#1
I need a set of flats for my 6 string bass. can you guys give me some suggestions and explain why you choose them.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#2
Rotosound 77s. They're very good, reasonably priced and one of the few flatwound string sets you are likely to find for a sixgun. Give them a try.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#3
I can't give you suggestions since I don't play six bangers, but I can tell you why I chose flats.

1 You never have to change the strings.
Unlike rounds flats age differently, and actually sound better the older they get.

2 It's easier to cut through a mix with flats.
Flats vibrate at a different frequency then rounds so your bass no longer has to fight to be heard in a mix with flats since the frequencies are different.

3 Cost effective and a half.
Like I said before flats never really have to be changed so a ~60 dollar set of flats can last you years, or decades.

4 Vintage tone.
Flats have a unique dull thumpy tone that rounds, or grounds can't touch and this sound can fit anywhere. Don't believe me? Listen to old 50's rock (most bass parts are P basses with flats) Pink Floyd, or even Iron Maiden. All of it are flats.

5 Flats save your fingers and your frets.
Flats, since they are completely smooth, save on fret wear since they aren't rough like rounds are. Flats also save your fingers pretty much for the same reason.
Less wear and tear on your frets and fewer sore fingers means more comfort and longer play time.

6 Nearly no string noise.
The wrapping on rounds gives you that ridiculous string noise. Flats cut down on that drastically. No more of that squealing pig noise when you slide your fingers.

7 lower action.
Since there is less raised surface area on a flat, and less string noise you can also have lower action.

Those are some of the points as to why I chose flats, and why I think most people choose them.
The only draw backs, if thats what you wanna call them, are the initial cost, and flats typically have a higher tension. considering their long life and how easy set ups are they're well worth it.
Quote by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
Last edited by Alucard817 at Aug 25, 2011,
#5
Quote by Alucard817
4 Vintage tone.
Flats have a unique dull thumpy tone that rounds, or grounds can't touch and this sound can fit anywhere. Don't believe me? Listen to old 50's rock (most bass parts are P basses with flats) Pink Floyd, or even Iron Maiden. All of it are flats.

Steve Harris does use flats, but he changes them daily when touring or recording, so his tone isn't dull at all. Just sayin', personally I wouldn't like a dull tone for metal.
Professional lurker since 2009.
#6
Alucard, a lot of what you said is correct and good info, there's just a couple things I can't agree on.

Quote by Alucard817


2 It's easier to cut through a mix with flats.
Flats vibrate at a different frequency then rounds so your bass no longer has to fight to be heard in a mix with flats since the frequencies are different.


Saying that flats can be heard easier in a mix is false. Depending on the music you play, maybe. In order to be heard in a mix for most bands, you need a good balance of each frequency. Saying that flats are louder or easier to hear is an opinion if anything. I've always been able to hear rounds better, because the mid range and highs are more present.


Quote by Alucard817
4 Vintage tone.
Flats have a unique dull thumpy tone that rounds, or grounds can't touch and this sound can fit anywhere. Don't believe me? Listen to old 50's rock (most bass parts are P basses with flats) Pink Floyd, or even Iron Maiden. All of it are flats.


An old set of rounds can get a thumpy tone like a flat wound string, sure its not the exact same, it sounds like a flat would with a little more edge. Also, the strings Steve Harris uses are extremely bright for flats, and he restrings them frequently.


Quote by Alucard817
7 lower action.
Since there is less raised surface area on a flat, and less string noise you can also have lower action.


Less raised surface area, and less string noise doesn't make lower action, I'm not sure where that came from. Many times, your action will be higher, from all the tension from the strings.

Quote by Alucard817
Those are some of the points as to why I chose flats, and why I think most people choose them.
The only draw backs, if thats what you wanna call them, are the initial cost, and flats typically have a higher tension. considering their long life and how easy set ups are they're well worth it.


