What's the best flatwound string, Labella, TI's or GHS?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Richard Sabines, Nov 7, 2012.


  1. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    I have chromes on a p bass and I like them, but I want to go for a more classic "thump". I would like high tension (I've tried rotos 77's in the past, loved them but they are not that "thumpy")

    I love how the TI's sound on some records from Pino Palladino, but I have read that they are the lowest tension flats out there so it would be a con.

    From what I've read, Labella`s and GHS flats are what I need,

    opinions?
  2. Ross Kratter

    Ross Kratter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Try LaBella's... they make their flats in a few different gauges...Jamerson's were 52-110...I think mine are 45-105. Have then on my P and then on my J5 which is 45-130.
  3. Shakin-Slim

    Shakin-Slim

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Tauranga, New Zealand
    You'll get responses as varied as the strings themselves. Personally, I like GHS Precision Flats. Good tension, nice and stiff without being ridiculous, they are SMOOOOTH and full of vintage thump. Also slightly more affordable than many other brands.
  4. soulman969

    soulman969

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    There is no such thing as best in a comparison of those strings. They all have slightly different characteristics and it just comes down to the preference of the player for one over another.

    I use GHS PFlats, another guys is gonna tell you La Bella's are better but more expensive and yet another will swear by the lower tension of TIs and the fact that he's heard Pino plays them.

    Play the ones you like best based on your tastes and how you like your bass to play. If you don't want a low tension string then you're right. Don't buy a set of TIs and make an expensive mistake. Either the GHS or LaBellas would be a better choice.
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  6. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    I'm between Labella's and GHS's but man, that TI's sounds on the albums are pure heaven

    I think for the feel and high tension I would go with GHS's, but they have mixed reviews around here. Labella's seem to have more positive reviews, so I don't know...
  7. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    maybe my question has to be: what's the closest flatwound string in sound and thump to the TI's without the low tension?
  8. soulman969

    soulman969

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    I don't know. It's a subjective opinion. Try a set of GHS Precision Flats. They're a bit less expensive than the La Bellas and if those don't do the trick you know what to go to.


    I think for the feel and high tension I would go with GHS's, but they have mixed reviews around here. Labella's seem to have more positive reviews, so I don't know...


    This is also completely false. There are as just many players around here who play and love their GHS PFlats as those who like LaBellas. http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f16/ghs-precision-flats-*angels-singing*-927931/

    They are both excellent strings.
  9. shackled

    shackled

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Western NY
    Another vote for GHS Ps.
  10. One Drop

    One Drop Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Location:
    Swiss Alps
    Similar to TIs but moe thump says Chromes or Fenders to me.

    Thumpiest are probably big gauge LaBellas.
  11. NickLomango

    NickLomango

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Location:
    Recife - Brazil
    I have LaBellas DTB 760FS and GHS PFlats Med on 2 different basses right now and even though both are nice IMO LaBellas fit me better.... The little extra cash make them worth it. YMMV
  12. gary m

    gary m

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Mid -Atlantic
    GHS, no question. I use them on all my basses except my Hofner Club, which wears its Pyramid/Hofner factory flats.
  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Media:
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    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    Just let the Chromes deaden up. They don't really start into thump until a couple of months playing time for me. I change 'em only when they won't intonate which can be a couple of years. The break in period for flats seems to me to be a lot longer than for rounds. The life span is also way longer ...

    TI's... Not really thumpy but awfully nice to play on. More complex harmonically than most, if not all other flats. Really a nice rich, woody tone when they break in. The low tension thing can be addictive when you get the feel for it. At 57, with a touch of arthritis, playing with a lighter touch becomes part of your reality... So going back and forth between Jazz Flats, Chromes and tape wounds from LaBella and D'addario isn't really a problem for me.

    I always have one bass strung up with TI's though that bass might not get as much use as some others. It's more a matter of the gig's I do than playing preference at this point. More of mine are better done with tapewounds or dead Chromes...

    Developing a light touch early may help extend your playing career... I know a couple of guitarists that were advised by their docs to drop string guages for that reason.
  14. Root 5

    Root 5

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Location:
    Earth
    1) GHS Precision flats: Very smooth looking & feeling and they have lots of warm vintage thump.

    2) Labella Original 1954 'Jamerson' flats in .052 - .110. Same qualities as above but not quite as smooth looking or feeling - but still very nice. More $$

    D'Addario Chromes are nice too but they're a little too bright sounding for the tone I want.

    Pyramid flats are nice, too.
  15. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    In addition to the above:

    Ernie Balls will thump out very quickly.

    Fender 9050's, especially the CL set, have more growl.

    D'Addarios start bright, but also thump out after aging. Just turn your tone knob down a couple of numbers for the first few gigs.
  16. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Elk River, MN.
    I just put a set of Sadowsky Black Label flats on my new P5.
    I have used about every kind of flat on the market and these have become my new favorite.
  17. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007

    I love chromes(6 months old) to death, they are perfect for what they do (not exactly thumpy), I have them on a j bass, I have a daddario XL rounds on a p bass, GHS pressurewounds on another P and fu%$n love them too. I have another p bass that I want to try with a flatwound with more classic thump, I want the note go dead faster, not like the chromes that still has a little sustain.

    Man I love the next examples of what I want, but I think those are TI's due to the red silk ends (I don't think they are 77's rotosounds), as I said before I like high tension and I'm looking for a similar tone than these videos:

  18. Marial

    Marial Pooped Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I would email Jason at bassstringsonline. I was in a similar place, I liked the sound of the TIs but not the low tension and I liked the sound of Chromes but not the high tension. He recommended Sadowsky's flats. I haven't put them on the bass yet, they just arrived yesterday and I haven't had time, but they were the strings he recommended.
  19. One Drop

    One Drop Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Location:
    Swiss Alps
    Sadowskys are amazing, decent thump and similar to LaBellas with a bit moe growl and definition.
  20. soulman969

    soulman969

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    Good advice here!
  21. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 1999
    In case you havent tried many flats, you should know that NO other flats sound or feel like TIs, so if youre going to buy other strings seeking that, be prepared to spend a lot.

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