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Severe disappointment...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by WayneS, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. WayneS


    Apr 9, 2007
    I bought some flats the other day. Was looking so forward to getting them home and stringing my bass. Well, I got them on and everything sounded great! I got to band practice that night, exited about playing with my new flats. Here's the disappointment... the sound was a horrid, terrible, muddy mess!!! I put the rounds back on when I got home. I packed the flats back up and threw them into a drawer.

    I'm not sure what I expected. I kept hearing how great flats were. Even the guy at the music store recommended them. Man, what a waste of money.
  2. kevinmoore73

    kevinmoore73 Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    It all depends on the flats. What brand were they?
  3. WayneS


    Apr 9, 2007
    Ernie Ball Group III 45's
  4. kevinmoore73

    kevinmoore73 Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I have D'Addario Chromes and they are practically the opposite of what you describe. Then again, it could be my pickups too.
  5. Hawaii Islander

    Hawaii Islander Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Rio Rico, AZ
    I had Fender stainless steel flats on my jazz bass for a while. I liked them, but my nephew couldnÂ’t stand them. They weren't bright enough for his taste in music. I think the difficulty may be in the EQ settings. You definitely can't use the same settings that are used for rounds, at least I couldn't. I typically, back of the bass and the mids a bit and up the treble slightly. I also use less of the neck pickup and more of the bridge pickup. I usually keep the amp EQ close to flat. I do think you would need time to play around with the settings to find your specific tone, and that may take some time.
  6. markdavid


    Jun 29, 2007
    How ironic I took a set of these off my bass yesterday because they were too bright sounding
  7. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    Maybe you should check out some music where you know the bass player is playing flat wounds to see if you like their sound. What kind of music do you play or like?

  8. Flats aren't supposed to sound bright.

    Try EQing out some bass and boosting the mids a bit. It'll help.
  9. Seconding the suggestion to cut your lows and mids a little. It may take some tweaking. I boost my highs a little bit to get some attack (though I use the D'Addario flats), and if I need to cut them for one song, I can just roll the tone knob back a little.

    Though I guess you have to like the basic flatwound sound to begin with.
  10. WayneS


    Apr 9, 2007
    I tried to EQ it. I think the problem is that I play hard. I use the fretboard noise to my advantage. I guess this fretboard noise is what ruined it for me.

    I guess the bottom line for me is... You just cant beat a good set of rounds!

    So.. I have a new set of flats in the drawer, anybody wanna trade a set of rounds for them? :)
  11. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    yeah, though it does depend on the play, the bass and the amp, it's certainly possible to get a defined, articulate sound on flats. It's just a different, less zingy flavour than what roundwounds get.
  12. Silas Martinez

    Silas Martinez

    Jan 17, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I agree on the chromes. They have an unusually bright clear tone, considering they are flats.

    On my bongo, they do sound really good for most applications - not typical slap strings, certainly, but great for finger funk and pops.

    Of course the bongo's overzealous EQ can turn them into rolling mud pretty quick, but it seems to be able to do that with most strings.
  13. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
  14. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Boost at 800 Hz is my standard. Your tone is a combination of your bass, strings, pickups, pickup settings, amp, EQ, technique, etc. Finding a sound you like can be quite the journey.
  15. Why did you want flats anyway? They're harder to play than rounds, and make your bass sound like its wearing a sweater.
  16. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    They make my bass sound like a girl in a tight sweater looks.
  17. WayneS


    Apr 9, 2007
    I just wanted to try them after hearing so much good about them. I actually found them easier to play than rounds. Also, I didnt notice any more tension than the GHS Bass Boomers that I normally use. I like the fact that they are smooth. Maybe I'll try a different set sometime. For now though, I'll stick to my rounds
  18. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I've been using Rotosound flats for years now -- the 77 series.

    I find them to be a "full range" string with plenty of highs and tons of low end.

    They don't grind like roundwounds...say like Marcus Miller Fat Beams or something like that.

    I love the feel...but then again, I mostly play blues, soul, and R&B on electric (Yamaha 5)...so that's what I'm going for.

    Did you know Steve Harris from Iron Maiden has a signature set of Roto flats? They're one guage heavier than the ones I use. Yikes, that's huge!
  19. chriss


    Apr 27, 2007
  20. hoosierdad


    Sep 1, 2003
    Flats sound the best for certain types of music - like blues, older rock and soul tunes and country. I put Fender Flatwounds on all my basses about 30 years ago and I found my sound. The longer a set has been on a bass - the better they sound to me. BUT - I was in a 'oldies' band for 20 years and now I'm in a country band. I don't think Flea would dig Flats so much - but who knows - Flea can probably jam on any kind of strings.

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