Tapewound question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by JimmyM, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Why are they all rounds and never flats?

    Unlike the last thread I started about flounds, I am serious about this. I do not understand why tapewounds are always rounds. I listened to I don't know how many demos of tapes tonight, and they all sounded like rounds covered in tape. Most don't even sound very dulled down. Even the Rotosound Tru Bass strings, which I vaguely remembered as sounding the most flats-like of any set when I had a couple come with my rehabber Realistic violin bass, sound way more like rounds to me than flats in every demo I've heard. And they're the most dulled down of any I heard. The rest might as well be slightly broken in rounds, and I've got that already with slightly broken in rounds. Yeah, OK, they're less noisy than rounds. Whoopee.

    To me it seems like a no brainer to make flats covered in the same kind of tape covering as the rounds. Look how many people use foam to make them sound even more dead than dead flats. A set of flats covered in tape that requires no muting to kill excess ring and overtones would be great. And with a pick they would have a very unique sort of plastic muted attack that I think many of us would find very pleasing.

    The only reason I could possibly think of for string companies to not do it already is the tape sealing out the goop and grime that accumulates from many hours of playing. Most flats do sound pretty zingy until they goop up. But I would think that since the tape dulls the rounds a bit, it would have the same effect on flats but be more dramatic.

    So am I wrong about that, string experts? Is there some other type of coating that would make flats sound like dead muted flats right out of the box without making them too fat (another pet peeve of mine with tapewound rounds)?

    I'm so confused!
    Tad likes this.
  2. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    GHS Tapewounds are tape wound over flats.
    JimmyM and michael_t like this.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    According to this thread, they are flats except for the G string, which is a round.

    NEW FROM GHS - Tapewounds! (Re-introduced)

    And I heard a couple demos of them on Youtube, and while the flat strings did sound a little darker than the G, they didn't sound as dark as dead flats and the G was a deal breaker for me. GHS is a great company and points to them for making the effort, but now I'm starting to think that I was right about the tape sealing them and keeping out the goop so they won't sound like dead flats.
    trothwell likes this.
  4. I assume, since flats are already smooth feeling and mellow sounding it make sense to add a layer of nylon in a roundwound string rather than a flat.
    Sometimes tapewounds can be problematic because they are much bigger in gauge and they require filling the nut. And they naturally reduce the string spacing.
    I, as a flat string and tight spacing user, prefer flats without tape..
    Mili and JimmyM like this.
  5. west al

    west al Ready, PLAY! Supporting Member

    Check out the D'Addario ETB92 Nylon Tapewounds. A round string, with a flat sound.

    Nebula24 and JimmyM like this.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Thx for the suggestion, but with all due respect, this doesn't sound much like flats to me. Mellower, but not like flats:

    OTOH, after hearing the GHS's, which are actually flats except for the G string and still sound pretty zingy, I'm pretty well convinced that there's a major reason why nobody else but GHS is doing it, so I'm just going to be happy with my Dunlop flats.
  7. J-Mags


    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    Not to be a turd, but I think that's how tapewound strings are supposed to sound. They're supposed to have midrange scuzz like roundwounds, but it's supposed to be different midrange scuzz. I'd love to try them for reggae though, where my current favorites are dead rounds, because flats don't have enough definition with the tone rolled off.
    JimmyM likes this.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I've seen turdier :D But yeah, that's a conclusion I'm coming to as well. I've pretty much written off the idea as workable for me.
  9. shoulderpet


    Sep 24, 2015
    Another possible reason is cost, flats cost more to make and the process is more intensive than making rounds (hence the higher cost of buying flatwound strings Vs rounds) adding another step(coating the string with nylon tape) to the manufacturing process makes the process even more intensive and costly.
  10. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    This ^
    I'm not aftering dead string sound with tapes.

    Also the other reason I've put tapes on my fretless is so that the tape would be the medium to prevent the strings from leaving scratch marks on my un-hardcoated fretless rosewood fingerboard.
    JimmyM likes this.
  11. Morrighan

    Morrighan La Contessa Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Isle of Everywhere
    Flapes are the strings I seek. Flats that feel like tapes.
    Need Gigs, 2strings2frets and e-flat like this.
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