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The Comprehensive List of Black Nylon Tapewound Strings!!!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Lokire, May 26, 2007.

  1. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    I thought it might be nice to have a comprehensive listing of all the tapewound strings out there, along with all their gauges. So here's what I have so far:

    4-string only sets:

    Fender 9120 Nylon Tapewounds (.058 .072 .092 .110)
    Fender 7120 Nylon Filament (.070 .080 .090 .100)
    Pyramid Nylon Tapewounds (.050 .070 .080 .095)
    Wyres H-Series Tapewounds (.063 .085 .100 .118)
    Picato "Pro Bass" Tapewounds (.060 .072 .098 .115)

    Rickenbacker 4445 Tapewounds (.063 .075 .100 .111)
    (From the 70s, not made anymore)

    Hofner Beatle Bass Tapewounds (made by Selmer and/or Pyramid? Not much info...probably not made anymore)

    Extended Range Tapewounds (5 and 6-string sets - 4-strings in bold):

    GHS 3060 Tapewounds (.050 .070 .090 .105 .125)
    (singles available @ juststrings.com)

    Galli G77 Tapewounds (.055 .075 .100 .115 .130)
    (From Italy, now available from bassguitarstrings.us)

    Status-Graphite Tapewounds (.045 .065 .085 .105 .130)
    (also available in double-ball config for headless basses - 4 and 5-string, same gauges. Sold direct from their website. Black silk wraps.)

    LaBella 760N Tapewounds (.029 .060 .070 .094 .115 .128)
    (All sets in regular and extra long scales - Only tapered B-string available? Sold direct from Carvin at the cheapest prices. Singles available @ juststrings.com - Purple silk wraps. Custom sets avalabe from Rob Allen (regular and short scale 30") - both with a .097 A string)

    RotoSound RS88 Tapes (.050 .065 .075 .100 .115 .135)
    (4-strings come in short, medium, regular, and extra-long scales. Short and medium scales have a .090 A-string. 5-string sets only come in regular and extra long scales. 6-string only in regular scale. Singles available @ juststrings.com - Yellow silk wraps.)


    That's all that I've found so far. If you know of any others, let me know and I'll add them to this list. If you're looking to put together a further extended range set, let me know. There are a bunch of tapewound guitar strings out there that might work.

    I've only tried 3, the Status-Graphite 5-string set, the RotoSound 30" short scale set, and the LaBella 5-string set. Didn't like the Rotosounds at all. Higher gauge and tension than I like and they sounded very plasticy to me. I had them on an acoustic bass though, so maybe it just wasn't a good match for that bass. The LaBella's are great. They have the only tapered B-string that I've seen, though tapewound Bs never sound great to me anyways. The Status-Graphites are my faves so far. They seem to have a much more 'standard' gauge, so they have a very low tension (lower than the LaBellas) and should easily fit any bass without any mods to the bridge or nut. I did have to carefully unwind the end of the B-string a bit to get it to fit into the tuning peg, but it wasn't a big deal.

    I know there's lots of discussion out there on various tapewounds, but if you have anything you want to add here, feel free :)
  2. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    GHS is already up there ;)
  3. oh yeah...you're right...list is finished, then ;)
  4. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    Added to the list:

    Rickenbacker 4445 Tapewounds (.063 .075 .100 .111)
    (From the 70s, not made anymore)
  5. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I've tried them all.

    The GHS 3060 are my fav.
    I dig there 105-E string.
    Nice tone.
    Even set.
  6. dr black beauties?
  7. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    No, the DR's are coated, not tapewound.
    Yahmie likes this.
  8. of course, you're right... thanks for reminding me i'm an idiot at times :p

    maybe another stupid question: what is "tapewound"? i know they are strins covered with nylon, so i guess they last longer and feel smoother. what exactly are the downsides?
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Tapewounds have a more upright sound, which is there best and worst feature. The downside is less sustain and less highs. The upside is less sustain and more thump. Really it depends on what you are looking for.

    Also, you can get more hum from tapewounds since you do not get the grounding effect from touching the strings. I jam in a house with no proper ground, and hum is a big problem.
  10. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    Also, the tone of tapewounds doesn't really change over time, because the tape wrapping keeps dirt from getting into the actual windings of the roundwound string underneath. So to me they kinda sound like a more thumpy version of a fresh roundwound string, but with a cool flat, smooth feel. They last forever, and the black never wears off, like with a coated string.

    They're great for a certain tone, but I think you can often get a better 'upright' kind of sound from older flatwounds.
  11. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    I recently found a set of those in the bargain bin of a music store and put them on my home practice bass. The gauges were not printed anywhere on the packaging, btw.


    And I distinctly recall having had a set of red nylon Ernie Ball strings on one of my basses in the late 70's...
  12. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    I've got a shortscale Kinal Kompact bass that came with black tapewound strings. Seller said they were LaBellas but I want to make sure as I really like them. They have golden silk wrap at the ends. Any help?
  13. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    Those should be the RotoSound short scale tapewounds. They have a yellow silk wrap at both ends. I talked to Mike Kinal about those strings a while ago and he seems to like them a lot, whereas I didn't like them at all :p .The LaBella tapewounds have purple wraps, and the only short scale set that they make are the Rob Allen customized sets, for their Mouse basses, which also have the purple wraps.

    Here are the RotoSound tapes on a Kinal Kompact ;)


    I think that when the average person sees tapewound strings they automatically think LaBella, since they're by far the most popular and well known tapewounds.
  14. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    Thanks Lokire !!!
    ...That Kinal looks cool in sunburst :hyper:
  15. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    Yeah, it looks ok. I like the natural finished ones better though. That one was reviewd in a bass player mag, and was up on ebay about a month ago. :)
  16. B3bopbass


    Apr 28, 2005
    So LaBella and Rotosound are the only ones making a high C tapewound?

    The jump from a .29 (C) to a .60 (G) on the LaBellas seems a little radical, considering the rest of the gauges in the set. Has anyone tried the LaBella high C and experienced any kind of imbalance with the small gauge?
  17. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I love the LaBella 6 string nylon tapes on my Brice fretless 6. Very balanced! I even bought them for a Peavey Axcelerator 6 I got used, but I can't get myself to remove the delightful rounds that came on that bass from the previous owner (and probably from Peavey).
  18. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    You're not alone. I bought a set as my first set of flatwounds but they really turned me off big time. I didn't like them when they were new or after they'd been on a few months. I thought they sounded too clacky, and while I liked the look of the black on my dark Warwick the yellow cloth was ugly as sin (why make black strings with yellow cloth?). I went back to roundwounds (DR coated this time) and it was am improvement to me. I've been reading up on flats tho and may try a different set at some point to save my fingerboard. Currently my outlook is "Why save the fingerboard if you aren't happy with the sound?" I need to find people who use flatwounds and are willing to let me test drive :p
  19. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    now here is a question im confused about.

    i know nylon tapewounds are pretty much a lighter guage string wrapped in black tape, so how do you know if the varying guages (like status graphites 105-45 vs. labella 115-60) are due to more tape being used or more string being used?

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