Another Flatwound String Inquiry Thread???

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Desuh, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Thomastik JF344

    26 vote(s)
  2. Sadowsky Blue Label Flats

    10 vote(s)
  3. D'addario ECB80 Chromes

    8 vote(s)
  4. Stop using low tension strings, you baby.

    14 vote(s)
  1. Desuh


    May 28, 2011
    Hey yall,

    I'm looking for opinions on which Flatwounds to use. I have used TIJF344's for years on my rickenbackers and absolutely loved them. However, I felt strange with them on my '69 P-bass and later switched to the lowest gauge Chromes and the bass seems to open up. I have also now been reading about Sadowsky Blue Labels as possibly being a slightly higher tension version of TI's, which is very intriguing. I love low tension strings, but Thomastik is a little loose, even for me; great for the McCartney rickenbacker thump when digging in, but not the most solid rock sounding digging in.

    I also hate hate HATE with some string brands that have twangy, anemic sounding G strings, so please point me in the direction of flats with a powerful G string.

    *The bass they're going on*
    I've decided to go down the rabbit hole and make myself a custom jazz bass with rosewood neck. In the jazz bass I'm throwing in Dimarzio Model j pups, known for their minor high end cut and growling mids. I'm looking for Flatwounds to compliment this sound properly.

    Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. I've researched in other forum posts but it still feels inconclusive.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
    woodyng2 likes this.
  2. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Low Tension Plus Old school Tone = Labella LTF-4A.
    Tension is close to Ti BUT feel a bit stiffer in hand.

    Regard what you mention, only TiJF344 G string make my Pbass tone better balance with others from roll off to wide open tone than others flat i use before.

    Flat for Jazz bass ? Sadowsky Blk Label 40-100, she give you a nice MID present when both J pickups engage.

  3. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Growling mids? TIs.
    Desuh likes this.
  4. Desuh


    May 28, 2011
    Oh I didn't realize how I wrote that out made it sound like I was saying the TI's G string was bad! No, that is one of the good ones for sure! I'll rephrase it :) I had the Labella Low tensions on my rickenbacker and wasn't that blown away tonewise, but the feel was great, so maybe I'll try it with the jazz bass. Thanks!
    Yahboy likes this.
  5. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    Ti's. Nothing else compares.
    Gizmot and Desuh like this.
  6. Desuh


    May 28, 2011
    Anyone here tried the Sadowsky Blue Labels and wants to chime in their preference? I've read the other threads on it but I feel more people must've tried them by now?
  7. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    I've got a light gauge set of 3025 GHS Precision Flats on my JB and really like the sound and feel. They're thumpy (when/if you want it) while also being easy on the hands but without feeling sloppy or loose at all. The unusual gauging (45/60/75/95) seems to make them sound and feel more balanced (to my ears and hands at least) than most other flats I've tried. Affordable too at $25 on average. I get mine at Bass Strings Online.

    I tried LaBellas and TIs on it before finding the GHS set. GHS worked the charm for me. YMMV.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  8. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    I have a '13 Am.Std Jazz that's wearing nicely broken in Chromes.
    That bass's sound is heaven,pick-played.....just wish i liked the neck,and narrow nut,better.
    Desuh likes this.
  9. jaymelewis


    Jan 6, 2010
    Fillmore, CA
    I use Chromes and love em, on 4 of my basses. Never changed them in 7 or 8 years :)
    Desuh likes this.
  10. I see a few recommendation for the Chromes.
    My experience with the Chromes is with the ECB84 set, 40-60-80-100, on my Fender Jazz. One thing I didn't like about them is the "twangy, anemic sounding G".

    Then I switched to the Fender 9050L (45-60-80-100) and my problem was solved. The 45-G is nice and even with the rest, and they remain my favorite flats for my J.
  11. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    As mentioned above, I like the Sadowsky Black Label flats, they work very well with a Jazz ...
    Desuh likes this.
  12. McFarlin


    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I use a set of T.I.s on a custom bass. This one has also worn (for extended periods) Sunbeams, nickel Lo-Riders and DR flats.

    I currently have Sadowsky Blue Labels (100-40) on my G&L LB-100. Otherwise that bass has used a balanced tension set of D'Addario nickels and the 100-45 set of EB Cobalt flats.

