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  1. #1

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    ...I'm looking for a great sounding compromise string between flat wounds and wound. My ears just can't seem to connect with flat wound strings. They just sound kind of dead to my ears (no offense to flat wound users). It's just a preference thing. Maybe the more I play jazz the more I'll get to like flat wound strings. I'm a long time guitar player but a relative newb to jazz guitar.

    Anyway, one string I thought of is GHS Boomers or Jazz Brights. Anyone use those for jazz? Any other recommendations? Thank you.

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  3. #2

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    I haven't tried either of those. But I have tried rollerwound strings from both GHS and LaBella. Both sound and feel more like rounds than flats, but they both mitigate finger squeak a little (not completely) and are slightly duller sounding than rounds (without the deadness of flats).

    A counter point to all this, though, is that if you don't like flats don't use them. There's no rule that says jazz requires them. I go back and forth between rounds and flats on my archtop (currently Chromes), and use rounds on my semi-hollow.

    John

  4. #3

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    @JohnA is right; the strings are also called "halfwound" or "ground-wound," and purport to be the "best of both worlds."

    What's wrong with rounds??

  5. #4

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    Strings are a tough thing to sort out. There is no one size fits all. A string you love on one guitar might be just wrong for another. Some strings that I've had good luck with are pyramid nickel classic hand polished in the vein you speak. They might be worth a try for you. If you haven't tried Thomastik flats you really have to give them a go. Initially at least they will fit the in between roll you seek with no finger noise. If you do like the tone of these but find they are a bit too dull to fast, you can go to their rounds. They will be much more vibrant while still keeping a similar personality. Good luck with your search it's never ending..

  6. #5

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    D'Addario Halfrounds : brighter, w more sustain and (bass) definition than flats and still reduced finger-noise and a smoother tone than roundwounds.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    @JohnA is right; the strings are also called "halfwound" or "ground-wound," and purport to be the "best of both worlds."

    What's wrong with rounds??

    Nothing wrong with rounds at all. That's what I have on my Eastman AR580CE right now (D'Addario NYXLs). I just ordered a couple sets of D'Addario Nickel Rockers (.013s), Roller Wound, with wound 3rd string. I like heavy small strings for jazz

    Anyway, I'm interested in any recommendations.

  8. #7

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    Pyramid Nickel Classics. They have a nickel wrap and a wound G, I think of them as a sort of a compromise string. They have some warmth but are brighter sounding than flats and yet still have some acoustic vibe. However, they are a little pricey.

  9. #8

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    Pyramid Nickel Classics Handpolished available at StringsAndBeyond. Pyramid Pure Nickel Wound Classics HAND POLISHED Round Core Electric Guitar Strings P454 Traditional 12-54

    Thomastik Infeld Bebop.

    Pyramid NC HPs are half the price of the TI BB so I'd go there first.

    NB They are both Round Core strings so kink before snip or else unravel.

  10. #9

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    Once I had flats on my LP DC junior and they sounded really dull. Could it be because of the solid body? Many years I used D Addario 9.5s, and I recorded a guitar part for a sing which sounded really fantastically jazzy, it was because the uppers were rusted!
    Now I also have a wound g set waiting to go on.


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  11. #10

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    try a pure nickel round...almost all guitar manufacturers make them...(just dont confuse with nickel plated (nps)...must say pure nickel...thomastik bebops, dr pure blues and pyramid classics- all extra special (round cores)

    cheers

  12. #11

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    Strings are not so expensive, so you can easily try and test easily
    Only you can find what sound/feel suits you.
    Flatwound is not a must for jazz, it's just you that will decide what is good for you.
    As for myself, I find FW ok on my ES-339, but not on my ES-335 Korean copy.
    I find FW ok for my Heritage Sweet16, but I prefer RW on my Esatman AR503 or my Broadway
    It's the same for the gauge : it depends on the guitar.
    Try and experiment and set the rules for yourself and your guitar(s)

  13. #12

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    Regarding agonizing over string types, been there, done that. You're a long way from getting there if you include Boomers and Bright Flats (I suppose?) in the same sentence. Save time, don't ask here, just buy a bunch of different packs - Roller wounds (squeaky? perfect?), Half-Wounds (yuk, sticky? great compromise?), whatever string du jour and see how the chemistry between your guitar and your fingers and ears works out.

