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Best flats/grounds for a 1963 P-Bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Chef, Aug 18, 2004.


  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm a round wound guy, and have'nt had a set of flats in decades...Having said that, I have a friend whose grandfather had a 1963 Fender P Bass hiding in a closet they found while moving. Ran thru cleanup and setup for him last night, and it's a cool old axe. Even the 30+ year old flats on it sound pretty good all things considered. The guy wants it restrung with new flats, and then wants me to play it for a while since he is not a bassist.
    Damn the bad luck;)
    I know nothing about what flats (or grounds) are gonna maintain the old school vintage sound it has with flats on it, but I do lean towards liking the roundwound grand piano tone overall. Can you guys recommend me a set of flats/grounds that will maintain the old school tone with out totally lacking some of the brightness I like in rounds? Thanks, Alan
     
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    my string of choice is SIT PowerFlats.... never tried them on a early 60's P though :)
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Where does one shop for those? Thanks!
     
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I get mine from www.thelowend.net but for single sets I think most of the online string shops have them (or can get them).
     
  5. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Another brand that gets alot of praise is, the TI Jazz Flats. However, they're one of the pricier sets of strings out there, if not THE most expensive.

    I've not tried them, as no shops in my area carry Thomastik-Infeld. I'm having a tough time talking myself into spending $40+ USD for a set of strings... when I can get Rotosounds for $20.
     
  6. Rotosound flats are very "zingy" and also quite high tension. TI's are relatively low tension. I think GHS Brite Flats are a good compromise, I use them on my fretless where I like to have a little zing with my thump. That having been said, I use Fender heavy stainless steel flats on my fretted basses but I like high tension, low action and lots of THUMP. The Fenders are not lively at all but they deliver the old school P-Bass tone.
     
  7. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    USA
    I swear by Ken Smith Slick Rounds. Like the SIT's--they look like flats, have no fret noise, but have HUGE punch and feel great under your fingers like rounds.

    I LOVE Slick Rounds.
     
  8. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I would recommend the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats. They are pricey, but IMO, they are worth every penny. They last for years! I have them on two of my four basses.

    You can find more info. and get a very good price for them here:

    http://p219.ezboard.com/fthedudepitfrm18

    Another alternative might be Lakland's Joe Osborn flats. I've never tried them, but they are often recommended to roundwound players switching to flats. The best place to get them on-line is probably direct from Lakland:

    http://www.lakland.com/direct/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=LD&Category_Code=4STRS
     
  9. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    as do most all flats! My first set of SITs are coming on 2 years and sound better everyday!