Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Strings : Changing from roundwound to flatround


MediaMan09

Recommended Posts

1) I assume a new Epiphone Les Paul Standard will come with nickel roundwound strings (vs flatround). Is that correct?

 

2) I know flatwound 'sound' different (less bright?), but is it true that flatround are also more 'comfortable' to play ? ..and hence might be an easier transition for someone like me who is used to nylon acoustic strings?

 

3) Is there a specific brand/gauge I should be considering if I wanted a very high quality flatwound set of strings?

 

Many thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) I assume a new Epiphone Les Paul Standard will come with nickel roundwound strings (vs flatround). Is that correct?

 

Yes.

 

2) I know flatwound 'sound' different (less bright?)' date=' but it is true there [u']flat round are also more 'comfortable' [/u]to play ? ..and hence might be an easier transition for someone like me who is used to nylon acoustic strings?

 

Comfort is subjective. Mostly' date=' flatwounds are quieter--you don't get that screeching sound as you move your fingers up and down the strings. Also, flatwounds tend to be a little heavier than roundwounds. Their main audience is jazz players, who want the soft, complex chord sounds to be unobscured by string sounds.

 

Because they tend to run heavier than roundwound strings, I would not recommend them for nylon players. Its a BIG difference in flexibility.

 

3) Is there a specific brand/gauge I should be considering if I wanted a very high quality flatwound set of strings?

 

D'Addario makes a wide range of flatwound strings, down to 10 for the high E--although it's hard to find them that small.

 

Many thanks.

 

I would highly recommend flatwounds, but not necessarily as an analog for nylon strings. Good luck with your explorations in this area. Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a good deal of experience with both kinds. Comfort-wise, I don't think flatwounds are gonna buy you anything.

Remember, the high B and E strings are plain steel in either set. A good setup to set the action as low as possible may be helpful, and ultra light guage strings (8s or 9s) are a bit easier on the fingers. Be patient - callouses build quickly with practice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to know.

 

Can you explain further with the 8s or 9s would be easier?

 

I guess I have a lot to learn here. as I iinitally thought the opposite - I would have thought that the lighter gauges (with a high E of .008") would be thinner (more razor like) than a medium guage ( with a high E of 0.10"), and therfore less comforatble on the finger.

 

Similary , in the description just above the chart I referenced, which is consistent with what you are saying, states : "The larger the diameter, the heavier the string is. Heavier strings require more tension for the same pitch and are, as a consequence, harder to press down to the fingerboard. " Again, this is the opposite of what I thought. Heavier thick strings are easier, not harder.

 

So I gather I have something backwards in my brain here!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't worry about it too much, you'll get used to it and probably even learn to like playing on steel strings. And I wouldn't go by what's supposedly easier to play, but more what feels nice or natural under your fingers because, at least in my view, that's what will be easier to play. Guitars, as I'm sure you know are a very finite and person specific instrument, so you've just got to find wht works for you.

 

In terms of string gauge, you can only but try a few different sets - a few different brands, and manufacturers. Gauges will vary between manufacturers, even if they are said to be the same gauge strings. For example I use mostly Ernie Ball Slinky and Fender Stainless strings on my guitars. Both are 10-46 gauge, but the Fenders are a tad lighter I find, and feel a bit more natural and pleasing under my fingers. The Ernie Ball's are not in any way unbearable though, and I find them to be a better string for my Epiphones. They suit the neck better being a touch heavier, because the neck is slightly wider than that of my Strat or Tele, so the string spacing feels right to me, as do the Fenders on the Strat or Tele. The slight difference in gauge is mostly down to the technique used to wind the strings.

 

I recently tried some DR hand wound strings. DR uses a technique called 'Compression Winding' where the material they use is a tad thicker than the eventual gauge of the string being manufactured, but once it's wound it's pretty well bang on the gauge they want. They're a very good string, there's a lot of material in them by the time they are compression wound around a solid core, so they sustain pretty awesomely. However I find them a bit too heavy and tense feeling for my liking, despite the fact that they too are 10-46 like all strings I use. I find 10-46 to be 'my gauge' if you will. The 'increments' that the gauges increase in from lightest to heaviest feel right to me. They're not really increments because they're not all even, but you catch my drift.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flatwounds on a guitar have a mellower sound than roundwound. What I'm surprised that nobody mentioned is that flatwounds are pretty much the "secret ingredient" in getting the early Beatles sound. I'm thinking of getting a set for my Casino.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to play 8's because they are easier to bend, but moved on because I kept breaking the high 'E' too quickly. It doesn't cut into your finger like you'd expect from something that thin, but especially that high 'E' - feels so light, it's like playing a hair. Feels weird to me - especially now that I play 11's.

 

I'd go with the heavier strings (especially if you don't bend a lot). If you're not bending, they aren't going to kill your fingers, you'll get used to them. If you are bending, you may want to go with 9's, but screw the 8's - too expensive to keep replacing them...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

D'Addario makes half-round strings. I like them on my Casino in 10-46 gauges.

 

Half round guitar strings are round wound with 430 stainless steel, then precision ground, leaving the outer surface semi-smooth. They retain the flexibility and tonal characteristics of round wound strings, but provide a smoother feel.

 

Flatwounds on a Les Paul...just doesn't seem right, somehow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

juststrings_2051_226544546

 

This is about as light as your going to get in true flatwound strings...

I recently tried those exact strings and found something really weird about them - the G

string was roundwound! Made no sense at all. BTW, some flats come in 10's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently tried those exact strings and found something really weird about them - the G

string was roundwound! Made no sense at all. BTW, some flats come in 10's.

 

I asked about the G string right from Fender...They told me that many guitarist prefer the roundwound on that string for intonation purposes...

 

I think you can get "Chromes" in 10-49 guage, but they are not a true flatwound but a polished roundwound...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I asked about the G string right from Fender...They told me that many guitarist prefer the roundwound on that string for intonation purposes...

 

I think you can get "Chromes" in 10-49 guage' date=' but they are not a true flatwound but a polished roundwound...[/quote']

 

I'd agree that the wound G seems to intonate better, though it's a bugger to bend. I love the Pyramid flatwound 11's w/a wound G for everything from retro-rock to faux-jazz. The plain G just never seems to sound right to me while chording unless it's open, but the wound G does. YMMV.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...