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Sterling + Flatwounds?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Growler, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Growler


    Sep 26, 2004
    [I have no idea if this belongs here or in Strings]

    I play mostly funk (70s, pfunk, disco) and motown on a MMSterling 4HH, and I've been contemplating trying to refine my tone a bit, bit smoother, less treble. Since many (or rather all) players 'back in the day' used flatwounds.

    Question #1: Anybody have experience with slapping flatwounds?

    Question #2: Should I experiment with a bongo/SR4? I do like the playability (smooth/smaller neck and weight) of the sterling.
  2. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I always keep one of my Sterlings set up with EB flats.Definitely more old school tone,and sound great fingerstyle,slapped,or with a pick. You can't go wrong!
  3. broadblik


    Aug 10, 2008
    Sheffield, UK
    Thing is flats will take all the slap texture out of your tone, it'll just sound like you're playing normally.
  4. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses

    Not at all. It just won't have the zingyness of the rounds. You still hear the slap sound of the string against the fretboard.
  5. sterling + flats = WIN
  6. Hi Growler,
    You may want to try Ken Smith Slick Rounds. (I believe they are rounds that are ground flat) With them on my Sterling, I found pretty much what you describe... smooth feel, smoother tone, full and bright slap quality without the over the top zing of rounds on an EB. Just a suggestion.
  7. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    +1 on the Ken Smith slicks. I have them on my lakland and I love them. Best of both worlds imo. Also a good transition from round to flat if you decide to keep going in that direction later.
  8. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    currently play flats and love it. switching from rounds took the "sienfeld" out of the sound
  9. I "slap" (to REALLY stretch the term) on a flats (Fender 9050's, IIRC) on a Pedulla Rapture. It still has a bit of the upper end that I like without the total zinginess of rounds.
  10. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    I highly recommend TI Jazz Flats. Expensive but they last for years.
  11. Growler


    Sep 26, 2004
    How do those TI's sound when slapped? I generally slap for the percussive sound it gives.
  12. gmarcus

    gmarcus Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    I had a set of TI flats on my P-bass for a long time. Finger and pick styles were great, but they were not too good for slapping. The A string is a lot thinner than most other strings that I have tried and I just could not get a slap sound out of it. I changed to LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats (760FL) and was easily able to get a slap sound out of all of the strings. The A is bigger. The Labellas are much brighter than the TI's when slapped. I like the slapped flats sound. Think Sly Stone.
  13. Tony Gray

    Tony Gray

    Mar 6, 2006
    I played with TI flats on my bass for years, and I didn't care for the way they sounded when slapped, and it was harder for me to slap due to the low tension. I have a set of EB flats on a 51 Reissue P Bass, and it is easy to slap and it sounds great. Hope that helps.
  14. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Aren't TIs like lower tension or something or just kinda floppier than other strings? I wouldn't expect that to be good for slap at all..

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