Re: Flatwound? Roundwound? Help!

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Posted by Bob Gollihur on January 26, 2001 at 22:49:03:

In Reply to: Flatwound? Roundwound? Help! posted by Tony Baluga on January 26, 2001 at 14:04:42:

: Hi all,

: What are you guys talking about? How many kinds of strings are there anyway?

: What would be the best kind for plucking and what would be best for bowing?

Roundwound and flatwound strings are common among bass guitars, acoustic guitars, and related acoustic instruments. It refers to the final winding; in a roundwound, round wire is used, in a flatwound, flat ribbon wire is used and sometimes polished. There are further variations.

You will find that the vast majority of double bass strings have flat or very nearly flat surfaces. The only one I've seen resembling a roundwound are Supernils by Labella, an inexpensive nylon (or some plastic) string. I do not find them very bow-friendly.

Double bass strings are constructed differently for various styles. In addition to the core (which can be solid or braided, sometimes referred to as "rope core") and windings, various dampening materials are used. More dampening is applied to orchestral strings, while "jazz" or pizzicato (plucking) strings are generally designed for greater sustain.

The surface of the string may also be created with different treatments to make them more bow-friendly. You will find a String Survey I did among players in '97 and '99 (and will update this year) linked to my LINKS page, URL below. There are many different types, and different basses "like" and react differently to various strings.

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