Flatwounds

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FosterFoster Frets: 994
I have one bass and one bass only - an amazing MIM Fender Jazz bass

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I tried chucking some flatwounds on it the other month, they lasted all of a few days! The action went monstrously high, they felt like I was playing with electric cables from pylons but they did sound nice. The strings in question were Rotosound Monel flatwounds. They were sold to a friend and they were awesome on his bodged fretless bass thing copy.

I bought 45-105 strings as this is generally the size I buy for roundwounds. Did I buy the wrong gauge?

I would like to try flats again but are they all going to be as bad as the ones I bought?
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Comments

  • IanSavageIanSavage Frets: 1319
    I've just put a set of Fender nylon tapewounds on my Jazz (these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111384494549?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649) - very little difference in tension, I had to open up the nut slot for the A string by the TINIEST amount, but they sound superb (and, importantly, look cool as fuck ;) ). 
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 10917
    Flats usually have a higher tension (the exception being Tomastik TI Flats)

    The Roto Monels are very high tension. I didn't like them either

    I have D'addario chromes on my P - they are lower tension that the Rotos but you still might need a truss rod tweak.

    The TI flats are loved by most people that are willing to buy them - they are very expensive but users report getting 10 years out of them. Their 45-105 are LOADS lighter than Rotos.

    Hello darkness my old friend.


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  • KKJaleKKJale Frets: 816
    edited July 2014
    The Rotosounds you bought are amongst my least favourite flats. They are pretty high tension and I don't like the feel at all. 

    I once had 52-110 in Labella flats. I was on a Jamerson kick and they're what he used. In fact I still have them and threw them back on for a laugh a while ago, and was amazed I ever managed to play them. Bloomin' cables... I put 5 years on these. How?

    My favourites these days are...

    Labella, but I'd buy the 760FX set, which are 39-96 gauge. Nice soulful thump. 

    Thomastiks, which are superb but very very flexible as noted above ^ and suit some basses but not others, I've found. Quite a modern, mid-pushed sound, very loud. I have these on the spare bass. Five years plus and going strong. 

    Currently using Pyramids on the main bass. Medium tension, decent thump and very musical '60s sound, but with an even nicer feel than Labellas. You can sometimes get a duff E, just send it back and they'll post you a new one. After two years these are still the ones for me. Lovely!


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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 3708
    I only recently started dabbling in bass but the subject of flats came up for me recently so I went and chatted to the blokes in Wunjo Bass shop and they said that yes most flats were higher tension than equivalent roundwounds and some folk prefer that, others don't.
    One of the guys in there went out the back and grabbed his own P bass which has TIs on it and let me have a go. If anything they felt a little lower tension than the 45-105 rounds I already have - so I bought a set <winces at price> and will put them on at the weekend. 

    Apparently some sets are MUCH higher tension so not surprised the action changed. 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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  • I like the Status Hotwire flats. They're less than £20 direct from status and the tension doesn't strike me as unreasonable.
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 3708
    I put TI flats on this weekend - they sound and feel fantastic (my first flats so nothing to compare with) - my action was already high to the lower tension has probably helped by letting the neck straighten a little (then I dropped it a bit further at the bridge too when I was adjusting intonation - which needed lots of adjustment for these strings) 

    Very pleased with them - if they last 10 years as people say I won't notice the extra cost. 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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  • alanbass1alanbass1 Frets: 104
    I use TI flats on my Fenders - great sound
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  • MosfedMosfed Frets: 25
    I love flats and have sworn that I will buy a set of TI's (never tried them) the next time I need new strings. This is always one of those funny questions on bass. When to change strings? On guitar it is seriously obvious. On bass not so much...
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  • JeremiahJeremiah Frets: 315
    I've tried a few different sets of flats; I didn't much like the Rotosound or Fender ones, I currently have Labella, which I prefer to either of these.

    One thing I have noticed about them is that across all three brands the string to string balance is definitely worse (less even) than a typical set of round wounds - it goes from a really muffled thump with hardly any definition on the low strings to a quite twangy "ping" on the G.

    I was hoping that this would even out as the strings got broken in, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

    I think I will probably go back to round wounds - leave them on the bass long enough and they sound kinda like flats anyway...
    :P
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  • maw4neumaw4neu Frets: 224
    edited August 2014
    I had flat wound Fenders on my Jazz Bass and they were simply amazing, I loved them they were great  . . Like a pair of finest silk underpants :-) Maybe the gauge of string you put on were slightly heavier than the strings you took off  ???  Maybe flat wound strings are less elastic than the round wound strings ? ? ?  Bass necks are really responsive to string gauge changes and you should really check the neck relief both before and after changing your strings . . Dont write off, one day you'll come back to them and hopefully have a better experience . . Great looking Bass by the way :-)
    Id just like to point out that, despite all the video and DNA evidence, it genuinely wasn't me, your Honour  ! 
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  • Fender lite flatwounds - heaven
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  • Well, I've gone back to roundwounds. They feel quite harsh on my fingertips after the silky-smooth flats, but at least now the high and low notes sound like they're being played on the same instrument.
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  • Jeremiah said:
    I've tried a few different sets of flats; I didn't much like the Rotosound or Fender ones, I currently have Labella, which I prefer to either of these.

    One thing I have noticed about them is that across all three brands the string to string balance is definitely worse (less even) than a typical set of round wounds - it goes from a really muffled thump with hardly any definition on the low strings to a quite twangy "ping" on the G.

    I was hoping that this would even out as the strings got broken in, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

    I think I will probably go back to round wounds - leave them on the bass long enough and they sound kinda like flats anyway...
    :P
    Interesting comment about the balance across your strings. Never had a problem with that using cheapo Picatos but I have found the wrap is starting to lift. Still, they are so cheap I guess I should replace them more regularly!
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  • mike257mike257 Frets: 222
    I've got a set of cheap-ish Webstrings Detroit flats on one of my basses, they sound great to me and have used them live and in studio with no string balance/tone issues.  Worth a go for an inexpensive (compared to some options!) dabble in old school bass sounds.  Been playing them today actually, think I'm going to take them off my beater and put them on my nice bass for this weekend's Motown gig!
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  • alanbass1alanbass1 Frets: 104
    I use TI Flats and they are simply amazing, smooth with great definition.  I tried the Roto Sounds first and the tension was simply too high and the sound was rather clunky to my ears.
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  • I've never liked Rotosounds of any shape (flat or otherwise). They're just clanky.

    My RBX375 wears picato flatwounds and I like them.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • lenny_blenny_b Frets: 24
    Labellas on my P-bass, TI's on my fretless - both been on a few years now, plenty of life left still
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