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  1. #1

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    I’ve been back and forth over the years and I just can’t decide. What is everyone else doing with their 335 style guitar, flat wounds or round wounds?


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  3. #2

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    Rounds, I like a brighter tone and sustain on a semi-hollowbody.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Rounds, I like a brighter tone and sustain on a semi-hollowbody.


  5. #4

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    rounds, i try flats every once in a while, and love them for a day or so, and get tired of them fast
    i should probably buy another and keep flats on it for those days when i want that sound

  6. #5

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    10-46s don't seem to squeak as much as higher gauge strings. They seem to do well on a semi-hollow.

  7. #6

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    12 DR flats. It's already bright enough for me, they mellow/smooth it out a little. I'm mainly using for a clean darker "jazz" guitar sound though.
    The D'Addario EJ21 rounds, however, were really good on it
    too; grittier Grant Green + kind of tone.

  8. #7

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    Flats (.012 TI Swings) on my ES-333 (the low budget ES-335 but very much the same) but I am the kind of guys that even uses flats on my Teles and Strats.....

    To me, flats give a better jazz tone. And soul tone. And blues tone. And funk tone. But I admit my tone is kind of old school.

    But it's just a matter of personal taste really. Just try and see what you like best.

  9. #8

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    Personally, I think the Gibson ES 335 is the most versatile guitar made. Having sad that, I use .010 round rounds on my 335. I do use .012 flat wounds on my archtop. If i didn’t have an archtop I’d try flat wounds on my 335. But I think I’d lose at least some of the versatility. Try it see what happens.

  10. #9

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    i like pure nickel rounds on 335 center block thinline type guitars..the rounds let it sound, and the pure nickel keeps it jazzy

    almost every company has pure nickel rounds...but i like dr pure blues and thomastik be-bops for their round inner cores...more vintage


  11. #10

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    For semi-hollows in general round-wound 11's work best for me. I like the overtones and snap from them. Also, they seamlessly transition to a jazzy tone with the swap of a thicker pick.

  12. #11

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    I used to put Newtone round-wounds on my Seventy Seven Exrubato Jazz, which is a basically a 335 with no center block and a spruce laminate top, but they don't seem to be available in the US anymore. Those were really great round-wounds for both semis and archtops—I maybe preferred them to TI flats.

  13. #12

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    round on my 335 types. I find flats too dull. Too big a difference between the plain and wound strings.

  14. #13

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    Since I switched to flats on the ES-333 I find the bridge pickup much better sounding and use the middle and bridge positon of the switch much more.

    I use this guitar a lot for pop stuff, amongst others in a very successful Amy Winehouse tribute and find the bridge pickup the perfect sound for those afterbeat chops in the Ska-songs.

  15. #14

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    I've tried to run flats on my ES-225 and Heritage 535--but keep going back to roundwounds, lately Ernie Ball Beefy Slinky nickel wounds.

    I love TI flats on archtops, but on my semi-hollow 535 and hollow 225, the low E just mufflefarts.

  16. #15

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    I'm back to rounds. Heavy ass rotosounds. I'll work the amp, the pick, the fingers or the knobs to get stereotypical jazz tones.

    But I used to do flats and found it limiting, which is fine if you only need really dark tones. I eventually settled on a half flat system where plains were flat and the rounds were wound. Smooth on top, but not oatmeal on the bottom.

    Mind you, that was back in my maple neck days. Now I'm my warmer hog neck era, and don't find it as necessary. Results may vary.

  17. #16

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    I get more versatile sounds out of a 335 with rounds, so I use d addario 11s. With 12 flats, I get great jazz sounds, but for everything else (including Grant Green and more modern jazz sounds), I prefer rounds.

  18. #17

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    I no longer have a semi hollow guitar, but when I did I found I always had flats on it. That being said, I have flats on all my electric guitars... Les Paul and Telecaster included. Thomastiks usually, although I do like the Pyramid pure nickel flatwounds too. Roundwounds go on my acoustic archtops only.

  19. #18

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  20. #19

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    I have Gibson brand rounds on my ES-335. D'addario flats on my archtop.

  21. #20

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    Another vote for rounds. I use 11's which seems to work well. I prefer to keep rounds on it for versatility, and keep the flat 12's on the archtop

  22. #21

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    For me, Thomastik Benson 14 flats on my 355 are So nice.

  23. #22

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    Rounds for me

  24. #23

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    On my 335's I now use Elixir nanoweb on them.

  25. #24

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    Good timing... I've had 12 flats on mine since I bought it a year ago but just switched to round 12's b/c the guitar just felt a little too dull. After installing the rounds I still wasn't satisfied so I moved the neck pickup UP closer to the strings and maybe I'm there now? Will probably put the flats back on when the current set-up starts bugging me. Sometimes I find whatever guitar I'm playing begins to drive me nuts. I'll case it and come back in a month or two and fall in love again.

  26. #25

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    So funny you ask that now: Just last night, I switched from Thomastik 11 Swing flats back to pure nickel rounds. I played all night last night with them and am much happier overall. I can still get my favorite jazz tone with them, but can also turn on my Dumble-like overdrive pedal and channel my inner Carlton.

    FYI, for rounds, I have been using String Joy strings for the past year. They're a small company out of Nashville that makes great strings. I've recently been using their new Broadways, which are their new pure nickels. They sound great...very balanced.

  27. #26

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    My mid-'60s Gibson ES-345TDSVT came to me (in the '80s) with the hang tags and the original set of flatwound 11-50 strings (Gibson, I presume). After re-cutting the nut (which was hopelessly out of whack) I gigged with it as my #1 with 10-46 rounds of mixed brands for many years. Many years and guitars later, I put on a set of D'Addario Chromes, 11-50. So... full circle. My lefty 335 wore 11-46 rounds as I gigged with it, looking for a lefty player to whom I could bequeath it (to no avail). My 325 has always worn 10-46 rounds, which really helps the funkitude of the mini hums it has.

  28. #27

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    We are nowhere close to a consensus on the question. There are a huge number of choices in guitars, strings, how to pluck the strings and with what.

    If music were considered an essential government service, all of these questions would be answered for you and you'd be issued your equipment with instructions! Life would be simpler and more efficient. Despite these constraints there'd still be room for individuality and artistic expression.

    To digress, a friend texted this last night: If you could be thin the rest of your life or eat tacos, which would you have, soft or hard shell?

  29. #28

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    Well, I just took the .11 rounds off my 335 last night and put .12 chromes on. I now love playing that guitar again and will make love to it for a few weeks, maybe months until I pose this question again and likely swap the flats for rounds.

  30. #29

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    I'm with you, man! That's the beauty (and bane!) of a 335...You can do so many things with them!

  31. #30

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    Normally for me I use rounds, but last July I put on flats as an experiment. I likes the way they feel and depending on my mood (or the phase of the moon) I think they sound cool. However recently I have started to brighten them us with my Boss Eq-200 equalizer (which is great for such things).

    For me, I think I will have some flatwounds on something, just for variety.

    I suggest that you experiment and try them for a month or two. It is not a permanent decision.