The perfect vintage sound

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Foxton, Nov 19, 2000.

  1. Foxton


    Jul 12, 2000
    I'm planing to get a custom made upgraded vintage 60's P-Bass replica. As a pickup I opted for the Fender 62 P-Bass.
    I would like to know what kind of strings and which firm will suit the task for the perfect 60's sound?
    My influances are: The Byrds, Smile(Brian May pre Queen outfit), variouse British Rock and R&B groups and many more.
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Depends on which 60's sound you want - the percussive, punchy "ching" of Entwistle, or the rounder, ballsy, sound of Hillman/McCartney. For an Entwistle-esque sound, use what he uses, Rotosound Swings. For the other, I used another popular string from that era, Fender flatwounds, with success. Gauges weren't much of an issue/choice in those days, so mediums could suit you fine.

    [Edited by rickbass1 on 11-19-2000 at 12:21 PM]
  3. The vast majority of players back then would have used flatwound strings. La Bella flats were a popular choice also.

    If you'r really looking to cover the bulk of '60's bass tones, you should probably avoid roundwound strings altogether since they mostly only used by John Entwistle and later, Chris Squire, but they were definitely the exceptions.

    Another thing you might consider when searching for authentic tone is the fact that most Fender basses were played with their bridge and pickup covers in place. That meant that many players were still using the foam mute in the bridge cover. Also very important to remeber - with both covers in place, the available places to pluck the string were fairly limited. Most players, therefore, tended to play very close to the fingerboard (much more than players do now) which yeilds a very warm tone. When flatwound strings are struck with a pick near the fingerboard, the resultant tone is also very warm with less attack than many of us commonly associate with a "picked" sound.

    So you might consider putting the chrome covers on which will force you to play where the players from the '60's played.
  4. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I use Labella Flats and I think they're fabulous. You have to just get the heaviest gauge and beats it out. Now, real purists in search of the elusive Macca tone swear by these hard to find German strings called Pyramid. They're supposed to be just magic, I've played them and they're pretty damn smooth. They usually go for up to $75 a set, but there's a shop in Pennsylvania called Jim Rhoads Music that sells them for closer to $50. I'm going to use them to record next time, but I break too many strings to be using $50 strings live.