School Me on String Types and Tension: Flatwound v. Half Wound v. Roundwound

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by El Tele Lobo, Jun 16, 2021.

What Type of Strings Do You Use?

  1. Roundwound

  2. Flatwound

  3. Half-wound

  4. Cat gut

  5. SRV Cables

  6. Nylon

  7. Something Else (please specify in post)

  8. Strings?! I only play air guitar and Guitar Hero!

  9. I thought this was a bass thread

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  1. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Assuming the same gauge strings (say 12 gauge with a wound third), how would the string tension of these different types compare?

    I've read elsewhere online that a flat wound set will have higher tension than a same-gauge round wound set. Curious why this is...do they have larger cores to compensate the flatter wrap?

    Where do half-rounds fall in the spectrum? Closer to flats? Closer to rounds? Right in the middle?

    Also, what type of strings do you use? I'm especially interested in hearing from jazz players.

    CORRECTION: Oh...and I meant to put Half ROUNDS, not half WOUNDS...that would just be weird. Haha.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  2. hamerfan

    hamerfan Tele-Meister

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    I use GHS White Bronze on a Gibson L7C. These give a good output with a magnetic pickup.
     
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  3. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    I don't even know what 'ordinary' strings are. Round wound I presume?
     
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  4. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. That's correct.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have more guitars than I can cover with four choices but since you specifically asked about jazz guitars I will say that I am not a "jazz player" but on my hollow body electric I follow the lead of my jazz playing friends and run flatwounds

    IMG_6759.JPG

    An important consideration, of course, is whether your set has a wound or plain third. You'll have to compensate accordingly.

    As far as tension is concerned, most string manufacturers will give you tension specs for their strings. D'Addario does for all of their strings and because they offer both round and flat wounds you should be able to find something close. One thing I do know is that years back I experimented with round core acoustic strings vs hex and the round core do have lower tension for the same gauge.
     
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  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    deleted
     
  7. 41144

    41144 Friend of Leo's

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    Whatever we might tell you.... It ain't what you'll feel!
     
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  8. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve tried flatwounds and hate them...

    I’ve tried them multiple times (d’addario chromes) just Incase they were bad or off

    They sound decent for a day, then dead! Dead! Dead!

    I guess that’s the joy people get from them? That and no squeaky fingers

    I guess if they are meant to sound dead then they last forever?

    I guess my preference are round wound cables 12-52 wound-G, played them for over a decade now and don’t like anything else
     
  9. hepular

    hepular Tele-Afflicted

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    that's the point. had a set of flatwounds on a guitar for over 20 years. sounded pretty much exactly the same for 19.9 of those years.
     
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  10. hepular

    hepular Tele-Afflicted

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    it can vary and does depending on manufacturer and what kind of core (round vs. hex) is used--that will also affect the tone because more's gonna be coming from that core: that might be a lot of the punchy woody tone you get from those 1950s jazz records.
     
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  11. mherrcat

    mherrcat Tele-Holic

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    I'm getting ready to experiment with round core strings as I understand that they are lower tension, or at least have a less "stiff" feel to them. They may also be better for use with vibratos. We'll see. The thing is, most string makers use hex cores now, which make the strings easier to manufacture. DR, GHS, Stringjoy, Gabriel Tenorio and probably some others offer round core strings.

    Another caveat when using round core strings is that you cannot cut the string before you wind it on the post without first putting a kink in it, otherwise the wrap wire has a tendency to unravel. I had this happen with a set of DR strings once.
     
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  12. hepular

    hepular Tele-Afflicted

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    alas, Stringjoy no maketh flatwounds yet, despite much griping from me. I mean, how dare they ignore a 7 set a year customer who'd go down to a set every year or two?

    &, yes, the round-core strings DO feel (& sound) different. hard to specify the difference, but it's there
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
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  13. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    Flatwound strings are mainly for jazz players nowadays, but before the '60s, they were much more common for all types of music. Surf music, like Dick Dale, is played with really heavy gauge flatwound strings, and lots of guys who play rockabilly use flatwounds for a real retro sound.

    I like the sound and feel of flatwounds (I don't use them, but I like them). I tried "half-round" strings once– the feel of them was so horrible that I took them off after about 5 minutes of playing.
     
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  14. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    If your Guitar George and know all the chords and are strictly rhythm and don't wanna make it cry or sing.....

    then flatwounds and a big ol archtop are your friends!
     
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  15. hepular

    hepular Tele-Afflicted

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    or the Beatles. or Mark Speer.
     
  16. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'll have to look for some round core strings. I've been playing D'Addarios for so long...I think they are always hex core. Thanks for all the responses.

    It's weird. After a week or so, you stop getting notifications when people reply to your threads. I don't think it used to be that way...but I could be wrong.
     
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