General Question

Steve_A's avatar

Putting flat wound strings on my guitar, how will it sound?

Asked by Steve_A (5120points) March 27th, 2010

I always like to try different brands of guitar strings to hear different tones, so far I have liked Blue steels the most for me personally, ya know it is all personal taste.

Anyways my main topic is how would flat wound strings that are known for a “jazz tone” sound on say with some rock and metal tones going through it?

What exactly is the difference between flat wound and round? Will it sound okay with some distortion or better suited for cleans?

I ultimately will have to just try a set of them but was looking for other opinions before slapping on new strings.

Oh and just to add I am having my guiatr set up so I was hoping maybe I could have a good ideal so when it is set up I will put those on.

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7 Answers

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

The flatwound strings are a thicker gauge and therefore create more tension. So you will have to have the guitar set up for them. Their sound is not as bright as Gibson brite wires or GHS boomers, etc.

stratman37's avatar

As long as you’re having it set up, have them put on the flatwounds ‘cause if you wait ‘till after it’s set up, the gauge may be slightly different and mess it up.

Flatwounds reduce “bark” from when you scoot your fretting hand up during a chord change, and they do a little to reduce playing fatigue, and yes they’ll sound slightly mellow compared to roundwounds, but they’ll do little to dampen your distortion. You might have to crank the gain a little, but we love doing that anyway, eh?

stratman37's avatar

Oh, and flatwounds take away a bit of the sustain, but again, your pedal with overcome that.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

The four of us should rock out sometime.

Strauss's avatar

I prefer flatwounds on a bass (especially a fretless) precisely because of the qualities listed by @stratman37, especially the barking. Besides bass, I think you will hear a lot more jazz and reggae players using flatwounds on a regular basis.

PadmanJones's avatar

You’re going to get a dull tone that’s good for jazz and not much else. The strings won’t bend as much, and especially on the high notes you lose sustain that you get with roundwounds. It’s easier to slide up and down on the strings, though.

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