Roundwounds and fretless bass

snow lizard

Dedicated Slacker
Things I might try, in general:

Avoid stainless rounds. Pure Nickel would probably be the softest option.

Oil the fretboard if it's not laquered.

Laquer the fretboard.


I haven't used roundwounds on my fretless. The Thomastic flats on there now sound great. Better than the D'Addario half rounds that were on there before.
 

notCardio

I walk the line
Things I might try, in general:

Avoid stainless rounds. Pure Nickel would probably be the softest option.

Oil the fretboard if it's not laquered.

Laquer the fretboard.


I haven't used roundwounds on my fretless. The Thomastic flats on there now sound great. Better than the D'Addario half rounds that were on there before.
Did the half rounds chew it up?
 

snow lizard

Dedicated Slacker
No, the half rounds have a substantial flat portion. Didn't chew the board at all. I believe they were designed with fretless in mind.
 

witzendoz

Senior Member
I have 3 fretless basses, 2 with flats and one with rounds, I love the fretless with wounds as the attack growl monster, so if it cuts up the neck so be it LOL.

Alan
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
My main bass is a fretless with rounds on it. When I first strung it that way (probably 15 years ago), it chewed up the neck a little, but once it had cut through the first layer, I haven't seen it get any worse. (I use the cheap strings: usually nickle)
 

notCardio

I walk the line
No, the half rounds have a substantial flat portion. Didn't chew the board at all. I believe they were designed with fretless in mind.
I've played Brite Flats a long time ago, but not on a fretless. At the time I was strictly a roundwound guy, and the brite flats just didn't do it for me. But maybe I should give them a shot for fretless. I'd really rather not tear up my fingers with rounds on a fretless anyway, as I really just like a fretless for gliss stuff. I mean, I like the sound otherwise, but to me it's a hassle to play for ordinary (non-jazz) tunes.
 

notCardio

I walk the line
I have 3 fretless basses, 2 with flats and one with rounds, I love the fretless with wounds as the attack growl monster, so if it cuts up the neck so be it LOL.

Alan
Are the rounds on rosewood?

Just wondering, would rounds chew on ebony, or is it harder than the strings?
 

witzendoz

Senior Member
I should have said what round wounds I use on my fretless, I use Elixir's. I too have found that after the initial few marks it does not seem to get worse.

Alan
 

snow lizard

Dedicated Slacker
notCardio said:
I've played Brite Flats a long time ago, but not on a fretless. At the time I was strictly a roundwound guy, and the brite flats just didn't do it for me.

The only flats I've played are the Thomastiks. They're expensive but they last for years. They actually have decent midrange. I wouldn't call them bright but they're definitely not boomy and tubby the way some flats can sound. They're also very low tension and will crap out if you dig in too hard. Some flats are like bridge cables so for me I'd rather adjust to playing lighter instead of harder. They won't do the "piano tone" thing that you get from new stainless rounds.

The first time I played on those strings was at an open mic jam nite at the pub. I didn't know the guy had flats on his bass until I played it. I honestly couldn't tell from the sound.
 
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