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Flats - why do many rave about them


BassAdder27

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As a roundwounds user on my PBass using a pick for rock seems to work.

 

There are many say Flatwounds are the way forward … why is that ?

 

They sound dull I’m told ( I can achieve that turning down my tone pot ) and they are very costly in comparison 

 

Are there really any advantages to swop and what are they as I’m open to try 

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People rave about stuff. Doesn't always mean anything of value!

 

They have a different sound and feel to rounds, whether that is good or bad depends on the context and your tastes. By all means try them and see what you think, if you are interested, but if you are happy with what you have don't expect any magic revelations to suddenly appear.

 

People love to do it, and I've had it up to the back teeth lately, so don't worry about what you are made to feel you 'should' do. People who go around being specific about what you should do without any consideration for why you already do what you do, SHOULD stick it.

 

Flatwounds are the way forward for those who find they provide what they are after, just as rounds are the way forward for those who find they provide what they are after. There is no definitive right or better- sounds like you don't need a fix because your sound ain't broke, but feel free to give them a try to see what your opinion is if you so wish.

Edited by Jus Lukin
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Buy some. 

 

Stick them on your P-bass. 

 

Play them for a week or so, and you'll form an opinion. If you like them and prefer them, they will last a good 10 years. If you don't like them, take them off, and sell them on and you'll get a good chunk of your money back. 

 

Simples.

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One thing to note is that not all rounds flats are equal.  Some are high tension, some low.  Some are dull, some are bright.  If you choose the wrong set you may be put off unnecessarily.

 

I am a massive fan of Thomastik TI Flats and put them on all my basses.  They are low tension - not to everyone's liking! - and sound nice and bright, not just a dull thud.  I play in a blues rock band and they sit just nicely in the mix.  For me and the tone I have in my head for my basses, they are just right.  Plus they feel nice to the touch - fans of round wounds will disagree, of course.

Edited by Paul S
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It's a fashion thing. I quite like the sound of flats on some basses, but I hate the feel of them, too slippery and smooth. I like to feel the rough round wounds, gives me something to grip.

I have flats on my only Precision, but it hasn't left its case for several months now. I quite like flats on a Jazz if I play with a pick, but find it much easier to use fingers (since I got the use of them back) so have reverted to round wounds. If they sound too toppy, I roll off the treble on the bass.

I also find flats more tiring to play than rounds, probably because they are stiffer. 

Basically, I use rounds because I prefer them, and flats reluctantly if the music really needs them - which is rare.

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When I put TI's on my P bass my sound improved significantly. Just the sound I was after. If I want a top end twang I'll bring out my Jazz.

 

Flats aren't expensive. This set of TI's has been on my P bass for the last 5 years. In that time I've put 5 sets of rounds on my Jazz. So rounds are way more expensive than flats.

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3 hours ago, BassAdder27 said:

As a roundwounds user on my PBass using a pick for rock seems to work.

 

There are many say Flatwounds are the way forward … why is that ?

 

They sound dull I’m told ( I can achieve that turning down my tone pot ) and they are very costly in comparison 

 

Are there really any advantages to swop and what are they as I’m open to try 

Adagio on eBay are not super-expensive at around £14 to dip your toe in the water 

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2 hours ago, wateroftyne said:

 

Ah yes, that current new fad of flatwound strings. it'll soon blow over 😄

I know they were around long before round wounds, but in my experience it is only in the last few years that they have become the object of so much discussion among bassists. 

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I tried them to lessen the marking of the board on my fretless. I tried LaBellas and wasn’t keen. Then EB brought out cobalt flatwounds so I gave them ago and I really liked them to the point where I have them on 3 of my 4 basses. I like the feel, I like the tone (more like a nicely broken in set of nickel roundwounds then the thuddy tone you get with some flatwounds) and, of course, they’re kinder to my fretless.

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2 minutes ago, Bunion said:

I purchased a fretless stingray that came with TI flats, hated them,
feel, tension, tone. 
Changed to round wounds much more comfortable. 
 

 

I always found TI's to be pretty difficult to get along with too. 

 

I use Chromes mostly - more tension, better feel, brighter and more playable...

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45 minutes ago, FinnDave said:

I know they were around long before round wounds, but in my experience it is only in the last few years that they have become the object of so much discussion among bassists. 


IME for the last 20 years or so, whenever there’s been a discussion about flats,

someone has always piped up to say they’re a fad 😄

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