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5 string flats - reccomendations for a clear B

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ciudadmarron, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. ciudadmarron


    Oct 16, 2009
    I use roto77s on my 4 string and have a 5 string jazz with rounds. Really not into brightness and twanginess at all so i'm toying with the idea of sticking some flats on that too.

    But i'm wondering what that B string is going to sound like - how much definition/clarity do you get with it? What have people found are the best flats for that low end to maintain clear notes? Is it worth just buying a set of four and keeping the B as a roundwound even? Or is it even an issue? I know i know.. only one way to really find out, and that's try them. Just interested in peoples' viewpoints on it.

    I know the rotos aren't the darkest of flats btw, and i'll get round to trying some others soon... the thing is they just look too cool on my badly painted bass which has a black overcoat and red undercoat showing through. :D
  2. Well, I'm kinda going through this right now...in fact, I posted a similar post earlier last night.

    I use Labella Deep Dalkin' Flats on my Ibanez 5 and really like them. I wish they were just a touch brighter, but not much. However, they sound like crap on my Lakland. :mad:

    I just tried a set of D'Addario Chromes on my Lakland, last night. I disliked the low B so much I put the stock B from Lakland back on and kept the bottom 4 Chromes. Which means, I have a .130 low B D'Addario Chrome...if someone wants to throw me a few dollars for + shipping.
  3. IMO Flatwound B's are tough to work with.

    I liked the B on the TI's pretty well as it balanced OK with the rest of the set. When I was playing an SR, I liked Chromes gaged 45-105 with their 130 B. However, the standard 5 string Chromes set is 40-100. I have yet to try that combo on my P5.

    I find that I can deal with almost any string set if the tone is consistent across the set. If the B is deader sounding than the rest, it doesn't work well. I recently moved away from flats on my P5 for that reason and went to the Circle K Strings balanced set of rounds (tapered B E and A with a .136 B). It's easier to EQ out the zing than to even up the sound.

    That said, I would love to find some flats that the B worked for me. I have tried the LaBella FL's, the Chromes standard 5 string set, and TI's. I would like to try the heavier LaBella's...
  4. PSPookie

    PSPookie Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    Not flats but might be what you're looking for: LaBella tapewound
    When I find myself a thump monster I usually have a significant internal debate about whether to string it with flats or tapes. Tends to go about 50/50 either way.

    If you're committed to flats then I would suggest Chromes for clarity. I love the uper four strings on the TI's but the B is a bit muddy, IMO/IME.
  5. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Had this same problem with Chromes on my SR5... liked the top 4 strings, but the B was indistinct and muddy... not my cup of tea at all.
  6. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    DR High Beam Flats
  7. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    How is the low B on the Sadowsky flats?

    How about the Carvin flats?
  8. PluckyThump


    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    The GHS Precision Flats B and TI Jazz Flats B are my favorites so far. I dislike the Chromes B, too stiff and thuddy. I'm going to try the Labellas next time, if I ever need another set of 5-string flats.
  9. I don't like the Chrome B with the standard 5 string set. However, the .130 B with the .050-.105 set balances very well. I had that setup on my old Stingray 5 for two years (same set for that whole time) and the same gages are working very well on the P5 now.
  10. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I'm not finding the 5 string GHS set. I see the Carvin set that people said is made by GHS.
  11. jhines


    Oct 16, 2009
    Columbia, SC
    Well, I will throw in my two cents, I suppose. I had Rotosound Jazz 77 (RS775LD) on my Carvin LB75AP [with J99a single coils] and really liked the sound. I have a set of round wound on now but am really thinking of switching back. The Jazz 77 low B is a fairly high tension .130 string. I don't recall finding it to be terribly out of balance or muddy. I will say that I played mostly with the bridge pickup and the piezo at that time.

    With that said, I would do it again (but now I have the SB-2 that may get the flats treatment leaving the rounds and their inherent sound to the jazz for a while longer).
  12. PluckyThump


    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    I guess the B string is only available as a single, it's .126 guage.

  13. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Ah, thanks man!!! Wouldn't have found that. I love these strings on my 50s P. Thinking about a set for my Squier Jazz V.

    Thanks again for the heads up.
  14. I'm sure someone has mentioned La Bella by now so...

    +1 La Bella. I switched from them after playing Chromes and DR's and it's definitely the best flatwounds out there.
  15. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    A roundwound B? Interesting.

    I like Chromes, but the .132 B has never sounded very good to my ears.
  16. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    The TI flat B has done me well on two different basses. The only other flat B I have tried is the 130 Sadowsky. On my SX 5 string J it sounds horrible. But it may be the SX as I have not tired the Sadowsky B anywhere else.
  17. bassdaddyfive


    Feb 12, 2009
    Kenosha Wi.
    +2 on the La Bella 5 string set, the best I have tried. The low B is tapered over the bridge a big plus for clarity.
  18. No the regular chrome B string (.132 I guess), but with the .050-.105 G thru E instead of the set they sell at Juststrings.com for five string basses (.045-.100 or whatever).

    BTW I have tried round B's with flats and it almost works.
  19. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    That's interesting too.
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