Flats with a non-in-your-face tone

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by WilliamSandoval, Dec 27, 2012.


  1. WilliamSandoval

    WilliamSandoval

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    I usually play right up at the neck heel for a mellow tone. I need some flats that are... not there, a reserved, not present. A flatwound that's warm and mellow and woody sounding, yet not muddy. I don't want thump either. I need a sound that resembles the feeling of entering a warm pool while stoned out of your mind. A tone that makes you go "Ooooooooh". ;)

    I'm using LaBella Jamersons at the moment, but the tension is waaaay too high.:scowl:

    I've been thinking of buying some TI's for their tension, but I haven't heard too many sound clips to make the decision. As far as I know, they're pretty bright sounding, but I could most likely roll the tone off and EQ it to my liking.

    Any suggestions? Money is not an issue.
  2. Marial

    Marial Pooped Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I would check out a set of Sadowskys. I like a very warm, but articulate, tone and medium tension. The Sads sit between TIs and Chromes with regards to tension, and are less thuddy than Chromes and have less mid-range boing than the TIs. This is on a Hwy One Jazz with Antiquity IIs, for reference. I also keep my volume knobs rolled off to about 70% and keep my tone knob rolled most of the way off. I play right on the neck pick up.
  3. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Great capsule description, especially if "boing" is in any way related to "burp!"
  4. f.c.geil

    f.c.geil I'm your huckleberry... Supporting Member

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    Saint Johns, Michigan
    Add my vote for Sadowskys. I've been playing my current set for about a year, and they just keep getting better. Mellow, smooth, articulate, and reasonably low tension.
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  6. WilliamSandoval

    WilliamSandoval

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    I never really looked at Sadowsky Flats. It seems like they're pretty good. I like the tone of Labellas, but it's not very clear sounding and the tension is the worst.

    I might just get sadowskys...
  7. hieronymous

    hieronymous

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern CA
    I also found the LaBella Jamerson set to be WAY too high tension. TI Jazz Flats are kind of too low-tension for me, though I actually do like them on one of my basses.

    I recently tried GHS flats - found them to be slightly looser than Chromes which are high tension but not as much as the Jamerson strings. They are pretty dark sounding, though clear.
  8. guroove

    guroove

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    How about LaBellas in a lighter gauge? LaBella lights are my favorite all around strings. Their standard gauge strings are also pretty nice.
  9. old-fashioned

    old-fashioned

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    Ankara
    TI Jazz Flats
  10. hieronymous

    hieronymous

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Does anyone know if "normal" LaBella flats are lower tension than the Jamerson set? I have LaBella flats on some short scales and love them but have never tried them on a long scale bass.
  11. f.c.geil

    f.c.geil I'm your huckleberry... Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Yes, they are. However, they are still pretty high tension for their diameter.
  12. MagicMan_841

    MagicMan_841 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Isn't the Jamerson set some of the heavier stuff that they have?
  13. Marial

    Marial Pooped Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    It sounds like you prefer a similar tone to what I like and when I emailed Jason at bassstringslonline the Sadowskys are what he recommended. For me, at least, he was spot on. I really like them.
  14. portlandguy

    portlandguy

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I just put a set of the super light chromes on my p bass, I am really liking them.
  15. OzzyGreg

    OzzyGreg Supporting Member

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    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Illawarra, NSW, Australia
    .
    LOL!
  16. f.c.geil

    f.c.geil I'm your huckleberry... Supporting Member

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    Glad you like them, but they are pretty much the opposite of what the OP is looking for. He wants
    Chromes are quite present and brash, IME.
  17. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 1999
    I've used most flats, and it sounds exactly to me like you want a set of TI flats, broken in for a week or two of steady playing, tone knob backed off halfway, and your amp tone set with ever so slight a smiley face to back off the mids a smidge. The key is to break them in, stretch them and play them. You will notice the change in character as each day goes by. I think you would be most satisfied with that arrangement.
  18. bassist4dalord

    bassist4dalord

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Woodstock, Illinois
    Try D'Addario Tapewounds. Low tension, warm, deep, smooth, fat and woody. Really fantastic strings. Your description of ideal tone sounds like what I'm getting from Tapes.
  19. Emibass

    Emibass

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    Madrid, Spain
    I have Sadowsky flats on my Jazz and it has a delicious tone. And IMO are quite modern sounding...
  20. PBnJBassist

    PBnJBassist

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    For that tone, I'd suggest Tapewounds as well. Any Tapewound will get that description except Fender tapes... those things are more like half-rounds IMO. Plus, tapes are CRAZY easy on the fingers - they bend with barely any effort, low-tension, and are nice and thick so the familiarity will still be there in terms of gauge size when going from the Jamerson set to a set of tapes. Not to mention the sounds are pleasant, warm, and IMO more articulate than any flatwound. No mud either.
  21. WilliamSandoval

    WilliamSandoval

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Is there silk on Sadowsky flats?

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