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Strings for "vintage" rock sound

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by schneidy, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. schneidy


    Feb 24, 2004
    First of all, thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    I usually string my '75 P-Bass with LaBella flats for a warm fat tone but I need a edgier sound for a new project I'm working with. I would say the one sounds I have in mind would be U2's Adam Clayton playing with with a pick another is perhaps the clean picked bass on the Franz Ferdinand record or other new indie style rock.

    I've tried various DR sets before (Lo Riders, Fat Beams etc. ) in Medium gauge but I always found them to be to "Hi-Fi" and thin of a sound on my P.
  2. Kavorka


    Mar 28, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Maybe give the Rotosounds a try. Their Power Bass rounds are good and so are their nickle strings. Should have a vintage sound.
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA

    I have Rotosound 66ers on my Rick 4003 and the tone is nice.
  4. The Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats, they are a flatwound string but IMHO, have a brighter, cleaner sound then most other flats. Give them a try, you'll keep the vintage sound yet, have some edge too.

    I use the TI's JF344's

    Best sounding Flats I have ever used!


    Jazz Flats

    Price List & Ordering Info

  5. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Wow, Treena going in for the hard sell!!! hehe
  6. I'd say pure nickel is the way to go. Fender Original Nickels are strapped on my bass right now, and they're bassy but edgy, which is great because I can roll off the treble and get a very warm sound. I'd been playing steel for a while and this is quite refreshing.
  7. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Finding the right strings is unfortunately a process of experimentation and comes with a cost. Bass strings are not
    cheap, unless you happen to be endorsed by a manufacturer
    in which case you get your strings for free or at a reduced
    price. Opinions about strings abound here at Talkbass, some
    of which are tied to endorsement obligations. There are hundreds of bass strings varieties available on the market,
    99.9% which are probably right for someone. Good quality,
    honest bass strings should not cost you more than $20 a
    set in any geographical market in the U.S. Every single
    major domestic bass string manufacturer makes a quality
    product. Pricing structures among all of them are competitive
    and fairly similar. The British manufacturer, Rotosound also
    competes effectively for a significant share of the US market.
    Back to your question...It sounds to me like you could get
    the sound you are looking for with a nickel roundwound,
    a half round or a bright flatwound. Depending on what the
    stores in your area carry, you could try D'Addario XL's,
    Dean Markley Ground Rounds, GHS Boomers, Ken Smith
    Burners or Compressors, GHS brite flats, or Rotosound
    Jazz Bass flats. None of these sets should cost more than
    $20 for a 4 string set. These are just some suggestions off
    the top of my head, and my usual disclaimer applies. Try
    as many different sets as your budget will allow, and let your own fingers and ears be the judge. I've found all of these
    sets to be of good quality; your results and mileage may vary,
    so form your own opinions!


  8. Well, if you want to do vintage, you have to think vintage.

    In the 70's ish, what strings were available?

    Flats and Roto's were most likely the most popular.

    I say, try a set of Roto 66's and wait a bit for them to go a little dead.
  9. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    I keep coming back to the Fender 7150 pure nickel roundwounds. They always sound good and they feel great. Very phat, good highs, but never metallic.

    Of course a tube amp wouldn't hurt, either.

    I'm an old guy (50+) so I know vintage tone when I hear it.

    What? :D
  10. schneidy


    Feb 24, 2004
    Thanks for the info. I'm defnitely going the Tube route. B15 Portaflex and SVT mostly. Any of you have recomendations on gauge? I find mediums to flimsy in the more modern strings.
  11. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    I use 45 - 65 - 80 - 100 (a medium light) set. I prefer a little more weight on the G string -- I think it balances out better with the lower strings. Otherwise, I think Gs tend to sound a bit plinky.

    If you decide to try the 7150s, you'll notice that they are probably higher tension than what you might be used to. They aren't super high, but more than Tomastiks and DRs. You might even need to tweak the truss rod on your bass.

    Give them a chance and you might find that you prefer the feel (I certainly do!).