Bass Guitar Strings:: Flat wound
Flatwound strings were the standard type of string
found on electric basses in beginning. Flat metal strings had been developed
for the upright bass for some years as replacement of the "cat gut" strings
originally employed on bass violins. (You can just imagine how upset the animal
rights people would have been in those days.) These types of strings provided
better tone, and were more responsive on the upright bass.
These strings are formed with a center core wire. The the next layer is usually a
round wire rapping, similar to a piano string. Finally, the outside layer
is thin metal shaving, wrapped around the core layers. This string has
very nice sound for the first couple of hours. After that, the sound which
results is the sound that remains. Generally, there are not a large amount
of overtones associated with these types of strings.
The "flatwound" type of string is the string of vintage bass playing and
sounds. These was used largely in the 60's and early 70's music. The
best sound, in my opinion, is in the first three hours of usage. After
that, they generally have a very flat sound, where most of the mids and highs
have rolled off.
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