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Rounds vs flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by metaldog, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. metaldog


    Feb 4, 2004
    playing/soundwise, what are the advantages/disadavantages/charatcteristics of one compared to the other?
  2. Originally posted by Flatwound

    I can't say it any better so, I quote Flatwound when asked this question! ;)

  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Change anything and you change the sound, strings killer for one setup may suck for another. Although the sound of a given bass will show through strings or pretty much anything else. That said, I pretty much play TI jazz flats exclusively. Tried some Roto Tapewounds (very high tension), otherwise I've got 11 basses at the moment and all of the basses I've ever bought came with rounds, so I've experienced some variety in rounds. And I always play the rounds first time around before pulling them for the next session.

    I like the sound of some rounds, but they squeak, feel like ........., and tear up your bass. TI's are more like rounds in terms of sound than other flats from what I've been told. They even ring till they settle in. Most of all, I love the low tension (which a lot of people don't). And they're great on your fingers, fun to play, and kind to your bass. TI's are definitely different and plenty of people will tell you they suck. For me, they're like coming home after playing a night of rounds.
  4. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    You could try a ground wound or compression round wound. These are round wounds but through different manufacturing processes (grinding down or compressing) the surface is rendered "flatter". Tension wise they still feel like rounds but soundwise they can be a happy medium between rounds and flats. String/fret/finger noise is reduced and depending on the maker sometimes more fundamental is brought out. I thing groundwounds are closer to a flatwound tone and compression rounds are closer to a roundwound tone. I play rock and I'm using GHS brite flats right now. I like them but I will try GHS Compression Rounds next.
  5. I love the feel of flats, but I'm a fan of the bright sound of rounds. If you like that darker sound, might as well get flats. They feel very smooth.
  6. gatordad


    Jan 8, 2004
    Brandon, MS

    Give flats a try, you just may like them! FWIW, I did, and I don't think I'll put rounds back on my deluxe pb special. I went with Ernie Ball Group III flats and am extremely pleased. Major thump!

  7. Hmm, I'm in this position of deciding too.
    I play mainly slapping 'n' tapping, and really like the sound rounds give. When I tried flats, I quite liked the feel, but they seemed to just have no "bite" to the sound. Has anyone else found this or were they just a bad pair or something?
  8. Home-made,

    I know what you are talking about, that was my experience with flats until I tried the Thomastik Jazz Flats.

    I had pretty much decided that flats would not work for me when playing funk, slapping or popping, but to my pleasant surprise, I purchased a set of TI flats, (after hearing a bassist in my studio, who used them and had a wonderful, warm, clean slap tone) and I put them on my Fender Jazz, I haven't looked back since.

    For about $30.00 you can purchase the TI's Jazz Flats, give them a try, they may win you over.

    Order Online Here.

  9. Thanks Treena - going to a music shop or two tomorrow so I'll have a gander...
  10. metaldog


    Feb 4, 2004
    I'm thinking of trying out a set of the Steve Harris signature set.
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    After years of playing rounds I actually prefer the feel of 'em. To me, flats feel either too sticky or too slippery, depending on humidity.

    Roundwound will always be my string of choice because it's much easier to make rounds sound like flats than vice versa.

    That said: I keep a set of flats on one of my basses. I normally just use it with my country/blues band (I don't have to slap with that band). The flats I use are TI Jazz flats. I once brought my flat-wound bass to a rehearsal where slapping was required, and I agree completely with Treena: I was pleasantly surprised at how good TI flats sound when slapped.
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Agreed. Especially for a yutz like me that will only carry ONE bass around. Just don't forget the foam for the bridge.
    Back in '73, the very first-ever set of bass strings I bought were flats...friends said "Flats play easier"; to me, they just sounded dead.
    $15 hard-earned dollars wasted. ;)

    Couple years ago, I'm playing a friend's G&L...I like the strings, he sez, "They're D'addario Flats". I was surprised; so I have a set on my 'stay-in-the-den' Fender Jazz. They serve a purpose.
    Anyway, they're stainless steel, as are the Lakland Joe Osborne's I have. Are these TI also S/S?
    If so, that seems to be the fix in brightening up flats...make 'em outta S/S.

    ...and I'm no fan of S/S Roundwounds(too sticky).
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    JimK: TI Jazz strings (flat and round) are all pure nickel with a silk wrap between the core and wrapping.
  14. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    is anyone playin La Bella 0760 flatwound strings?
  15. Jeez...
    Well, I went to a pretty kickin' music shop today. Asked about strings, and I eventually sided on some Warwick strings.
    Get home, whip 'em out - first issue, they're long scale. Hmm, that's another inch I could do without. Secondly, the way the individual wrapped strands end mean that when you twist them around the tuning post you end up with Deadly Shards™ just waiting to jab the unsuspecting bassist (i.e. me!) and cut them. Just what I need.
    Anyhoo, other than that, nice strings!
    They're the yellow boxed set, so I'm assured they'll last longer. Quite nice playing ML gauge strings instead of the M's on my Yammy when I got it.


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