"Flat Top" strings solved my string noise issues!

Disclaimer - string noise is probably better resolved by addressing ones technique, but sometimes a crutch is helpful.

Wanted to share that giving D’Addario “Flat Tops” a try has totally resolved string-talk issues I was having while recording. As in the disclaimer, I know technique can improve the problem, but the particular song I’m working on has a few points with sliding notes which killed a lot of good takes as the resulting squeak was more prominent than the rest of the sound… no fun. No combo of compression, EQ, and automation of gain/EQ can remove that sort of thing.

I found that constantly stressing about the sliding parts caused me to lose rhythmic control. Not having to worry about it feels very freeing, like I can just focus on enjoying the creative processes of music.

The top track is with regular Phosphor Bronze. Bottom is flat tops. Both are Phosphor Bronze 13 gauge.

Audio links for those curious, I kept the volume quiet since it’s a bit jarring, but maybe turn down your sound just in case:

Top track (string talk)
Bottom Track (no string talk)

Hopefully anybody searching for solutions to the same problem as me is able to find this. Happy guitar-ing!

1 Like

That’s where I am with string squeaking while sliding – I just don’t worry about it too much. It’s a reality such as scratches in an old record album. There is a life in there. That said if I were to become a pro player I would probably try these (or might even anyway):
An unwound G usually does the trick.

There is some debate among players that flatwounds don’t sound as good as regular wound. I won’t argue that point. It’s that pesky wound G doing a lot of the squeaking.

1 Like

I think not worrying is the better approach, wish I could ignore it myself but I get fussy. A big problem is that I don’t use a pick and I bite my nails so there’s not a whole lot of volume for recording. As a result I need the gain way up on the mic preamp, which makes the squeaks really abrasive. Think nails on the blackboard level in terms of ear fatigue.

100% agree. Something sonically is lost that’s not just top-end jangle. Acoustic guitars are loaded with harmonics, so it really sounds like something is absent through the whole frequency spectrum. The flat tops are apparently are round wound then filed semi-flat. Somewhere between round and flat I guess.

I’ve used both round and flat wounds before, and for whatever reason I have to say the flat tops feel the stickiest and are kinda awkward for big slides around the neck.