Flatwounds P-Bass Only or My J-Bass Too?

I trolled through as many threads on here about Flatwounds as I could, but cannot find an answer to this specific question and would like y’all’s advice…

I love my new Fender P-Bass but I want some “darker” tones. As such, I want to get some Flatwounds (was leaning Rotosound but now leaning heavier toward LaBellas) for my P-Bass.

However, I wonder if I should also get some for my J-Bass or stay with the roundwounds on that instrument?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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I think if you like the tone of flats they should go well with any bass. There’s people here running flats on Warwicks, which tend to be a lot more bright and growly than a J-bass. It’s all about what you want and like :slight_smile:

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I have flats on my J and love it. You might want to keep one bass with round and one with flats just for diversity, you might fall in love with flats and use them on everything… it is all a matter of what gives you the sound you are looking for, but there is no reason not to try it out and just go back if you don’t like it.

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Hey @JDDaniel,
I run Ernie Ball slinky flats On both my P-basses, and my J-bass.
I run rotosound RS77LD jazz bass flats on my Warwick neck through thumb.
I’m a flats fan, I love the tone👍 And I agree it’s a personal preference.
The one thing I will say is if you go to flats on the P-bass you will never go back😎
Cheers Brian

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When the first J basses hit the market in 1960 they were all equipped with flat wound strings, so it’s not like you’d be doing anything radical.

I recently took advantage of a GC sale and picked up a Sterling by Musicman. While this is not a bass one would normally associate with flats, the round wound strings it came with lasted 2 days - the time it took Amazon to send me a set of Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkys.

I’m very happy with the way they sound and feel.

So if you want to try flats on your J, by all means go for it.

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I’ve got flats on everything except for the Squier Mustang and to be honest that might just be a matter of time before I swap them out for a set of La Bella’s.
Like @TNKA36 said it really is a personal choice for me too. I actually prefer how they feel especially if I’m doing a bit of sliding in a song.
I don’t pretend to be any type of expert bass player but I like the flats. They make me happy and that’s what it’s all about for me

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Thanks everyone! I am definitely going to get the La Bellas for my P and may for the J soon. I am thinking I will keep one bass (my Schecter) with rounds for some diversity. Have a great day.

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I’m a big fan of the LaBella Deep Talking Bass flats. I have tried others, but nothing is as smooth and great sounding as the LaBellas. I’m like @TNKA36 Brian, I put flats on everything. I hate rounds.

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I can confirm, i have used steel round wounds forever. and after trying to la bella deep talkin ( nylon wrapped ) bass’ on it. I put another set on one of my four stings and have not looked back. Not only does it sound amazing. slide smooth. and feel great. I also find its more forgiving to your technique. and also muffles a lot of buzz you can get if you start hitting the strings harder when things get groovy. But i still have a pair of heavy slinky round wounds on my Dean for the fact that it has a better aggressive sound for specific types of music. Also as soon as the time allows I have a side by side comparison of my 6 string with rounds vs tape wounds I’ll be posting…

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Now my Sweetwater sales tech ruined my day - not really - but he told me he would put the La Bella’s on my J Bass before the P Bass. I just ordered one set for my P Bass, so I guess I will get another for the J Bass soon if I like them. Oh lord, first world problems. LOL

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I don’t own either a P or a J Bass but I tried the D’addario Nylon Tapewounds on my rather new age bass to get the feeling of an upright. Which kinda worked if I pluck hard and at the bottom of the neck…

They sound really great but I miss my nickelwounds pretty bad. In fact I am curious if I simply remove these and save them for a future where I would get a fretless P Bass would they stay in good condition over time ?

Also you gotta love black strings on anything really :smiley:

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@spidey9 Hybrid Slinky’s aren’t flatwounds, are they…?

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@Mike_NL Absolutely. At least these are.

slinky

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I tried those slinkies. They’re okay but I took off and put my LaBellas back on.

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I love LaBellas - I have them on my Gretsch Junior Jet and I’m probably going to replace the D’Addario chrome flats on my P bass with them in the near future.

However, I wanted to go for a more modern sound with the Musicman, and Ernie Ball claims that their cobalt flat “feels like a flat but sounds like a round.”

I don’t know if I’d agree with that, but they’re definitely some of the brightest flats I’ve used.

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I just put some Ken Smith Slick Rounds on my Schecter. They feel like flats but are much brighter.

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Thanks. I’ll research those. Had not heard of them before.

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They are another best of both worlds string where they are definitely fat and deep but brighter than regular flats.

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Not sure why but I’m not a huge fan of Ernie Ball strings. There’s no reason for this - they aren’t bad - but I like the feel of other brands better. I really love D’Addario nickel rounds over EB Super Slinkys, for example.

I’ve only tried two EB string sets though so sample size is limited.

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I’ve tried lots of strings and ended up using EB Super Slinkys for a long while but after a bit of a string drought I ended up with what ever I could get. This “what ever I could get” set was
D’Addario nickel rounds. They’re great, I’ll definitely use them again.

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