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Quest for mysterious flatwound string

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Anton Johannes, Jan 27, 2013.


  1. Anton Johannes

    Anton Johannes

    Sep 25, 2007
    Denmark
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1mh8OBr31mqzjciKXZP_T9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

    The picture shows my Hofner bass with Pyramid flatwounds (makers of original Höfner strings) except the E-string which is an old string which I would love to identify, since its tone is amazing.

    Pyramid is a very soft and flexible string compared to other flatwounds I have tried, but the sound is very dark with little sustain and note definition.

    The mystery string (dark purple silk wrapping) is even more flexible, has a silvery shine and has a VERY strong sound compared to Pyramid: Twice the volume, strong midrange, bright and good note definition (and this is a very old string found on pawn-shop bass).

    If interested I could link to a song I recorded with these mystery strings - they really sound quite different!

    I am especially curious about the silvery shine of the string - can you still buy strings with this look?

    Cheers,
    Johs
     
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
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  4. Anton Johannes

    Anton Johannes

    Sep 25, 2007
    Denmark
    Wow, I really hope the quest is this easy. Will check out the chromes, which I haven't tried.

    On hollow-body + dark sounding basses (Gibson EB-0), the mystery strings work great to bring the sound out of the dark. I love the Pyramids for a deep P-bass type sound on my mid-scale Ric 3001.

    Cheers,
    Johs
     
  5. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Dark purple silk?

    Chromes have a medium blue silk wrap.

    Purple wrap sounds like GHS Precision Flats to me.

    Do you have a good pic of the color of the wrap? Is there silk on both the tuner end and the bridge end of the string?
     
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    I agree that the purple silk is more in line with GHS but Chromes have that shiny appearance that GHS flats don't have. As always, IMO, YMMV, LMFAO.
     
  7. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I agree. GHS may have purple silk but to my eye it isn't really "dark" purple. You can't reasonably describe the GHS set as "flexible" either.
     
  8. I suspect what you have there is an old Dr. Thomastik Jazz flatwound string. Back in the 80's (and probably earlier) the Thomastiks came in a retro-looking purple envelop and had deep purple silks. In the 90's they switched to black silks and then switched again to their current red silks.

    The Thomastiks are very mid-rangey, have good definition and are quite flexible. Probably one of the most flexible strings you'll find. That's why they are so polarizing. They will also still sound good after a long time. I've left a set on one of my basses for over a decade. I love them.
     
  9. Anton Johannes

    Anton Johannes

    Sep 25, 2007
    Denmark
  10. Very similar in color to the silks on my Ken Smith Slicks which is the same as the GHS. I'd guess GHS Precision as well...
     
  11. vickde

    vickde

    Jul 23, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Look down inside the string where it's bent into a curve. Is that white silk I see in there? If it is, it's probably the TI. The TI flats have silk as part of the string - a carryover from their upright tech.
     
  12. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I knew TI's came with black silk and thought they might have also come in purple at one point but wasn't sure enough to speculate out loud. I'd bet this is what the OP has on his bass. Since he's said it was more flexible than the Pyramids, very shiny and the silk is dark purple I'm 100% sure it isn't a GHS.
     
  13. Anton Johannes

    Anton Johannes

    Sep 25, 2007
    Denmark
    Yes, there is white silk inside the winding of the metal strands... Hadn't noticed until know.

    - Johs
     
  14. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    If that's silk inside the string, they are almost certainly the JF 324 set of TI Jazz Flats.
     
  15. Anton Johannes

    Anton Johannes

    Sep 25, 2007
    Denmark
    I have just ordered a set of JF 324 TI Jazz Flats. I will report back if this does not end my quest for the mystery string...

    Thanks to all for sharing your experience!!!


    Cheers,
    Johs
     
  16. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2012
    Boston
    Even if they arent the TI flats I am sure you will love them....probably the best strings made!
     
  17. Handyman

    Handyman

    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Almost certainly a TI flat, then. I've not aware of any other flats that have that sort of construction.
     
  18. Peacefrog35

    Peacefrog35 Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Indianapolis
    I'm sorry I can't help alot on the string mystery,but would sure love to see add'l pics of that bass!
     
  19. Anton Johannes

    Anton Johannes

    Sep 25, 2007
    Denmark
    Yiihaaa!

    They most certainly were TI flats!!!!!

    The new set I bought have a more perfect surface than my vintage set, but the sound is there - very becoming on a short-scale hollowbody bass if you are looking for great note-definition and a bit of grind.

    I tried them on my EB-0 as well, but first impression is that they become a bid too midrangy. For know I will keep the GHS Brite Flats on. I don't enjoy their sticky feel, but after a lot of playing they get better.

    The Pyramid (Höfner) flatwounds are still a great string, if you are looking for a really dark vintage sound. I like them a lot on my Rickenbacker 3001.

    Thanks to all!!!!

    - Johs
     
  20. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    'Flexible' leaves D'Addario out of the equation. The old TI theory seems very plausible. The way you described it, I was thinking TI the whole time, but didnt know they were producing electric bass strings that far back. Pretty cool if you have an early one there.
     



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