best flatwounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SummerSoft, Jul 3, 2005.

strings for fretless

Poll closed Jul 18, 2005.
  1. Thomastik Jazz E-Bass Flat Wounds

  2. D'Addario Chromes Flat Wounds

  3. LaBella Jamerson Flat Wounds

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    I would like to try some flatwounds on my bass (I never have before), and can't decide between Thomastik Jazz E-Bass Flat Wounds, D'Addario Chromes Flat Wounds and Labella Jamerson Flat Wounds.
    Which of these flatwounds sound best on a fretless?
  2. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    What bass do you have, what sound are you after and how do you like your tension?
  3. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    Those strings would be for my new custom bass with piezo and magnetic pups I'm still waiting for.
    I'm shooting for a jazz, uprightlike sound (through piezo) and for r&b/funk sound (through magnetics).
  4. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    I have not played Labella's, so I can't comment on those.

    I use both TI flats, and Chromes. The chromes are on my fretless jazz bass. The TI's are on my fretted basses.

    Based on that, and what you are looking for soundwise, I would suggest the D'addario Chromes. IMHO these really sing on a fretless bass. I also think they have a better old school type of thump than the TI's do.

    Now, if you were into a lot of slapping and tapping, I'd suggest the TI's, since their lower tension makes those easier to do.

    I think you'll like the Chromes for the sound you're after :hyper:
  5. I agree with Beefbass. I use both D'Addario Chromes and Fender 9050's. They are much tighter than TI's, though. If high tension strings bug you, you may want to look at something else. I think Chromes are a bit brighter sounding than most flatwounds.
  6. Could you compare them to Roto swing 66 roundwounds, if possible, as far as tension? Less, more, same? The chromes & fender.
  7. It seems to me like you are shooting for two opposite ends of the spectrum...

    To get an upright sound, black nylon tape wounds like LaBellas are definitely the way to go IMO.

    However, if you want that jazz R&B sound, chrome flat may be a better bet.
  8. :cool: I use Fender flats mostly. D'Addarios's sometimes, but their quality is a little to inconsistent at times. GHS makes some really nice sounding flats, and SIT's are nice as well.

    In the Fender, I used to use the 9050Ms, but now use the 9050Ls. I have found that the L's sound just as good as the M's and are easier on your bass neck. The lower tension doesn't require as much attention to adjustments, etc. As for feel, they are both high tension and feel great, to me anyway.

    I personally would never use Rotosound flats. I had a set of the Harris jobs once. They were the worst feeling and sounding flats I've ever used. They were way to trebly and clangly for me (I like a lot of old-school deep thump). They were also sticky to the feel, and as they seemed to get stickier as the evening would progress through a gig. But, some guys like 'em, so, as always, YMMV.
  9. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    It varies with taste. I've been going between LaBella DTF, Chromes, and Fenders lately. Haven't tried TI's or Rotosounds, though.
  10. I've tried lots of different strings over the years. Rounds and flats I keep coming back to 9050's....everyone I talk to says they are dull so I search for something new. I've finally realized I like the dull sound. Imagine that I like the sound Leo Fender intended
  11. Toneman


    Jun 6, 2001
    Long Island
    Lakland makes a real nice set of flats I like them much more than chromes. They're called Joe Osborn signiture flats. I think they're manufactored by GHS for Lakland. you can by them direct from store.
  12. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    What is about the JO's that you like better?? Just curious.
  13. Toneman


    Jun 6, 2001
    Long Island
    It's hard sometimes to put impressions into words. I'd have to say the feel they have a more spungy feel as if they want to play the note with less effort.Also less undesirable treble or clacking when your not dead on the fret. In a word "smooth" when brand new they're real oily like the chromes maybe worse. As you probably know flats get better after break in.Hope this helps. A five string set is $35 med guage 45 65 85 106 128 not many players know about these strings.
  14. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Thanks T-man! It helps a lot.

    I want to warm up my Warwick Thumb 5, and so I have been debating nickel rounds or flats. I am considering TI Powerbass or D'Add nickel rounds (XL-170's). On the flat side, I was thinking possibly D'Add chromes or GHS Brites.

    I don't want to totally suppress the natural brightness of the Thumb, but I am trying to eliminate string noise, fret clicking, hi tension and harshness at the high end. Anyway, youo've given me another option to look at.

    I am also going to probably change the strings on my newly purchased but not yet received Modulus Genesis VJ4 fretless. It has a chechen FB, Villex passive PUPs, Badass2.

    The guy I am buying it from has La Bella Tapes on it right now, but I think that may be too dark a sound for me (of course, I should at least wait until I actually play it thru my rig before too much thinking!) LOL!

