Flat wound vs round wound strings

interesting, I never tried nylon tapewounds and I would be greatly interested by your review !

also you can keep the LaBella : it’s perfectly possible to re-use old bass strings when they’re not totally dead.

the smooth feeling to the touch makes me dream : with my stainless steel roundwounds, I feel like I play on barbed wire. not much gentle nor polite.

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The early days of learning are full of temptations, aren’t they?

I bought flats for my Epiphone Thunderbird, which was my bass of choice, but an issue with them not fitting lead me to put them on my Peavey Millennium, and now the Peavey is my go-to bass - in fact I haven’t played the Epi since I changed the strings. I plan to get another set, but only after I finish the course and give the rounds a try again on the Epi.

Now I was under the impression that tape wounds were quite limited in their sound and intended to duplicate a double bass sound, but that would go against what you’re saying about not liking the duller sound and limited tonal range of flats. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think of them.

The way I’m now looking at things is that my B1on does such a good job of changing the sound that I can brighten up the flats simply by playing through the pedal & headphones. Fine for practice and lessons.

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I gotta be honest with you @PeteP, I’m not sure what I want. I don’t know all the correct adjectives to use when describing the different sounds, but I know what pleases me. I do like the sound of the tape wounds (I just put them on). It’s a nice deep booming sound that you can feel down in your bones. I wasn’t quite getting that with the flats. It may have been because the flat wounds that I had were lighter gauge… again, I am not experienced enough to be able to determine that. Bottom line is, I’m glad I made the switch.
As a side benefit, the flat black strings look awesome on my red and black bass!

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For most typical slap sounds, you need the brightness that roundwounds give to get the full spectrum of sound you want. But if you want a thumpy weird vintage-y slap sound, it can work. “Thank You” by Sly and the Family Stone might have had Larry Graham playing some flats? I seem to remember him saying he would just use whatever strings were handy back then.

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don’t know but Larry Graham is one of those bass player who lets me speechless. this guy rocks in an interstellar level :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: … and I’m not at all a slap fan but … well, yeah, what Larry Graham does just works so perfectly ! love this guy ! especially with Central Station

that’s pretty normal, it takes some time to know what you want, that’s perfectly fine. some trial and error involved. Also it’s really hard to describe sounds. The real deal is to find what pleases you. Maybe you just find the right strings for your tastes, maybe it’s just a part of the trial and error thing. In any case it’s a great progress :grin:

by the way your bass looks cool, I like the flower ! I like the small motorcyles in the background too :grin:

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Yeah! BB’s are great basses and the flower makes hers unique :slight_smile:

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I like the Deep Talkin’ Light gauge nylon over round wound strings.

Gives you the sound of rounds but without the shifting noise and are easier to press.

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So my lovely new-to-me Yamaha TRBX504 arrived with what I think are the standard strings D’Addario EXL170SL (0.045-0.100) - and if not they are certainly a similar gauge and still round wounds.

I hate round wounds because I get so much scraping noise - technique/ear/quality fo strings? - so I tried a set of cheap flats bought off ebay, and I loved them on my Peavey Millennium BXP (although they were bought for my Epiphone T-bird, but didn’t fit the bridge). I’ve just put a set of them on the TRBX504 and the transformation is complete. So much less scraping, nowhere near as bright & punchy sounding (I really don’t like that tone), and so much smoother on my fingers than I’ve gelled with the bass more in 10 minutes than in the previous 1-2 hours spent with it.

I’m sure they are made as generic strings and sold under different brands, but for the money I don’t think a beginner can go far wrong. For £10 they let you try something very different, and perhaps like myself you will appreciate how easy they are to play when you’re just starting out.

The set I bought were branded Adagio and Olympia; most people seem to be able to get them for an offer of £9.

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technique, no doubt about it. I have D’Addario round wounds on my two basses and I don’t have much scraping noise, even when I play with overdrive. (pretty much all the time)

anyway flat wounds are fine if that’s what you like, but the scraping noise should not be an argument in my opinion, as it’s highly manageable.

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Haha, there you have it, @PeteP :crazy_face:

I have the same issue, but let’s not get thrown off the path because we don’t have perfect technique (or are ex-guitar players :joy:) - different strings and EQ’ing to the rescue, while we work on becoming perfect!!

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yeah it’s somewhat a part of the mute-everything-all-the-time reflex :grin: it becomes very natural but, it’s not about being perfect but I wonder if you will develop this reflex if you learn with flat wounds (and without the need to manage any scraping noise). I’m not sure, it’s just a question :face_with_monocle:

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EQ works wonders here too, rolling off the treble will reduce both scraping and brightness :slight_smile:

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Perhaps not, @terb. But, I think I also need to be somewhat pragmatic about it. I don’t want to spend another 20 years in perfecting that particular skill, have never played a string instrument before, and I won’t be able to ever catch up with you in terms of skills in wrangling strings anyway, but I still want to have the most fun I can with it…

So, yeah, I probably will take some short-cuts and any help I can get along the way as well (strings, EQing, …) :smile:

That is also why I got curious about the half-rounds in another thread - could be a great compromise for us who don’t play technically skilled enough to avoid scraping sounds, but enjoy the brighter sound of round-wounds…

In any case, having more fun when playing should also make us play more, and that hopefully leads to better technique more or less as a side product (I know, I am a tiny but naive here) :joy:

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hopefully it’s not a competition :sweat_smile:

that said I understand what you said and I agree, anyway the final goal of all this is to enjoy playing, that’s the only important things at the end :grin: why not give a try to the half-round, yes, it might be a nice compromise !

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I have them on my Yamaha 304 because I was learning to play several quick change note songs. My technique use to be pretty good on guitar, but age and arthritis has somewhat hindered the way I now control my fingers so I’m just not as good at at as before. The half rounds do help when it comes to the finger scrape noise though and do provide a very mellow sound and tone that I can manage using the 304’s onboard eq.

My SR500 on the other hand sounds lost and has no character with the half rounds so I went with Coated Round Wounds on it. The coating is suppose to give the strings more lifespan by limiting the amount of oil and dirt that a cumulates between the round wrappings, but I found that it also helps just a bit with the scraping. I still get a little scrape here and there, but nothing as noticeable as on my Yamaha 174 with the normal vintage Round Wounds.

I guess that’s what I have different bass’s. They all have different strings on them that give me the different sounds I look for when playing different type genres of music.

Some folks use different type pedals, eq’s, etc,… I suppose I use bass’s with different strings on them. No matter what you use though, it’s always still about whatever puts a smile on ‘your’ face​:grinning::smiley: when you hit the right note at the right time with the right sustain and just with just the tight tone…

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Probably not as early, but just as a good player can make a cheap instrument sing, eventually I hope/should be good enough.

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I hope it isn’t - otherwise I’m up for eviction every show. :upside_down_face:

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I feel a bit stupid now because I forgot to record the 504 with the original strings, although if you watch any of the demo vids (and most of the user vids of one) you’ll get a very clear idea of how it sounds naturally. The tone they designed it for is what you get, that comes at the cost of mellower vintage tone, but…

This is the sound of the 504 with cheap flat wound strings - once in passive and once in active, neck pick-up only, tone controls all set for max low end.

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Is that with a pick? You have kind of a sharp, bright attack in active mode. I like it :slight_smile:

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Similar difference in tone as my SR500 when switching between Passive and Active modes. Having the versatility on a single bass instrument to switch between the two modes opens up a lot of avenues when it comes to playing different genres of music. Kinda cool!

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