Best low priced flatwounds ?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bass301, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Bass301


    Jul 13, 2008
    What are the best low to average priced flatwound strings, and what string gauge should I get ?

    As much as I would like to try Thomastik-Infeld flatwounds, my bass situation hesitates to accept the cost of ~75 dollars for a set of strings.

    My needs and use :

    (a) Desired bass tone is Tiran Porter of the Doobie Brothers on classic rock songs especially "Takin' It To The Streets" and also James Jamerson especially on Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar".

    (b) Bass is 1992 Fender Precision bass made in Mexico and still in very good condition.

    (c) I play 95 percent of time with my fingers and only occasionally with a pick. No popping or slapping.

    (d) The strings would see relatively little use because I am no longer gigging nor even practicing much anymore, so the strings would be staying on the bass for a LONG time and loosened when the bass is resting in the case. However, when playing I want to have my desired tone.

    Having little experience with bass strings, do all strings sound mostly the same after being on a bass after many months/years ? Would old strings perhaps enhance the tone I have described ?

    What is the best way to get this tone and replace the strings as infrequently as possible ?

    Would Thomastik-Infeld strings be cost effective even though much higher priced than other strings ?

    Your insight will be much appreciated !
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Where do you live?
  3. For an affordable, all-purpose set of flats, I would highly recommend the Fender 9050L (45-60-80-100).

    I would NOT recommend you loosen the strings every time the bass is resting for a period of time.

    The way the truss rod works, it's a matter of achieving the proper balance between the tension of the strings and the counter-tension of the rod for stability. It's perfectly okay, and even healthier for the neck, to keep the strings in tune even when you're not using the bass.
    Mili, Eikari and Woofer like this.
  4. TimB 619

    TimB 619 Guest

    May 28, 2010
    Fender 9050L
  5. Kenova


    May 5, 2010
    Zagreb (Croatia)
    D'addario Chromes, best all-purpose flats
    ColdEye and Double E like this.
  6. Camaro


    Sep 25, 2013
    Germany, NRW
    GHS Flats in 45-105 would be my recommendation.
  7. Jeff Elkins

    Jeff Elkins Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Johnson City, TN
    After getting all of the good recommendations here that you can, I'd also recommend contacting Jason @ He's extremely knowledgable about what's available, offers excellent prices (IME), and would be happy to speak with you about exactly what you're looking for.

    He's also a proud TB member, and treats us well.

    No affiliation, just a happy customer for over two years.
  8. Mike Law

    Mike Law

    Sep 16, 2014
  9. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
    GHS for dark chocolate with a gooey chocolate and caramel center.
    Fender flats for Milk chocolate covered rice crisps.
    SIT power flats for Swedish berries dipped in chocolate sauce for chocolate covered cognac candies.
    u2brothr, ColdEye, Lo-E and 4 others like this.
  10. fjadams


    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    I'm a big fan of the GHS or the La Bella.
    One thing. Once you get the strings on, get it tuned, then leave it for extended lengths of time, Do Not detune it. The neck and bass are designed and made to be under the tension the strings give it. More potential harm comes from lack of tension than from keeping it tuned properly at all times.
    nerkoids, /\/\3phist0 and Root 5 like this.
  11. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Can't go wrong with Fender Flats.
    Eikari, TimB 619 and michael_t like this.
  12. Yes. Take a bit to break in but sound great for a long time.
    Eikari and shawshank72 like this.
  13. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    If you, like me, can't stand the puke green silk of the Fender flats, go for D'Addario Chromes, they are one of the cheapest flats, and very versatile.
    Double E likes this.
  14. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Every Fender Precision bass looks and sounds best when strung in the royal purple silks of GHS Precision Flats. Ask for them by name!:thumbsup:
    nerkoids and Camaro like this.
  15. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    I don't know about GHS flats or Chromes (but I do know and like guitar Chromes, even on bass), but I like how Fender flats sound so much I'd just paint their silk some other colour if I cared, rather than find something else only for aesthetic's sake.
    Eikari and michael_t like this.
  16. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    I really like the Chromes for my fretted P and J basses and I have TIs on my fretless which work well but do not have that classic flat sound, more of a hybrid.
    I use the balance light set with Chromes, they are pretty stiff
  17. I'm with @HaphAsSard on this...
    Granted, the green on the Fender 9050 is not my favorite color, but I would never take the Chromes over the Fender for the sake of the silk color.

    By the way, I do like the silk on the Fender for the fact they come in the correct winding length (36.5") for the standard Fender-style headstock.

    Eikari and Slowpicker like this.
  18. I don't think you'll have any problem with leaving a set of flats on a bass for years. I've had a set of Chromes for 15 years on two different basses. They still sound good.

    I've been a finger style player (90% of the time) for the last 27 years but I love flats with a pick, don't miss out!
    Farseer likes this.
  19. I LOVE La Bella's Low Tension Flexible Flats but they run about $40. I am also loving GHS Brite Flats and I'm pretty sure they were much cheaper... try!
  20. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Whatever you decide, Jason at Bassstringsonline is the best person I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
  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.

    Sep 22, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.