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When were round wounds invented?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by GearGod, Feb 16, 2008.


  1. GearGod

    GearGod

    Aug 10, 2006
    Akron, Ohio
    I would like to know when roundwounds were invented for bass, and by who? The reason is I want to find out if my favorite type of bass music was recorded on flats or rounds. I would also like to know if these people of old played with picks or fingers or thumbs. Jamerson, Kaye, any of the Motown people, Lesh, Cassidy, McCartney, so on. I can't seem to get the pick thing down, should I try? I like the deep, thuddy sounds. I play with flats and I am starting to use a foam mute. I know I am WAY old skool, but THUMP is the sound I hear in my brain. I have all sorts of different basses, most with flats. Do I need to learn to use a pick? Or should I just let my flats age?
     
  2. Most of the classic stuff in the 50's, 60's and early 70's was with flats. Maybe someone will come up with a roundwound date, but I don't know one.

    And with flats, you just let 'em age. Play with your fingers or a pick depending on the sound you want and the technique required for the music. Flats do fine after years and years on a bass.
     
  3. Sneckumhaw

    Sneckumhaw

    Apr 26, 2006
    Earth
    Jamerson - finger (singular), flats
    Kaye - pick, flats
    Bob Babbitt - fingers, flats?
    Lesh - pick, rounds (actually I think he used half-rounds too)
    Casady - fingers, not sure
    McCartney - pick, he supposedly doesn't care what strings he has but the early stuff is obviously with flats.
    and so on...

    Joe Osborn uses a pick and flats, Duck Dunn uses his fingers and flats. Roundwound bass guitar strings were invented by Rotosound and John Entwistle in the mid-sixties, I think.
     
  4. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Lore has rounds created by Roto in the 60's. I can't back that up, but the Ox was to have been among the first.
     
  5. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    That's when they got popularized. My first bass was a 1960 Danelectro that came stock with roundwound strings. So they've been around for some while. I don't know what the old Harmony basses from that era had, but maybe rounds too. The Fenders of course, came with flatwounds standard.
     
  6. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I believe the Dano and Bass VI Tic Tacs were strung up with beafy guitar style strings - the strings available today for those instruments are. No notion what they were like back in the day. What were the gauges like for your Dano?
     
  7. 1966. He helped Rotosound develop the strings, is what I heard.
     
  8. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    I don't know. Nobody knew anything about that back then, but they would seem to be what now would be considered a light guage bass string, which of course make sense considering the short scale length. But they were definitely roundwounds and came from the factory with them.

    I was about the only person back then who owned a Danelectro bass (it was the 4 string longhorn) in my area. In fact, not many people even played electric bass back then. I saw a couple Fenders being used. But the Danelectro was all I could afford. I got it at a music store in Seattle for about $100 and brought it across the border into Vancouver. A year later I bought a Fender P new. I think about $329 with case. The store gave me a $100 trade in on the Dano.
     
  9. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    According to Rotosound's website, their "Swing Bass 66" strings are:

    But apparently didn't catch on until some years later. ;)
     
  10. jz0h4d

    jz0h4d

    Apr 26, 2005
    As a bass player playing that far back in Detroit it was about 67 or 68 when I started to hear bass players with that piano like tone of round wounds. Enthwistle would of been one of the first but pretty much all of the English guys from that time.
     
  11. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Arizona
    james How owner of Rotosound invented roundwounds.
     
  12. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    The confusion arises over Entwistle helping develop the Swingbass 66 set. I have no idea what Roto's earlier rounds sounded like. I think Roto is purposefully a little misleading in that blurb.

    I wonder if the Dano strings predated Howe's? It was these strings that kept breaking while Entwistle was trying to record 'My Generation', and as he couldn't buy replacements, he had to buy a few Danos until he gave up and recorded the track with a Jazz and LaBella tapes (not flats as is often claimed). He said he had to simplify the solos because of the change.
     
  13. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    casady used flats
     
  14. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    All I can say for sure, having owned a Dano in '61, is that it had roundwound strings. Danelectro had only short scale basses then so their factory strings would have all been short scale. Silvertone also was made by Danelectro and looked similar and was sold by Sears. I saw a lot of their guitars being used then, in fact, they were popular and had great necks. But I never saw a Silvertone bass.

    I don't know who made the strings for Danelectro back then. They could have been Black Diamond for all I know, but they were for sure roundwound and came out before 1962. They sounded pretty "twangy" too. Back then that wasn't a popular sound, at least for bass.
     
  15. superiorpine

    superiorpine Superiorpine Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    I read in an interview with Paul McCartney that when strings broke during their Hamburg period, they would "harvest" piano strings for his Hoffner. Piano strings are round wound.....
     
  16. GearGod

    GearGod

    Aug 10, 2006
    Akron, Ohio
    I love to install new and different strings on my basses (I have nine). I love the sound of new strings. But since I have gotten into Flatwounds, I am impatient for them to get dead, then deader! I love Motown, Blues, Jazz and Bass from before the 70's! I also love music during and after the seventies! I am a child of the 80's born in 1966! I think flats are most of the sound I hear in my brain, but I see the purpose of rounds! Hell I love the sound of James Jamerson as much as Les Claypool! I love the sound of Olde Skool P basses, as much as a coffee table bass w/ 25 strings played well! I LOVE the sound of uprights, I love to play short scales! I LOVE BASS!
     
  17. Sneckumhaw

    Sneckumhaw

    Apr 26, 2006
    Earth
    OK, thanks for solving that one for me.
     
  18. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Thanks for the info, I had been wondering for a while.

    Anyone have any experience with other early rounds than Dano's?
     

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