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Characteristics of D'Addario Chrome Flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BulbousMoses, May 20, 2011.

  1. After checking most of my local music stores, it's become apparent that finding flatwound strings "in stock" is going to be a challenge. The exception seems to be that everyone carries D'Addario Chrome Flats. Can someone give me the general characteristics of these strings? I play mostly blues/roots/folk/country at the moment.
  2. Doufuss


    Mar 4, 2009
    Hey, Moses! Vancouver boy here.

    I have chromes on my fretless hollowbody, Lakland and Les Paul. I like them more than any other type of string. Chromes are very smooth to the touch. They are very easy on your fingers and your frets. They last a long time, years in some cases. They are higher tension than roundwounds by a lot, so you will need to adjust your truss rod over a period of a day or two. They have a mellow voice, but still project well.

    Hope this helps. The only way you'll know is to try 'em.
  3. Go Canucks! Well, I'll be putting a set on this weekend. I'll leave them on for awhile so they mellow and see how I like them. For sure they'll sound better than the stock rounds that came on the bass.
  4. Doufuss


    Mar 4, 2009
    Be extra cautious with the truss rod adjustment. Really take your time and allow it to settle in between incremental turns.
  5. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    I know it's tough, but try to not pass judgement on them until you have them fully broken in (like months). They're not quite as thumpy as other flats, but the mids sing, and give a lot of versatility. And a piece of foam for a mute will get you some thump.

    They're a great string for someone who wants those singing mids, but can't deal with the low tension and high flexibility of TIJF's.
  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Chromes are brighter than most other flats. If you're not going to spring for TI or LaBella, get Chromes.
  7. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    Eh Moses, Im living in Ottawa right now too, and its like that in most places. Chromes aren't that bad once you struggle with the break in period haha

    They start of oddly bright, with almost a sparkle like you would hear in steels but softened, and combined with the higher tension then nickel rounds i hated them until i forced myself to put them back on and break them in. Now (about a month after they went on the second time) they have a really nice sound. Not as thumpy as Labellas but not as bright as rounds.

    OR you could just order from Juststrings.com I just picked up a set of labella short scale flats from there since no one carries that here in Ottawa, and they were pretty cheap. Especially since the canadian dollar is worth more then the US dollar theres a bit of a discount haha
  8. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    D'Addario Chrome Flats? That's the story around here, sometimes they have them on the shelf, and most days-not!
  9. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    They're not excessively tight, their tension isn't too much higher than other rounds but they are stiffer which is why some people think so. Minor truss rod adjustment needed at most.
  10. Ah, ye olde 'Flats Be Hi Tensione' tale . . .

    Last time I ran the numbers I believe Chromes came up SLIGHTLY (3%?) higher tension that the equivalent gauges in D'Addario XLs.
  11. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    D'Addario even has the tension charts on their site, you can see that Chromes aren't really higher, it's probably around 3% but due to the nature of a flatwound wrap, they will be stiffer.

    Now there are some flats that can have higher tension or less tension, but the chromes aren't much different than the nickel rounds.
  12. This is true, tension and stiffness are not necessarily the same thing. Chromes are definitely stiffer than the nickel rounds.
  13. After much debate and handwringing, I've done a complete 180 and decided to put on a set of GHS Precision Flats. As a friend told me on the weekend

    "For God's sake, man...they're just strings. If you don't like them, try a different set"

    Is he right? Absolutely. So, I'll report back on what I think of the GHS Flats and take things from there.
  14. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    One trick that I found to hasten the mellowing of Chromes is to wipe in some grapeseed oil. At first you won't notice much difference but soon they become as thumpy as can be. Beware - this is not a subtle change.
  15. Interesting. I wonder if this works on roundwound stings as well...
  16. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Juststrings is great. If you're basing your string choice on what you can find locally, just go to these guys and order what you really want.

    The descriptions of Chromes in this thread are pretty much spot on. Quite bright for a set of flats, which may or may not be what you want. They're also inexpensive for flats, which is nice.

    For what its worth, I just stuck a five string set of LaBella 760FL flats on my new SB5000, and am loving it. This set has a stiffness similar to the 0.045 - 0.130 round set I've been using forever, which made the transition very easy. WAY less stiffness than the Jamerson or 760FM sets that are more common.

    If a set of strings exists, juststrings.com probably sells it.
  17. anonymous122511

    anonymous122511 Guest

    Dec 28, 2010
    +1 for JustStrings.

    As for tension I replaced Chromes with DR Sunbeams with no truss rod adjustment required.

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