Tapewound experiences

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rumfoord
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Tapewound experiences

Post by rumfoord » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:35 am

Has anyone tried tapewound strings---especially on guitar?

I've read plenty about tapewound strings on bass, and have a decent understanding. I even have a set coming. (They're LaBella white nylon and I think they might have to make them first?)

It's a lot harder to find people who've tried them on a guitar. I'm thinking the particular guitar I'm thinking about may be a bad fit---while I don't think I'll mind the lower tension that much, it's 25" scale and I'm tuning all the way down to C standard. So I'm not sure even a heavier set of tapewound strings will have enough tension. I don't mind cutting the nut, but it would be a waste if the tuner holes are too small for such large gauges*.

*For anyone who's not familiar, tapewound strings are roundwound strings in a low gauge that have another layer of flatwound nylon around that. They end up being low tension, flatwound-esqe but apparently (on bass) kind of brighter than flats. That's my understanding anyway.

The guitar is a Danelectro Hearsay (the one with only one terrible built-in effect instead of three) with hot ceramic strat pickups, a strat bridge, and a light body that I think is particle board that might have a thin masonite top (but I'm not sure if reports of that are just because of the Danelectro name). It could be cardboard it's so light. It sounds terrible...unless you kind of shift your expectations of what it "should" sound like. I totally appreciate it for it's unique voice actually. I expected to change the pickups, for instance, but they sound great in this body in their own way---as good as goldfoil pickups in certain guitars if that makes sense. Right now I have flatwound 11s on it, tuned to C standard. I don't mind the low tension now, but I'm thinking 12s would suit it better. Lower than the current tension would probably not be great. I play this guitar almost as a classical guitar, and it's high frets work well for math rock kinds of tapping.

I have another guitar with flatwounds, so it'd be kind of fun to have one with tapes. That's about the extent of my thinking. But my concern is that the tension would be too low, and I'm not sure if tapping is any different with tapewound strings compared to flatwound strings. Any advice for a weird question already way down a rabbit hole?

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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by gusgorman » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:22 am

Did you try them out in the end?

I've got some Picatto tapewound 11s sitting there at the moment (bought for my Jazzmaster), going to be a while before I get to try them out though because I've only just put a fresh set of strings on.

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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by rumfoord » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:52 am

Not yet!

Interested to hear your impression whenever you get around to them though!

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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by SansRegret » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:23 am

I had a set of black nylon tapewounds on my jaguar for a bit. They felt amazing on the fingers, sounded great at first but they deadened in tone after only about a month.

I couldn't justify the price and changing them that often. Also they were very long, there was an excessive amount of string around my tuning machine posts.
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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by gusgorman » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:44 am

SansRegret wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:23 am
I had a set of black nylon tapewounds on my jaguar for a bit. They felt amazing on the fingers, sounded great at first but they deadened in tone after only about a month.

I couldn't justify the price and changing them that often. Also they were very long, there was an excessive amount of string around my tuning machine posts.
If you've got vintage style Kluson tuners you are supposed to clip the strings to the right length before putting them on the guitar.

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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by SansRegret » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:02 am

gusgorman wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:44 am
SansRegret wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:23 am
I had a set of black nylon tapewounds on my jaguar for a bit. They felt amazing on the fingers, sounded great at first but they deadened in tone after only about a month.

I couldn't justify the price and changing them that often. Also they were very long, there was an excessive amount of string around my tuning machine posts.
If you've got vintage style Kluson tuners you are supposed to clip the strings to the right length before putting them on the guitar.
Yeah but with tapewounds there is only so much length at the end that can be trimmed off before the nylon tape starts, if you cut the tapewound part, the wrap will completely unravel off the string.
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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by gusgorman » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:46 pm

SansRegret wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:02 am
gusgorman wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:44 am
SansRegret wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:23 am
I had a set of black nylon tapewounds on my jaguar for a bit. They felt amazing on the fingers, sounded great at first but they deadened in tone after only about a month.

