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51 Tele strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Burwabit, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    Just picked up a reissue Japanese 51 telecaster bass from 1990 (K series). It's in bad need of a good setup. Want to chose strings to go with - flat or round.

    My current bass lineup is listed in my profile (Ps, Js, fretless, etc). I feel like I have a good variety of coverage. All wear rounds other than the Cowpoke P/J and the fretless Warwick. SO, I'm thinking this would be cool to do a vintage thumpy flat sound with a vintage style bass. Strongly favoring flats but want to make a good decision.

    Anyone run rounds on this style bass and prefer them over flats? Would I miss some amazing dynamic that was only discovered with these basses after rounds came, uh, around?


    Attached Files:

  2. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    I have a MIJ 51 reissue and I chose to use GHS precision flats. My thinking was that back then, the original Squire company (a company with a common ancestor to GHS I believe) made the original flats that were used. In other words, I was trying to match the original intent. I really do like those strings on that bass - very good, deep sounding flats. However, I have thought about using rounds as well - my 51 has a very full aggressive sound to it, so part of me wonders what it might sound like if I tried to maximize that aspect with rounds. One other note, I also thought about using LaBella flats (the 54 Jameson flats that I have on my MIA 57 reissue), but they do not recommend them for stringing through the body.
  3. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    Ken smith Compressors.
    Flat like thump,with more top end.
    More defined.
  4. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    +1 for GHS flats. They're THE string for Fender basses.
  5. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    Thanks for the input guys. Good things to ponder and research. Can't wait to get it set up.
  6. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I run rounds on my SCPB for that ZZ Top grind.
  7. cricman


    Feb 23, 2013
    West of Dallas
    This won't help you in the least with your search for sonic harmony, but I will throw it out there anyway. I have Rotosound 66s on my early 1990s MIJ '51 Reissue. I have always played rounds on it and have always liked the output and ability to push them to an aggressive sound as well as the brightness and upper middle punch. Having said that, I have an Asian 56 clone with a Blues Tribute vintage pickup and just put on my first set of flatwounds ever; D' Addario Chromes. I have to say that I love the thumpy fullness and smooth mellowness and was surprised that I didn't lose much of the brightness overtones.

    So in conclusion, get another single coil P Bass and string one with rounds and one with flats. Or, a more economical option, get a value set of flat wounds and play them for 90 days. If you hate them it probably only cost you 25¢ to 40¢ a day for the insight.

  8. There are two distinct variation of the 68 - 79 Fender Telecaster bass. The first 68 - 71 was similar to the bass you have pictured. It is a reissue of the the original 51 Precision design design with a one single coil pickup in the middle position. The second Telecaster bass 71 -79 uses one humbucker close to the neck. On a humbucker equipped Tele bass I'd recommend rounds unless you're looking for a muddy sound.

    Your photo is of some variation of an early 50's Precision, (check this Fender page) I go with flats all the way, especially if your looking for the authentic vintage sound. Fender originally shipped the early 50's Precisions with La Bella flats. On my 51ri Precision I've always use D'Addario Chromes, the more "broken in" the better. It will take several months before they even start to have that woody fat sound, but once broken in they they last for many many years. The GHS Precision flats are also a good choice but a little dark for my tastes. YMMV
  9. OOOh. Early 90s is the first gen MIJ reissue and it's the shiz. Mine's an L series.

    I've tried most of the above and I prefer TI JFs for it's softer expressive feel. Strings are purely personal preference .... and I found mine. :)
  10. BBQV


    Feb 13, 2010
    Uppsala, Sweden
    I've had several SCPB-basses and I prefer flats. Right now I use GHS Precision Flats and LaBellas sounds good too. I like the sound of Chromes, but they're too short for the string through construction, the wrappning might go past the nut...
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You should use the absolute brightest sounding roundwounds on the market for it, just because everyone thinks you should use flats. But Chromes in long scale work on thru-body Fenders. I bought a couple sets and tried them on my 09 AmStd Precision.
  12. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    Thanks for the links...
  13. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    I support this notion.

    The thing is, these things have the pickup positioned toward the neck and they don't have much sparkle in the pickup either. Unless you are really into the bear-in-the-woods walking line sound, or need a bass dedicated to it, I would use some of the brighter strings out there.
  14. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    After doing more research, I ended up going with the KS Compressors 44-102. Gigged them last night. Wow, I was blown away by the feel and the sound. Perfect balance for the 51 Precision. Very good recommendation. Thanks Mojo-Man!

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