Balanced Tension Flats or Tapewounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by IamJohn, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. IamJohn


    Nov 26, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Do balanced tension flats or tapewounds exist?

    I've been thinking of changing one of my P's to a flat/tapewound set up because I just turned 30 and want to get head start on my future.
  2. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Get a second p bass. Do both strings. Phillips head screw driver & flathead screwdriver.
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  4. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
    IamJohn and e-flat like this.
  5. Another set of flats I've liked for their balanced feel is the La Bella 760FL, 43-60-82-104.
    zombywoof5050 and IamJohn like this.
  6. DCCat


    Jan 20, 2020
    Northern Virginia
    The LaBella LTFs seem nicely balanced to me. But oddly, their website says the tension is:

    Total Tension in Lbs: 134.90 (1st 36.2, 2nd 34, 3rd 30.5, 4th 34.2)

    Which shows the A string as being significantly out of balance. The gauge progression (42-56-75-100) suggests this shouldn't be the case. So I'm wondering if they never updated the tension numbers on their website when they changed the A string gauge from .070 to .075.

    Basically, their quoted tension numbers are very similar to the TIJFs with their notoriously too-thin-and-floppy .070 A string. Other than the A string, the gauges for the LTFs and TIJFs are nearly identical, and the tension figures are also very similar. So I'm guessing that the tension numbers for the LTFs are outdated and in fact, the set is more balanced in tension than those numbers indicate. They feel more balanced than the TIs (which would be pretty balanced in their own right if it weren't for the A).
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  7. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    According to La Bella, the gauge was increased to 075 to avoid rattling, but the tension has remained the same as the old 070:
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  8. Ramana


    Jul 14, 2013
  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Some time ago, I emailed Ernie Ball for tension specs. The best set of "balanced tension" flats are the most underrated flatwound strings out there: Ernie Ball Stainless Steel flats. You can purchase singles in 45-60-80-105, and the tension is right at 45 pounds per string. When my favorite set of Fender 9050CL's finally give out, and I can't get any more, I will be switching to the EBSS. I already use their 105 when the Fender goes too thumpy, as it coordinates well: a little less growl, but all the tone and sustain.

    Here is what EB sent me:

    Custom SS Flatwound STRING-1 STRING-2 STRING-3 STRING-4
    PART NUMBER P01745 P01760 P01780 P01798
    GAUGE 45 60 80 105
    KEY G2 D2 A1 E1
    FREQUENCY 98 73.42 55 41.2
    TENSION (lbs) 44.36 45.16 45.00 42.66

    TOTAL TENSION (lbs) 177.17
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  10. For those who are curious, here are the tension figures for the EB Cobalt Flats Custom Balanced Tension set:

    G 045 - 47.58 (lbs.)
    D 060 - 43.80
    A 080 - 44.49
    E 105 - 41.78 (Total 177.65)

    And GHS Precision Flats CM3050:

    G 045 - 41.5 (lbs.)
    D 060 - 46.5
    A 080 - 44.9
    E 105 - 41.2 (Total 174.1)
  11. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    Not a flatwound guy by any means (actually, I hate them), but I do need to pass along a caution:

    IF the bass they're going on is string-through-body, be sure and check with our flatwound vets here as to which sets are A) long enough to reach, and B) which brand flatwounds allow for this, because lots of flatwound sets will come apart due to that breakover 90-degree bend from coming from beneath the bridge then making that left turn to run down the fingerboard to the keys.

    If it's string-through-bridge, you can use most anything.
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