
    • Sadowsky Blue Nickels
    • GHS Pressurewounds (tried these a while back but wasn't real impressed)
    • D'Addario EXP Nickel
    FWIW - these strings are for a modern electric-jazz type sound. Not a slapper, not a rock/metal player. Stainless steel is probably too bright for me.
  2. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    You can cross Ken Smith Compressors off your list because they are the same as GHS Pressurewounds.
  3. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    Ha! Good to know!
  4. BrBss


    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    I'm a flats guy (TIs), but when I need rounds I use DR Sunbeams. Both of these strings have a strong midrange without too much treble.
  5. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Try Fender 7150 pure nickels. They are some fat rounds.
  6. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011

    Or would you consider a roundwound B string and keep the rest Fender flats?
    You'd probably have to try a few to find a good match though.
  7. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    Ah, never thought of them. Seems like a good place to start considering how much I like the flats.

    Seriously considered this - first thing I thought of when I put the Fender flats on - but seemed like too much of a hassle.
  8. SIT Powerwounds or Elixir Nano's are really nice sounding for solo purposes.
  9. Nothing to offer except to say that your avatar is awesome.
  10. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    Ha, thank you.

    Looking, doesn't seem like they don't have a five string set. Any other pure nickel fivers?
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I've liked Chromes. They have a bright high end, punchy and dynamic mid section, and their lows are smooth. You get zero string noise with them, too. Plus they're cheap :) Get them in the medium-light gauge and they'll feel like a nice medium tension round.
  12. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    You should consider DR Marcus Miller Far Beams:


    They have that grand piano growl thing going in spades, but have a lotta bottom end response, too ... very full sounding. I have four string sets on both my FrankenGeddyLee and my Warmoth '72 Precision basses and they are simply the bomb ... killer tone and they set up well with just the right tension.
  13. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    D'addario half rounds are pure nickel I believe also. Never tried them myself though.
  14. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    You know I had sort of written these off as real zingy SS (what I think of as Marcus Miller) but they actually sound like just the trick. On the list!
  15. Another possibility is tapes. They kind of live in-between flats and rounds, and they'll still have the flat feel you're used to.
  16. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    As far as that goes, maybe try some Rotosound 77's. They're pretty bright sounding.
  17. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Yes, I love these strings too. But OP stated he likes the "medium-high" tension of his Fender flats. The Sunbeams are pretty low tension. I think OP is on the right track with the (nickel version of the) Lo-Riders.

    Yep, I like these too, but again, they're low tension. And OP doesn't like SS.

    I recommend trying the nickel Lo-Riders.
  18. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    :cool: This guy! I think you about summed it up. I'm curious about pure SS - been ages since I used 'em and probably they've become more balanced since then - but Nickel Lo-Riders seem like they fit my initial requirements the best.
  19. Thomastik Superalloys would be worth a try... I'm a die-hard LaBella flats user, but I actually rather enjoyed the Thomastiks' clearer, more articulate attack – especially on the higher frets.
  20. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    How is the tension on those? If they're as soft as the TI flats, might be a bit loose for me..

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