Good Flatwounds for Musicman Stingray

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Jiegel, Feb 6, 2013.


  1. Jiegel

    Jiegel Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Howdy,

    I want my Stingray5 to sound a little more thumpy - like an old p bass - as much as possible.

    I'm thinking as a last resort before I sell it, flatwounds could help.

    Has anyone ever successfully added balls to their Musicman with flatwounds? And if so, which brand would you recommend? I got a Stingray 5 so it's gotta have 5 strings.

    Thanks!

    Jeremy
  2. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've never put flats on a Ray, but if thumpy is what you're after, I'd suggest LaBellas.

    In the long run, a Ray will never sound like a P-bass, but I get where you're coming from.
  3. Jiegel

    Jiegel Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Rad thanks for the rec. I'm curious as to whether the Light guage strings still have some thump to them or if i'm taking one step forward and two steps back by switching to flats but going down in thickness.

    thoughts?
  4. bassist4dalord

    bassist4dalord

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Woodstock, Illinois
    Try D'Addario Chromes. They're said to be good on a Stingray because they don't sound like a traditional flat.
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  6. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I use lighter flats, myself, and don't think it has a huge impact on the inherent sound of the strings, but like so many topics here on TB, YMMV! :)
  7. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
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    OP is looking for "thumpy". Chromes aren't very thumpy.
  8. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Location:
    Durham NC
    You will never get "thumpy" from a Stingray with flats.

    Flats on EBMM basses sound, to me, more "focused" than thumpy.

    Just an informal observation, but Chromes, Fender, or TI Jazz Flats seem to be the most popular flats on Rays here on TalkBass.

    You want as thumpy as you can get on a Ray? GHS Precision, La Bella, or Pyramid.
  9. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    US
    This. Also, for a better version of this focused tone, a set of dead steel rounds works betters -- IMO.
  10. Jiegel

    Jiegel Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Thanks for the chatter.

    My main issue with the Stingray is that playing the D and G strings might as well be playing a regular guitar - they are just not bassy at all. Vs. playing those strings on my P bass has some nice heart and soul to the sound.

    just want a more full, warm, bass guitar sound.
  11. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    US
    Unfortunately, if you are looking for a P bass type tine, the Stingray may not be for you.
  12. Ron G

    Ron G

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    Portsmouth, VA
    You have to check this out:

  13. Jiegel

    Jiegel Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Wow - it's like someone made this video just for me.

    labella's sounded most like what i'm looking for - i'm gonna order a set. anybody have thoughts on Light vs Standard gauge?

    @king_biscuit - yeah i'm aware that stingray ain't the right instrument for this sound...but i already have it so i'm trying one last ditch effort to make its sound relevant for me before selling it.
  14. Ron G

    Ron G

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    Portsmouth, VA
    I would use the same gauge you have on your bass that way you don't have to replace or rework your nut.
  15. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

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    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    You haven't mentioned whether or not you've tried flats before but be aware that the La Bellas tend to have very high tension. If you're used to playing typical roundwounds the feel will be very different. Personally, I'd try the chromes first. They're easy to find and usually the cheapest. Also, in the video note that the guy has a mute (piece of sponge or something) back by the bridge which impacts what you here on the video.

    I'm mostly a Pbass guy and recently bought a SR5. I'm still learning about how to get different tones but so far I've found using the middle or neck position on 3 position switch and dialing back the treble and tweaking the bass and mids controls can get me pretty close.
  16. CapnSev

    CapnSev Supporting Member

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    TI flats will suit your needs perfectly IMO. They sound rich and full on the G and D strings, and the low tension works great for your right hand positioning on the Stingray.
  17. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'd suggest going with the LaBellas, but one guage lighter than what you use for rounds. The tension will feel similar to what you're used to.

    If you go with the same guage, the tension will be much higher than what you're used to.
  18. Jiegel

    Jiegel Supporting Member

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    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Awesome thanks everyone.

    I ordered a set of the LaBella Light gauge (0.43 - 0.128). Doesn't seem as though they make a standard gauge, so by default i ended up going with one gauge lighter than i normally play. I've played flats before so i knew the feel would be tougher without going down in gauge.

    I'll post back here in a couple weeks after I get a chance to play around with them.
  19. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

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    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    I had an SR5 for years and really liked Chromes in the .050-.105 gage with a .130 B. I thought the regular Chrome five string set didn't balance as well with the B.
  20. Silver Blues

    Silver Blues

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Atlantic Canada
    Flats on a Ray won't sound like a P, it'll sound like flats on a Ray, which is actually pretty nice. I've heard nice Rays with Chromes, that'd be my pick.

    How about tapes? You could try some D'ads so you don't have to widen your nut.

    --Silvie
  21. armybass

    armybass Roscoe Bass Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2001
    Location:
    Colonial Heights, Virginia
    I can tell you from first hand experience that TI Flats sound fantastic on a 4 band Stingray or any EBMM.....

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