Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Sparechaynge » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:04 pm

Don't those crazy heavy Jamerson flats have some silk in them, like the Pyramids do?





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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby zambiland » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:24 pm

Sparechaynge wrote:Don't those crazy heavy Jamerson flats have some silk in them, like the Pyramids do?



Hm, not the LaBellas I've used. These are supposedly the ones:

http://www.juststrings.com/lab-0760m.html
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Sparechaynge » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:38 am

Yeah, I thought those had a slight damping thing in them. I may be misinformed, I never tried them because of their supposed ability to ruin bass necks.
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Walknbluez » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:23 pm

So I was just listening to something from Europe '72 and I know they are flats but I'm just trying to figure out how to get that "in a tunnel" sound out of flats. Example is the high notes on the beginning of Brown Eyed Women on Europe '72 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PekdeINQco

Also let's say I want to go with a '89 Phil sound, what strings would you recommend?
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby zambiland » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:11 pm

Walknbluez wrote:So I was just listening to something from Europe '72 and I know they are flats but I'm just trying to figure out how to get that "in a tunnel" sound out of flats. Example is the high notes on the beginning of Brown Eyed Women on Europe '72 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PekdeINQco

Also let's say I want to go with a '89 Phil sound, what strings would you recommend?


For the former, it's a combination of a lot of things, but Pyramid Golds on an Alembic modified Starfire through a Fender Showman (7581a tubes help as well) with JBL 15s is pretty much the recipe. Having finally gotten to that, I can say that with each element, parts of it snap into focus.

For 89 Phil, probably the Ken Smith slick rounds. But that's a different setup altogether. Graphite neck, SWR pre, etc.
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Walknbluez » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:54 pm

zambiland wrote:
Walknbluez wrote:So I was just listening to something from Europe '72 and I know they are flats but I'm just trying to figure out how to get that "in a tunnel" sound out of flats. Example is the high notes on the beginning of Brown Eyed Women on Europe '72 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PekdeINQco

Also let's say I want to go with a '89 Phil sound, what strings would you recommend?


For the former, it's a combination of a lot of things, but Pyramid Golds on an Alembic modified Starfire through a Fender Showman (7581a tubes help as well) with JBL 15s is pretty much the recipe. Having finally gotten to that, I can say that with each element, parts of it snap into focus.



Well that is quite the formula that I don't have a the moment. I have the tube amp. How would Pyramid Golds sound on a passive P-bass?
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby zambiland » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:36 pm

Walknbluez wrote:
zambiland wrote:
Walknbluez wrote:So I was just listening to something from Europe '72 and I know they are flats but I'm just trying to figure out how to get that "in a tunnel" sound out of flats. Example is the high notes on the beginning of Brown Eyed Women on Europe '72 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PekdeINQco

Also let's say I want to go with a '89 Phil sound, what strings would you recommend?


For the former, it's a combination of a lot of things, but Pyramid Golds on an Alembic modified Starfire through a Fender Showman (7581a tubes help as well) with JBL 15s is pretty much the recipe. Having finally gotten to that, I can say that with each element, parts of it snap into focus.



Well that is quite the formula that I don't have a the moment. I have the tube amp. How would Pyramid Golds sound on a passive P-bass?


Probably pretty good! Don't forget the Fender heavy pick.
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:11 am

zambiland wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:
Walknbluez wrote:Also, the chromes are bright for flatwounds which is what I'm looking for. How do these others compare? I'm having a hard time imagining a '71 or '72 Phil sound on flatwounds that are geared more toward sounding like Jamerson/Khan.


Jamerson, Kahn and early Phil all used similar strings. The main tonal differences are scale length, pick vs fingerstyle, and approach to the instrument IMHO.


With all due respect to my brother in bass, I'm not sure I agree. From what I know, Jamerson used LaBella flats, which are very different from Pyramids. I don't really know what Kahn used.

Anyway, flats are the bomb!


I don't disagree at all, I just don't see Pyramid Golds as being really that different from LaBellas. Since we're talking about putting them on a Fender it was more of a balllpark recommendation: LaBellas work great on Fenders and are far closer to Pyramids than either Chromes or Slick Rounds IMHO. At any rate, when I do try and drag a Phil sound out of one of my Fenders I don't feel like either my LaBellas or the Fender stainless-steel flats on my backup Fender are the main limiting factor despite being pretty different from each other. Also note - the heavy gauge LaBellas linked above are not the same as the .45-105 sets IMHO. The heavy "Jamerson" ones just thud and the medium gauge ones sing out more like a Phil string should and also sound way more Kahn-like to me.

It's probably worth trying the Pyramids on a P. I loved the top three strings on the set I had on my Starfire and hated the low E.
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby zambiland » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:47 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:
It's probably worth trying the Pyramids on a P. I loved the top three strings on the set I had on my Starfire and hated the low E.


Pyramids are pretty weird strings. Each one has its own tension and tone. The G string really captures that Europe '72 tone (opening line to Cumberland is just utterly right on with Pyramids) but the E is problematic, especially at first. Once it breaks in, it gets a bit better. I just went back to the Thomastik Jazz Flats for fun, all of a sudden the bass is much easier to play. It doesn't quite have all the magic, but it still sounds good.

Clearly we're going to have to have a bass party as some point with three P basses, three Jazz basses, three Starfires and three Moduli, all with different strings, Pyramids, T-I's and La Bellas, and see what's really up!

