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Which flats are bright and stay bright(ish) with age?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by OzzyGreg, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. OzzyGreg

    OzzyGreg Supporting Member

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    I love D'Addario Chromes because they are quite bright sounding for a flatwound.
    The set I have on one of my Jazz basses seems to be staying fairly bright with age, though to be honest it's not my "play every day" bass.

    I also like Rotosound SM77s for the same reason. (ie. they're bright too ...... apart from the D and G on my set, but that's another story.)
    I've had them on my P-bass for a couple of weeks.
    I've read that they lose that brightness pretty quickly, which is going to annoy me if/when that happens.

    Which flatwound strings do YOU find are bright and stay fairly bright for a long time?
    Does such a beast exist?

    (NB. I like the feel of flats, I know rounds are brighter!)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Duckwater

    Duckwater

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    The new Fender flats, and then Chromes
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    TI Jazz Flats. What's interesting to me is that D'Addario categorizes their Chromes as warm and mellow. They do sound fairly bright to me on my Roscoe Beck V, but they're new. The TI Jazz Flats on my LeCompte VB5 are definitely bright and my experience with them is that they retain their brightness for a long time.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Ya, TI's never go dead. Had a set on for 4 months once and they never changed their sound at all. Chromes and Rotos start out bright but they go dead.
  5. milo

    milo

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    The new Fender flats
  6. atracksler

    atracksler Supporting Member

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    ive been playing the pyramids lately and looooove the tone. worth every cent.
  7. iiipopes

    iiipopes

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    +1 for Fender Flats. I use the 9050CL set. My set has been on two different basses for over two years and I still gig them.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Some of you are just answering the question with your own favorite type of flats.
  9. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

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    IMO, flats sound much better when they get old and "dead". I hate new Chromes, but love them after 6 months or so. My flats stay on for years and years.

    But to the OP, maybe you should consider half-rounds. They'd probably stay brighter longer.
  10. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

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    If you really like bright sounding "flats", may I ask have you ever tried D'addario black nylon tapewounds (ETB92)? Lots of the same things people like in new flats -- no squeaky strings, deep clear fundamental, etc. But, they also have great harmonics and seem to stay bright a lot longer than any flats I've ever tried. If you have not tried tapes recently, you may want to give these a shot. My 2 cents.
  11. Lo-E

    Lo-E

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    Mine have clocked a couple years already and still sound pretty bright. A lot of upper mids with TIs.

    The Rotos are very bright at first but, IME, go really dead not long afterward.
  12. u84six

    u84six Supporting Member

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    What he said. These are pretty bright, as are the DR Legends and GHS Brite Flats.
  13. Feral Feline

    Feral Feline

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    So, business at TB as per usual then? So many dogpiles of late whatever the sub-forum whereby few fully address the OP's criteria when advice is solicited, in regards to price-points, features, weights, aesthetics etc...

    Then there's the idjits who've nothing to contribute and clog up the thread with vapid posts, such as this one. :bag:

    Okay, okay... with no flats experience, I'll attempt a constructive post anyway. I found an old issue of Bass Player magazine at a used bookstore, from 1998. The mag had a shoot-out of 144 strings, mostly roundwounds and lots of 5-string sets, so not that many flatwounds. Here's a few potential options for the OPer based on what I read in the OP and in the mag...

    Other than the Flats already mentioned in the thread, there was only one other flatwound set that matched the OP's criteria.

    — GHS Brite Flats: "Maximum throb, semi-present highs, and superb sustain. Good tic-tac pick tones."


    A few groundwound and compression-wound offerings that might fit the bill:

    — Alembic CX3/45L compression-wound: Nickels, "Big tone; lean bottom, punchy mids, and a brilliant top. Excellent balance for fingerstyle and slapping. Live, defined pick sound – even on Drop-D tuning"

    — D'Addario half round series II ground-wound: "Flatwound-like warmth with a precise top and healthy sustain. Clicky pick sounds."

    — D'Angelico Smoothround Bass Hits ground-wound: "Smooth tone with a glassy top. Semi-dry finish" [what the... "semi-dry finish" :confused:]

    — GHS Pressurewound: "Good compromise set for fingerstyle/pick. Bright and tight with a smooth surface. Strong mids with strong presence."


    For what it's worth, I didn't include a couple of sets that said "Semi-Bright", which is what the Thomastik-Infelds were described as. DR Legends weren't even mentioned.

    As I've yet to try flats on bass geetar :ninja:, but my requirements seem to mirror the OP's, and despite the "semi-bright" comment from Bass Player mag, I'll take Munji's and Jimmy's advice and try the TI flats if can find them here.

    OzzyGreg, best of luck finding your strings. Let me know if you want the info on the other "semi-brights".
  14. OzzyGreg

    OzzyGreg Supporting Member

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    I'm appreciating all of the feedback guys, thank you!

    Re: TIs.... I forgot to mention that I have a set of these on my Rick. I don't find them as bright as Chromes.

    By my experience, Chromes and (new) Roto SM77s seem to have exactly the level of brightness I'm looking for.
    But for how long?

    In essence, it's just the length of time that various bright flats stay bright that I'm enquiring about.

    I seek a set of flatwound bass strings that are bright out of the packet and stay bright. As much as is possible anyway.
  15. bluesblaster

    bluesblaster

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    Brite flats-the name says it all. I tried a set of these once and hated them, If I want bright strings than I play rounds, if I want warm and thumpy I play flats.
  16. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

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    9/10 threads on TB. :)
  17. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

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    Chromes are the brightest, ime, at first. TIs stay the brightest the longest.

    If you're willing to change them as often as most change rounds, go with Chromes. And at $25 or so a set, it's not a bank breaker.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    So what else should they recommend?
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Something that actually fits the bill?
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    OK, I'm sticking with my favorites: TI Jazz Flats.

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