Who uses Flatwounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by travatron4000, Jul 22, 2001.

  1. travatron4000


    Dec 27, 2000
    Madison, WI
    relman started a thread that inspried me to post this one. I use Fender Stainless Steel Flats. I picked them up because I had a gig with a big band. I was filling in for my band director and couldn't use a DB because it doesn't fit in my '82 Plymoth Relient. I had a set of Charlie Sringer Snarling Dogs on my bass because I had them as a spare and I broke my last set of DR's. Those strings live up to their name and they're not quite right for the big band sound. I picked up the flats and they were the last and only set the store had and I absolutly fell in love.

    My fellow flat stringers let us know what you use, why, and what you think.

  2. MJB

    MJB Guest

    Mar 17, 2000
    I use TI flats on my Precision, I think they are made to go with each other. I found the G on Fender flats to be too "twangy" for my taste.
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I have EB flats on my Stingray 4 and Lakland Joe Osborn flats on my Stingray 5. When time for a change, I'll be putting the Laklands on the 4 as well.
  4. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I use EB flats every now and then. I'll get in the mood once in a while and use flats. Then, I get bored and buy some round wounds,
  5. Me! I have TI flats on my Yamaha RBX260 fretless.
  6. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Flats are cool. I've been bouncing back and forth a little between flats and rounds (I really like Dean Markley Blue Steels). I have a hard time with TI's because of the low tension, but they are great sounding strings.

    I wrote an article about flatwounds for the BGRA. Here's a link:


    Hope you find it interesting.
  7. Ari Schor

    Ari Schor

    Mar 3, 2000
    Dude...i inspired a thread...wow...

    I use GHS flats and love them. They sound great on my washburn. I'm soon to get a fretless bass, and a set of these is going in!
  8. Sammy Camden

    Sammy Camden Guest

    Dec 12, 1999
    Chicago NW 'burbs.
    I use flatwounds on three of my basses (RB-5, AmStd-P, DeArmond Pilot Plus). I started using flats almost 40 years ago. To me they give the ultimate bass sound, especially on the imortal P-Bass. And, of course, the feel is the best of all the strings, to me anyway. I do currently use half-rounds on two basses (a J-Bass and an AmDlx-P). I don't like or use round wounds on any bass. (Nickle rounds on a guitar are nice, and they're the nicest rounds I've ever used on a bass as well. Still don't use rounds.)

    My favorite flats are Fenders, and my second are D'Addario. Flatwound, I read your article. Nice work. I'm a little shocked at your experience with D'Addario. They have bent over backwards for me, and I must admit, that I'm a nobody in the music biz.

    I tried a set of the TIs myself on a short scale bass. I wasn't impressed, but I think it was more the bass rather than the strings. I may try another set soon as I'm planning on changing the Dlx-P back to flats. The J seems to sound best with the half-rounds.

    Keep Thumpin'! Sammy!
  9. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    I like Fender stainless steel flats. For playing any music where you lock in tight with a kickdrum, they have a thick fat tone, that IMHO sounds better than any tone I got using roundwounds.
    They feel nice on the fingers, too.
  10. I bounce between TI flats and Slowounds, but I always seem to come back to the flats. TI's come in two guages, and the heavier ones have nearly normal tension, so I never have to tweak my truss rod. I mainly play Latin, so the flats sound just right. I hate twangy strings, which is why Slowounds are my choice of rounds.
  11. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I have TI Jazz flats on my Curbow Int'l Petite 5 string with a high C string. The bass has a semihollow body made of Purpleheart and lacewood, and roundwounds always sounded too harsh on there. The TIs with the 18V preamp on the bass sound amazing together. I have never heard a warmer, fuller tone. It took 4 years to find the strings for this bass. I never could get it to sound right. It was a magical day when I finally tried out the TIs with the high C.

    I also TI Jazz flats on my fretless Curbow. I used to use rounds on there for the growly tone, but I decided I didn't want to eat the brazilian rosewood fretboard away. It too sounds great.

    I've always thought of TIs being in a class by themselves. I also love other flatwound strings, but none, for better or worse, are quite like the Jazz Flats.

    The Joe Osborn flats are really nice, too. If I ever justify getting another Jazz Bass, I'll drop some Joe Osborns on there. I think if you are a roundwound player looking to try flats, these are a good crossover string. They have a similar tension to roundwounds, IMHO. Joe Osborns on a fretless PBass inspired me to try my hand at using a pick with a palm mute on flatwounds. I don't like the way the pick sounds with roundwounds, but nothing cuts like flats played with a pick.

    And, of course, if I can justify getting the Steve Harris signature PBass, I'll drop some Rotosound HArris sig flats on there before it is even plugged into an amp....

    Sorry for the long post. I don't want to start working....
  12. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    I've used both D'Addario Chromes (Medium Long gauge) as well as Fender Stainless Flatwounds (Medium gauge). I don't like the Fenders at all - they feel and sound like roundwounds that have been just pressed flat instead of being built as a flatwound from the ground up. Way too much treble, especially for a flatwound and not enough deep bass with a kinda dead midrange, I wasn't very impressed to say the least. But perhaps I just got a bad set or something. My favorite is definitely the Chromes, especially after I've had them on for several weeks - I just love that sound! Great, warm highs with round lows and a thick midrange. YMMV, however. I hope to try a set of TI's here before too long.
  13. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck Guest

    Sep 26, 2000
    I went around the string circle, starting with flats, going to roundwound, then nylon tapewound, and finally back to flats. Fender flats on my fretless Jazz have worked for me so far. I was thinking about getting some TIs, because after what I 've read on the boards they're the best things invented since the bass itself. I wasn't a fan of the roundwound sound (too many ounds for my tastes right there), and the tapewounds were a cool novelty, but I just couldn't stay away from the flats.
  14. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    I tried the D'Addario chromes once on a fretless I had. However, it was so long ago, I honestly don't remember how they felt, or sounded.
    If you get those TI flats, please let me know how they work for you. Some people say the chromes are very similar in sound to the TI flats. I'd like to know what you think about that.
    Thanks in advance.
  15. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    For those just trying TI JAzz Flats, be aware that the tension is very low. But, give them a shot. I didn't like them the first time I tried them, but after a couple of days of playing on them, I found I adjusted my touch with ease, and there was less fatigue in my fretting hand. You also might find that they start to sound even better after a couple of weeks. My current set is going on three months, and it sounds better and better the more they settle on the bass.
  16. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Beefbass: sure, I'll let you know. Though it may be awhile since I just placed an order for more Chromes and I don't change strings very often. I will let you know if I try them though.
  17. Ari Schor

    Ari Schor

    Mar 3, 2000
    Is there a relationship between string tightness and close windings? I have only tried these GHS flats, and i love 'em, but sometimes they get too punchy. Would a looser string solve my troubles? If so, which ones?
  18. I am planing on getting some flats to try out since i mostly play blues, what does anyone recomend?
  19. nanook

    nanook Guest

    Feb 9, 2000
    This year I tried my first set of round wounds in 35 years of playing....... I hated them.

    I run Pyramid Golds on my Ric and D'Addario chromes on my Rial.

    I do have a set of half rounds on my 6 string bass, they aren't too bad.
  20. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Rotosound Flats on my StingRay5.

    I love the crispy sound and the high tension.

    I recently tried LaBella flats and those were pretty nice. VERY smooth feel. Sound was a bit dark for my needs but would do great for someone looking for an old-school thump.