B string in flats - good?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Sparkdog, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Sparkdog


    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    I've been gigging a Fender P with Chromes for my blues band, but I need a 5 string for some of the tunes. I also want to be able to EQ on the bass as needed, and you obviously can't do that with a passive bass.

    I have a Lakland 55-01 that solves the 5 string piece, but the nickel rounds it has now are too zingy and a little harsh in the highs. The upper strings also sound a little thin to me.

    D'Addario makes a 5 string set of Chromes, so the way I 'm thinking is that I can get the flatwound vibe on a 5 string, and those would both fatten the tone on the D and G strings, and smooth out the highs.

    With the 55-01's active EQ I can also dial in the tone and crucial midrange punch I need.

    My concern is how the B string is going to translate to flats. The Lakland has a nice tight B of course (35" scale) but I've never used flats on a fiver.

    Has anyone done this? Any issues to be aware of before I order this set?
  2. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    I find the B on my TI Jazz Flats to be the best B I've ever played.
  3. the thing i hate about D'ad 5 string sets is that the B string sounds nothing like the other strings. this is true of most 5 string sets i've found, regardless of scale length.

    i think TI Jazz Flats are the most consistent sounding set, string to string, that i've ever played.

    if those are too low tension for you, sadowsky makes a wicked 5 string flat set...
  4. Sparkdog


    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA

    Can you tell me more about this whole "tension" issue?

    I've read a lot about TI flats and most folks here seem to love them, but others have noted that the low tension just doesn't work for them.

    What doesn't work? Too floppy? Too much fret buzz?

    My Lakland is currently strung with DAD EXL170 nickel rounds, tension specs are 48.5(G) 55.7(D) 46.5(A) 40.5(E) and 39.0(B)

    I'm pretty comfortable with the tension on this set. I like my action set a bit higher than a tech would normally do it because I dig in rather hard at times and I don't like fret noise.

    Based on that, do I sound like a candidate for the TI's?

    Those rascals are expensive, just trying to do my homework before I place an order.

  5. jayarroz


    Jul 10, 2007
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    I put some rounds on my fretless 5 took them off in 10 minutes. I think the flat has a higher tension, sounds a lot better to me.
  6. Sparkdog


    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    Can someone help me understand this issue of tension and how it differs between these two brands?

    I've used DA Chromes for a while on my P so I know what those feel like. Are the Sadowskys closer in feel to those than the TI's?

    I don't have a particularly light touch so I'm not sure the TI's will work for me.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  7. billbern


    Sep 11, 2004
    Daytona Beach, Fl
    Endorsing: Inearz In-ear Monitors
    On my 55-01 TI jazz flats seem to have similar tension as the Lakland rounds.
    I think the tension issue, is in comparison to "regular" flats that can feel like they have much more tension. IMHO
  8. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    I love the low B on the TI Jazz Flat sets. The first time I tried TI flats, I said "where have you been all my life." They are like butter and you owe it to yourself to at least try them out--otherwise, you will spend the rest of your life wondering "what's so great about those TI strings." :) I've never tried the Sadowskys, though, so I can't compare.
  9. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    D'addario chromes won't fit on a 35".
  10. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    What is "TI"? I can't figure out what it stands for. Nobody who has responded has yet used the non-abreviated form of whatever this stands for. Sorry.
  11. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Albuquerque, NM
  12. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Thomastic Infied.
  13. Georynn


    Dec 4, 2007
    Thomastik Infeld... The brand name....
  14. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Albuquerque, NM
    In 1st . . . I win :)
  15. Georynn


    Dec 4, 2007
    Wow, Three in a minute... thats got to be a record...
  16. Yes they do if you buy the right kind. :rolleyes: The ECB81-5SL set works beautifully on a 55-01, strung through the body and everything. I know this because it's what I'm using.

    Also, the B string is pretty much the best string of the set.
  17. TI Jazz Flats are very light in tension. they are some of the most amazing sounding strings ever but i can't play them. i wish they played heavier, but i suspect that the tension and the tone go hand in hand. you can't have one without the other...

    if you can deal with them, you will be rewarded immensely. if you do try them out, let them break in. as the weeks go by the sound better and better.

    sadowsky flats are more of a standard feeling string. so much so that i didn't really notice whether they were high or low tension. they were just good sounding strings.
  18. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    Thanks! Shows you how much I buy new strings. (actually I boil' my existing sets as much as I can...)
  19. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    TI's feel soft partly due to the construction and partly due to their lighter guage. I've ajusted to them and prefer their more woody tone to the more steely tone of Chromes. I was using Chromes for a long time so I did have to learn how to lighten up my picking - that is a good thing actually - as I age it's way better for my hands to go light.

    I still consider Chromes to be a real good string though. On a bass that really needs the higher tension for setup reasons, I'd be real comfortable with Chromes.

    I also dig the GHS Brite Flat which is a lighter feel and steelier tone than Chromes. The Brite Flat is not too far off the old D'A Half Round. A little duller and a little smoother feel. Nice string. Reasonably priced as well. Not sure how ong they last as I'm in my first set of them on my Samick Royale hollow body project bass.

    My default string choice is always TI though. Super Alloys for a meaty round and Jazz Flats - if the bass in question needs a different tension - then I'll consider another string ...
  20. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    Bought my first Bongo 5'r (Jan '08) and have since tried 6 different types of rounds....last night I threw on a "used" 2 yr. old set of TI JF-345's I had on my Fender 5. My Bongo never sounded better:hyper: The sound tech was very excited. I too had a "where have you been all my life" moment. Wish I would have tried this sooner, could have saved some scratch.

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