Flats vs Regular guitar strings, whats the difference?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by g335, Feb 14, 2009.


  1. g335

    g335 Member

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    What is the difference in feel, sound and playing with Flats vs using regular guitar strings?

    I play a Gibson 335 and a Jazzmaster and GHS Boomers.

    Help please
     
  2. Brien

    Brien Member

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    Flats are a darker, thicker sound than round wounds. The different brands of flats vary quite a bit in tone and feel. I'm still partial to D'addario Chromes, but I like the Thomastics as well.
     
  3. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Think of the opening riff in "Ticket To Ride".. that's a classic flatwound sound in a rock context.
     
  4. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    I loved flatwounds on my jag...Daddario chrome 12s, they are kind of 'dark' or 'mellow' at first but with a twangy guitar and fender amp this wasn't a problem for me. They feel awesome, you can slide up and down all day and they're easy on the calluses and create less noise. They seemed like they lasted forever as well.

    I tried flats on my Tele but they sucked the twang right out of it for some reason...IIRC Luther Perkins used 11 flats which I think gave him that sort of hollow or round sound I call it (Folsom Prison)
     
  5. middlepickup

    middlepickup Member

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    Flats sound a little "deader". Most early to mid 60's guys used them.
    You can usually drop a gauge for feel. Very nice on your fingers. Action can be lowered, also, without buzz.
     
  6. Alter

    Alter Member

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    flats are also a bit more difficult to bend. basically think jazz tone. a 335 can handle both flat and round strings pretty well, i change a lot between the two on mine..

    another interesting thing to try out if you 're looking for different tone are the la bella coated strings (something between flats and rounds, pretty original)
     
  7. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    I'm finding I like the Thomastik Infeld 11-47 Nickel Flatwound set I put on my strat more and more. The wound G string won't bend in the same way that an unwound G string will but that is not a major problem.

    There is some real body to these. I also notice what I guess I would call a "clarity" that seems to come from fewer overtones on the wound strings. There is something cleaner about the sound.

    I suppose that might be what people describe as flatwounds being "dead" but I don't know if I would call it that. I like the way this "deadness" functions with fuzz pedals. Really seems to focus and tighten the bass.

    I do notice that the TI flatwounds tend to be a bit darker than the SOBs I had been using but I am not really bothered by that.

    I think these are keepers.
     
  8. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    Flats don't twang.

    They have a round (some would say dark or dull) tone that is mostly fundamental with very few overtones. Jazzers love the pure tone and slick feel. Lots of non jazz bass players also dig flats for the smoother James Jamerson R&B and dub bass thing.

    Oh and they are alot easier on your fingers and frets.
     
  9. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    I'm using TI Jazz Swing Nickel Flatwounds 11-47.

    I am finding that these hold up very nicely but I am getting excessive wear on the wound g string. I can feel little burrs and I can see where the string is squashed a bit where it contacts frets I play on quite a bit.

    I bend quite a bit on the third string and I have been noticing this wound g string fretting out quite a bit.

    Any thoughts?
     
  10. Mandoboy

    Mandoboy Member

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    There's flatwound; then there's Pyramid Gold flatwounds-they are a totally different sound and feel from your average flats. Expensive and worth it!
     
  11. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    I've got the Pyramid Golds on my Warwick Corvette Standard. Have not tried the guitar strings. I figured the TI's would be a less expensive but comparable option.
     

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