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Anyone ever downtune with TI Jazz Flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sunbeast, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm fairly certain the concensus will be that its not a good idea, but has anyone ever tried to use TI Flats tuned down a half step to E flat standard before? I know they are low tension even in standard tuning. On the other hand, I know I've read of people using them successfully on short-scale basses before, which might give a similar tension as a long-scale bass tuned a half step down... I have a set that I want to try, but I am not currently in a band that uses E standard tuning. Perhaps it was not meant to be.....?

    Any opinions or experiences greatly appreciated!

  2. Bass Below

    Bass Below

    Oct 24, 2006
    New York
    I never experimented with them due to the fact that I heard from numerous sources that they were unusually low in tension for the gauges that they are. That's way too much bread for me to drop on a set of strings that are most likely not going to suit my needs.

    When I first heard that they had a .136 flat, I thought I may have use for it, since no other company makes a flat of that high a gauge, but then I learned that their .136 is actually lighter in tension than some strings in the .120 neighborhood.
  3. ldervish


    May 22, 2005
    Johnson City, TN
    Be bold - give it a try. At the least it'll be cheap entertainment. Well maybe not so cheap. But since you already have the set...
  4. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Keep in mind that short scale basses will always have more string tension because of the scale length.
  5. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    No- the opposite is true! If you use the same gauge strings tuned to the same pitch on a shorter bass, there will be less tension. Think about it this way- put a capo at the 3rd fret on a long-scale bass in standard tuning then retune all the strings down to standard tuning and compare the tension...

    Part of the short-scale bass "tone" is that people generally use larger gauge strings to compensate for the tension change, which in turn gives a certain "boominess" that you don't get on a long-scale bass.

    El Pelusa likes this.
  6. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I often play in drop D with my TI's, but the bass in question is a 35" scale.
    I've had absaloutly no problems though, I can't imagine Eb being a problem.
  7. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    +1, this is the reason 5 string basses are generally preferred to be 35" scale.
  8. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    +1, except I'm at a 34" scale.
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Did it for 6 months or so on my '71 P-bass. It was fitted with it's original fretless neck at the time. We tuned to Eb, mostly to accommodate the vocalists. I was tempted to simply tune to standard and manually "transpose," but the band had charts that would have made it more trouble. The tension was low, but it was workable.

    I eventually went to a '69 fretted neck, but not because the TI's didn't work. They were OK, though I was happier with round wounds on the fretted P-bass neck for the R&B/Motown/Soul we were doing.

    Even with the rounds, the P had noticeably less tension when tuned to Eb. When I went to standard tuning, I needed a truss rod tweak to get a good setup.

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