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Poll: Flatwounds Vs. Roundwounds
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Flats vs. Round?
Flat wounds
71%
 71%  [ 25 ]
Round wounds
28%
 28%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 35

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Alexo66



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 97
Location: South Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey. First post for me- I love this site! Great to be amongst those who really care for jazz guitar!

I use Flatwounds on all my guitars. I use 11's on my Strat and 11's on my Yamaha SA2200. If you're worried about comfortability you can always use thinner gauge Flatwounds, but I just love the warm tone you get from them, not forgetting the lack of finger noise when recording... With 11's and the little fingers I have you can still bend a lot, whilst still keeping that warm sound- perfect for fusion methinks.
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ntgr8



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 177
Location: west coast, usa

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer heavy flatwounds on my archtops. It makes the tone come alive especially if the guitar has a spruce top. I use Thomastik-Infeld George Benson 14s on my big Gibson and my knock off D'Angelico.

I use D'Addario ribbon wound 11s on my 1966 Fender Esquire which I effectively turned into a Telecaster by adding the rhythm pickup. I play everything on that guitar. I kills for jazz, funk, R&B, rock and pop. Ed Bickert uses flats on his Tele I've heard.

I used roundwounds on all of my other guitars.

Here's a funny story:
About two years ago, my co-bandleader from Denmark was in NYC, and I flew out for 10 days to hang and write music for our CD. We would write all day and go club hopping at night (if you can afford it, this is the only way to live). We fell into sort of hanging with Mike Stern who I had met before. We practically lived at the 55 Bar in the Village.

One night after one of his ridiculous gigs, he handed me his guitar to ask what I thought of it (a new Yamaha Pacifica Mike Stern model). I noticed it had rounds on it. I said to him, "It's so new, you haven't even had a chance to change the strings yet." He said, "Oh yes, I did. My hands perspire so much, I have to change them often." I said, "When did you switch back from using flats?" He said, "Flat what?" I said "Flatwounds." He said, "Flatwounds on a Tele? I wonder how that would sound?" I said, "Mike, don't you normally use flatwounds on your Tele? He said, "No. Where did you hear that?" Incredulous, I told him, "I read that in an old Guitar Player mag I still have somewhere. I first tried flats on my Tele shortly after reading that!" He asked, "Do you like it? I said, "Oh yes. It really makes a difference in the tone of the Tele." He said, "You know, that sounds interesting! I think I'm gonna try that!"

Shocked Laughing
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burchyk



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice story, thanks!
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Last edited by burchyk on Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:27 am; edited 5 times in total
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trotsky



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 438
Location: Sarnia Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really dig a traditional Jazz sound on my guitars and for me it is easiest to get with flatwound strings. Having said that Ihave recently runout of Gibson Flat Wires and have discovered that I can no longer get them!!!! Shocked Embarassed Evil or Very Mad
I know these strings were cheap but I just loved them.
UGH!
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surfrider



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like using different strings on different guitars. This is what I have on my various axes:

ES-175 Thomastik Infeld Swing Series Flats .011
ES-137 D'Addario Chromes Round wound .011
Les Paul Ernie Ball Beefy Slinkys .12 (I think)
Epiphone Emperor Regent Thomastik Infeld Swing Series Flats .012
Ibanez AF105 (single p/u) Thomastik Infeld Swing Series Flats .012
Ibanez AF75 Thomastik Infeld Swing Series Flats .011
Fender Strat Fender .010
Steinberger Sprit Double ball end strings .010

I like using the slightly heavier strings on the single pick up models.

I don't change my string often and make sure they are really clean. The sound of older flatwounds is something I like.

Surf's up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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greentone



Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 670

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: flats vs rounds Reply with quote

I used D'Addario Chromes (13s) for years on all my electric archtops, but switched last year to TI flats. The 13 set is good, but I've actually found that the 12 set is opening up the tone on some of my guitars. I hadn't expected to like so light a string (I play bass, too, and prefer some resistance under my fingers). The flats also have the virtue of really being easy on fretwear, compared to rounds. This is no small consideration when you are playing vintage guitars that appreciate in value if you take care of them.

Hint: try 12s on your solid body guitars, too--especially the vintage guitars. Their necks were built to handle them. You'll be rewarded with tone and a guitar that stays in tune better.
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Generic Sobriquet



Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Posts: 804

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider 12's a minimum. Flats or rounds, or halfrounds, depends on the guitar and uses—kinda typical.
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greentone



Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 670

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: Speaking of big strings... Reply with quote

Has anyone tried the La Bella tapewound set with the 17-gauge first string? I have a set, but I haven't had the guts yet to slap them on a guitar. I use La Bella tapewounds on a fretless Precision Bass, and the extra girth is no big deal--the strings actually feel no more stiff than a regular gauge set of bass strings.

Before I take the plunge, I was wondering if anyone besides John Pizzarelli has been using them?
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Peter C



Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 65
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After putting flats on my main guitar 2-3 years ago, roundwounds just feel rough and I do not like those squeaks. I also like the way the flats have allowed me to develop a more subtle, fluid technique, and some "bite" can be elicited from them if you work at it.

I don't, btw, see a 11-52 gauge set as being heavy for a Les Paul(-type) guitar. Mine is strung with mediums (13-56, well, actually 13.5-56) at the moment and I'm sure that if I went back down to 12's, I would be getting out my wah pedal and using my amp's drive channel. Argh, no....por favor!

So, I don't see any intrinsic reason to string a solid body lighter than an archtop, but I would see a clearer preference for flats over rounds for the latter. At the same time, a semi strung with those Thomastik BeBops could be a pretty flexible set up.

The trouble I personally have with the Thomastik sets in general, whether flats or Bebops, is their lack of tension (the info is on their website) compared to what one is used to.

What's this about a 017 gauge first string ?? I know there are certain types of windings which give wound strings a larger gauge for a similar tension, but plain strings are pretty much the same wherever you go. The biggest 1st string I read about while researching "the string thing" was the one in Howard Robert's set - a 016. No wonder he composed the The Twilight Zone theme.
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greentone



Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 670

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: The fog of memory Reply with quote

You know, .17 sounded derned heavy! (Although I _do_ think that it's the gauge first string that Dick Dale uses for his Stratocaster!)

I went upstairs and looked in my string locker. The LaBella set is a black nylon tape wound set, gauged .14 to .67--which is pretty stout. I haven't yet put them on an archtop. I have used LaBella's tapewounds on one of my bass guitars. The extra girth is due to the tape--on the wound strings (all four, in the case of the bass strings).

I was just wondering if anyone had used them on a guitar, before I string up a reasonably expensive set of strings--only to find that (a) they don't fit the nut, or (b) they are too strange in tension (loose or tight) or sound.
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Peter C



Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 65
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see any problems with a 014 first, but a 067 string is quite likely to be too big for the nut slot, so I would let it ride high while trying it out before taking a file to the nut. In the case of a Schaller top-loading tailpiece, for ex., a 056 barely fits in the string insert.

Do you know (of) anyone who uses these La Bellas ?

I can't say I know much about Dick Dale, apart from the reverb-drenched single string stuff he does on that tune used in the film Pulp Fiction.
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greentone



Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 670

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Peter C"]I don't see any problems with a 014 first, but a 067 string is quite likely to be too big for the nut slot, so I would let it ride high while trying it out before taking a file to the nut. In the case of a Schaller top-loading tailpiece, for ex., a 056 barely fits in the string insert.
quote]

Yeah, this is why I haven't opened up the pack. The sixth string is quite large--with the tape wrap. I'm sure it would be playable, but I don't know if it would fit the tailpiece and nut.
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