A flatwound problem

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Ciacchi, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Ciacchi


    Mar 14, 2017
    So recently I discovered the joy of flatwounds, and decided to stick to them. I got a pack of GHS Precision Flatwounds and immediately loved the sound and the feel. I thought about not changing them for a very long time. But suddenly yesterday during rehearsal, after only 7 months of use, the A string broke while playing with the thumb.

    I now must replace the strings and have some questions. I actually felt that the strings were a bit fragile for some time, as if their surface was slightly "peeling". I'm inclined to think that they were not as solid as I thought. I'd like your opinion on which flatwounds you prefer in terms of durability. I usually prefer medium to heavy gauge, and the sound I play with my jazzbass style instrument is with both pickups on maximum and tone knob on zero. I can try pressure wounds instead of flats if someone gives me a very good reason.

    Long question short: I want to buy a flatwound that will last for a very long time, since GHS lasted less than I expected. Which one should it be?
  2. Just curious...
    Did it break right at the bridge? Did you have them strung top-loaded or thru-body?
    DrayMiles likes this.
  3. Ciacchi


    Mar 14, 2017
    Yes, it kinda "unknit" right at the bridge. It's a top-loaded Badass gold bridge
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Check for a burr or some other thing that is cutting into the string.
    rwkeating, ExaltBass, ICM and 4 others like this.
  5. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I tried Precision Flats last month and the G String broke at the post on installation. I just ordered a second set. This will be my last attempt. Sorry for your bad experience. It's hard to use a product once you lose confidence in it. Ive used other brands for decades with no such issues. Hoping my second time is a better experience.
    tjh and joinercape like this.
  6. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    My La Bella flats are about a year and a half old and show no signs of wear. They sound and feel excellent.
  7. It's extremely rare to read about the GHS P Flats breaking, or any GHS strings for that matter. In fact, I can't recall any other posts regarding this particular issue with them in the last four and a half years I've been hanging around here.
  8. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Same here. This is the first I've heard of a GHS breakage.
    Root 5 likes this.
  9. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Well I hope it's my last post about GHS Precision Flats breaking. Any company manufacturing any product is likely to put out a defective item occasionally. I'm hoping my next set will be a good one and can show me some GHS PF love.
    jchrisk1 likes this.
  10. oMetaloHead


    Jul 9, 2013
    I use D'Addario chromes on a few of my basses, and one time the D string broke at the bridge (top load) when only about 9 months old (it was during a gig too, but I managed the rest of the show haha) it was definitely a bummer since I'd never heard of flatwounds breaking in under a year of use, but sometimes things just happen. In general I like experimenting with new strings and change brands every 6 months or so, but even if they don't last many years, I still prefer 6 months of beautiful flatwound tone, over roundwounds that need to be changed every couple weeks for a good tone. It sucks that for heavy players they don't always last as long as the stories say they do, but I still love them.
    ThePresident777, mrcbass and armybass like this.
  11. thorne_92

    thorne_92 Inactive

    Mar 10, 2013
    I have sadowsky black labels and while they're the first flats I've ever played I love them and don't think I'll go back to rounds on a P again.
    Klonk, anotherhomeysan and TheBear like this.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Can't say I've ever had any flat string I've used (Gibson, LaBella, Fender, TI, GHS, or D'Addario) break on me in 40+ years of playing.

    Hopefully what you experienced is just a fluke.
  13. SPYD3R9


    Sep 3, 2017
    i use Daddario Flats on my Acoustic bass, it almost five years now, still solid
    ThePresident777 and mrcbass like this.
  14. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    I have broken two flatwound strings in 45+ years ... both were GHS Precision flats, and both G strings upon transferring (used) strings from one bass to another ... they do seem more brittle than any of the other dozen or so brands of flats I have used ... I never had an issue with their initial installation, so I simply came to the conclusion to consider them a string that is not one that likes to be switched from bass to bass ...
    Ciacchi likes this.
  15. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy...

    Last time I remember breaking a string, it was back around 1997 ; a round wound G string that I must have plucked the living daylights out of. I would chalk up the broken GHS A string to bad luck or technique or both. If you like them, just get a new single A string (or new set if you must), and carry on thumping my friend........

    P.S. For some reason my phone autocorrect suggested the word "thumpingredients" instead of thumping. I must say, the idea of a new word called "Thumpingredients" is more than mildly attractive to me.....:smug:
  16. velalv

    velalv Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Woodbridge, VA
    I have had TI Jazz flats on mine for 4 years now of frequent use with no problems at all. Probably just a defective one. Good luck.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  17. D'addaro Chromes on a couple, Fender Flats on a couple of others. ..no probs with these and they've been on for more than a year. GHS Precision flats on one P bass for 8 months, again, no issues.
    So I'd agree, & think that you've either got a burr or problem with yr bridge saddle or just got a bad string.
    But. .if you wanna try other types. .. there's plenty of info in this forum.
    Fender Flats are brighter than GHS Precision flats. ..especially straight outta the box. Same with Chromes. ..but both settle into bring great sounding flats. TI's are also great, but I don't often spend the extra $$ on those. ..but. ..they do last long time. ...& thus negating the expense? ?? up to you.
    I like Fender Flats. .probably best. .. but TI's, Chromes are both good. Labella are real thumpy...like GHS Precision flats
    Everyone has their favorite and they all have their merits. For me. ..both Fender Flats and Chromes are a great buy for the price.
  18. physics


    Aug 7, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    I've been using Chromes on my T'bird for the last couple of years with no problems.
    ThePresident777 likes this.
  19. AztecViking

    AztecViking Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    EndlessSummerVille, CA
    Slapping with flats is highly underrated. Just sayin'. :cool:
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  20. basted


    Jul 22, 2017
    Hobart , Tasmania
    Years ago I put a Badass bridge on my bass and broke several strings, roundwounds not flats. Had to improve the angle that the string crossed the bridge to solve the problem. I used to dig in with a pick, probably too hard.
    Could it be that?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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