Brand New DR Flats- Dead E String??

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by GLFJ2679, May 19, 2009.

  1. GLFJ2679


    Apr 15, 2009
    Hey Everyone!

    I just strung up my first set of flats last night on my J Bass plugged into my vintage bassman 200 amp and they're freak'n damn smooth and the tone has that perfect old school bass sound. Now I've been told that they need to break in for awhile but the E string sounds very dead to me compared to the other strings. Is this normal or is it the DR Flats i'm using?? I mean it really sounds dead compared to A,D and G.

    Any thoughts? How long should it take to break in? Are there any tricks for breaking them in, lotion, stretching ect...??

  2. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    I'm using DR flats and this wasn't my experience. If you can't bring the E back up with some EQ tweaks you might have got a bad set - call them and ask about getting a replacement.
  3. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I had the same problem on my precision bass. They will send you a new set if you think the string is really shot.

    Having said that - the E-strings in the HiBeam Flats do seem to come out of the box deader (is that's a word) than the rest of the set. They will all settle in nicely though eventually (mine have). I have three basses strung with them - and the tone is even with all of them now.

    I will suggest though that you follow the instructions they give you - like the part about bending the 90 (I think - it's been a while) before cutting. I also make sure to press the strings down on both sides of the saddles, and the nut after I tune up the first time just make sure they have a nice break angle (terminalogy?). I think is also refered to as witness point.

    Anyway - they are a little more finicky than some others, and way more than rounds. They're good strings though - and the tone will smooth out.
  4. GLFJ2679


    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks for the replies...

    How about also giving them a good stretch?
  5. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Many string makers (including DR) recommend AGAINST stretching them. Just let them stretch out naturally tuned (and retuned) to normal pitch on your bass. IME they will hold pitch just fine for a one-hour set after two days, and will hold pitch for an entire gig after a week. Also, the more you play them, the sooner they will reach their "final" stretch.

    I have heard of the occasional dead E from DR - and other manufacturers. If it's still bad after a week I would definitely contact them.

    Also, as mentioned by others, it is vitally important that you give them that 90 degree bend about 4" to 4-1/2" past the tuning post before you cut them, then stick that bend into the vertical hole in your post and wind them up using the tuner. Don't wrap them around the post by hand - this will loosen the windings, make them sound dead, give them a jangly "chorus" sound, etc. Round core strings are especially susceptible to this type of damage by cutting and/or winding them incorrectly.
  6. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    With the DR HiBeam flats settled in - my basses literally stay in tune for weeks.
  7. I got a 5 string flats I ever played. I kinda had the same problem but that's because I strung them through the body and then realized that they were not seated properly on the bridge. I had to push the B & E down on the bridge and from then on they sounded awesome. I don't think that I would of had that problem if I strung them through the bridge...
  8. GLFJ2679


    Apr 15, 2009
    I did in fact bend them at a 45-90 before cutting them. I also stuck the end straight down and did wrap them a little around the post just to get them started otherwise how else would they start to wind on the post? Maybe I'm a little confused. I'm almost 100% positive I strung them correct. Should I try restringing the E again just to be sure or keep playing them for a week?

  9. Make sure that there isn't a twist in the E string. Twists make strings sound terrible! The easiest thing to do is loosen the string just enough so it isn't tight at the bridge. Next, pinch the string between your thumb and index finger at the nut. While continuing to pinch the string, run down the length of the string towards the bridge. Keep an eye on the end of the string and see if it turns. if it does, there was a twist in the string. Tighten the string up and you should hear a difference; better defined tone, more sustain.
  10. GLFJ2679


    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks everyone for all your help, it's starting to settle in after playing last night. I really dig these strings!
  11. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    I had the same "problem" with my DR flats -- give them a few weeks and they should even out. Mine did.
  12. fourtet102

    fourtet102 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Phoenix, AZ
    I hate heaters!
    Have same problem - P 62 Reissue - E string sounds as if there was muting foam installed. All other strings sound really full and well balanced. I never had such issues with other string makers.
  13. wmheilma


    Jan 5, 2010
    I have used DR round-wound strings a lot. Every once in a while, I have had a string that did not sound right or a set that did not seem to last like normal.

    Maybe DR will send you a replacement E string?
  14. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I SWORE by DR strings for the many years and my last 3 packs, (2 dragon skins, 1 fat beams) had a dead E, D, and G between them. I gave up on DR's since. Their customer service was great and sent me new ones each time, but that shouldn't happen 3 times in a row.
  15. MusicDad

    MusicDad Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I contacted DR and they sent me a new string. They were so helpful and quick to make me happy. However, I am having the exact problem with the new string. I'll try my former brand to see if it is better.
  16. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    Exactly what I stated in a different thread about my past experience with DR. It shouldn't happen at all. If it happens rarely, it's understandable. I've heard of the same issues, too many times. I won't even try them again, now. I'm very happy with another (less expensive, more consistent and really great sounding) brand, anyway.
  17. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    Some more anecdotal evidence....;) I have never, ever encountered a bad string from DR, and I have used countless sets of Hi Beams, Fat Beams, Sunbeams and Lo Riders (both nickel and ss).

    Same goes for D'Addario and Elite IME, never had a bad string there either.

    I have had dead strings from other manufacturers though. It's a real pain when it happens.