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Newbie tries Chromes

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Natman, Feb 14, 2014.


  1. Natman

    Natman

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Hey all, I feel like sharing my experience. It's a newbie experience and my opinion is not worth much, but just for the heck of it, maybe some other newbies can relate. Here goes:

    I finally got me a bass after 18 years of guitar. Squier VM Jaguar bass second hand for a steal. Hooray. Got the strings off in a hurry and replaced with Blue Steel medium lights. Why? Because I know the guitar strings have a little bit more character/color/flavor than most run of the mill brand pure nickel or nickel plated. Then I see that they make both stainless and nickel plated. Ooops, I had not noticed that, but what I bought was stainless. I did not file the nut or anything, just did intonation. It was a big improvement over the "stock" strings (can't really say as I have no idea what they were but they were dead as a doornail).

    My amp is a Rumble 100 2x10 with Eminence BP102's in it. The speakers don't have a whole lot of highs FWIW.

    Then I replaced the bridge on my Jag with a Fender high mass type (Badass clone) off ebay. This was a big tonal improvement which made the bass sound like a higher quality instrument; more attack, deeper tone and more sustain.

    Then I got a P/J set of Fralins second hand and wired them in. Who the heck puts Fralins on a Squier? What a newb. I have done a LOT of pickup swapping on guitars and I know it makes a huge difference so I just did it and they deliver the goods. Righteous P tone and righteous J tone, couldn't ask for more (except maybe the split J to kill hum).

    Then I finally bought Chromes in medium. On guitar, I only like flatwound for jazz and I don't play much jazz anymore. The effect on bass is nearly the same, with deadened sustain but these are surprisingly bright (as everyone says). I had to tighten the truss rod a quarter turn. The tone all-around is fatter and I find it's just right for bass. I personally do not think that many players need all the treble available with roundwounds. Go ahead and flame me. Feel preference is another story.

    Now I don't really have bass chops yet, but I have ears and slapping is the most affected. You can't get the usual nice "boing" out of your thumb. Yeah, you can still do it but it's not as juicy. Everything else sounds as good or better to my ears. Really. You can get into that old school territory. You lose the finger noise and no annoying zing. I guess there is emphasis is on the fundamental like I have read people talking about. Tone is rich, sustain is still very good and flexible for most styles I can think of except where you NEED the zing and treble. To me that's not a bass' role in the band. Granted my amp is not very good at treble anyway.

    I even went back to the rounds, then put the Chromes back on and they are staying for a good long while until I feel like trying something new (and there are plenty other strings out there). I would not mind something a tad wee bit more boingy so I could get a nicer slap thing going, maybe I'll try rollerwound next? I didn't like halfrounds on guitar. I also don't see myself wanting to go any darker than this.

    A buddy of mine is a pro bass player and luthier (Pierre Erizias) and he will only use flats. I was skeptical because he goes for ultra-smooth sounds, no slapping in his style and a lot of fretless. His basses sing like no tomorrow. Now I won't have his chops for at least 20 years (if ever) but I like what I hear. So there you go -I'm a new convert. I would love to try a Portaflex or other all tube setup to hear this bass even more warm and vintagey.
     
  2. Big_E

    Big_E

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Great Choice of strings. I have Flats on all my basses, but I don't slap and pop. If I did Slap, I would have one bass with rounds for that. Rounds give more definition when slapped and popped than flats, IMO.
     
  3. M0ses

    M0ses

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Eastern Wisconsin
    Chromes are really cool. Think that's been well established around here. There are also other great strings out there. Yaaay.
     
  4. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass The Kirk Hammett of bass guitar! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    Lancaster, OH
    This has been my experience as well. I use active basses exclusively, and find that if I boost the treble all the way, I get the zing and spank needed for popping the strings. Otherwise, I leave it flat or sometimes cut it, for a more vintage flavor.

    Every time I've tried to go back to rounds, it lasts maybe a day, then I go back to flats. I kinda miss the automatic zing from rounds, but the flats are just so much beefier than the rounds.

    Oh, and I'm using Chromes on most of my basses... LOVE them!!
     
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  6. Matt_T

    Matt_T

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
    Location:
    Springdale, AR
    You might try Sadowsky flats at some point if you get tired of the Chromes. I had Chromes on my Carvin LB-70 for a couple of years when I was playing with an old school swing band but they had a lot of mids for that style of music.
     
  7. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: y'know, rhythm AND blues! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California, SoCal
    +1 on Sadowskys, recently discovered those thanks to TBer joinercape. Love the feel, the medium tension, and the tone. I put them on my #1, an American Standard Precision. Killer!! (BTW Jason stocks them at bassstringsonline.com, no affiliation.)

    And of course TI and La Bella get lots of TB love.

    Really great and informative post, OP! Welcome to the low end. :bassist:
     
  8. SasquatchDude

    SasquatchDude

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Congrats! Welcome to the dark side.
     
  9. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: y'know, rhythm AND blues! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California, SoCal
    +1 on Sadowskys, recently discovered those thanks to TBer joinercape. Love the feel, the medium tension, and the tone. I put them on my #1, an American Standard Precision. Killer!! (BTW Jason stocks them at bassstringsonline.com, no affiliation.)

    And of course TI and La Bella get lots of TB love.

    Really great and informative post, OP! Welcome to the low end. :bassist:
     
  10. gary m

    gary m

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Mid -Atlantic
    I'll put in a good word for GHS Precision Flats...incredibly smooth out of the box with medium-low tension. They mellow over time to an old school tone with plenty of thump.
     
  11. Root 5

    Root 5

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Location:
    Earth
    +1

    My desert island set of flats would be GHS.
     

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