I couldn't justify the price and changing them that often. Also they were very long, there was an excessive amount of string around my tuning machine posts.
If you've got vintage style Kluson tuners you are supposed to clip the strings to the right length before putting them on the guitar.
Yeah but with tapewounds there is only so much length at the end that can be trimmed off before the nylon tape starts, if you cut the tapewound part, the wrap will completely unravel off the string.
Ah really good to know! Thanks! .... you've prob saved me wasting some strings, I owe you a drink :)

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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by oid » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:41 pm

Le Bella Tapewounds are designed for archtop guitars with a trapeze tailpiece and generally longer scale, they should be fine on a JazzMaster with its 25 1/2" scale which has about the same overall string length as an archtop, these are not strings for the short scale.
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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by gusgorman » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:34 am

rumfoord wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:35 am

*For anyone who's not familiar, tapewound strings are roundwound strings in a low gauge that have another layer of flatwound nylon around that. They end up being low tension, flatwound-esqe but apparently (on bass) kind of brighter than flats. That's my understanding anyway.
I've got round to trying them out now so thought I'd report back. Its a set of Picato Chrome Tape Flatwound 11-50s, and I've got them on my CIJ Jazzmaster with Novak JM-V in the neck and JM-FAT in the bridge.

To be honest, the part of your original post that I've quoted above is the best way I could think of describing them. The main things I've noticed about them is that are they are lower tension than the flatwounds I've tried before, and they have a nice amount of bright bite to them. They also have the deep warmth you'd associate with flatwound strings.

I'm not sure what else to say about them. tbh I've only been playing for a couple of years so I don't really have the skill necessary to give you a full report of what they can and can't do.

The E, A and D strings felt a bit weird at first because of the lower tension but I got used to that fairly quickly.

The only real negative so far is when I've tried finger picking the bass strings (E,A, D) sound a bit muddy compared to the pure nickel roundwounds I was using before. I'm also not sure a wound-G really suits me.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by DWO » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:44 pm

Wow didn't know you could get tapes for guitar. I have used them on bass and liked them. I had a growing problem that showed up after I installed the tapes so I took them off after a while. I did like them though. On bass they have a slightly muted sound which I like.

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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by rumfoord » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:27 pm

gusgorman wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:34 am

I've got round to trying them out now so thought I'd report back. Its a set of Picato Chrome Tape Flatwound 11-50s, and I've got them on my CIJ Jazzmaster with Novak JM-V in the neck and JM-FAT in the bridge.

To be honest, the part of your original post that I've quoted above is the best way I could think of describing them. The main things I've noticed about them is that are they are lower tension than the flatwounds I've tried before, and they have a nice amount of bright bite to them. They also have the deep warmth you'd associate with flatwound strings.

I'm not sure what else to say about them. tbh I've only been playing for a couple of years so I don't really have the skill necessary to give you a full report of what they can and can't do.

The E, A and D strings felt a bit weird at first because of the lower tension but I got used to that fairly quickly.

The only real negative so far is when I've tried finger picking the bass strings (E,A, D) sound a bit muddy compared to the pure nickel roundwounds I was using before. I'm also not sure a wound-G really suits me.

Hope that helps!
Awesome!

I finally installed them on my bass, but I haven't put a set on guitar.

When I decided to get the set for bass, I thought I'd put the link on my Christmas list. My poor father-in-law had tried to just check in about it with the lackadaisical person at bassstringsonline.com (in like, April), and ended up getting banned for life or something. I wound up ordering them straight from the La Bella website, and they were here in a week!

I bought the copper white nylon 5-string set in standard tension (.060--.135). I put them on a MM SUB Ray5, and I don't regret it. I definitely like them a whole lot. Part of me wonders if I the brighter (regular) white nylon might have worked better, and I've never had flats on this particular bass (so I'm kind of curious); but I definitely like them.

Some of the ways that they are unique...I feel like I should have known...because it feels like there's nylon wrapped around the string! They aren't as loud. They aren't as bright. And they aren't as touch sensitive...sort of. But on bass, the lower tension combines with much less fret clank so that they just feel bouncy and great. Now, by touch sensitive, I feel like they still have a lot of dynamic range. But the double edged sword on bass is that you can get a lot of interesting technique out of just barely touching or tapping the strings. This doesn't come through in the same way. But on the other hand, this can mean a lot of terrible noise that you have to be careful to mute. The nylon strings just deaden some of that, so you play a little more purposeful, and hit the strings a little harder. I like it. But oh, also, wait, important disclaimer: I haven't played this with a band yet.

