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Best shortscale flats (or half rounds) for Fender Mustang?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ipressrecord, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. ipressrecord


    Apr 9, 2014
    First post here!

    Been playing bass for about a decade, guitar for 25+ years.

    Looking to outfit my CIJ Mustang with a set of mellower strings. It is through-body. I play in a dark Americana band (think Tom Waits, Bad Seeds, etc), and I always have a foam mute under the bridge. Looking to help enhance the deep, muted tones (sometimes close to upright) that I am going for. I've had this bass for about 3 years and it's time to move past round wounds.

    Any help is appreciated!

  2. uberman


    Nov 5, 2013
    I have played tone of short scales and am always looking for the right tone for the right band. I play in a similar band as yours:
    and I would tell you to use LaBella Tapewound Flats on your bass. Youll love the sound you get. Also, if you get a chance to grab a semi-hollow short scale, do it! It'll add another dimension to your rootsy/Americana sound. Right now Im playing a Lakland semi hollow short but other basses I can recommend for your style is a Epiphone RumbleKat, a gretsch Electromatic, a Hofner or a Danelectro. These all come in short scales. I have found that the bigger, more modern pickups don't have the character I want in a acoustic type band, hence even my Lakland is not giving me the real sound I desire so Ill be getting a kay Pro Bass or Danelectro when I can. Also, it makes a difference if your playing with a pick or your fingers. For an more 'upright' sound, play the Labella flats fingerstyle up close to the neck. If you want a more percussive sound, palm mute and play with a pick.And last, whenever you can, use a TUBE amp. Hope this helps!!
  3. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    You need "Medium Scale" strings for a Fender Mustang before you go any further...
    Root 5 likes this.
  4. Yep, medium strings will be required because of the through-body loading. D'addario makes both Chromes and tapewounds in medium length (ECB81M & ETB92M, respectively), and either is a good place to start.

    La Bella Deep Talkin' flats are also great strings but they're twice the cost of Chromes and make for an expensive test drive. Also, La Bella specifically warns that they may break in string-through basses (although some say this is not an issue).

    My experience is that tapewounds are floppier and rattle more, even if they have a .105" E string as opposed to the .100" E that comes with the Chromes.

    For shortscale basses it's just hard to beat Chromes if you want flats. GHS Precision flats are another great string but I don't think they are made in medium scale lengths.

    I'd advise starting with Chromes and go from there.
  5. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    Sponsored by The Letter Z
  6. ipressrecord


    Apr 9, 2014
    Thanks for all of the help, folks! Appreciate it.

    Ok, so medium scale. Got it.

    I'm going to see if my local music shop has the Labellas in stock, and if not, the Chromes. I'll order the Labellas online if need be. Any other strings that you can recommend that are specifically made for Mustang basses? Good info to know.

    I probably will need a second bass to cover everything, but for now the Mustang is great. I have a 1996 American P-Bass on loan to a friend right now, but to be completely honest the short/medium scale bass is more my speed. I've been looking into a bunch of cool vintage Japanese short-scale basses, the Gretch, and the Reverend Dub King (I own two Reverend guitars and love them). So we'll see what I eventually go with, if I go with anything at all.

    I play bass, lap steel, and guitar in Northern Arms here in Philadelphia (although I didn't play on this recording): http://northernarms.org/

    Picking up my buddy's Ampeg B25b head and cab (all original) in about 2 weeks, actually!

  7. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    Not yet. I have a batch of med scale P Flats being made currently, and after some prototyping, they'll be available on a production level.
    Root 5 likes this.
  8. GHS Official, that's good news. On a similar note, are GHS Precision flats with an E string that properly fits on 34" scale basses in production yet?

    I know you guys have been looking at that and just wondered whether or not the fix was in place yet.
  9. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    Sadly, not yet. I apologize for that, as I know it's a priority for the folk that either using, or considering, our flats. I've been working on some other things that took priority over that (lots of which weren't bass-related), but now that I have a couple of the other glaring issues taken care of, I can hopefully get this taken care of.
  10. HateyMcAmp


    Apr 13, 2006
    Just got some mustang flats, they are awesome! Perfect fit, nice gauge, feel, and tension. They are not loose, but not Jamerson-esque either.
  11. Calexia13


    May 22, 2007
    I will second that the Labella Mustang Bass Flats are a great match for the Mustang bass. Nice deep tone, but also has a great top on it, not too bright, just perfect. Give them a try!
  12. Brite Flats come in a 32"-33" winding length! They're burly strings that feel tense but actually don't have as much tension as precision flats. They can deliver the sounds you're looking for I would think.
  13. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    I believe Jason from BSO is also going to get a number of our pre-production Precision Flats in a medium scale length as well.
  14. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    TI flat sis what I have on mine. Great strings. TI does not make Medium scale strings, their Short scale ones are ok for 30-32 inch so they will work fine on the Fender Mustang strung through the body.

    My second choice would be ROTO 77s, but they tend to die fast whereas TIs last forever...
  15. brad houser

    brad houser

    Jan 4, 2008
    DR long scale flats work fine on my short scale Squier Jaguar. I just cut off most of the wound silk part and strung the bass up. no problem. also, on my P bass string thru bridge the DR's work fine, no cracking or breakage. great sounding strings on my shorty.
  16. D'Addario Chromes for sure. Be sure to get a medium-scale set, though.