?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
MarkInLA
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?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by MarkInLA » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:05 am

I'm sure this is a sour or sore subject. But why is it in this day and age we aren't playing with flatwounds ? I believe they exist. But what's the trouble ? Wouldn't it be great to no longer have to worry about squeaking ? I may be wrong but aren't cello strings flatwound ? I know upright basses are. All I can think of is the tone factor not being desirable. BUT again, this is near 2018. We're looking at a trip to Mars. Can we not produce great sounding flatwound classical guitar strings ?? Or, there are, but they're what, $40 a set ? They certainly are great on jazz guitars (which I do realise are all metal, though). Is it a dimension or flexibility problem ? Of course only 3 bottom strings need be, not all six. What's the problem here ? Thanks. MH

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Beowulf
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by Beowulf » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:37 am

Well...why don't you try some and give a review? Thomastik Infeld makes a number of different sets. $20-$35 a set...flat wound will be more expensive. A set of 4 flat wound cello strings can run around $55. Flat wound strings tend to be more mellow in tone and less bright.

Squeaking is also a function of technique.
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cefyn
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by cefyn » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:07 pm

Too dull on a classical guitar - I've tried 'em on a steel string and they were too dull. I suppose they'd be ok amplified, through a pick-up, as one can adjust the sound profile to bring them up a bit more.

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Last edited by cefyn on Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Gorn
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by Gorn » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:08 pm

Flatwound strings are even "dull" on an electric guitar or electric bass. I've tried it. If you want a "jazzy" sound without ringing brilliances - go for flatwounds. Don't know, what's the correct expression in English, we'd say "Draht" (= wire) in German for what is missing when playing flatwounds in comparison to roundwounds. I've put a flatwound-set on my Framus Mayfield Custom (thinbody semi-acoustic) for jazz/swing: that's a great jazzy sound via amplifier but you hardly hear the strings acoustically. I'm sure it would be similar on a CG.
Strings for violins, violas and celli are flatwound, of course, but you usually play with a bow. When playing pizzicato on a cello, the result is an "upright-ish" sound with very few brillances. Roundwounds would ruin the fingerboard pretty quick and I estimate that roundwounds would produce a harsh sound with far too many overtones when bowed.
There are polished strings available (e.g. D'Addario EJ51 "Recording Strings") which do not produce finger noises. They sound like roundwounds, but only for a short time (one recording session or one gig).
So we still have to wait for string manufactureres to square the circle.
The easier way is changing the guitarists and listeners hearing habits: From now on, it's forbidden to change strings for every CG player on earth. In 20, 30 or 50 years nobody will remember the sound of roundwound strings anymore and flatwounds will be the new state-of-the-art.
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MessyTendon
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by MessyTendon » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:14 pm

GHS makes a nickel smooth wound for 8.50$ a set. They work good.

Thomastik is also good, but too pricey.

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Gorn
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by Gorn » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:24 pm

MessyTendon wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:14 pm
GHS makes a nickel smooth wound for 8.50$ a set. They work good.
GHS 2500 (compressed nickel wound) used to be my favourite strings until GHS changed the "recipe". The fingernoises are no longer reduced as good as they used to, but, as a matter of fact, the "squeaks" are one or two octaves deeper than those of usual silvercoated strings. Second and more important item: A and D-string break for no reason at all after very few days, e.g. 4 inches from the bridge or between nut and roller, where there's no contact to anything at all. I cannot recommend these strings anymore. Maybe it works on another guitar?
See this thread - the last entries: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=99768&

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Trevor Gore
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by Trevor Gore » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:57 am

I was favourably impressed by D'Addario EJ46LP (lightly polished). Not flat wound, but some of the way there. They look kind of pre-used, but sounded a lot better than I expected.
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John Stone
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by John Stone » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:35 am

MarkInLA wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:05 am
Wouldn't it be great to no longer have to worry about squeaking ?
The fault lies not in our strings, but in ourselves.

:)
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MessyTendon
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by MessyTendon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:07 pm

I saw the thread about your problems with GHS. You should try a different vendor, by from Strings By Mail, or buy direct from GHS. They will work with you.

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Gorn
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by Gorn » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:50 pm

MessyTendon wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:07 pm
I saw the thread about your problems with GHS. You should try a different vendor, by from Strings By Mail, or buy direct from GHS. They will work with you.
GHS sent to me a dozen of A- and D-strings directly and for free - they break as well. Other strings don't. 650 mm scale, standard tuning.

MessyTendon
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by MessyTendon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:46 pm

Did you send the strings back to GHS? They should have a look.

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Gorn
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by Gorn » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:02 pm

No, why should I spend money for postage? I've bought 12 sets for the garbage can, which was over €100,--. I've also mailed a detailed description about the breaks (it was always the core that breaks).
GHS should have tested their running production, but obviously they didn't do that, otherwise the new strings would have been o.k. I simply will not buy anything from GHS anymore, that's a fact. Germans tend to be rather stubborn. :wink:

MessyTendon
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by MessyTendon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:24 pm

Hahahah Gorn...I just ordered two sets. If they are as bad as you had, I'll let you know, but if they are good, I'll let you know too.

I have had bad luck with Savarez...and they are a big reputable string company. Twelve sets all busting seems a bit suspicious to me.

Maybe your nut has a small micro burr, or perhaps the string roller...I don't know but I can't ever re-call getting a dozen sets all breaking on me.

Thomastik makes a flatwound...try them, they are German :)

OMG do I love Thomastik flatwound electric bass strings...so amazing, yet pricey. Good luck.

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martinardo
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by martinardo » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:28 pm

The fault lies not in our strings, but in ourselves.
Absolutely. We should polish ourselves and take the rough edges off.

Even if (ironically) we become a little dull. :wink:
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rojarosguitar
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Re: ?? Why not Flat Wounds ??

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:27 am

Flat wound are just dull on anything plucked. With bowed instruments this is not a problem because blwing tends to generate a huge amount of high frequencies, so you are greatful for some damping.
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