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Strings For Fretless

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Andy B., Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Andy B.

    Andy B.

    Sep 25, 2007
    Hi guys,

    do you know any good strings special for 5 string fretless???

  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Nothing *special*, but flat wounds, or Rotosound has "ground wounds" do a pretty good job for me.
    Theres also "tape wound", GHS has nylon wound (wrapped) strings.
    There are plenty of others though YMMV
  3. I can't say enough good things about Labella Deep Talkin Flats.....been using them exclusively for a number of years
  4. Some people swear by a certain string and if I had enough money, I would probably do that, too. The thing I would advise is to buy a pair and use the crap out of them. I bought a fretless and flatwounds already on them and I've been playing it going on 3 years now. I haven't changed the strings and they have that sweet, dead, singing tone to them. That's always my advise for buying strings. Use them long enough to break them in and then decide whether or not you like them.
  5. hunta


    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    I use DR sunbeams (round nickel) on my Fender Jazz fretless and it sounds great. I've never liked flats or groundwounds or tape strings for fretless. I want some bite in my sound.
  6. sactofeck


    Feb 22, 2008
    I'm trying some nylon wounds, any experience with these? Any problems keeping them in tune?
  7. thumbslapper

    thumbslapper Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    San Francisco
    I've always like d'addario nickle XL on my pedulla
    fretless - they dont chew up the fretboard as much
    and yet still have some high end to them.

    then again i've never liked flatwounds, too dull &
    boring - i know some folks swear by em, but...

  8. Thomastik Infeldt Jazz Flats.

    I use them on the Precision fretless and they have the most gorgeous, nasal sound I've heard! (Naturally depending on rig, technique, etc.) I use them on the fretted Jazz, too.

    I've Got D'Add grounds on the Harper. The B is not so good, I must say, and the stock strings (also D'Adds) have a better B.

    Had I a fretless 5 I have no hesitation in buying a set.

    Having said that, with a hard board, I'd prolly experiment with TI Jazz Rounds.

    But Thomastiks aint cheap!!!

    Good luck.

  9. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I may be the only ding-dong doing this but I love round wounds on my fretless and use DR Xtra Life coated. They growl like nobody's business and aren't over treble happy.

  10. grieverOSOK


    Jan 12, 2008
    you're a braver man than i. does that damage your fingerboard at all? if not what kind of wood is it? i had rounds on my fretless for about a week and started seeing damage from them so im sticking with rotosounds or chromes. then again my bass is prolly worth 1/10 of what yours is. beautiful instrument. more pics would be nice:hyper:
  11. Illbay


    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Just put TI Jazz Flats on my Fender Jazz. They sound like heaven.
  12. Illbay


    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Okay, pink strings, a pink clef on your strap, and an earring in each ear.

    Am I sensing a pattern here?
  13. jakusx


    Nov 11, 2007
    Fort Lauderdale
    I have roundwounds on my fretless six'er, but I'd like to change back to flats soon. I'm not a fan of the sound.

    Any good recommendations?

    I hated the Thomastiks I had on there.
  14. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    That's an ebony board. I've been playing that bass for 1.5 years and there no evibence of round wounds showing. I also used round wounds on my rosewood board fretless P for 15 years and never saw a mark. I think there are more pics on my myspace site

  15. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    OK I'll play your game...are you?:eyebrow:
    my ears are double pierced (since you missed that)

  16. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Illboy, where are you going with this? If you implying something about fretlessboy's color preferences, it's his preference. If you are going somewhere else with it, take it somewhere else. Talkbass... get it?

    To the OP, Andy, string preference is completely personal. Rounds, flats or ground wounds all have a different sound characteristics, beyond that, each brand sounds a little different and definitely feels very different from one another in any given string type.

    A couple of things, using rounds on a fretless will eat the fingerboard over a long period of time. I mean a long, long time. To me, it's worth it to get that growly, zizzy mwah. If in 25 years I need a new fingerboard, I am totally cool with that. If you have an ebony board it will last even longer.

    You must decide what sound you prefer, if growly zizzy mwah is at one end of the spectrum, smooth thumpy would be at flat wound end of the spectrum with groundwounds in between.
  17. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I have tried flats on my fretless basses but for me they just didn't growl enough. To me there is something about a reoundwound on a fretless. Maybe it was the early years of listening to Tony Franklin (through out the 80's). There's just a sbarl that comes out of of roundwounds. Jaco used rounds as well. I think you must decide if you are trying to mimic an upright or going for a more agressive tone. Personal preference is the key.

    Dbassmon-thank you
  18. play4zero


    Dec 29, 2005
    Edorsing Artist: Eden
    The strings are red as is the bass clef on the strap, he also looks great in heels and both of my sons wear ear rings and kept me busy trying to keep them in school because they were forever punching someone out.
  19. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    john, Actually the clef and strings on this bass are pink.lol There are Pekock blue on my Tiger maple Smith, red Devils on the Lakie and forrest green on the '65 Pbass.
  20. The color, that is; the *artist*, meh. :meh:
    I've had LaBella flats on a Stambaugh 4; loved it. Had a similar 6 built & tried the same strings; not so much. Put on D'Addario half-rounds; LOVING IT.
    Rebop 5; DR Balcke Beauties; loved it.
    I had a 7 w/nickel rounds(Foderas, IIRC); loved it.
    So, D'Addarios=my fave, DRs, #2, flats I prefer on my upright. :)
    Mind you, I like the growling, singy mwah vs upright thump.

    Lastly, I have a poorly-defretted but very functional(almost too much mwah)Hohn-berger; SS round Ken Smiths(it's a total beater, I don't worry about wear & don't play it much anyway), IIRC. I had ripped out the neck PU & never use the cheap active pre, so there's no tone control to speak of. Scary mwah.

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