There are few things finer than a nice Tele with flatwounds

Occam

Member
Messages
4,379
Mine was down for awhile due to a broken (and for some reason hard to find) tuner. I never cared much for a standard "store" set up with some round 9's...it just emphasized all of the weaknesses of a Tele but a good set of flat 12's turn those into strengths. Warm and larger than life sounded but clear...great clean or dirty. Leo had it right when he designed them this way.
 

scottlr

Member
Messages
23,683
In the 60s, all electric guitars I ever saw in music shops came with flats. Don't know the gauge, didn't know there were gauges back then LOL The only electrics with rounds I recall seeing were Teisco & the like. I love the feel of flats, but I can't deal with that heavy a gauge anymore, and I need the notes to ring a bit more than even a good set of flats do. Plus, flats are hard to find around here, unless you want D'Addario Chromes (which I hate).
 

hogy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,953
That's all there was.

That's false. I have many 1950's string packs, both Gibson and Fender had their own brand of round wounds then.

Gibson's "Sonomatics" and "Mona Steels" were rounds and cost a whopping $4.30 in the late '50s.

Gibson's flats were called "HiFi Flat Wounds" and cost $7.00. :eek:
 

dangerine49

Member
Messages
618
I've been using flats since the 60's myself, and use nothing else. I used to use Guild Sidewinders (11's, I think), and now use D'Addario Chromes (10's). They were way more popular back then, but rounds were used as well. I think my '65 Mustang came with flats.
 

Occam

Member
Messages
4,379
That's false. I have many 1950's string packs, both Gibson and Fender had their own brand of round wounds then.

Gibson's "Sonomatics" and "Mona Steels" were rounds and cost a whopping $4.30 in the late '50s.

Gibson's flats were called "HiFi Flat Wounds" and cost $7.00. :eek:
Really...you learn something new everyday. I've read that flats were the only things around at the time.
 

hogy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,953
Really...you learn something new everyday. I've read that flats were the only things around at the time.

They had round wounds way back in the '30s. Martin didn't string their pre war dreadnaughts with flat wounds.
 

jtm622

Member
Messages
9,266
All I remember about those old '60's flatwounds were that they sounded "dead" right out of the box. As far as the gauge of the individual strings in the '60's, I don't even remember whether their gauges were listed on the package. All you knew for sure was that the G string in that set was gonna be wound and not plain. I even remember wound B strings (seriously, most guitars in those days had an action like a frigging pitchfork when judged by today's standards...) Also, "Mapes" and "Black Diamond" both made round wounds that were a WHOLE LOT cheaper that those Gibsons that hogy mentioned. (The only problem with those cheap brands was that they rusted away almost while you were installing them.)
 

bluesrules

Member
Messages
544
I put on some Flatwounds to control an overly bright Alder Tele. It helped some but still trying different pickups. That guitar seen more pickups than a Airport bus! Someday I just may luck out, soldering iron is always warm.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,486
Flatwound strings. I tried 'em once. It was 30 years ago. I know it's been a while, but I still want my money back. For jazz, I'm sure they were cool. For rock or pop.... yuk...
 

jtm622

Member
Messages
9,266
I don't know about sounding dead.... George Harrison's Gretsch still sounded twangy to me.

Not to be argumentative, but are you sure that Harrison used flatwounds? I had a Gretsch Chet Atkins "Nashville" model in those days myself, and I never put flat wounds on it for the very reason that they lacked "twang"... But hey, "the proof is in the pudding" as they say - if those old-time flat wounds sounded really super-great, people would be demanding them for their guitars today, IMO.
 

SGNick

Member
Messages
3,578
Not sure where I read this, but the Beatles used whatever free gear they were sent, and RIckenbacker sent boxloads of Maxima strings, all flatwounds, as soon as George started using the 360/12
 

Flyin' Brian

Member
Messages
30,552
Not to be argumentative, but are you sure that Harrison used flatwounds? I had a Gretsch Chet Atkins "Nashville" model in those days myself, and I never put flat wounds on it for the very reason that they lacked "twang"... But hey, "the proof is in the pudding" as they say - if those old-time flat wounds sounded really super-great, people would be demanding them for their guitars today, IMO.

Not only did he use them on things like the intro to Day Tripper, but according to two books..."Beatles Gear" and "Here There and Everywhere" by Geoff Emerick, they sometimes used flatwounds on their Gibson acoustics as well.
 

jtm622

Member
Messages
9,266
Not only did he use them on things like the intro to Day Tripper, but according to two books..."Beatles Gear" and "Here There and Everywhere" by Geoff Emerick, they sometimes used flatwounds on their Gibson acoustics as well.

I thought about that, and it makes sense... Flat wounds had MUCH LESS "finger squeak" than round wounds, so they could have used flat wounds in the recording studio to minimize that "chirp" you get when you change chord fingerings on some "up-front" acoustic guitar rhythm tracks... (that "chirp" could get really annoying and seemed to get louder and louder in the playback after the recording engineer pointed it out to you...)
 




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