Flats are defiantly a good option, but the initial cost is not the only drawback. By using flats, you can only get a dull thumpy tone. There is a lot less versatility. If you want to get a variety of tones, flats will hinder you, and rounds are a better choice. Also, its pretty much impossible to get a bright sound out of flats.
#7
Here we go again.

Quote by Pandawithapick
Alucard, a lot of what you said is correct and good info, there's just a couple things I can't agree on.


Saying that flats can be heard easier in a mix is false. Depending on the music you play, maybe. In order to be heard in a mix for most bands, you need a good balance of each frequency. Saying that flats are louder or easier to hear is an opinion if anything. I've always been able to hear rounds better, because the mid range and highs are more present.

Firstly if you're going to disagree with someone make sure you don't misquote them.
Show me in my post where I said anything about flats being "louder".
The rest of your post here is dead wrong.

This is all about FREQUENCIES as I pointed out in my previous post, not "being loud".
Since flats vibrate at a lower frequency then rounds This allows the bass to come through the mix better because flats don't get "drowned out" as easily


Quote by Pandawithapick
An old set of rounds can get a thumpy tone like a flat wound string, sure its not the exact same, it sounds like a flat would with a little more edge. Also, the strings Steve Harris uses are extremely bright for flats, and he restrings them frequently.

No rounds do not get thumpy. They just get dull. I am one of those people who rarely change strings simply because I don't like how bright new rounds are. I actually have a 3 year old set on my Carlo Robelli. Dull yes, thumpy no.
Actually no player through history has ever cited that old rounds get thumpy, they cite that the string becomes dull and lifeless.
I'll go on about Steve Harris in a bit.


Quote by Pandawithapick
Less raised surface area, and less string noise doesn't make lower action, I'm not sure where that came from. Many times, your action will be higher, from all the tension from the strings.

Again You're wrong.
When you have less surface, you have less fret noise. less fret noise means lower action.
I will concede that when I said string noise I was referring to fret noise. oops


Quote by Pandawithapick
Flats are defiantly a good option, but the initial cost is not the only drawback. By using flats, you can only get a dull thumpy tone. There is a lot less versatility. If you want to get a variety of tones, flats will hinder you, and rounds are a better choice. Also, its pretty much impossible to get a bright sound out of flats.

Wait didn't you just say that Steve Harris' flats are extremely bright? So which is it my friend?
There is a flat for every style of music, you have the bright flats that are great for rock, punk or metal or whatnot. Then you have the more classic sounding flats that are good for jazz, blues or oldies.

Steve Harris has stated in interviews that he uses the bright flats for a number of reasons, the first being that he comes through the mix better and he still gets much of the brightness from rounds.
Quote by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
#8
Flats are overrated. Nylon's where it's at.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#9
My most used flats are Roto 77s but that's only due to them being cheap. They have an even tone but they really don't sound that great.

Thomastik Infeld are the best I've used, they're low tension unlike most flats so you can really dig in and get a heavier tone if you want; its not always like that but the option is there if you want it. Bought three sets in my lifetime, all of them second hand and that's because they really break the bank, a 4 string set alone costs nearly £40.

LaBella are supposedly great but I've no experience with them. Pyramid Gold strings are the worst I've ever used. Fender Flatwounds are good, the exact opposite of their godawful rounds.

Thoughts on tapewounds? You're using a 6 string for either metal, jazz or solo work so there's a 2/3 chance that Roto 88s are worth looking at.
#10
im not sure about tape wounds. I got the 6 string for the versatility and don't find tapes very versatile.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#11
Clicky

Watch that video, does a good job of showing of tapewounds, even if they are GHS. Tapewounds are actually a tad brighter and more percussive than most flats I've used, the difference is more to do with lows and low mids.
#13
Jeez, it looks like you're kind of pissed.

Quote by Alucard817
Here we go again.


Firstly if you're going to disagree with someone make sure you don't misquote them.
Show me in my post where I said anything about flats being "louder".
The rest of your post here is dead wrong.

