Bass string differences

I got an epi thunderbird used a few weeks ago and think it could use a setup and probably new strings. Just curious on how much difference different strings have on the sound like round vs flat, thickness ect. Also any recommendations would be helpful for this noob.


Flat vs rounds are going to give you your biggest tonal difference. Flats have a much more vintage sound and are a bit more dead sounding….in a good way that is. Also much less sustain.

As far as rounds go, the difference between various brands, in my experience, comes down to most how bright they are. Personally, I don’t like very bright strings so I tend to gravitate towards darker rounds as a result (DR Pure Blues being my personal choice).

It’s an admittedly expensive suggestion but it wouldn’t hurt in the long run to try a bunch of different ones and see what feels/sounds best to you. Your playing style is going to influence the sound as well and the way a string sounds when someone on youtube plays them is going to be wildly different than when you play.


Here is a good overview over the different types:

Unfortunately, @mr.crispy is right in stating that you will need to invest some money to try different types along the way, and slowly find out what you like (or dislike) about the different strings. Remember also that the type of music you want to play might also be a factor for finding the “right” strings. And your playing style, as mentioned (finger style, pick, slap, …).

Good luck!


Strings are a rabbit hole unto themselves.

Entry level flats- actually surprisingly good.
I played this with the jam group on the weekend and they made very complimentary noises.

1 Like