Steve Harris, Oasis, and Roger Waters are just some of the players who have favored Rotosound’s Jazz Bass 77 flatwound strings. Made from 65 percent pure nickel Monel wound on stainless steel, there’s not much else that's known about the company’s rather secretive manufacturing process. But one thing that's sure is these strings feel smooth on the hands and provide a tone which has made them a winner amongst those players in the know. Bass Player Magazine even declared that these standard gauge flatwound strings are their favorites.
It’s no secret that flatwound bass guitar strings are best suited for styles of music like jazz that require a smoother playing style, so one shouldn’t be surprised just how great the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flatwounds are. Warm and articulate tone meets up with comfortable, low-tension strings. The Thomas-Infeld Jazz Flatwound bass strings are probably the closest you can come to sounding like you’re playing a double bass when you’re actually using an electric bass guitar. They’re built to last with many players saying they've gone years upon years without ever needing to change them out. The strings’ steel core is wrapped with a silk inlay while the outer winding is a tribe ribbon flatwound constructed of a special nickel alloy. What does this all mean? A rich and versatile sound for those seeking to dive even deeper in the world of mellow, smooth-sounding tones.
You’re getting a little bit of history when you use the La Bella Original 1954 flatwound bass strings. After all, these were used on virtually every Motown record that was recorded in the 1960's. When esteemed session players like James Jamerson and Donald Duck Dunn have recorded hit after hit with these same strings, you’ve got to know that there’s some sort of winning formula going on with these puppies. Full and deep, much of their character can be attributed to their heavy gauge, although they are self identified as medium gauge. The sound that these strings produce could best be described as “old school".
The Ernie Ball 2806 flatwound bass strings are tin-plated and made from steel. These strings offer smooth high notes as well as clearly defined lows. Their smooth surface makes them very comfortable to play, especially for those with sensitive fingers. Just like all the strings that come through the iconic company, these Ernie Ball 2806s are made to last long and provide an optimum performance throughout their life.
D’Addario’s ECB80s stand as the company’s lightest gauge flatwound bass guitar strings. This makes them ideal for players who want to not just favor a brighter, more high-end favoring tone, but pull off bends and other string maneuvers that might otherwise be hindered by a thicker gauge. Because these strings are ribbon wound and polished, they feel smooth in the hands of most bassists, and provide a warm, mellow tone that’s perfect for jazz, pop, and R&B. These strings are also made to fit long-scale basses with a string scale length of up to 36 1/4 inches. Despite their light gauge, these strings are still more than capable of producing a deep low-end.
Rotosound first created their Swing Bass 66 strings in conjunction with The Who bassist John Entwistle. With his guidance, the company was able to create a roundwound bass guitar string that sports a bright tone that appeals to rock bassists, and honestly all bassists in general. Some of the more prominent proponents of these strings include Geddy Lee (Rush), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), and Billy Sheehan. Made from stainless steel, these strings are heavier than some of their peers but that’s all part of what makes their sound so thick and strong.
The D’Addario EXP160 bass guitar strings are roundwound, meaning that they are ideal for nearly every type of musical playing style. Built for long scale bass guitars, these feature an ultra-fine layer of EXP coating that helps these strings resist corrosion and wear. In fact, the EXP160s last three to four times longer than most other bass strings. They provide a bright and booming tone that continues to sound new and fresh even after extensive use. Despite their coating, they are still very comfortable to play, so you won’t have any concerns about the build of these strings affecting your performance in a negative way.
Although GHS Bassics bass guitar strings can be found for quite an affordable price, that doesn’t speak detrimentally to the degree of quality they provide for bassists. These sound full and are built to last. Essentially similar to the brand’s highly-esteemed Boomers brand, the key difference in the Bassics is that they lack the silk at the end. These nickel-plated strings are wound entirely on automated machines to ensure a consistent and precise tone. Available in a range of gauge sizes, the Bassics continue the GHS tradition of providing quality sound to players of all styles.