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Roundwound for Flatwound, setup

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by SRT31, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. SRT31


    Jun 6, 2008
    Want to try flatwounds, on my MIM Fender P-Bass, any setup/intonation issues that I should be aware of? This is my first time re-stringing. Thanks.
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I've never had to adjust the action when I've converted round to flat. You might have to tweak the trussrod if there is a huge difference in tension. Just throw them on, intonate, and play that sucker.
  3. Cannabass


    Jan 22, 2010
    i had to crank the **** out of my old epi LP's truss rod when i put fender flats on it, they are such high tension.

    but it also could have because i took the roundwounds off like a week before and left the bass sitting around with no strings... haha i made all the rookie mistakes with that bass :D
  4. Cannabass


    Jan 22, 2010
    p.s. dont get fender flats
  5. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    It depends on at least two things. First, the difference between tuned tension of the rounds you've got on now, and the flats you're going to put on. Second, how critical things like action, relief, and intonation are to you. If you go to T-I Jazz Flats you're probably going to need to relieve the truss rod's tension. If however you go to some LaBella Old Originals (the "Jamerson set"), you'll probably have to tighten the rod a good bit. There's simply not any standard that's consistent except that different sets have different tensions.

    Any time you change brand or gauge of strings you should check and set the neck relief, the action, and the intonation. But then I think any bassist should be able to set all of these themselves without any problems.

  6. SRT31


    Jun 6, 2008
  7. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    +1 to all posts above.

    The changes you have to make are the same ANYTIME you make a major switch in strings, even switching from one round to another. You have to compensate for different tension and different gauge, regardless of whether its a round or a flat.

    Any ideas on what kind of flats you want to try out? What kind of tone are you going after?
  8. SRT31


    Jun 6, 2008
    I bought a set of Fender flatwounds already. I'm after a rich, deep tone. I hate the zing zing sound that roundwoulds produce.
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto

    Nice thought. Some consider the sound of flats to be muddy and lifeless. "Deep and rich" are not the terms I wold use to describe the sound of flats. More "thumpy and muted".

    Whaddya know! It's a matter of personal taste.

    Then again, I have some high-frequency hearing loss. Maybe the sound I like is awful!
  10. SRT31


    Jun 6, 2008
    Thank god you don't play violin.
  11. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    You will definitely have higher tension w/ Fender flats than almost any round wound. I would recommend D'Adderio Chromes to get to anything close to deep & rich. The TI's are actually pretty bright for flats, but there are several brands that could fill the need. Good luck.
  12. SRT31


    Jun 6, 2008
    Thanks for the input. This is beginning to sound like a project not for the beginner.
  13. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    Nah, you need to go for it and do what you want with your bass. Don't go crazy and do something that would damage the bass, but making changes until you find what you like is half the fun
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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