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Switching from rounds to half wounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mbart203, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. mbart203


    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi guys,
    I'm looking to get away from round wounds but don't want to go to flats.

    I'd love to hear your opinions on half wounds and pressure wounds.

    I'm looking to get smoother sliding with less noise.I'm hoping that half wounds will give me sort of the best of both worlds. I'm also aware of the importance of technique and I'm working on that too.

    I play across several types of music including rock and at church, I play a contemporary Christian style.

  2. Pressurewound = semi-round = round-ish tone and feel, except added punch and crunch without the zing with a smoother surface texture than typical rounds.
    Half-rounds = semi-flat = more of the flatwound tone and feel, except with added brightness.

    Being a church bassist myself, I find the pressurewounds a lot more versatile for CCM than half-rounds/flats.
  3. mbart203


    Dec 29, 2009
    Thanks for the info.
    Been doing some reading and I'm leaning toward pressure wound.
    I still want some zing just smoother.
    michael_t likes this.
  4. BrentSimons

    BrentSimons Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Vergennes,VT USA
    Hi there,
    I tried Daddario half rounds once. A bunch of folks recommended them for my 51 p bass reissue. I was using Rotosound Swingbass roundwounds at the time and really didn't like the tone or feel of the Half Rounds. To my ears they sounded dull and they had a stiff sticky feel to them. I'm sure it was a great classic pairing with 51 but coming from a prog rock Geddy Lee type of tone it really wasn't my cuppa...yeeeeeeh. :laugh:
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  5. Something else I can recommend to you is the GHS Balanced Nickels.
    Instead of the standard nickel-plated steel, these have pure nickel for the wrap wire, making them warmer in tone and smoother in texture. Aside from the Pressurewound, they're the smoothest-feeling rounds I've tried to date.

    My P bass is happily purring with the Balanced Nickels, while my J bass is waiting to be reunited with the Pressurewounds.
    noahw1, Member8675309 and Pbassmanca like this.
  6. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Half rounds/ ground wounds suck, honestly I can’t believe anyone likes them. Pressure wounds are what you want, enough roundwound sound and a lot less noise.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    IME: probably the opposite = the worst of both worlds! YMMV.
    instrumentlevel and bumperbass like this.
  8. I have Pressurewounds on one bass currently. D'add Half-rounds on two others.

    I prefer the Half-rounds all day long.

    They play way smoother and sound way better. You could almost call them a "flat".

    I also ordered another set of La Bella LTF's. As soon as they come in, the Pressurewounds are coming off. The only reason they're on there now is because I broke a G-string on the Chromes that were on it. I even liked those better than the P-wounds.

    In praise of GHS though..their Boomers sound dang good on my Mikro---probably the best roundwound I've tried on my Mikro yet...the feel of them on that small bass is quite good and they sound great for my style of playing.
    FantasticFour and Pbassmanca like this.
  9. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Everybody likes what they like....

    I have had very good luck with Ken Smith Compressors/ GHS Pressure wounds and found that they got as close to the best of both worlds as they could get in terms of both tone and feel.

    I felt the opposite about half-round/ground wounds from several different makers. I wasn’t crazy about the tone or the feel.
  10. Another vote for the GHS Pressure Wounds. I loved the sound on my Precision, but ultimately they gave me the confidence to make the jump to flats. I'm told it varies from instrument to instrument, but I find D'Addario Chromes are an equally great mid-way point for my bass and playing and they're so easy on your fingers.
  11. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I like GHS Pressurewounds, but I hate GHS Brite Flats (which are ground wounds) and D'addario half wounds. They just sound like dead rounds to me with no other redeeming qualities, and I don't care for the finger feel.
  12. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Half / ground / pressure rounds are the worst of rounds and flats. If you want a punchy and bright tobe without finger noise, use tapes or EB Cobalt flats.
  13. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr “...play I some music...” Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Brick, NJ
    Here's a good sound sample of a player using D`Addario ENR71SL Half Rounds (0.30, 0.45, 0.65, 0.80, 0.100 , Super Long Scale).

  14. Just out of curiosity, what round wounds are you coming from? I ask because if you are coming from stainless steel rounds you might just be looking for nickels. I went from SS to half-wounds and it was too much of a change for me. Broke in nickels ended up being what I was looking for.
    Member8675309 likes this.
  15. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    I love my D'addario half-rounds. Next time I change my strings on my main bass, they're going back on.
    GrapeBass likes this.
  16. Member8675309

    Member8675309 Banned

    Aug 19, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    EAE8AFDB-5A1B-45F2-BC48-36EF108E8D77. 2017 was the year of the half-round for me. But, as the year comes to a close, I am back to flats all around. It was exciting, and I think half-rounds sounded great on all my basses, but I like the cables and their ability to keep me regular.

    I also discovered a flat that was remarkable in its ability to sound near a round....the EB Cobalt Flat. If you play them, they will astonish you. We ignoramouses question how a huge beast of a plane can fly, and now we question how a flat can sound so much like a round. Truly an engineering marvel. There is also the previous mention of a pure nickel round....never a bad suggestion for the taming of the finger.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  17. Greyfoxxero


    Jan 30, 2010
    Zing but smoother, yep thats pressurewounds.
  18. big_fundamental


    Oct 3, 2016
    If the measure of great flats is to sound almost as good as rounds, why not just play rounds? Flats or halfway strings are a mystery to me. If you want to sound more muted theres always the tone knob.
  19. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    The longevity of the string and ease on the fingers, probably.
  20. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Elixir Nano or GHS PW.
    Elixir tone just like few weeks old roundwound sound ,but more open sounding, longer sustain and keep that tone lasting.
    PW will lose the some brightness and bring some amount of thick Low-MID.

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