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Tape-wound strings on a Jazz?

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#1 josie

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:44 PM

Have any of you ever put tape-wounds on a Jazz? and if so, why?

I was handed one last night at a jam, and found it a nightmare to play. No punch, no sustain, just a dull rubbery thud, and the strings seemed to stick to the fretboard so I could only play half as many notes as I would have done on any of my own basses. I have chrome flats on my fretless, so the smoothness of the strings wasn't a problem, just the whole overall feel and sound.

Am I missing something? Is this really a good idea which I should get to grips with? The owner of said tape-wound-strung Jazz is actually a very good bass player...
"The bass guitar is the honourable instrument. It is understated and unappreciated, yet it plays the most important role. The bass is the link between harmony and rhythm. It is the foundation of a band." - Victor L. Wooten, The Music Lesson

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#2 TheGreek

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:54 PM

I have tapewounds on a number of basses. You're right - they're not to everybody's taste - not bright like steel strings but they are gentle of the finger tips and do less damage to the frets.

From a tonal POV they are closer to a Double Bass.

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#3 Highfox

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:05 PM

I've done it, but didn't really like it.

#4 Graham S


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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:07 PM

At the risk of sounding ancient, tapewounds were the norm when I first took up the bass. I'm pretty sure they were intended to sound as much as possible like a double bass. I changed to roundwounds pretty much when they started to be generally available - Rotosound Swing Bass, as used (and some say designed) by John Entwistle to begin with, though now I usually go with D'Addario or Ernie Ball. I agree there's a big difference between flatwound and roundwound, but then they're designed to do different jobs. If a double bass-like sound is what you're after, then tapewounds will do the trick; for a more general "electric bass" sound and a wider tonal range with more punch then roundwounds are the way to go. I'd guess the great majority of us use roundwounds these days.


#5 T-Bay

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:40 PM

I was tempted by an Ibanez a while back but it had tape wounds on it. Put me off completely which is stupid really a stupid I could have changed them but would have been nice to hear it with a decent set of roundwounds on. For me it was as much the feel as the sound which didn't suit me.

#6 kodiakblair

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 09:58 PM

Never tried tapes on a jazz but I've meant to do it many a time. Been a long time fan of tapes,ever since I bought a set of Roto Tru Bass for £5. This was back in the early 80's and the very skint punk rocker that was me suddenly had cash for drink :)

Funny how those moments stick. I no longer use Tru Bass,it's La Bella or Status Hotwires ( I still have a stash of them )

#7 Conan

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 09:49 AM

Isn't that what Herbie Flowers uses?
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#8 project_c

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 11:52 AM

I have tapes on my PJ and i use the bridge J pickup quite a lot. It's a personal choice, it just depends on what works with your style of playing and what context you use them in.

I play jazz so I like a dead tone, but I don't think tapes sound dead at all, theyre just more woody than flats or rounds. They're flexible so you can get fairly expressive with dynamics, and they react well to digging in. If you like treble, I wouldn't bother, but for things like jazz and funk and blues they've been perfect for me.

Because the tone is more fundamental and direct, the quality of your pickups and how you amplify your tone matters a bit more than with rounds I think.

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