    I like the T.I.s quite a bit on my custom. Strings for some reason always feel much tighter on that bass than any other I have owned. It still took some technique adjustment and time for me to appreciate the way T.I.s give and roll a bit, but now they really work for me, even with aggressive playing. It's a fairly mid-dominant bass with a semi-hollow body, and those strings just sing through it.

    I don't really care for the T.I.s on the LB-100. It just wasn't the tone match I wanted, and they felt a bit more like mush on that bass (didn't do a proper set up when trying them).
    But the Blue Label flats really work there. They are very clear, with a thick-sounding, balanced midrange (compared to the Cobalt flats). Folks have said the stiffness is slightly higher than T.I.s, but I think the difference is more than slight. They are still fairly flexible, though. Once they start to break-in (haven't played mine too much) they seem to have more present lows than the T.I.s. And on my LB-100, they are a bit more beefy sounding when digging in, but not so grindy or aggressive like the EB Cobalt flats. They don't have that "woody" characteristic folks attribute to the T.I.s (assuming I understand that idea/descriptor).

    I think the G on the Blue Label set is plenty powerful. As is the G on the Cobalts flat set.
    If you want a flats set that is a good bit more grindy and high mid dominant, the Cobalt flats are great. The 100-45 set seems more flexible to me than the 100-40 Blue Label set. My Blue Label set had a dead G, and a well worn Colbalt G actually plays great with the other Blue Labels.

    I tried the Black Label set on both basses, and while I loved their tone on the LB-100 (more than anything else), they were way too stiff (this was a 105-45 set, not the lights like my other string sets). In a band setting I can usually get a wider dynamic range out of a more flexible or lower tension string.
    The Fender flats 100-45 set sounded pretty great on the LB-100, but again, a bit on the stiffer side, which made me miss the dynamics of the 107-45 set of D'Addarios it was previously wearing.
    I haven't used the Blue Label with a band yet, and that's where the stiffness factor really shows for me. So, my opinions here are not all evidence based.
    Desuh likes this.
  13. Desuh


    May 28, 2011
    I love the idea of only the G string being the standard gauge, but I'm looking at the tension chart and they seem a bit high for me. Perhaps I'll try them anyway.
  14. The D'A Chromes and Fender 9050 are both made by D'Addario, but not to the same specs. Based on my experience, the Fender flats are not as stiff as the Chromes even for the same gauges. I found the overall playability of the 9050L set a lot more agreeable than the Chromes of similar gauges.
    kodiakblair and Desuh like this.
  15. Desuh


    May 28, 2011
    This is precisely the in depth analysis I was hoping to get! I had the similar experience with the TI's with my 69 P-bass, which I guess makes sense because the LB 100 is like a p bass on steroids. I feel like I should try the TI's on the jazz bass because I imagine that's the type of bass the strings were intented to be for. I may have to try the blue labels on my p bass from your description. Worse comes to worst I can then slap them on the p bass and fall in love with them then.

  16. Desuh


    May 28, 2011
    Wild! And I've read from some posts that the fender versions are more taut than Chromes. The search never ends. :roflmao:
    FranF likes this.
  17. Do Stingrays sound good with flats? I've never heard anyone use them with flats. I figured they were meant to have rounds on them.
  18. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    I didn't vote because I've only tried the Chromes, I can't really compare.

    I put a set on my Rick for a while (instead of my usual SS rounds). I found them very nicely balanced across all four strings, and fairly powerful sounding. I don't remember the G being "twangy" or anemic. They really were almost as bright as rounds, but lack ... something ... in comparison.

    If I had two Ricks, I'd have Chromes on one of them. I only have one, so I went back to rounds.
  19. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    Yep! I had TI's on mine and I liked them better than most rounds sounded.
  20. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I had flats on a Stingray Classic that I had. IMO, they sound great on a 'Ray. I can't remember which brand I had on it. I think it was the Fender flats. But for 20-some years (when my preference changed from rounds to flats), my main flats have been either the Chromes or the GHS Precision Flats. I also like the LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats.
    Spirit of Ox and waynobass like this.

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