Best low priced flatwounds ?

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

  1. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Ernie Ball are similar to Daddario but are readily available in more sizes. I use the Group I's sometimes (55, 75, 90, 110, 130) if I want something brighter than Jamerson 1954 LaBellas.
  2. interp


    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    TI Jazz Flats are without a doubt the most cost effective flat wound string on a cost-per-use basis. They will deliver unmatched quality and playability for a long, long time. In your situation probably forever.

    Incidentally, I had them on a Precision RW bass specifically because of how well that combination nailed the Tiran Porter sound on Takin' in to the Streets. (To me, that is the gold standard of how a P-bass with flats should sound.) The set of TI Jazz Flats I currently have on my '62 Jazz have been on for about 6 years and they sound as good as the day I first put them on. Which is very good.

    And no, I don't work for Thomastik-Infeld.
    GregT likes this.
  3. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I thought you guys who play flats never ever change them except maybe once every other decade? Why does price matter much?

    ... I know that sounds like a troll post, but that is my honestly genuine impression from reading TB. I have a few basses with flats, but never use them as I don't really like the sound of flats. I would never consider changing the strings on them even if I did like flats.
  4. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    +1 on the Ernie Ball Flatwounds. Group II or III would be my recommendation. I have use them for years.

    LaBella 1954 as mentioned by Doner Design are a really nice set. They're big, they don't bend very much but they are really gorgeous tonally.
    I have been digging mine. They also feel great under the fingers.
  5. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    I wouldnt choose strings based on silk color alone, either, by the way, but personally I don't think Fender flats sound so incredibly much better than all the other flatwounds that it's enough a reason for me to choose them. I was simply providing the OP with a fairly common starting point for low priced flatwounds, since it really is impossible for us to recommend the BEST flatwound (for him).
  6. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Cost/Benefit - it is hard to beat the price for tone, versatility and longevity of a set of Fender standard light flats 45-60-80-100 (although I do prefer a 105 E string).
    fretlessguy likes this.
  7. I also like Fender flats and GHS Precision Flatwounds. The price is right, but more importantly they have that old-school tone and feel.
    nerkoids and fretlessguy like this.
  8. Woofer


    Sep 24, 2008
    I use both Chromes and Fenders. I prefer the Chromes, as they're a little brighter but not too much so, and it works with what I like to play. I think for you the Fenders would be better.
  9. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    Flatwound string choice includes several factors and can be very subjective ... also, when new they can be very different in response than a well broken in/aged set ... yes, they will last for many years, but if played as infrequently as OP has described, they may also take a very long time to reach the aged sound/state ...

    IF cost is a strong factor in the choice, another possibility may be purchasing used flats, from the TB classifieds ... several on here 'buy to try', and then pass along sets after the trial ... often times still in a fairly new state, other times well broken in ... I have bought and sold dozens of used flats on here, and found it beneficial towards a good working knowledge in my application ... and, if they are not your cup of tea, simply move them along at or near the price you paid for the next person to try (or give them to a youngster to make their day)...

    ... things like tension, smoothness, and even hand reactions to the type of string material can all be just as important as sound (and price) ... for me, TI's are not a string I care for based upon their 'flexibility', and I find them to be 'stickier' than most others with my hand chemistry ... yet there are others on here that will only play TI's, etc ..

    If you buy used, just be cautious as to how/if they are cut, so they are usable in your application ... ;)
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
    Klonk likes this.
  10. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Buy the sexy purple ones! :smug:
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  11. Camaro


    Sep 25, 2013
    Germany, NRW

    nerkoids, Slowpicker and Linnin like this.
  12. dannster


    Aug 20, 2000
    Considering the fact you can sell the tomastiks for $50 when your done. They are actually pretty cheap.
  13. HaphAsSard likes this.
  14. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    Camaro likes this.
  15. GHS, D'Addario, Fender are all excellent choices. I'd add La Bella to the mix, but they're more expensive.
  16. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Hey! Thanks! If I can make the Italian Allparts distributor stock these I will start a local flatwound revolution!
    SturmUndDrang likes this.
  17. e-flat


    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    Man, I just love GHS Precision Flats. Full, rich, deep lows... I really like the tension & balance of the 3025 light set.
    If you want to step into the mid-priced flats, and are looking for something with a bit more in the high mids & "fidelity", the Sadowsky flats are incredible too.
    nerkoids likes this.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I don't think there's a big difference in sound, but the LaBella 760FL set lasta practically forever and is their light gauge set. They sound wonderful. Here's the hint - either go through bass strings online or check Imperial Guitar in New York. Their prices on the 760FL sets are outstanding - $28.55 per set. La Bella Bass Strings
  19. DevinWard369


    Apr 30, 2012
  20. DevinWard369


    Apr 30, 2012
  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 26, 2021

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