Best flats for a P poll

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ficelles, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. TI Jazz Flats

    148 vote(s)
  2. La Bella LTF

    54 vote(s)
  3. Dunlop flatwound

    21 vote(s)
  4. DR Legend

    12 vote(s)
  5. D'Addario Chrome

    83 vote(s)
  6. Roto 77

    25 vote(s)
  7. Ernie Ball flatwound

    32 vote(s)
  8. La Bella DTF

    126 vote(s)
  9. GHS Precision

    49 vote(s)
  10. Fender flatwound

    49 vote(s)
  11. Gibson flatwound

    2 vote(s)
  12. Optima Flats

    2 vote(s)
  13. Pyramid Gold

    6 vote(s)
  14. Sadowsky

    7 vote(s)
  1. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I know this has been done a bazillion times before but it's always good to get a fresh perspective... best flats for a P (that's Precision) not just best flats, but best specifically for a P.

    Reason being, I'm looking for some flats for my P and I'm not liking TIs or La Bella LTFs on it. Looking for smooth feel, not too stiff, not too dull, even output across the set.

    I will add any suggestions to the list as I see them...

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  2. Lenny JG

    Lenny JG

    Aug 3, 2019
    The kind that sound good to YOU. I'd suggest looking at some YouTube vids or comparable sound samples.
    JRT64, Lucky Chuck, dasherf17 and 2 others like this.
  3. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    The point of the thread is to gather opinions from the tb membership, some of whom have been known to put flats on a P bass.
  4. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Well… this is SUPER subjective and you’re gonna get tons of answers. Every bass is different… just wanted to make sure you realize that.

    My only experience with a P with flats is my wife’s Fender Blacktop P that I slapped a set of Chromes on nearly 4 years ago. Absolutely fantastic in my opinion.
  5. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Either TIs or La Bella DTFs depending on the sound I'm going for. Right now, I have DTFs on my P for that super classic Motown sound. The stiffness is a bit of a struggle.

    I disliked the Chromes and the Fender flats on my P.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    (TI jazz rounds)

  7. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    So the best flats for a P are rounds :) Did I use the word fretless i the title? I didn't, oh well...
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    FWIW: that string set is unique and it may very well check all of your boxes but one! ;)

    no you didn't...just thought i'd help a brother out..... :thumbsup:

    .....back to our regularly scheduled programming. :D
    Oddly likes this.
  9. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    Actually I have a set of rounds on my Warwick fretless, not totally opposed to the idea... I love the smooth feel of flats though :) Doesn't Tony Franklin use DR Sunbeams on fretless P?
    tindrum and JRA like this.
  10. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    So here are my €0.02:

    TI Flats: Singing mids. Feel like boiled Spaghetti. I like that a lot, on many a bass - but not on my P. (The sound I dig, the feel I don't).

    LaBella DTF: Once they settle in, they have the classical oldschool thump, but it's a good few hertz lower than 'normal'. These thump bassier.

    Chromes: Slightly rough to the touch at first (rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth will help), these sound a bit more metallic and retain their upper end more.

    What I'd like to try next: Optima Flats. I have them on my Jazz and they sound, for want of a better word, organic. A bit wooden.
  11. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I wish I could add Optima Flats to the list but it looks like poll editing is time-limited like post editing.
  12. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    TI flats on all my basses. They seem to bring out the best tone in each.
    fretlessguy, hermzy, sethlow3 and 8 others like this.
  13. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Pee pole? Peep hole?
    packhowitzer and sonojono like this.
  14. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I like Dunlops and have them on several basses. TI seems to get the most love here, but they feel like plastic to me and sound more like "plink", IMHO.
    BLDavis and J-Mags like this.
  15. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    You won't get any meaningful answers whatsoever unless you tell us what kind of tone you're looking for. Different flats have a MUCH wider range of tones (and feel) than roundwounds. You wanna sound like Motown? You'll need the LaBella DTFs. Roger Waters? That would be the Roto 77s. A modern tone with more upper mids presence and a sort of "orchestral" vibe? Thomastik Jazz Flats.

    And then there's tension and even more importantly stiffness. Flats vary a LOT more than roundwounds in this regard, even if we're talking about similar gauges. Rotos are VERY stiff (unless you get the lighter gauge sets that sound extremely unbalanced across the strings). Thomastik JFs are VERY floppy and also very low tension. LaBellas can be extremely high tension (at least if you go for the higher gauge sets).

    Etc. etc....

    You really need to tell us what you're looking for. I can tell you MY preferences (which are several different types of flats btw, depending on what kind of tone I need) but I won't. It won't help you AT ALL. At least not until you tell us what kind of tone you're looking for and whether you want to avoid very floppy/stiff or high/low tension strings. If might even help to know what kind of pickup you've got in that bass. Is it dark or bright or middle of the road compared to a typical, average P-bass pickup? Overwound?

    There is no "best" here. Every single option on your list are good quality strings but they're very, VERY different.
  16. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2013
    This is TB. Obviously everyone will throw at you TI Flats.

    But if you’re looking for balanced output, the GHS Precision Flats does a nice job on that tonal department. Not sure about the rest…
  17. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Labella DT for old thumpy vibes. D’Addario chrome for modern bright vibes
    Mili and Steve Boisen like this.
  18. I voted TI flats. I haven't played every set you have listed, but TI flats were truly an "ah-ha" revelation for me in terms of their versatility. Yes they have a floppy A string but I quickly acclimated to that.

    I do keep Labella DTF on a shortscale but that's for a very specific sound that does not work with most the music I play.
  19. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    Dunlop flats, exactly for these reasons.
    uwrossl, BLDavis, Marihino and 3 others like this.
  20. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    My favorite after trying virtually all on your list is not on your list - Pyramid Gold
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 27, 2021

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