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Roundwounds for fretless

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Tomi, Apr 24, 2001.

  1. Tomi


    Dec 4, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    Which roundwound strings are produce the darkest, warmest, deepest tone on a fretless? I have already tried D'Addario XLs and DR's-Lo-Riders but never tried
    DR's-Sunbeams, DR-fats, Ernie Ball nickels, Elixirs, etc.
    Any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Heavy GHS boomers.
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I use Fender nickel "Super Bass" strings on my Dean Edge 5 fretless and I think they sound fantastic. I recommend that you give them a try!
  4. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    I like the Elixers Polyweb. Sounds like you tried them already.

    What was your objection to each of the brands you tried?
  5. Tomi


    Dec 4, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    Thank you guys for the help!
    Dytakeda, I have not tried Elixirs yet but I am going to. D'Addario XL and DR's Hi-beams were not smooth and dark enough for me. The DR's Lo-Riders sounded much better, softer with less finger noise but I am still looking for "my tone". Except these three I have not tried rounds. I used halfrounds of D'Addario but only on my fretted Jazz V. Both B and E were dead even after baking them at 200 C! :(

    Recently, I am using flats on it: Fender 9050 M, wchich have really nice dark tone but a bit tight and they have a little bit "glassy" sound when I push them down to ebony fretboard (may be it's also due to my poor technique ;)).
    I have also used D'Addario Chromes, which have a quite nice warm tone and smoother than Fenders. But Rotosound 77s Jazz Flats sounded terrible for me (very bright, no warm at all).
    So, I gonna try rounds now.
  6. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    The thing I like about the Elixers is they do keep their tone for a long time. I've had the same set on the fretless for three months without any noticable decline in tone. Admittedly, I don't play it a lot. I did throw a set on the fretted P about a month ago, and they've still got their original brightness. I play this bass a lot, so I do believe the company claims about the long life.

    One I haven't tried but gets all the raves is the Thomastic-Infeld Jazz Flats for both fretted and fretless. They're expensive, but supposed to be worth it. You may want to try those.

    I had Fender flats, but you're right. They are a really tight. I hated playing on those.

    BTW, why are you baking your strings? Do you mean boiling?
  7. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Are rounds a requirement?? Thomastik Jazz Flats are great fretless strings, are very alive like rounds but are warm and deep.

    GHS Brite Flats, rounds that are shaved flat, are also good fretless strings, good tone; I actually like them best on fretted lately.

    DR Sunbeams, if rounds are a must, are very cool for fretless; they have a round core wire like the Thoms are are nice and flexible, good mids and lows, and are best when they lose some of their initial brightness IMHO.
  8. Tomi


    Dec 4, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    Dytakeda, I've got the baking string idea from Hambone, posted a year ago:
    It is a good process burning out the oil from the new strings. But my B and E were not changed much after this treatment.

    Bob, actually I have heard here a lot of excellent reviews on TI's and I definitely gonna try them. The problem is I have not seen TI's in Tokyo yet, so I have to order them from juststrings.com.
    But first, I would like to try the rounds.
    Which are darker, deeper, etc. Elixirs or Sunbeams?
    Or GHS boomers?
    Thanks guys.
  9. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    Interesting thread about the baking. Doesn't make any sense to me, but if it worked for him, what the heck. Remember though, that the baking was in reference to that particular type of string where the D'Addario factory flattens the windings after they're installed - a process that requires putting oil on the strings after the outer windings are in place.

    I would think, however, that the factory would more likely use a chemical degreaser. Bringing the temperature of a metal up to 400 degrees could alter the crystal structure of the metal. It depends on the particular alloy. That was already mentioned though. In any case, very interesting.

    The TI's aren't widely available in shops over here either. Your best bet would be to order over the web. Try www.juststrings.com

    I've never dealt with them personally, but they've got the TI JF's
  10. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    You could try the T-I jazz rounds too. I use them on my fretted- very warm to my ears.
  11. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    I use Elixir's for fretted and fretless, but I've discovered a wonderful fretless sound with the Thomastik Nylon-core ABG strings on my Zon Lightwave. I know not everyone has a Lightwave bass, and you have to have at least a piezo element to use these strings, but this combination is the closest I've heard to getting an upright bass sound on electric. Just unbeleivable growl, air, and thump. these strings take a little getting used to, however.
  12. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    Yep. I'm very satisfied with Fenders too... Those strings really increased the "mwah" on my epoxied fingerboard...
  13. Tomi


    Dec 4, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hey, I am back from the Golden Week.:)
    Thanks for the help. I bought Dr. Sunbeams and tried. Really nice lows and mids as Bob says but... Not that sound what I really wanted. So I went back to flats again and stringed my Tune fretless with Rotosound 88 black nylon tapewound (flatwound) strings. Very dark tone, faster decay with almost acoustic sound! They are smoother than Chromes and much fatter with .115-.065 gauges.
    Next time I will try TI's.

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