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Strings

IamMark
Posts: 863
I think it's time to replace my 20-year old Doug Wimbish Trace Elliot strings on my G&L. They've been good to me, but they're losing their ability to stay in tune.

The one thing I didn't like about the Trace Elliot strings was that they are round-wound, and I get a lot of squeaks and scratches when I play aggressively.

Can someone explain to me the differences (Pros/Cons) of round core or hex core strings?

Also, does anyone here play half-rounds?
20 years on a set of round wound strings? Pending on brand, I could only get 3 - 6 months on a set of round wound. Anyhoo - all round wound strings create the nuisance of sounds when fingers are applied to the strings. Rounds that are coated, as in nickel plating or other substance that has been applied to the strings have less finger noise than the traditional steel rounds.

Half Rounds (ground round/hybrid/semi-flat) is a better alternative to a standard set of round wound strings. Less finger noise, long life span compared to Rounds, almost as smooth as Flats though still has that grit and bite that normal round wound strings have, but overall these strings do not beat up your fingers like a set of Rounds will do to you.

Most of my bass's have Half Rounds, those that do all of them have GHS Brite Flats, REGULAR MEDIUM SCALE SET .049, .062, .084, .108 - If you or anyone chooses these, DO NOT buy the Long Scale Set if you have a 34“ scale bass. It says it will work, but do not make the mistake that I and others have done and get them, all you'll get is the E string making a ”thud“ sound when you strike it. Those strings should only be used on a 35” scale bass or longer.

Round/Hex Core - I'm unable to provide a opinion, due to the fact that I have never tried them. From what I have gathered through the grapevine is, it's one of those typical string topics of “you either like them or you don't” - mixed reviews - 50/50 gamble to the purchaser.

DR Strings have been pretty popular with bassist. Especially the Dragon Skin coated and the Black Beauties. I've been wanting to try both of these myself personally. The only drawback is that “pick users” are noticing the coating tends to flake off when they are playing them.

D'Addario Chromes (flat wound)- which is what I have on 2 of my bass's. So far, I can not find anything negative about these strings. Flats overall can be pretty expensive, but there is a reason for it - Longevity - Chromes will fit most peoples budget compared to higher end retailed Flats, not as bright as the GHS, but then again the GHS can not put out the Phat Tone that the Chromes produce for me.

So if you are like me, and you find excessive string noise a nuisance and you are tired of your fingers getting sore and blistered and callused up. At least try a set of Semi to Flat wound strings, it's one of the best things that you can do for yourself, your fingers, and most importantly, your sound.

UNOFFICIAL STRING GUIDE -

ROUND WOUND - traditional feel - super bright tone -excessive string noise - best for crunch, bite and sustain.

NICKEL WOUND/PLATED/COATED (round wound) - bright tone - less excessive string noise - crunch, bite, sustain.

HALF ROUNDS/SEMI-FLATS/HYBRID - hybrid/bright tone - smooth feel - less finger noise - warm and mellow

PURE NICKEL (round wound) - warm vintage tone - smooth feel - less finger noise - bluesy/classic rock sound

CHROMES/FLAT WOUND - mellow fat tone - virtually no finger noise - rich full/low bottom tone
IamMark
Posts: 863
Thanks!

I have the DA nickel flats on my fretless. Love em, but they were twice as expensive as the DA rounds.

Thanks for the GHS medium scale tip. I was looking at them on a website and couldn't figure out why they would have a medium. Now I know.
You're welcomed IamMark,

It's a bit misleading in a way -

The Long Scale is advertised for a 35“ scale bass, but on the package it says will work for a 34” scale as well…Boo on them!

Medium Scale is designed for 34“

Short Scale is obviously for the 30” scale.

The Long Scale Set that I had purchased was a Light String Gauge .045 .056 .077 .098
I haven't searched for these in the Medium Scale Set as of late, but I was totally surprised how much nasty growl + bottom end that it produced. I figured a lighter scale gauge could not perform like that, but I was wrong on that theory. Though they were light, and it took a bit to get used to the thinner gauge, there was a lot of flexibility in these and very comfortable to play - too bad the E string would not cooperate. It acted like the Nut was pinching the string, but that was not the case at all, it just wouldn't perform like it should have.

If you or anyone decides on picking up a set of the GHS Brite Flats - (medium scale 34") Don't mind the Ribbon Winding at the Nut. It will not affect the playability or distort the sound. It fits just fine in the nut. If it's not an issue as a visibility to someone, part of the ribbon winding is about an inch to inch and half over the surface of the fret board, but not in the way of the fret or playing area.
Sidsquishus
Posts: 1499
I don't like bright (treble rich) strings (such as Chromes). I am using DA Half rounds, DA, Fender, and Labella nylon tape wounds, and have a set of Labella Quarter Rounds for a jazz bass I am moding.

BassStringsOnline and JustStrings are good sources. BassStrings is run by a bassist. Cheers
Marko1960
Posts: 2174
Roundwounds have a round wire wrapped around a central core wire, this creates voids between the wrap and the core which adds to the bright ringing tone. Flatwounds have a flat wire wrapped around the same core wire but you dont get any voids, making them dull with less sustain. Groundwounds are Roundwonds ground flat, giving you the best of both worlds. BOSH
Marko1960
Posts: 2174
So yeah…BOSH
Leiria
Posts: 330
Long Scale strings should only be use on 34 scale if the bridge is string-through
Quote:
Roundwounds have a round wire wrapped around a central core wire, this creates voids between the wrap and the core which adds to the bright ringing tone. Flatwounds have a flat wire wrapped around the same core wire but you dont get any voids, making them dull with less sustain. Groundwounds are Roundwonds ground flat, giving you the best of both worlds. BOSH
Just to make clear what the difference between a broken in flatwound and a brand new one is, I uploaded a short video. Here it is:
IamMark
Posts: 863
I ordered DR Sunbeam roundwound nickels.

Give me a whirl.
Quote:
I ordered DR Sunbeam roundwound nickels.Give me a whirl.

Let us know how those turn out, I was thinking of trying those one day. I consider myself to “endorse” DR because they are about the only brand i can find that make a .125 gauge for my five string, although I do admit Im using Dunlop right now because they were cheap emergency replacements. But anyway, the only thing of DR's that Ive used so far are Hibeams which taught me that I hate the sound of steel strings. Ive been trying to recreate the factory tone of by basses and I recently found out that ESP uses D'addario for their stock strings so Im probably doing that next.

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