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About flat wound strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Brock adcock, Dec 22, 2017.


  1. Brock adcock

    Brock adcock

    Jan 30, 2017
    Brock adcock
    Hello guys hope everyone is well. I just have something quick here. I recently bought one of the mim roadworn fender 50s pbasses. I was thinking about putting some flats on it. I currently have the stock round wound strings with a foam mute under the bridge. I like the sound of that. Anyway this is my question. Im worried about what the tension of flat wound strings might do to the neck. I know it will need adjustment but over time do you find yourself having to adjust a lot? That's basically what I'm worried about.
     
  2. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I dare say flats on a precision bass is fairly common. You'll be fine.
     
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    They've been using flats on Ps for over 50 years. That's why there are truss rods. There may be an adjustment, but once you have flats you like, they will be on the bass for years. Relax.
     
    Kro and LiquidMidnight like this.
  4. Flat are "stiffer" by nature compared to rounds; that's what people usually mean when they say "flats are high-tension". It doesn't necessarily mean they have more "tension" as in pulling weight. For example, the GHS Precision Flats 45-65-85-105 have the same pulling weight as the GHS Boomers 45-65-85-105.
    As long as you stay with light to medium gauges, you have nothing to worry about.
     
  5. Flats have never been a problem on my P, J, or Rick.

    Go for it.
     
  6. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Most flats come in various gauges from 95-40 and upwards, if you are concerned about tension pick one of the lightest gauges, you should be fine.
     
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  7. I had an Epi EB-0 and the La Bella 760's on it made it say uncle. Neck couldn't take 'em.

    Other than that any other flats I've tried have not been an issue except the relief might need a little tweak with an Allen wrench.

    But I haven't tried the really thick gauge flats either.
     
  8. 760-what? I think 760 just means "Deep Talkin' Bass flats"; the gauges are indicated by a suffix like FX, FL, FS, or FM. (There are also other suffixes for 5-string, scale length, and special cases like the Hofner Beatle Bass and the old string-through Mustang basses.) I know the Epi EB-0 is a low-budget MIC model, but I'd very surprised if it couldn't handle light gauge flats.

    My 2011 Gibson SG Standard bass, the US-made big brother of your EB-0, hasn't had any trouble with the 760FL-M set (light gauge, medium scale) that has been on it for the last two or three years. (I had to use medium scale because the first thing I did after buying the SG bass was to remove the horrible old Gibson three-point bridge and replace it with a HipShot SuperTone. It's a drop-in replacement. I think newer SG basses have a new bridge design that I hope is better than the one they used for 40+ years. I've only seen it in pictures, though, so I don't know.)

    For the OP: My MIM Jazz has La Bella 760FS strings, and my MIM Precision has a Rotosound RS77LD set. Both of these are standard gauge flats, .045"-.105". Both necks are holding up fine.
     
  9. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    The stock string could be Fender 7250 45-100 or 45-105.

    For close tension with Stock string, i would recommand Labella LTF4A (closet tension to stock string ) and TiJF344 (need conterclockwise 1/4 turn from stock string tension).
    For a little more tension (around 1/4 to 1/2 clockwise turn trussrod) , Fender 9050L , Sadowksy 40-100 BLK flat.
    For more than 1/2 to 1 turn trussrod, Labella 760FL , GHS M3050 and DR LEgend 45-105.

    If you prefer unbalance flatwound string , i highly recommend D'addario ECB81 !

    Hope help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  10. P bass necks can be used as pit props. Don't worry.
     
  11. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Kentucky
    What Andy said above. That's one of the great things about Pbasses--manly necks that don't wilt under pressure. I can't tell you the last time I had to adjust a Pbass neck. But I don't put bridge cables on so I can play like I'm hammering nails either.

    What Michael said as well and about stiffness not being the same as tension.

    Once you go flat you may never go back!
     
  12. bassgrackle

    bassgrackle Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2010
    Once you go flats you will never go back. I now have them on my Stingrays and Jazz Basses. The tone and feel is great.

    Whats everyones favorite flat? The ernie ball cobalt feel great.
     
  13. This is not always the case. I'm a living proof of that. ;)
     
  14. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    There's a picture around here somewhere of Leo Fender's shop foreman standing on a Precision Bass' neck, propped up between 2 chairs. And it supposedly didn't have the truss rod in it, either. Unless your neck is made of something that shouldn't have been used to make a neck in the first place; or it's actually broken, flat wound strings - or any other kind - aren't going to hurt it. Some people who switch to flats after always playing rounds, do sometimes have problems with the stiffness of flats, The usual solution is to go down a step from their preferred roundwound's gauge; ie, 40-100 instead of 45-105. Which will feel a little more "normal". In any case, making a truss rod adjustment during a setup brought on by changing from one brand/type/gauge to another brand/type/gauge is perfectly normal, and should be expected. And, no, none of my basses - regardless of the strings - need much tinkering with. I think that's a changing climate thing, and it don't change much out here in the desert...;)
     
  15. Aquilador

    Aquilador

    Apr 16, 2017
    UK
    I’ve had La Bella flatwound 760FS on my Epiphone EB0 for two and a half years and no sign of neck problems either.
    In fact, I still have the same set of strings on the bass from Sept 2016 and it sounds better now they have aged.

    I have a set of La Bella 1954s coming today, which I’m putting on my Sterling Ray35, so I’m expecting great things!
    I find my existing La Bella black nylon strings on the Ray35 a tad floppy, especially the B string.
    Watch this space...
     
  16. Rob Leonard

    Rob Leonard

    Feb 16, 2019
    24469FF2-B399-453A-BBCA-F06CFA27E0A2. FA65A88E-8010-44E5-869B-14C52DDAD172. I’m not scared after reading positive reviews, and I like big strings. I’m going for these sets. Rotos for my blue P-bass and Labellas for my 62 reissue. This is gonna be an experience!
     
  17. I swapped my Roto 77's for D'Addario Chromes on my P bass and never had to make any truss rod adjustments. Go for it, experiment...
    :)
     
  18. 17 posts and nobody mentioned that TI Jazz flats have way lower tension and a different feel. Also, an incredible sound and somewhat pricey.
     
    russellh86, chris_b and Rob Leonard like this.
  19. Sub-Frequency

    Sub-Frequency

    Sep 19, 2017
    I have heavy (55 - 110) flats on my PRS Kestrel (has a relatively thin neck) and it's just fine.

    I wouldn't give it a second thought.
     
    Rob Leonard likes this.
  20. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    If you are worried about tension the Ernie Bass Cobalt flats are lower tension than most flats
     

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