I was concerned that tapping would not work at all, and it's definitely different. You have to be more precise, so it's harder. But it still can be possible. I think actually that might be easier on this bass than my other with flatwound strings because the frets on that one are smaller and could use a fret level.

My other bass is a Peavey Foundation with Slinky Cobalt flatwound strings, and to get it to the same brightness I have to turn the treble and bass pretty far up on the MM. But! With the stock round wound strings I NEVER boosted either the treble or bass with the on-board preamp. So, maybe I'm just getting more usability out of my knobs.

*
I'm still optimistic about finding a way to install them on that guitar with a strat trem and a 25" scale. With the bass, I tried cutting the bass strings and melting the nylon so that it wouldn't unravel, but it wouldn't melt. They haven't unraveled yet, and I left plenty of string to wrap out the bass posts.

Right now my best idea for the guitar strings (which don't have split tuners, btw) is to try something like this fishing line crimp:
Image
Once the string is through and wrapped a couple times around the post, maybe looping and crimping the string before cutting could work. I'm optimistic at this moment, but haven't looked carefully yet at what gauges you can find for these things.

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Re: Tapewound experiences

Post by gusgorman » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:00 am

rumfoord wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:27 pm
Awesome!

I finally installed them on my bass, but I haven't put a set on guitar.

When I decided to get the set for bass, I thought I'd put the link on my Christmas list. My poor father-in-law had tried to just check in about it with the lackadaisical person at bassstringsonline.com (in like, April), and ended up getting banned for life or something. I wound up ordering them straight from the La Bella website, and they were here in a week!

I bought the copper white nylon 5-string set in standard tension (.060--.135). I put them on a MM SUB Ray5, and I don't regret it. I definitely like them a whole lot. Part of me wonders if I the brighter (regular) white nylon might have worked better, and I've never had flats on this particular bass (so I'm kind of curious); but I definitely like them.

Some of the ways that they are unique...I feel like I should have known...because it feels like there's nylon wrapped around the string! They aren't as loud. They aren't as bright. And they aren't as touch sensitive...sort of. But on bass, the lower tension combines with much less fret clank so that they just feel bouncy and great. Now, by touch sensitive, I feel like they still have a lot of dynamic range. But the double edged sword on bass is that you can get a lot of interesting technique out of just barely touching or tapping the strings. This doesn't come through in the same way. But on the other hand, this can mean a lot of terrible noise that you have to be careful to mute. The nylon strings just deaden some of that, so you play a little more purposeful, and hit the strings a little harder. I like it. But oh, also, wait, important disclaimer: I haven't played this with a band yet.

I was concerned that tapping would not work at all, and it's definitely different. You have to be more precise, so it's harder. But it still can be possible. I think actually that might be easier on this bass than my other with flatwound strings because the frets on that one are smaller and could use a fret level.

My other bass is a Peavey Foundation with Slinky Cobalt flatwound strings, and to get it to the same brightness I have to turn the treble and bass pretty far up on the MM. But! With the stock round wound strings I NEVER boosted either the treble or bass with the on-board preamp. So, maybe I'm just getting more usability out of my knobs.

*
I'm still optimistic about finding a way to install them on that guitar with a strat trem and a 25" scale. With the bass, I tried cutting the bass strings and melting the nylon so that it wouldn't unravel, but it wouldn't melt. They haven't unraveled yet, and I left plenty of string to wrap out the bass posts.

Right now my best idea for the guitar strings (which don't have split tuners, btw) is to try something like this fishing line crimp:
Image
Once the string is through and wrapped a couple times around the post, maybe looping and crimping the string before cutting could work. I'm optimistic at this moment, but haven't looked carefully yet at what gauges you can find for these things.
I've spent a few more days with them now, and like them even more. I think they are my favourite strings I've had on my JM so far. Every setting on both circuits makes more sense now than when I was using roundwounds.

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