This is all about FREQUENCIES as I pointed out in my previous post, not "being loud".
Since flats vibrate at a lower frequency then rounds This allows the bass to come through the mix better because flats don't get "drowned out" as easily



Quote by Pandawithapick
Saying that flats are louder or easier to hear is an opinion if anything

When you're up again two guitar players with Marshalls that love to roll on the bass, you need more than just low frequencies to be heard. The human ear hears the mid range the best. The only reason that flats would be more present would be a low mid bump. Maybe for a classic rock cover band, flats sound great, but for a lot of music, you need a tone that's going to punch through the mix instead of sitting in it. When I'm playing jazz, I'm using an upright with flats, but for all my other bands, I need a more aggressive tone that you just can't get with flats, and that comes from the mid range and highs. Flats sound great in many situations, but not for everything.

Louder is the wrong word, that was my bad. In that post, loudness to me, meant how loud it is in the mix.


No rounds do not get thumpy. They just get dull. I am one of those people who rarely change strings simply because I don't like how bright new rounds are. I actually have a 3 year old set on my Carlo Robelli. Dull yes, thumpy no.
Actually no player through history has ever cited that old rounds get thumpy, they cite that the string becomes dull and lifeless.
I'll go on about Steve Harris in a bit.

Wow, I'm really glad that someone has been able to talk to every bass player in history (or guitar player, guitar flats for the win) about flats being "Dull" instead of "Thumpy"
For example, in a video comparing Squiers to Fenders, Ed Friedland plays an 80's P bass with old rounds, that thing thumps like no other. Hell, A P bass with fresh rounds can thump too, learning how to EQ and using your tone knob can do wonders.

Again You're wrong.
When you have less surface, you have less fret noise. less fret noise means lower action.
I will concede that when I said string noise I was referring to fret noise. oops

If anything, the strings would be able to be lowered with less fret buzz. I play with a little buzz anyway, and as long as its not a massive amount, you wont even hear it through your amp.

Quote by Alucard817
Wait didn't you just say that Steve Harris' flats are extremely bright? So which is it my friend?
There is a flat for every style of music, you have the bright flats that are great for rock, punk or metal or whatnot. Then you have the more classic sounding flats that are good for jazz, blues or oldies.

I have not heard of a set of flats that are specifically for rock, punk, or metal (with the exception of a fresh set of Steve Harris's flats) . All of my favorite punk players use rounds, with the exception of some old Ramones records, etc. With the exception of Steve Harris, I haven't heard of many metal players using flats. A lot of great classic rock tracks have been recorded with flats, so I'll defiantly agree on that, although I'm not an authority in knowledge of classic rock (cant stand it). Jazz blues and oldies is defiantly where flats shine at. When playing Jazz standards and blues, I always use an upright with flats. But saying that flats are better for Punk, Metal, and Rock, just because Steve Harris uses flats is ignorant.


Quote by Alucard817
Steve Harris has stated in interviews that he uses the bright flats for a number of reasons, the first being that he comes through the mix better and he still gets much of the brightness from rounds.

Steve Harris's signature flats are extremely bright, yes, those flats are the exception to the rule. I am no authority in knowledge of Iron Maiden, I'm not really a fan, but Steve has a unique tone that probably won't work for every band.

Every time a friend or a student asks for advice on strings, I always tell them to try as many strings as possible. Now, this can be kind of expensive, so many times people are going to look for information to make a smart buy, and get what they are looking for in tone, with the least amount of money wasted.

Alucard
I agree with a lot of what you said, as I said earlier in the post, there is no need to get bitchy just because I don't agree with you on a few points.
#14
D'addario chromes.
I love them cause you can get any tone out of them.

And like Steve Harris says you can get a very bright tone out of flats, but its different than the bright tone from rounds where you can get muddied with the guitar pretty easy.
Eg:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnpUk9E2gt0

Done with my D'addario chromes.