    I ended up with Elixir Nanowebs on my main guitar: bright but not too squeaky. You may hate them. Fact.

  14. #13

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    Elixir Nanowebs => String Dandruff. Yucky after a while. I like the tone well enough; I can't stand the dandruff.

  15. #14

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    Just keep buying them till you find what works. I always seem to come back to D'Addario strings for consistency, price, and availability !. But there are many good choices!

  16. #15

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    I find ghs fast fret puts any string a class up. Nicely slippery and most no string noise.


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  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I have tried rollerwound strings from both GHS and LaBella. Both sound and feel more like rounds than flats, but they both mitigate finger squeak a little (not completely) and are slightly duller sounding than rounds (without the deadness of flats). ...
    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    @JohnA is right; the strings are also called "halfwound" or "ground-wound," and purport to be the "best of both worlds."...
    Rollerwound strings are not the same as "halfwound" or "ground-wound." GHS and LaBella versions have a pure nickel wrap - the strings are run through machines than compress and slightly flatten the wrap. I use them and they work quite well for me. Halfwound or Ground-wound are ground to remove metal and flatten the wrap. I have had problems with dud strings that are "dead" right out of the package, and I can't swap in anything else to match, and it's a pain to bug the company for individual replacement strings or even replacement sets, so I don't use them. Just my personal experiance, YMMV.

    In general, pure nickel strings are not as bright as steel or nickel-plated steel strings.
    As mentioned,
    DR Pure Blues, Pyramid Nickel Classics, Pyramid Nickel Classics Handpolished, and Thomastik Infeld Bebop all have pure nickel wrap, over a round core. Many other string makers offer pure nickel roundwounds as well, usually over a hex core. Prices vary widely.

    Another metal that I think works well for jazz tones is Monel, which is nickel and copper in various combinations from @1:1 to @2:1 ( I forget which is the wire composition used by string makers), with a few other trace elements for flavour. Several string makers now offer roundwound Monel strings, including Pyramid (round core), Curt Mangan (round or hex core),
    Martin (hex core), SIT (hex core), and maybe more.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 11-03-2020 at 05:24 PM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Elixir Nanowebs => String Dandruff. Yucky after a while. I like the tone well enough; I can't stand the dandruff.
    Actually, the "dandruff" (LOL) of which you speak was the reason I gave up on the POLYwebs. Some time later I read comments on the Nanos suffering far less from this problem and gave them a go. Couple of years later, they're still my strings of choice.

  19. #18

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    I have been using SIT strings lately and really liking them on all of my guitars. These are nickel plated rather than nickel, but I find having a little bit brighter wound strings makes it easier to balance the tone with the plain strings. These are really inexpensive strings but the quality seems to be excellent and they last a long time. This set comes with both a plain and wound G string. I usually use the latter, but sometimes having the plain G gives a little bit more of a classical guitar feel (with having three wound and three plain strings) and does significantly reduce string noise when playing; I think I must drag finger on the G string when moving up and down the neck.

    SIT S1150 Power Wound Nickel Electric Guitar Strings 11-50

    I tried their "Silencer" strings and found them to have much more string noise than their usual ones!

    SIT SL1150 Silencer Semi-Flat Med Light Electric Guitar Strings 11-50

    I have not tried the SIT flat wounds, but I am not an FW guy it seems. Every so often I give them a try but they don't seem to stay on the instrument for very long, even TIs. Maybe it's because I almost always play acoustically around the house and FWs seem to sound better plugged in than acoustically. I think a good flat wound may be more difficult to manufacture.

    SIT F1150 Flatwound Electric Guitar Strings, Light 11-50

  20. #19

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    Thomastick Infeld Bebops

  21. #20

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    I like John Pearse 2600 and 2700. Pure nickel, so not so bright and they feel good. Bernstein gets a pretty good sound out of them, but the guitar and the hands might be factors too :-) I also tried some of the ghs rollerwounds recently - liked them and they fit the OP’s inquiry.

  22. #21

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  23. #22

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    I have similar goals (but still in the search of holy string set/combination)

    Half wound sounds as the "logical" solution, but for me, it is not.

    My experience half wounds (D'Angelico) merges all drawback from round wounds and flat wounds. Has almost as annoying string noise as round wound plus after 50 hours playing becomes almost as dull on (E, A, D) than a flat wound. Plus the remaining very fine dust on the string coming from the manufacturing when they made the round wounds to half wound: this is a plus bonus drawback.

