What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

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What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (drumbob) » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:16 am

Can somebody explain the attraction to flatwound strings on Rick 12 strings? When I got my last 330-12, the seller had flatwounds on there (Pyramids, I think) and they sounded dull and dead. I immediately took it to my tech for a string change to Mangan roundwounds, which is what I have always used on the 12s.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (admin) » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:34 am

drumbob wrote:Can somebody explain the attraction to flatwound strings on Rick 12 strings? When I got my last 330-12, the seller had flatwounds on there (Pyramids, I think) and they sounded dull and dead. I immediately took it to my tech for a string change to Mangan roundwounds, which is what I have always used on the 12s.


To my thinking, it is a throwback to yesteryear Bob. The view that things were always better in the "old days." As we age there is a tendency to focus on and an attempt to revisit what we were doing when we were in our adolescent and young adult years. My new guitars and strings are every bit as good as my old one. Then again, in the old days I could not afford a new guitar and today I can't afford an old one. :lol: Flats are dead to some but simply mellow to others. Rounds are alive to some and simply noisier and more abrasive to others. "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." A great question Bob!
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:58 am

admin wrote:
drumbob wrote:Can somebody explain the attraction to flatwound strings on Rick 12 strings? When I got my last 330-12, the seller had flatwounds on there (Pyramids, I think) and they sounded dull and dead. I immediately took it to my tech for a string change to Mangan roundwounds, which is what I have always used on the 12s.


To my thinking, it is a throwback to yesteryear Bob. The view that things were always better in the "old days." As we age there is a tendency to focus on and an attempt to revisit what we were doing when we were in our adolescent and young adult years. My new guitars and strings are every bit as good as my old one. Then again, in the old days I could not afford a new guitar and today I can't afford an old one. :lol: Flats are dead to some but simply mellow to others. Rounds are alive to some and simply noisier and more abrasive to others. "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." A great question Bob!


Indeed! George and Roger would have had flatwounds on their 360/12s when they made those iconic recordings. It's a really special sound, especially through the right amp or with some good compression.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (fretbuzzard) » Wed May 13, 2020 1:12 pm

I'd also add that flats are perfect for folks who dread string changes (understandable on a Ric 12!). Flatwound strings seem to last forever. They don't lose their "zing" like round wounds do - no zing to lose!
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (teb) » Wed May 13, 2020 8:02 pm

Though interesting, I found rounds to be a bit too twangy for my taste and switched to TI Jazz Flats. I like the way flats accentuate the octave strings, and though the primary strings individually and alone may sound awfully dead, the overall sound does not.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (collin) » Thu May 14, 2020 11:11 pm

Diehard rounds fan here. I tried a set of TI flats once and aside from being annoyed at spending $35 on a set of strings, they sounded awful and the guitar lost any character in its tone.

Super light gauge roundwounds, that’s where it’s at for me. YMMV.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (andyenobs) » Mon May 18, 2020 7:30 am

NONE AT ALL.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (Tele295) » Tue May 19, 2020 12:52 pm

I had Pyramids on my 360/12 with hi-gain pups. I didn’t like them. I wonder if they sound better with toaster tops, through something really bright like a Vox amp. For my rig and sound, it was not happening.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (kennyhowes) » Tue May 19, 2020 8:18 pm

The beloved TI set is the winner, that’s what I’ve got on all three of my 12s, and use when I do setups on other Rick 12s. The one time I tried Pyramids, it was such a bad scene and it had lasting negative repercussions. (Perhaps they’ve changed things up - this was 20 years ago - but TI got it right, so why mess with success?)

If you must go roundwound, the stock Rickenbacker 95404 has my vote. I’d recommend the D’Addario set but you have to sub out a few strings to do it right.

Please please whatever you do, use a .010 for the high G.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (jdogric12) » Wed May 20, 2020 10:20 am

Word around the water cooler seems to be Pyramids fixed a lot of the problems from the late 90's/early 00's. At that time, everyone raved about them, so a lot of people tried them, and then found their necks bending like a bow and arrow. Once they finally adjusted the tension problems, TI Flats had filled the void and it was a day late and a dollar short. Just my 2 cents from where I sit here on the internets.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (kennyhowes) » Thu May 21, 2020 7:01 am

jdogric12 wrote:Word around the water cooler seems to be Pyramids fixed a lot of the problems from the late 90's/early 00's. At that time, everyone raved about them, so a lot of people tried them, and then found their necks bending like a bow and arrow. Once they finally adjusted the tension problems, TI Flats had filled the void and it was a day late and a dollar short. Just my 2 cents from where I sit here on the internets.

I would possibly reluctantly try them again if that is the case. Or at least try them on someone else’s guitar! :lol:

The only workaround is that TI doesn’t package theirs in a set of 12, and that RicStrings.com and others have to piece sets together. A small price to pay for the closest thing available to OG Rick Maxima sets, but still.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (242_foxtrot) » Thu May 21, 2020 9:14 pm

I've been using Pyramid 308/12 extra extra light strings. Round core and very flexible. String sizes E .039/.025, A .032/.019, D .026/.013, G .019/.010, B.013/.013, E .010/.010.
I really like them. Blows away the old hex core Pyramid Flats.
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (kennyhowes) » Sat May 23, 2020 7:23 am

242_foxtrot wrote:I've been using Pyramid 308/12 extra extra light strings. Round core and very flexible. String sizes E .039/.025, A .032/.019, D .026/.013, G .019/.010, B.013/.013, E .010/.010.
I really like them. Blows away the old hex core Pyramid Flats.

That’s encouraging.

I always forget, is round core the less rigid (as opposed to hex)?
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Re: What's The Attraction To Flatwounds On The 12 Strings?

Postby (242_foxtrot) » Sat May 23, 2020 7:26 am

Kenny. Yes, round core is less rigid.
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