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Strings for a defretted P-bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by powellmacaque, May 12, 2010.

  1. Hey guys. I've finally got my MIM Fretless Precision in working order and I am really enjoying sounding like a beginner again with fretless bass :). I've got Seymour Duncan Quarter pounders in this bass, giving it a bit of a treble and bass boost.

    Right now the strings I have on there are quite tense (I wanna say they're D'Addarios, but I can't remember) roundwounds. With the tone knob wide open, they're very biting and almost rattly, with the tone knob rolled off I can get a nice vintage mojo tone.

    I was considering flats, tapewounds, or coated strings to give a more consistent "rolled off" tone, but I don't want to lose definition, so strings that tend to bring out the midrange would be best. I also like doing bends and all sorts of abusive things to my strings, so I'd like strings that stay "low and loose". My action is set a bit higher than my other basses due to the defretting, so I'd like to make up for it with low-tensity strings.

    Any suggestions?
  2. I used Fender 9050ML's on a fretless Tony Franklin Precision and they gave a nice warm, almost upright bass-like tone.

  3. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    I prefer the Fender Nylon Tapewound 9120's. They're cheap, they last for years, they feel good, they have extremely low tension and they have a nice dark and thumpy tone with just a bit of brightness to them. They are a roundwound string wrapped in a black nylon tape. Warning: they sound a bit bright for the first week or so but they settle down after that. I've seen them as low as $15 at MF. I pay $25 for them at my local music store but I like to give them my business as they're the only local music store that has a good selection of gear in my immediate area. I'd like for them to stay in business.
  4. Thanks. I'm actually really looking for that kind of "upright on steroids" tone, so both of those suggestions sound like they'd do just fine.

    I had tapewounds on this bass a while back, but that was with the stock pickup which was very muddy and lackluster. I think I'll give both types of strings a shot.
  5. elzeder


    Mar 19, 2010

    Labella deep talking flats

    I put a set of 760 fl on my fretted jazz and i get that upright kinda tone, nice feel and nice soft tension but not floppy
  6. I have used these strings on my P Bass. I like them all and they each have their own mojo to give the bass:

    Fender 9020 Tapewounds
    GHS Pressurewounds
    GHS Brite Flats
    TI Jazz Flats
    GHS Precision Flats
  7. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    All the above are great fretless strings.
    I would add Ken Smith "Compressors", and GHS Tapewounds.
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I had a fretless Precision for awhile, and loved D'Addario Chromes. They're brighter than typical flats, but still sound like flats. However, for maximum old-school thump, I simply love GHS Precision flats, but I've only used them on my fretted P.
  9. A variation on LaBella's are the Sadowsky Black Label flats (stainless).

    A nice low cost alternative I've been using on a kicker fretless are Detroit Stainless Flats from webstrings.com.
  10. When I was into fretless, I always used some type of half rounds or compressed rounds, mostly D'Addario, but GHS Prssure Rounds are great too. I once found a set of Rickenbacker compressed rounds that were awesome.
  11. Chromes are my favorite string, however, I currently have my SX Fretless P-Bass strung with Fender 9050ML. They sound pretty good. Once I get some money saved up (I'm broke! College student.) I'm going to buy some D'Addario Chromes and take my bass to be professionally set-up (intonation, action, all of that.) I can't wait!!

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