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Acoustic bass flat string recommendation?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by 1dreday, Feb 17, 2020.


  1. 1dreday

    1dreday Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    my new Breedlove solo fretless came with D'Addario ECB82, looking for somthing different these are just bland sounding, on my electric I have labellas but not sure on if the tension would be an issue considering this is an acoustic
     
  2. Lowend65

    Lowend65 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    I love my D'Addario tape wounds on my fretless
     
    littlebooner and keith1r like this.
  3. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue

    Sep 29, 2018
    Lebanon, TN
    What kind of tone are you going for?
     
  4. 1dreday

    1dreday Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    upright sound for a bluegrass style gig
     
  5. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue

    Sep 29, 2018
    Lebanon, TN
    I’d put Roto 88s or La Bella DTFs on it, put a little foam near the bridge and voila, faux upright.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about tension. I think the La Bella .043 would be fine, but I’d probably go .045 just to help get the top moving. I had flats on a Dean for years, no issues there. Steel string acoustic guitars have a substantial amount of tension and all mine are good with .013-.056 on them for years.
     
  6. D'A ECB82 = Very high tension (224 lbs.!). If your bass can take them, most others will be just fine. Or, are you concerned about NOT ENOUGH TENSION on some strings, considering it's an acoustic?
     
  7. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    As AboutSweetSue posted, if you are looking for an emulation of a double bass tone, then the Rotosound Tru-Bass 88 nylon wraps were specifically designed for that purpose: good articulation, bloom, not much sustain, and would work well with your Bluegrass band.

    The thing about conventional flatwound strings is that even though they may generally have a more mellow tone, they still have electric bass sustain, where you want that bloom to help define the traditional role of a bassist in a Bluegrass band.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  8. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    Indeed, most people fail to realize that bronze acoustic roundwound strings are more than likely higher tension than any flats.
     
    iiipopes likes this.
  9. ThudThudThud

    ThudThudThud

    Jun 4, 2010
    I loved the D'Addario tapes on mine.
     
  10. GHS Tapewounds might also be a good option for that. They come in relatively "normal" gauges, 50-105, vs. the Roto Tru Bass 88, 65-115.

    TAPEWOUND
     
  11. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    Definitely use low tension flats. I had belly bulge on an acoustic from a set of ultra jazz flats
     
    Ggaa likes this.
  12. FugaziBomb

    FugaziBomb

    Jun 5, 2017
    Untrue
     
  13. It all depends...

    D'Addario Chromes, 45-65-80-100 = 199.8 lbs. in total tension.
    D'Addario Phosphor Bronze, 45-65-80-100 = 190.8 lbs.

    GHS Precision Flats, 45-65-85-105 = 184.6 lbs.
    GHS Pressurewound Bronze, 42-56-74-92 = 149.3 lbs.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  14. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Without exception, my fretless ABGs get LaBella tapewounds.
     
    Claymore, TrevorR and scuzzy like this.
  15. DanTheQuaker

    DanTheQuaker Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    I really like the La Bella Gold White tapewounds (750G) on my acoustic/electric bass guitar (though it is fretted, so I can't say how they'd be on a fretless). They project well, have good note definition, but still "upright-y".
     
  16. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I hate Rotosound flats on a bass guitar, but they sound great on my Tacoma ABG.
     
  17. bonin in the boneyard

    bonin in the boneyard Supporting Member

    Chromes on my Dean and my Boulder Creek. Lightest gauge I could find. They break in nicely and really bring out the woodiness. Going on six years with them on the Dean, and four on the BC I think.

    I tried TIs on the BC at one point, but they were too clicky/clanky for whatever reason. I went back to Chromes, which have the same tone but without the clicks.

    I tried precision flats once: dead, dull, and boring.
     
  18. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Having tried most of the nylon sets readily available in the USA, remember that @ 15 thou of the diameter of a nylon wrap string is the nylon wrap. So, for example, when I measured the string inside the wraps on a set of worn-out La Bellas, the "standard gauge" of 60-115 is actually beneath the wrap a set of 43-95. Since nylon tape has negligible mass, it does not add to the tension of the set, so the overall feel of the 60-115 set will be the same or similar tension-wise to a conventional set of 45-95 or 45-100; the Roto G string will be a tad tighter.

    The whole point is that tapewounds in "normal" gauges, which the manufacturers, at least La Bella, call light gauge of 50-105 are actually very, very light, the cores being @ 35-90 for the set, which may have actually too little tension to drive the piezo element in the bridge of an AEB properly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  19. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    To make sure: you are talking about the Roto Monel 77 flats, not the Tru-Bass 88 tapewounds?
     
  20. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue

    Sep 29, 2018
    Lebanon, TN
    Yes, the .050 La Bella tapes resulted in me having to ADD relief (go past neutral counter-clockwise) to my Gibson. First time in my life that ever happened. They are very light and very musical, not what I’d recommend for an upright sound, although with foam they can get there too.

    I haven’t tried the GHS tapes, but of all the tapes I’ve tried, the Rotos nail the deadened upright sound w/bloom the best. When their mass smacks against the fretboard, you’d almost swear it was an upright. Of course, non of these string choices truly compare to an actual upright, but they get in the ball park.
     

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