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Are flatwounds fragile?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FourtyOneHz, Mar 4, 2013.


  1. FourtyOneHz

    FourtyOneHz

    Dec 16, 2012
    I decided to dive into the world of flatwounds and bought a set of Rotosound 77s to put on my Precision. I'm not sure if I was doing something wrong but the e string broke at the tuner as I was beginning to put tension on it.

    So I'm just wondering at this point if flatwounds are fragile and I need to be a bit more careful or if I just got a defective string. If it was a guitar string I'd just curse and grab another set, but since the 77s were $50 with tax it's a little harder to let go...
     
  2. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Not in my experience. Unless you were doing something wrong, it sounds to me like a defective string.

    LaBella flats heve a reputation for not being able to make the tight turn when used on string-through basses, but Rotos - IME - are pretty robust.
     
  3. hdracer

    hdracer

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Roto 77's suck!

    I had the same thing happen to me.
    I called them and the sent me a new set. Same thing again.
    I threw them in the trash and put a set of LaBella's on.

    The only strings I have ever had brake on me like that were Roto's. Come to think of it, all the problems I have ever had with strings were always with Roto's.
     
  4. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Too tight of a bend (Over 90 deg) can cause a string to break but it's extremely rare. Most music stores will help you out with a single string especially if you have the receipt. I have seen people do a 180 deg Bend, then pull it back to 90 deg and stick it in the hole in the machine head. This is a recipe for disaster.
     
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    No. They last for decades.

    The manufacturer specifically advises against installing most Labellas on string-through bridges. The problem is operator error in selecting and installing the strings, not in the strings.
     
  6. I love La Bella's and I will continue to use them, but my first set G string broke at the bridge from the ball end within a couple days. Jason at bass strings online sent me a new one shipped to Japan. A couple of weeks ago I had a 2 month old set on a different bass and the D sting broke at the tuning peg :/ Complained to La Bella and they replaced it.
     
  7. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    No. Put them on right and play them forever.
     
  8. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I had the same issue with a G string from a set of Fender (old formula) flats. Never had this issue with Chromes, and I've had a few pairs over the years.
     
  9. Wouldn't that mean that they are fragile if you don't put them on right compared to roundwound strings putting them on the same way?
     
  10. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    MKE
    Flats are generally tough as nails. One unfortunate exception I've found is Pyramid flats (about the most expensive strings out there). The E string tends to have problems at the tuner end and the bridge end. Both have happened to me. The good news/bad news is that the problem is well enough known that Pyramid has a liberal replacement policy (no need to return the defective string). It's a pain, but Pyramids are one of the sweetest, most responsive flats in the market.
     
  11. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    That's true. I was not assigning blame one way or another. The OP asked if flats were fragile, and this is a known characteristic of LaBellas. I was simply pointing it out.
     
  12. FourtyOneHz

    FourtyOneHz

    Dec 16, 2012
    That was the plan...
     
  13. FourtyOneHz

    FourtyOneHz

    Dec 16, 2012
    Thanks for the responses. I'll go back to the store and get them to replace the string.
     
  14. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    US
    I'm also not sure that Rotosound 77s are the best string for an introduction to flatwounds. Those strings feel like bridge cable to me and actually hurt my fingers while playing because they're so high tension (I admit that I have sensitive fingers, and I've always found that you play better when comfortable). There are definitely other, better options than Rotosound.
     
  15. FourtyOneHz

    FourtyOneHz

    Dec 16, 2012
    Where I am there aren't a lot of options, everyone seems to stock only the 77s and Chromes. By everyone's description it seems that I would not be happy with Chromes (too bright) so the 77s are the way to go. I don't mind the 66s, which people describe as 'high tension' so the 77s probably won't feel too bad to me.
     
  16. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    +1
    Worst flats I've ever played

    Labella flats win.
     
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Fair enough!

    Flats in general are long-lasting. My oldest set is about 41 years old now. Other sets range up to 10 years old.
     
  18. kai_ski

    kai_ski

    Apr 14, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    Don't let it go! But the same thing has happened to me with Labella's so it even happens with the "best."
     
  19. jbd5015

    jbd5015

    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    chromes are good value if you want to try a set without breaking the bank. i put a set of Thomastik Infled Jazz flats on my guild and they are a true joy to play. I had some chromes on it before, and while they werent bad, there was something...stiff...about them. The guages on the TI's are perfect, worth every penny.

    i think youll find that flats are more expressive than you ever thought they could be, much more dynamic string.

    -Jeff
     
  20. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    My Rotos didn't last for 24 hours. Something was definitely wrong with the E-string. It had a different feel and I kept tuning it. :rollno: I took them off and went back to Chromes straight away. Nowadays I'm using Ernie Ball flats, which are a copy of Chromes, or maybe even made by d'Addario. I can buy these as singles, which saves mony for my BEAD tuned bass.
     

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