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Best strings for fretless bass

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  • Best strings for fretless bass

    I want to hear about your best experiences with strings for fretless bass. Which is your favorite one?

  • #2
    I've owned several fretless basses in the past. My favorite was a Michael Kelly acoustic 5-string. It came with roundwounds, but I replaced them with flatwounds. Loved playing with flatwound strings. I think I used LaBella flatwounds... it's been a while.

    Fretless basses I've had:

    Ibanez ATK 300 F: I regret the day I sold this bass. It was fretless, but it had a super-aggressive tone, great for slapping/funk, Primus-kind of stuff sounded amazing on it. It had a rosewood fingerboard with the white fret lines on it. This bass inspired me to get the one in my profile pic ATK 305.
    Fender Jazz Fretless (Mexican): my least favorite of all of them. Didn't do much for me. I sold this one after 6 months.
    Michael Kelly Dragonfly 5-string: Excellent tone.. I ran it through a Boss AD5 acoustic DI box and was able to get some amazing tones for recording.
    Carvin Icon 5 fretless: nicest fretless I've owned, but pricey. Ended up selling it, so I could buy my wife a nice Trek mountain bike.
    Last edited by AlienArtifact; 08-01-2017, 09:08 AM.
    Basses: Ibanez SR506, Ibanez ATK305, Rickenbacker 4003
    Guitars: Fender Stratocaster, Carvin DC747

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    • #3
      I really like Ken Smith Compressors for fretless - roundwound sound, but virtually no "finger zing".
      ​"The United States is in no sense founded upon Christian Doctrine." Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by President John Adams, June 10, 1797
      "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God." Thomas Jefferson
      "The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma." Abraham Lincoln

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      • #4
        Does anyone have issues with roundwounds tearing up the fingerboard on their fretless bass?
        **********

        "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

        - George Carlin

        "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

        - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

        "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

        - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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        • Tom Sklenar
          Tom Sklenar commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, I have Therefore I want to use flatwound strings only.

      • #5
        Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
        Does anyone have issues with roundwounds tearing up the fingerboard on their fretless bass?
        Yeah, eventually they'll chew up the board, especially stainless rounds. That's why I'm mostly going to pressurewounds. My old Carvin LB40 fretless has grooves in the board affecting playing now - either need to fill with epoxy or get it re-leveled.
        ​"The United States is in no sense founded upon Christian Doctrine." Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by President John Adams, June 10, 1797
        "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God." Thomas Jefferson
        "The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma." Abraham Lincoln

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        • #6
          Originally posted by bholder View Post
          I really like Ken Smith Compressors for fretless - roundwound sound, but virtually no "finger zing".

          Where do you order them from?
          http://thekiltlifters.com

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          • #7
            Originally posted by MrHarryReems View Post


            Where do you order them from?
            I get them from bassstringsonline.com - the owner, Jason, is a really decent guy.
            ​"The United States is in no sense founded upon Christian Doctrine." Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by President John Adams, June 10, 1797
            "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God." Thomas Jefferson
            "The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma." Abraham Lincoln

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            • #8
              Thank you very much to all! Some of my friends here in Czech republic recommend me Flatwound version of Thomastik strings. What do you mean about them?
              https://www.amazon.com/Thomastik-Inf...152R6FXVVK3ZEJ

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Tom Sklenar View Post
                Thank you very much to all! Some of my friends here in Czech republic recommend me Flatwound version of Thomastik strings. What do you mean about them?
                https://www.amazon.com/Thomastik-Inf...152R6FXVVK3ZEJ
                TI Jazz Flats have a big following over on TalkBass if I recall (that forum is much more lively than this one, by the way). I am not sure if they are referring to this exact type, but TI is very well respected, I don't think you can go wrong with them. Haven't tried them myself.

                I also recent got a new fretless bass that came with Labella 1954 Deep Talkin Bass strings and I have to say, if you're going for an "upright-like" sounds, they're excellent too. I will be trying them on more basses myself. Sometimes I want the roundwound zing, sometimes I want the upright thump.
                ​"The United States is in no sense founded upon Christian Doctrine." Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by President John Adams, June 10, 1797
                "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God." Thomas Jefferson
                "The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma." Abraham Lincoln

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by bholder View Post
                  TI Jazz Flats have a big following over on TalkBass if I recall (that forum is much more lively than this one, by the way). I am not sure if they are referring to this exact type, but TI is very well respected, I don't think you can go wrong with them. Haven't tried them myself.

                  I also recent got a new fretless bass that came with Labella 1954 Deep Talkin Bass strings and I have to say, if you're going for an "upright-like" sounds, they're excellent too. I will be trying them on more basses myself. Sometimes I want the roundwound zing, sometimes I want the upright thump.

                  Thank you for your tip! To be honest I have not heard yet about Labella 1954 Deep Talkin Bass strings. But because your post and because some reviews I just saw on the Internet, I will consider to buy them in the future.

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                  • #11
                    Get a set of D'Addario tape wounds. Your neck will never get a string divot and the sound will have more bite than with flats.
                    Dennis Hopper's retirement plan, except Dennis is dead
                    Retired and likin' it a lot!
                    Regards. Rimmer

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Tom Sklenar View Post


                      To be honest I have not heard yet about Labella 1954 Deep Talkin Bass strings. But because your post and because some reviews I just saw on the Internet, I will consider to buy them in the future.
                      After trying all the brands out there I settled with the Deep Talking for my long scale bases playing live. They not only feel balanced when playing with the fingers, they're tone and resonance are spot on.

                      Some bass strings can boom on different notes and be dead on others. You expect open strings to create the loudest resonant notes. Some string manufacturers don't get the tension and material right and you can wind up with dead open strings and some frets boomy and others dead.

                      Labella is probably the oldest string maker out there and have the ideal string formulas. Not only are the open strings resonant equally for each string, the individual frets have the right resonance too. If your instrument is properly set up you can play a 5th or 7th fret and the adjacent string sounds identical. Not many sting manufacturers get that.

                      D'Addario for example, if you play the E at the 5th and the A string at the same time, the A string is obviously much brighter and has less bass tones. With the labella the bass tones are nearly a match so switching strings and positions on the bass don't stick out like s sore thumb.

                      I really hate that when you need to switch positions from say open to the 5th fret, and you're in fact playing the same notes in a different position, and your bass frequencies either disappear or double. The Labella are much more consistent in maintaining they're frequencies all along the neck.
                      That's why I like the deep talking on longer precision scale necks. For a fretless bass you may want to try they're flat wounds. Excellent balance vs tones.

                      As a runner up, the Boomers aren't bad either. They come darn close to having equalized tones and the pricing is very affordable.

                      Last edited by WRGKMC; 08-23-2017, 10:00 AM.

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                      • #13
                        Well I tried Thomastik as I mentioned above and I am very pleased with them. I join a group of them, who can recommend it.

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