Best low priced flatwounds ?

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

  1. Camaro


    Sep 25, 2013
    Germany, NRW
    Rumor is that Carvin flats are made by GHS.
  2. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Our OP hasn't checked back in but I just wanted to point out that Tiran's sound on TITTS (for real) and Jamerson's sound on ATP are on opposite ends of the tonal spectrum. Also, Mr. Porter used a pick and of course James used 'the' finger. But no one string will cover both of these sounds...
  3. This is the reason why I (and many others) have recommended the Fender 9050L as an "all-purpose" flatwound.

    Affordable (no big loss if they don't work out), reasonable tension (no worse than a typical 45-105 set of rounds) and middle-of-the-road tonally (not as bright and "round-like" as EB Cobalts, and not as dark and thumpy as the La Bella and GHS).
  4. hopeless_opus


    Apr 2, 2012

    9050L for all the reasons stated above.
    Eikari likes this.
  5. When I used them around 10 years ago, I would say you are correct. I am not sure now.
  6. I prefer GHS P Flats these days, but if Fender had a .45-.95 set I would use them more often. Anyway, they are both fantastic!
  7. Bass301


    Jul 13, 2008
    Original Poster checkin' in .......

    Thanks to everyone for the replies. Much useful information beyond the string recommendations.

    Thankfully the bass neck is still in very good shape and the thought of loosening the strings first occurred on the day of writing the post.

    The idea of buying used strings on the TB classifieds will be good motivation for trying different sets of strings.
    As a starting point I will try sets of the Fender 9050 strings (both new and used) as a base line (pun intended) then eventually hear/feel how other strings compare from there.


    (a) What gauge and string length would be appropriate for a 1992 Fender P-bass ?
    A reply mentioned "9050L" which I assume refers to long string length as "L", and other replies have mentioned 100 and 105 as the gauge diameter for E string.

    (b) For best results should the bass have a new set-up when using flat wound strings ?
    The nut and saddle are still stock from the factory when shipped with round wound strings and have not been tweaked.
    For instance will the nut and saddle need any filing or adjusting ? Is it a consideration to get a nut specifically for using with the flatwound strings and storing the current nut in the case if ever again using round wound strings ?

    Thanks !
  8. The "L" in 9050L is for "Light Gauge", 45-60-80-100, which would be a good starting point for you. They only come in 36.5" winding length, meaning they're designed to fit a regular "long scale" Fender-style bass. So, they will fit just fine on your P bass.

  9. Klonk


    Apr 28, 2011
    I do a setup every time I change strings on a bass. It wastly improves the playing comfort.

    There are plenty of guides on YouTube on it, but here is a short version: start with installing the strings "as is", and tune to pitch. Then focus on the neck/truss rod; press down the first and last frets, and measure the distance between the top of the 12th fret and the string. The goal in most guides is to have the distance around 0,3 mm or .012 inches, although people will often have their own preferences here. I prefer a flatter neck (less distance between fret and string) if I string with a high tension string, because it moves less. To make changes to the neck, use the truss rod, in small increments. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosy, which is to say, tighten the truss rod to make the neck more flat, loosen it to make it more concave.

    Next, action; measure the distance between fret and string at the last fret (dont push down any frets). The goal here is usually between 2 mm and 2,5 mm. Next, check the pickup height by pressing down the last fret and measuring between the string and the top of the pickup poles. Start at around 2,5 mm here as well. Finally, I'd check intonation, by comparing the fretted 12th note to the harmonic. If sharp, lenghten the string (move the saddle back), if flat, shorten the string (move the saddle forward).

    The nut will only need attention if you try a set of strings with very large (or very small) gauges.
  10. taylor16

    taylor16 Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    Billings, MONTANA
    Another vote for Fender 9050L. They're incredible.
    Eikari, Jeff Elkins and TimB 619 like this.
  11. AdamK


    Jan 24, 2015
    Thanks to all of the Fender 9050L suggestions, I'll be ordering a set of them for my school's bass to replace the filthy dirty roundwounds that are currently on it. For my two basses at home, I use D'Addario Chromes.
  12. 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.

    Oct 28, 2021

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