Wow! Flats are cool!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Ironbar, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Ironbar


    Aug 24, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    One of the reasons I acquired a second bass was because I wanted one with flats so I could get some different tone- GOT it!

    I think these flats will be perfect for some of the songs I've been learning lately. Hey Joe by Hendrix for instance sounds perfect with flats! Maybe I should have gone with those TI's everyone's been raving about, but the DR's will have to do for now. Maybe down the line someday.

    Anyway, really glad I did it. These things a pleasure to play! Super-slippery!
  2. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Congrats on finding your voice. I wish that I knew what I know now....way back when...I coulda saved some coin! Flats for life!
  3. Rich McCoy

    Rich McCoy

    Apr 8, 2013
    Yes, they are.
  4. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    Today it seems young people are obliged to make this discovery on their own, but it seems to me that back in the day, electric basses may have come from the factory with flatwound strings? It sort of hurts my head to think that someone would go into a shop and try out a bass like my Gretsch hollow body, with round wounds on it. Gretsch and the rest are missing a bet, in my opinion. Ship those babies with flat wounds, so people can hear them the way they ought to sound.
  5. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    There was indeed a time when roundwounds didn't exist. And yes, while primarily a roundwound player, I agree with you that some basses just cry out for flats.
  6. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    Talkbass has done a lot to spread the word about the joy of playing flats, but there is a lot more work to do. Where I live a lot of shops don't carry flats at all or only carry one brand. I buy mine on line.
  7. Ironbar


    Aug 24, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Guitar Center in Beaverton, OR- every hollow body bass had round wounds on them. Just didn't sound right. I personally think the bass I put my flats on are not great for flats per se, but I'm not putting them on the jazz bass as I love that classic Fender growl.
  8. You'll find more and more of the music you play sounds "right" with flats, I have. And even tho you didn't ask, I'll put in a good word for GHS Precision flats as a very decent, lower priced set.
  9. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    +1 on the GHS. Just put lite gauge on my JBass. Awesome feel and tone even across the board.
  10. cv115505


    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    I used to be all roundwound and could never figure out how to get rid of that 'twang' I was pretty dumb in the earl years... knew nothing about eq and played DR Highbeams because they were cheap and it was what everyone I knew played... Inertia is a powerful entity as I used those strings for about 7-8 years always "just dealing with" that twang. Then, when I deployed, I decided I was going to try something different when I got back so I bought my first Precision and threw a set of Sadowsky flats on it... I now have Sadowsky flats on every one of my basses... Med on the P and light on everything else... when my super secret fretless project is done it will have the status tapes on it though...
  11. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Having flats on a second instrument works well, and lets you experiment with the types of tones you can get with such a combination. However, I find flats too limiting for a first instrument, unless you primarily just play Motown and 60s type stuff. You just can't get a modern full-spectrum sound out of them, say, for slapping and popping.

    I like them for the playability/feel, lack of fret noise, and "thump" attack. But all too often I'll play a song that needs some bite, and switching basses at that point is a chore. It's easier to dial out the roundwound bite with some EQ when you need to, and dial it back in later.

    But hey, string choice is great, isn't it? It's a way to express your personality on bass. Glad you found something you like!
  12. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Ain't gonna happen. Flats are much more expensive than rounds and would increase the costs per unit accordingly.
  13. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I'm tempted to try some flat's on my 2009 American Standard Jazz bass. I have an MIJ Classic 70's Precision bass that's had Fender 9050 CL's on for about 6 months now and it just sounds so BIG! I love my Jazz bass....the playability is everything I've ever wanted in a four string and while I like the Jazz bass sound (very versatile) it sounds thin compared to the Precision. I wonder if flats on the Jazz would help fatten it up a bit. Either that or a pickup change.
  14. Floridabwoy

    Floridabwoy Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2008
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I have three basses...two of the m have Chromes and I have a pair of Ken Smith Slickwounds tormenting my other bass.

    Warwick Masterman - Chromes
    Fender 50's Precision - Chromes
    Squier Jazz Bass - XL's
  15. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    48 years on flat wound strings. Tried round wound strings a time or two but never kept them for very long.
  16. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    I'm sure that has something to do with it, the price could go up - but a retail difference of $13, probably much less in bulk? Especially when at least half the prospective buyers are mentally adding the full retail price of a flat wound set. Spend the extra $10 and put flatwounds on, and watch what happens when their stuff sounds like the real thing right there in the store.
  17. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Price is not the only reason flats are not installed on basses in a store. They want the bass to sound its most "full" so that side-by-side comparisons with other basses are more favorable. If a first-time buyer were comparing two instruments, one with flats and one with rounds, the buyer might listen to them and conclude that the bass with rounds sounds "more hi-fi" without realizing that the strings are to blame and choose that one, thinking its pickups are better.

    It's the same reason that TV manufacturers don't calibrate their default colors to match reference color charts. Instead, they over-saturate colors to make them appear more "vibrant" when placed side-by-side with others in stores. Studies show that buyers consistently choose a TV with brighter, more color-saturated pictures.

    I love flats on some basses (and in some exceptions it probably makes sense), but if flatwound strings really did sell more instruments in general, trust me that manufacturers would start putting them on in a heartbeat. They're well aware that flatwound fans can install them later easily.
  18. I've been using flats exclusively now for about 10 years. Have La Bella flats on my 62 RI P-Bass and had Fender flats on my 62 RI Jazz, before I sold it. Sometimes I'll play a bass in a music store with rounds and it just doesn't sound or feel right to me.

    Flatwound String Reviews
  19. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound

    Nov 29, 2008
    I bought a Pbass in 73' and it came with flats although I usually use round wounds with the tone turned down as I can still get the pop and zing with the tone control up
    Definitely not the exact tone but close enough so that I don't need to carry two basses when playing with a bunch of hoodlums in a bar.

    Do tape wounds sound like a deader version of flats?
    Haven't tried them in years.
  20. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    I haven't tried any recent tapewounds, but the recorded sounds I've heard were surprisingly sproingy. Maybe it depends on what's under the `tape.'