    Maybe I can try D'Add chromes on the VJ and the JO's on the Warwick Fiver.
  15. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    That is quite the range you have listed. I don't like the TI Jazz flats, too floppy for me, although if you can put up with that, they are probably the best on your list.

    I find the La Bella 760FS very high tension. Took me quite a while to get used to them. When they get old, I am going back to the 760FL. I can't even imagine using the Jamerson flats :eek:

    Which leaves the Chromes. If you where in a rock band, I would recommend them. Very bright for flats.

    Side note: I also liked the Fender 9050M. Good strings at a good price.

    For an upright sound the choice is obvious: Dean Markley flats. The set I tried had zero sustain, just like a DB. No muting needed. Just thump, nothing else.

    For R&B: La Bella 760FL. Great feel, great tone. A bit pricey, but not as bad as the TIs.

    For Funk: Whatever you want! It's all in the feel :bassist: Bootsy started with James Brown using a guitar because he couldn't afford a bass!

    This is getting long so a quick wrapup. I didn't vote, because I really couldn't recommend any of them. BUT, I am just a hack bassist, so take everything with a boulder of salt. If you have a light touch, try the TIs. It seemed to me everybody who liked them had a light touch.
  16. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    TI-Low tension, great sound. P-bass heaven
    Fender-I like there light gage, 40-95.
    Roto- bright for flats, good on jazz bass.
  17. My first post here. I thought I'd chime in to say that I really like the Fender 9050L's. Fender strings were so dreadful during the CBS days that 20 years later it still isn't considered "cool" to use Fender strings, but I think they are the best flatwound bang for your buck. They sound close to the higher tension Labellas for half what the Labellas cost and are much easier to play.

    Labella does have some great sounding strings for sure. James L. Jamerson was one of the physically strongest bass players ever as evidenced by the fact that his "FUNK MACHINE" Precision had a concave bow in the neck so pronounced that with the high tension Labella flats he used nobody but him could play that thing.

    The ONLY problem I have with the Fender 9050L's is on my brand new USA HIGHWAY 1 JAZZ because it has a string through bridge set up. The 9050's are for a STRING-THROUGH-BODY setup. Don't get them for a string through bridge setup. They won't work well because the winding taper is all wrong on the machine head end, which I didn't realize until trying fit a set on the new Jazz. Then I learned Fender.Com doesn't list a flatwound string for a string-through-bridge setup. I've been using Fender flats (most recently designated as 9050L's) on my 68 Telecaster Bass for a very long time. So many strings are overhyped and overpriced while the 9050's are a great string at a fair price.

    Now get this, the SPECS on the Highway 1 Jazz state it uses 8250 strings, but Fender.Com contradicts this saying 8250's are for body through basses! Then Music123.Com contradicts saying 8250's ARE for string through bridge setups. I'm so confused by this discrepancy that I don't know which to order. So I'll have to go to a big music store somewhere and find something that works I guess. Even Fender doesn't seem to know what strings work on which basses! Sheesh!

    Does anyone know of any flats specifically designed for a long scale with string through bridge? I need some help on this and I'm obvously not going to get it from Fender. I sure wish Fender made a string like the 9050L to fit a bridge through setup. It is a near perfect flatwound string for me! I'm not about to do a body-through conversion on my new USA Jazz.
  18. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I definately like my Rotosound 77's. I'm not sure if I would ever go back to round wounds again.
  19. Bass Invader

    Bass Invader

    Mar 10, 2003
    Osaka Japan
    Another vote for Fender 9050 flats. These are the only strings I'll play now! After trying many of the alternatives (including Chromes and TI's) I've settled happily on 9050L flats. Just perfect tone..! Some people complain of 'twangy' G tone, but I've never noticed this. Cheap as well! I've had my current set on for a year and they're still going strong!

    This is odd, because I used to run 9050L flats on my Fender Japan P-bass (string through bridge) and I never had any problems with the winding taper on the machine heads. Can you be a bit more specific by "the winding taper is all wrong" brotherdave?
  20. The 9050L's I have are pretty old. I bought a box of 12 about 7 years ago and I have two sets left. The ends that go into the tuners are tapered and then get fatter about where they should be coming out of the tuners. They also have silk on the ends. As for the problem with the bridge-through Jazz with Fender 9050L's, I like for there to be some silk around the tuner shaft, however on the E string there would have been none. The Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats 344's worked perfectly on it though. Nice low tension strings. I have noticed that the A string seems to already be going dead though and I really haven't played it that much. This surprised me since I'd heard from several people that the TI's last indefinitely. I suppose the Fender 9050's would have fit but I'm picky and didn't want to bugger up a set of strings I can surely use on the body-through bass.

    On the topic of strings, I find it interesting that James Jamerson never changed strings unless one broke and that Carol Kaye says she never changed strings, but would just get a new bass instead. She's one of the people who recommend the TI Jazz Flats.