    I would add that in string search quest there is a trap, I fallen a few times: wound G string is a must (at least when the floating bridge is compensated specifically for a wound G) and many sets will not fit that criteria

  24. #23

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    I once had a set of Dean Markly Jimi Hendrix 10s. Came with a great rainbow-and-Jimi-like sticker. They were fantastic and I forgot how they sound.


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  25. #24
    What the heck is string dandruff??

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Elixir Nanowebs => String Dandruff. Yucky after a while. I like the tone well enough; I can't stand the dandruff.

    What the heck is string dandruff?? Is it oxidation?

  27. #26

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    TI Bebops should fit the bill

    Jazz Bebop Jazz Guitar | Guitar Strings | Products | Thomastik-Infeld Vienna

    not cheap but very, very good

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    Actually, the "dandruff" (LOL) of which you speak was the reason I gave up on the POLYwebs. Some time later I read comments on the Nanos suffering far less from this problem and gave them a go. Couple of years later, they're still my strings of choice.
    Me too: Elixir Nanoweb 12-52s on my Eastman AR403ce.

    (I use 80-20 Nanoweb 12-53s on my flattop acoustics; I use D'Addario NYXL 11-50s (round-wound, plain 3rd) on my semi-hollow.)

    *String Dandruff: The Polyweb strings have a thicker Teflon coating which starts to fray after a while and can be quite annoying. I have not experienced this with the Nanoweb strings.

  29. #28

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    I have tried 1/2 wounds and found that the noise reduction over rounds in minimal and they feel a bit weird.
    I use Daddario Pure Nickels. They have a better feel than regular nickel plated and I like the tone.
    I just work on left hand technique for mitigating string noise.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRS
    I have tried 1/2 wounds and found that the noise reduction over rounds in minimal and they feel a bit weird.
    I use Daddario Pure Nickels. They have a better feel than regular nickel plated and I like the tone.
    I just work on left hand technique for mitigating string noise.
    That's reassuring -- I thought I was alone in my disappointment over 1/2 wounds. Then again, I tried the heaviest set, the 13 gauge, so that might have something to do with it. Perhaps lighter gauges are not so bumpy, I don't know.

  31. #30

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    i’ve been using and loving
    TI jazz swing 13s till now

    but i now my band playing some
    more 80s and 90s pop songs
    and need to do the rock n roll bend up
    a tone on the G string thing

    i still want flats tho as some/ most
    of the material is still straight ahead jazz

    i don’t want to bring two guitars

    should i just change the G string to
    a plain G ?

    anyone else do this ?

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    I have been using SIT strings lately and really liking them on all of my guitars. These are nickel plated rather than nickel, but I find having a little bit brighter wound strings makes it easier to balance the tone with the plain strings. These are really inexpensive strings but the quality seems to be excellent and they last a long time. This set comes with both a plain and wound G string. I usually use the latter, but sometimes having the plain G gives a little bit more of a classical guitar feel (with having three wound and three plain strings) and does significantly reduce string noise when playing; I think I must drag finger on the G string when moving up and down the neck.

    SIT S1150 Power Wound Nickel Electric Guitar Strings 11-50

    I tried their "Silencer" strings and found them to have much more string noise than their usual ones!

    SIT SL1150 Silencer Semi-Flat Med Light Electric Guitar Strings 11-50

    I have not tried the SIT flat wounds, but I am not an FW guy it seems. Every so often I give them a try but they don't seem to stay on the instrument for very long, even TIs. Maybe it's because I almost always play acoustically around the house and FWs seem to sound better plugged in than acoustically. I think a good flat wound may be more difficult to manufacture.

    SIT F1150 Flatwound Electric Guitar Strings, Light 11-50
    Plus one for Stay in Tunes, because they really do. Great feeling, long lasting, don't coast an arm and a leg; just really good strings!

  33. #32

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    I have tried alot of different types of strings buy alot of different manufacturers. Most of the coated strings had a duller sound, A pure nickel has a very good sound Pyramid makes very good flat wound ones. Half rounds are good and have a sound between round and flat but getting a set with a wound G that is not heavy gage is hard. You could try doing something that was done buy the old jazz players before Flats and that was to take your set of round wounds and use some sand paper wrapped around the string and sand them down like a half rounds. One more thing I dont know of any maker that the B and E string are not steel.