I'm not a bass player, but kinda being forced to. I have a Fender 1963 AVRI Precision Bass that I bought second hand 5 years ago. Came with a set of Dunlop flats already installed, so who knows how old these strings are.
I assume it's probably time for new strings? Any recommendations?
Post by tasteliketape on Feb 7, 2023 4:46:59 GMT -6
Strings being kinda a personal taste , but I like LaBella tapewound also Roto Sound Flatwound rs77 The La Bella tapes are kinda upright bass sounding (kinda) Roger Waters and John Deacan uses the roto for reference The Rotosound flats maybe not for everyone there high tension and thick and will build the strength in your hands lol ,but I love the sound of them. Haven’t tried them yet but Sadowsky flats I’ve heard great things .
As I do more playing and recording over the years I find that strings can be highly personal (playability, cost, tone, etc) or highly selective (for the song). It's hard to say that any one set would be good for any singular purpose.
Since I tend to want a lot more top end from the string, I choose d'addario bright wound strings. They stay brighter sounding than ernie ball. That brightness helps the midrange cut through the mix without resorting to a bunch of distortion or EQ. You can always cut top end easier than boosting on bass guitar.
Bass players love that low end bump they get from flats or from "used" (read:dirty) strings but honestly it makes it hard to get bass to sit in a mix for what I tend to do. I always try to get them to swap to a new set of strings before tracking if possible. They rarely want to though.
The other thing you can try is boiling the strings you have. Boil them for about 10 minutes with a little vinegar and they'll sound like new again. It really does work.
Yeah... its kind of a personal choice & I don't think one bass can do "everything" you might need a few different sounds.
Flats can last a really stupid long time so if that's what you dig they might still have life in 'em. Look at the strings & see if they have any significant tarnish marks and/or wear & dents from the frets. If they look clean maybe leave 'em unless you just want a change?
Sometimes you want that deep reggae thump or Jamerson thing that only comes with flats/super dead round wounds. Gimmie a P bass with rusty strings and an SVT and I'm a happy moose.
At the same time, as a player in my super rude rock band? I love the tone of brand new rounds on a jazz bass or Music Man. Ultra bright with all the rattle. Love that too. Especially pick bass and fuzz bass? I need that articulation.
Something that blew my skull recently was learning that Steve Harris (iron madien) uses rotosound flats. But apparently he changes 'em nearly everyday! There's so much treble in his tone vs the typical flats player that I'd sworn it was rounds... but no and he only likes them when they're brand, brand new.
Like if we listen to "the trooper" its a P with flats... I never knew that combo could make this sound!
Agree with everyone's sentiments re: strings being a personal choice. The context is important too for me. If it's a two-guitar rock/metal band with both guys playing Les Paul and Marshalls, I'd go with rounds over flats. If you're playing Jameson old-school soul or grubby 70s funk, then flats or tapewounds are your friends.
After trying just about every string option available over the years I worked out that I'm not too fond of flats or tapewound strings, but I'm a rock guy. Most of my basses are usually strung with DR Hi-Beams which is the complete opposite tonal choice. The exception is my P Bass where I go for something a little less bright like DR Lo-Riders or whatever Nickel rounds I have handy.