Rounds which sound like flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by 4StringDave, Jun 1, 2022.

  1. Hi Everyone

    I've been experimenting lately (last couple of years!) with some Fender Flats on my main Jazz Bass and I'm loving the tone for most things. The problem is, I'm still having trouble with stickiness - normally things are ok, but last night we played an outdoor gig and, when the sun set and the air became colder and a bit more damp, I was sticking all over the place and they became difficult to play.

    I use D'Addario XLs on another jazz so I know what they are like when well broken in, but I was wondering if there was anything else that could get me closer to the sound of the Fender flats, but roundwound, for those sticky moments? I know it won't be 100% the same...
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    None. But try TI Jazz Rounds. They are silky and not overly bright.
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Nose corner grease=no more string stickiness.
  4. Well-broken-in DR Nickel Lo-Riders for punchy warmth and smooth mids. Even when they're brand new, they're not nearly as bright or zingy as the D'A XL Nickels, not to mention they're also a lot smoother in surface texture than the D'A without ever getting sticky.

    EDIT: I should also point out the Nickel Lo-Riders, being hex-core, are fairly closer to XL Nickels and Fender 9050s in terms of overall playing feel (stiffness/flexibility) than the TI Jazz Rounds mentioned above.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2022
    noahw1, Selim, Dragan and 5 others like this.
  5. Tried that - my nose isn't greasy enough apparently.... :D
    tindrum likes this.
  6. Thanks Michael!
  7. Rocket Queen

    Rocket Queen Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2019
    Paradise City
    Well, maybe that's one reason why you should not fire the drummer...
  8. I'm not touching him or his nose!!
    Nashrakh and michael_t like this.
  9. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    There was a thread a week or so ago about flats in high humidity being somewhat sticky. Having a good clean wipe cloth on gigs is a good idea. I don’t use flats but years back, I just wiped them (and the neck too) down as often as needed, once or twice a set seem to eliminate the problem. JMO.
    Ryan in PDX and 4StringDave like this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    There are legends about fried chicken grease deadening strings - you might get the sound of flats with decent slide-ability that way, but...I've never had the guts to try it (and I like the sound of rounds, so I probably never will).

    Otherwise, broken in Pressurewounds will get you to the edge of flatishness tonally.
  11. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown

    Jan 8, 2018
    GHS Pressurewounds. They can do fat and thuddy like flats or bright and grindy like rounds. I have them on a couple of my basses. They're fantastic strings. The TI Jazz flats mentioned already are incredible strings too.
  12. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Wiping them down with WD40 will kill the highs. Years ago I thought applying WD40 might stop roundwounds from oxidizing and losing highs.

    Unfortunately for me that wasn't the case. The WD40 significantly reduced the high frequencies. Just one approach.
  13. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    In the past … wanting flatish (is that a word) I used GHS Pressure wounds and later tape wounds
    4StringDave and Low Down Brown like this.
  14. Just buy used strings
  15. coy garcia

    coy garcia

    Jan 18, 2020
    I have never experienced this with chrome fact I switched to them cause I was getting rope burn with my rounds on slides.
  16. Just let them age.
  17. BTW, many of the videos dedicated to Geezer Butler's early sound say that he played with flats. False. It was always old rounds.
  18. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I use a Jazz bass with broken-in Nickel Lo-Riders (sometimes w foam mute) interchangeably with my Pbass with Labella flats for an Americana band. No one bats an eye. They can sound nice and thumpy. Honestly the only thing I miss with them is with my pick sound--you don't get the same "thunk" on the attack as with flats with some highs boosted, but at least the NLRs don't sound zingy or pingy. For fingerstyle with some highs rolled down they're killer for rootsy tones.
    Selim and michael_t like this.
  19. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Take any pack of rounds and put them in the trunk of your car during summer...leave them there for about a month or two.........Im just kidding but that actually might work lol
  20. LetItGrowTone

    LetItGrowTone Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2019
    Actually, even broken-in Roto 66 on my Vintera P with .1uF cap, with tone rolled off, is pretty durn deep and smooth.