Which strings are the best option to put on a fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by him666, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    This has been covered quite a few times. Do a search for fretless strings and you'll find the answers you're looking for.
  2. Roundwounds are the best to put on a frettless they give the best tone and last for ages
  3. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    Yeah, and there's a string forum, too.
  4. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    No, no, no, no NO!

    You will DESTROY your fretboard with roundwounds.

    From what I understand, Tapewounds are the way to go.
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Sorry, but no, no, no, no, NO! pertains far more to your post than his. Your post is a common misconception that simply isn't true. Roundwounds will only destroy your fretboard if you have a bad fretboard or if you put all of your weight on the strings when you play-and if you do that, flatwounds will do just as much damage. You should do some research on this-roundwounds will cause a little more wear than flatwounds or tapewounds over time, but if you use a normal, good fretting hand technique, the difference will be very little. The majority of fretless players out there whose sound has a lot of that sought-after "mwah" are using roundwounds.

    Off to Strings!
  6. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    try elixir coated strings. All the 'mwah', none of the wood eating problems, which do happen by the way.
  7. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Strings? Strings are for posers!
  8. HunsBassist


    Oct 3, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    I can't wait to here you play, haha.
  9. hippiesandwich


    Aug 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Affiliated with Looperlative Audio Products
    I tried to like flats on my fretless basses, I really did, but I guess I've watched Michael Manring play too much (heh heh). I recently switched from Roto flats to the Ritter Swordsteels on my fretless Wal and have been very impressed. The strings have super tight outer windings that are the smoothest feeling stainless rounds I have ever played and have a very cool medium to low tension. Lots of mwah with overtones and "zing" and a great feel, and so far no ebony sawdust fron the board.
  10. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Rotosounds are my fav, but in my experience, they eat fingerboards! I've been using Thomastik Infeld Superalloys,
    great strings! Great feel, even sound, seem to last for awhile too.
  11. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    I tried multiple types back in '72 on my fretless P Bass. My faves were tape wounds. Still are on my Guild.

    Wesley R.
  12. I use real light Ernie Ball Slinkys on my fretless (Stingray).
    I see the marks, but really they're more of a visual problem. I'd run my finger over the marks and not notice any significant change in texture. I'm also not too agressive with the strings and try to avoid conventional fretted string-bending as much as possible.
  13. On my other basses I use "regular" flats like Fender or D'Addario Chromes but I use GHS Brite Flats (ground wound)exclusively on my fretless. They have a little more bite than normal flats but are easier on the fingers and board than rounds. I used round wounds for years and they didn't damage the fingerboard; I think you'd almost have to try to damage the fingerboard. There is normal wear and tear no matter what strings you use.
  14. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Hmm, I've been using Fender flats on my fretless jazz. No mwah to speak of. If I switched to tapes would I hear some difference?
  15. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I only use flats on my fretless basses. I've used:

    Rotosound Jazz Bass
    Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Bass Flats
    D'Addario Chromes

    and someplace around here, I have a set of Ernie Ball flats that's going to go on one of the fretless StingRays before I part with it.

    The Chromes I only used because they came on two of my StingRays. I find the Rotos to be very slick. The TI's sound great, if you can get past the roughness of the E and A strings.

    All of these strings sound good, to me. I'm sure there are others that sound great, too. For instance, I'd like to try out a set of nylon tapewounds, but bass strings costing what they do, it gets a bit expensive to experiment a lot.

    Oh, and Mods, move this to the Strings Forum, please...