Rounds or flats on fretless?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Chris Brodowski, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Flatwounds

    13 vote(s)
  2. Roundwounds

    23 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. When I get my first fretless, one of the debates that I'll have is the type of strings to put on. I plan on it having an ebony board, so I'm not too worried about nickel rounds "eating away" at the board.

    My major debate came on whether to put rounds or flats on it. I thought many flat sets would be too dull, but then again I'm not a huge brightness fan anyways..

    Then I thought rounds would have too much "mwah" which IMO can eventually get annoying. I like it, but to a point.

    And I was wondering what the fretless players here use. Sorry for posting a rather annoying poll.
  2. I havent played a fretless ever, butI have played flats, and I just dont like em, so I think I would never put flatwounds on any bass I ever own.
  3. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Hasn't there already been a poll on this?

    Anyway, I use flats at the moment. TI Jazz Flats to be precise. But, I'm experimenting with strings, and I'm waiting for a set of D'Addario Half Rounds to arrive. My bass wasn't particularly expensive, and I've heard that the damage caused by rounds generally doesn't threaten the playability of the instrument, and that it takes quite a while for them to cause damage. Given that, I wouldn't have a problem with putting rounds on it, if it gave me the sound I wanted.

    As Mike Dimin said, "Who cares if the strings rip up the fretboard. If you need to do it to get the sound that you need, then do it. The bass is just a tool, nothing more!"
  4. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Yes! [​IMG]

    sorry :). I'm lovin' TI Jazz Rounds on a yammer with two J pups.
    They're not overly "bright". I think that silk under-wrap has somethin'
    to do with it. I tried (TI) Powerbass and DR Sunbeams on it. They
    were both a bit too "edgy" (IMHO).

    Of course, I got another fretless with TI Flats that also sounds sweet. another fretless :D
  5. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I like rounds.

    If I were playing a Rob Allen or RicTurner or something, I suppose I'd be going for a completely different vibe though.

    What kind of bass are you getting and what type of playin and sound are you going for?
  6. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I have three fretli: two have tapewounds and the other has flats. I get plenty of mwah with flats and tapes.
  7. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Have to be "both" - depending on what sound you want and what the specific bass does with different strings. If I had to choose I lean towards rounds for a more modern and versatile sound.
  8. BTW: Sorry if this has already been posted.

    I think sometimes I want the more agressive roundwound tone, and sometimes I like the "urb" (what's that phrase for words that describe the sound they make? I think it begins with an A) and the "thump" that flats make.

    I didn't know anyone made Half-Rounds, so this might be just what I would be looking at.

    For everyone's info, I just did this poll to get a feel on what people play, and I'm sorry if the constant "bumping" on the form created by polls bugged anyone.
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I prefer rounds, and have steels on my main fretless(gotta love that phenowood!;)).

    But I like the darker, woodier tone too. That's why my 4 string fretless has black nylons on it.
  10. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I've ordered some D'Addario Half Rounds for my fretless (I've got TI Jazz Flats on there at the moment) - when they arrive, and I've tried them out I'll tell ya what they're like.
  11. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I use nickel roundwounds on both of my fretless basses. Re. having too much mwah, you can control it, with right technique and EQ. I use flats only on my Hofner Beattle clone
  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Brooks is right about mwah. It's not just something that happens when you play fretless, it's about technique, you have to make it happen. You can play fretless with very little mwah if you want.
  13. [I didn't know anyone made Half-Rounds, so this might be just what I would be looking at.]

    I`m planning to buy a set of Roto`s pressurewounds. Any experiences?
    In the company`s webpage they recommended pressurewounds especially to fretless.
  14. zyxwfish


    Dec 12, 2002
    Bethlehem, PA
    I play frettless and my favorite strings are Fodera Diamond series. There compressed Round/stainless steel There pretty brite but not overly bright but not nearly as dull as flat wounds
  15. Not meaning to scare you, but I've just taken some off my fretless, they were horrible. They sounded dead after less than a week, they felt almost sticky under the fingers, they slowed my playing a lot. I really didn't like them.

    What are the TI Jazz Flats like though? I've never tried them.

    judas jedermann: I used the Roto pressurewounds on my fretted 4 for a while, they weren't very good. While they felt and played okay (not much different to Roto roundwounds) they were really quiet and didn't have much tone to them - quite middly sounding, I remember.

    I'm just about to put some GHS Brite Flats on my fretted 4, I'll let you all here know what I think soon (it was this board that recommended them to me.....) but I'm still looking for something I like for my fretless 5.
  16. just_a_poser


    Apr 20, 2002
    I'm playing with flats on mine right now.

    I want to get rounds though, I want a brighter sound, flats are too dull for me.

    Or you could get half wounds. :D
  17. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    The TIs are really nice for an upright like tone. I'm thinking that flats (or at least the TIs) aren't really right for the sound I want, but I'm not sure that I want something as bright as rounds. As far as the D'Addario halfs go - they've still not arrived, I'll have to check up on that. Maybe they won't arrive, maybe strings direct have forgotten! In which case I might take the opportunity to go for some other strings instead!
  18. I've used SR2000 on all my fretlesses. It's a step wound super round string.

    I like a Jaco type sound and these strings do an excellent job of supplying that tone.

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