I've never been able to get a decent Phil tone with a Fender, but that's probably just me. I've never loved playing Fenders, I only keep one around to satisfy recording engineers who don't know how to mix any other kind of bass. There are a bunch of those guys.
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Walknbluez » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:41 am

Well that settles it, I guess I just need to get another bass! Seriously, I have been looking for the right one but haven't run across the one that is just exactly perfect.
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:00 pm

Ah, now there's a whole new topic! And yes, you kinda do.. Unlike Edwin I love Fenders, especially Precisions, but if you're serious about Phil a P isn't really the best instrument IMHO - It's far too distinctive and recognizable of a tone to really get passed off easily as a proper Phil bass. Of course Kevin from DSO used one for 70's and elective shows for years with few complaints about his tone so it certainly can be done with success.

I made a couple of sound clips, both have LaBella .45-.105 strings, the first is my Fender/Warmoth P with an EMG PA pickup and a slight tone rolloff. (It also has a custom-made EMG bridge pickup and 4-band EQ but I left those disabled - this is how I use it for 70's John Kahn tunes.) The second is my 1997 Stingray that I remembered has the same strings on it. It has a John East 2-band EQ, set fairly neutral. Both have maple fretboards and neither one is a bass I would purposely use for GD material although if I had to use either in a pinch I doubt I'd get laughed off stage or anything.

http://www.mediafire.com/?i31tpvk5zj3d8mh

http://www.mediafire.com/?qt27c6wmsoh71dq


I should add, the amp is an ancient Peavey keyboard amp that someone gave to my girlfriend years ago. KB 300, 1x15" with a horn. Free practice amps are the only practice amps for me! Sounds fine to me, decent neutral bass tone. Recording was done on a Zoom H4n.
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Bassman » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:40 am

This entire string issue has driven me crazy in the past. Through it all I have come to the conclusion that at least 90% of "the sound" is in the hands....the attack with the pick and the left hand muting, position on fretboard. It does help to have top of the line/state of the art gear. That being said I am about to go back to D'Addario Half Rounds, I just have received way to many "dead" B strings(even a couple bad E's) with Ken Smith Slick Rounds. I do like DR Sunbeams and may end up back with those if the Half's aren't happening. I find once the Sunbeams break in they sound nice with a pick and I can dial in the 90's and Furthur tones. I have a Modulus Q5, with the barts, I just invested in some Q-tuner pick ups, that Phil currently has on his bass. I dealt directly with Erno(founder and owner of Q-tuners). This is a completely passive system. When I questioned Erno about this, he replied, " I detest active on-board preamp systems."
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Sparechaynge » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:16 am

The new Q-Tuners are out? :!: :?: :!:

I find once the Sunbeams break in they sound nice with a pick and I can dial in the 90's and Furthur tones.


I will have to try some when I finally get my 6 built.
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Walknbluez » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:23 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:Ah, now there's a whole new topic! And yes, you kinda do.. Unlike Edwin I love Fenders, especially Precisions, but if you're serious about Phil a P isn't really the best instrument IMHO - It's far too distinctive and recognizable of a tone to really get passed off easily as a proper Phil bass. Of course Kevin from DSO used one for 70's and elective shows for years with few complaints about his tone so it certainly can be done with success.

I made a couple of sound clips, both have LaBella .45-.105 strings, the first is my Fender/Warmoth P with an EMG PA pickup and a slight tone rolloff. (It also has a custom-made EMG bridge pickup and 4-band EQ but I left those disabled - this is how I use it for 70's John Kahn tunes.) The second is my 1997 Stingray that I remembered has the same strings on it. It has a John East 2-band EQ, set fairly neutral. Both have maple fretboards and neither one is a bass I would purposely use for GD material although if I had to use either in a pinch I doubt I'd get laughed off stage or anything.

http://www.mediafire.com/?i31tpvk5zj3d8mh

http://www.mediafire.com/?qt27c6wmsoh71dq


I should add, the amp is an ancient Peavey keyboard amp that someone gave to my girlfriend years ago. KB 300, 1x15" with a horn. Free practice amps are the only practice amps for me! Sounds fine to me, decent neutral bass tone. Recording was done on a Zoom H4n.


The fact that Kevin from DSO used a Precision on 70's shows is one of the reasons I thought I could get away with a P. Although I don't know what type of strings he was using.

Well that first sound clip with the LaBellas on the P sounded great to me. What would you attribute most to that tone, the strings or the pickup? My P has a '62 reissue pickup (and I also have the original stock pickups I could put back in). Or I could just give LaBellas a go and see how they sound.

For John Khan, what do you think about using a Fender Jazz bass?
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Re: Flatwounds or halfrounds?

Postby Walknbluez » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:26 am

Bassman wrote:This entire string issue has driven me crazy in the past. Through it all I have come to the conclusion that at least 90% of "the sound" is in the hands....the attack with the pick and the left hand muting, position on fretboard. It does help to have top of the line/state of the art gear. That being said I am about to go back to D'Addario Half Rounds, I just have received way to many "dead" B strings(even a couple bad E's) with Ken Smith Slick Rounds. I do like DR Sunbeams and may end up back with those if the Half's aren't happening. I find once the Sunbeams break in they sound nice with a pick and I can dial in the 90's and Furthur tones. I have a Modulus Q5, with the barts, I just invested in some Q-tuner pick ups, that Phil currently has on his bass. I dealt directly with Erno(founder and owner of Q-tuners). This is a completely passive system. When I questioned Erno about this, he replied, " I detest active on-board preamp systems."


What about the halfrounds do you like that are swaying you back to them? In terms of tone, what era do you get with halfrounds?
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