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Why flatwounds on a P-Bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    What is the advantage as far as tone with flatwounds on a P-bass? What kind of flats would you use?

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    One deep thump, some motown type tones. I would say Thomastic Infeld or Roto sound.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Roundwound strings for bass didn't come onto the market until the late 1960s, so the most common bass guitar sound you hear on records well into the early 70s is a P-bass with flatwounds.

    The most popular flats back in those days were the original Fender strings and LaBellas, today packaged as the "James Jamerson" set. Today there are many other brands and gauges of flats on the market to choose from.
  4. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Don't feel that using flats on a P is only for vintage music though, I use it for rock/metal and am quite happy.
  5. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    How do you think the Fender tapewrapped roundwounds would work? What about their nylon tapewound strings?
  6. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I have never really liked the sound of those and prefer to either use flats or nickel rounds.

  7. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    So you would use either stainless flat or roundwounds? What about tapewounds?
  8. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    What I meant was that I didn't like the tapewounds. The feel and sound was all wrong for me. Sorry I wasn't more clear :)

  9. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    Ive never played flatwounds but are afraid they will be more 'dead' sounding. Is this true? I see most people describe the sound as 'thumpy'. How is the sustain on flatwounds? I play a more upbeat melodic rock type music.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    One person's "dead" is another person's "thumpy". :) Sustain on flatwounds is almost always less than rounds, but that can be a good thing, depending. Hell, some flatwound users put a chunk of foam under the bridge (a la Jamerson) for less sustain/more thump/better note definition.

    But just as with roundwounds, there's lots of variety in flatwounds. There are also half-round and pressure-wound strings, which are compromises between rounds and flats.

    Sorry you asked? :D :D :D
  11. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I agree. What I think is dead isn't to most. Buy a couple different sets of strings and try them for yourself in a band setting, not in your room. For me, roundwounds all the way. For you, who knows? Check it out for yourself

  12. Not to hijack your your thread or anything, but how do flats sound on a Jazz?
  13. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    About nylon flatwounds:do a search on LaBella Deep Talking Nylon wrapped. Many people on this forum like them. I have them on three basses. They enhance the woodyt tone of any bass and provide clear pitch and medium sustain. They are actually roundwounds under the nylon, so sustain a bit better than some flatwounds. Very cool tone.
  14. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan

    Gotta' love a muted trumpet!
    That's really nice Smash- particularly when it comes off the first guitar lead and you go back into the main hook.
    Do you find you can cut through the mix very well a jazz and flats?
  15. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Smash - your tone is awesome... I loved that clip.
    Looks like time to string one of my Jazzes with flats.

  16. Basso Profoundo

    Basso Profoundo Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Flats really don't have alot of character when you are by yourself practicing. Where they shine is in a group situation, but the problem is they get taken off before the player gets to try them because they sound dull by themselves. I use TI flats with my CS P-bass and they really add support in a gig situation. They are supportive without being over the top, and they never disappear in the mix, they are always there. It is kindof hard to explain.
  17. I also like flats because they are easier on the old fingertips, when you go a few weeks without playing and the callouses have gotten soft!
  18. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Fender makes a tapewrapped roundwound - like a tapewound with a roundwound core. What about these on a P? Their description alludes to having more treble than a pure nylon tapewound because the roundwound core reacts with the pickups. Here's the link:


  19. Like this Back For More

    These strings are Thomastik-Infeld JF344's on my 1967 MIA Fender Jazz!