I need to buy a new set of strings for my ibanez sr505. This is my first time buying strings for a fiver, and in general choosing strings for myself. So, I have no clue about flatwound and roundwound strings. I looked it up, but I couldn't find how the tone differs from each other. I'm also confused about scale length. Apparently my bass has a 34" scale, but I don't know if that's long scale, or medium. Or maybe I'm completely off the mark and it's neither.

Basically, I know nothing. I even did research, but I'm still stuck. Any help/explanations would be appreciated. Thanks, and I apologize if it's confusing.
Flatwounds are mellow and fat sounding. They also do less wear on frets and never need cleaning. They feel like solid smooth cables on your finger tips.

Roundwounds (what most basses have) are bright and trebely. They need to be cleaned often.

Groundwounds. Best of both worlds. Is basically a roundwound with the wrappings ground to a smoothe suface. It's like having flatwounds that sound alot brighter, but not as bright as roundwounds.

I belive that long scale is 35 inch. Most 5 strings are 35 inch because that b string needs extra length to keep it under proper tension. 34 inch is considered to be medium scale and anything lower then that is short scale.
Last edited by Pizza The Hut at Nov 15, 2008,
Okay, that makes a lot more sense now. (: I'll look for groundwounds, but I doubt my guitar shop will have them. If they don't, it looks like I'll go for the flatwounds. Thanks!
I'm just gonna point out that your bass came with roundwounds on them so if you go with flatwounds it's gonna be a pretty dramatic change in your sound.
Flats are going to sound really, really thumpy, near to the dead string sound. It works for R & B and blues rock playing, but most people opt for Roundwounds. Also, be aware that flats cost a bit more as well.
Oh lord, I'm back to where I started. Price is no real objection, as I only buy strings when absolutely necessary. So... should I stick to round? Thanks for the help. If it means anything, I prefer a bassier (is that a word?) tone.
Go to Rotosounds website and check out the sound bytes for their strings. I'm not recommending Rotos per se (though I love these strings) but they will give you an idea of how a roundwound vs a flatwound sound.