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D Addario Chromes

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by RDT, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. OK, so I got my new Lakkie last week, but didn't really like the factory rounds that it came with. So, upon advise of fellow TB'ers., (note: I said in a previous post, I use Labella DTF's on my Ibanez 5 string, but wanted a little more snap or punch), so I ordered a set of D'Addario Chromes. They arrived today, however, so far, I'm not happy. I definitely am not happy with the low B string....it just kinda says BLAH, as compared to the rounds and the Labellas on my Ibanez. So much, that I put the stock Lakkie round low B on, but left the bottom 4 Chromes. This seemed to help a lot. I'm getting used to the Chromes tone, but they are S-T-I-C-K-Y, if feels like I have dirty fingers...if that makes sense. I'm hoping they'll 'break in' over the next few days of playing. I didn't notice this when I switched from rounds over to Labella Flats.:meh:

    They don't have the 'string talk', of course, as the rounds. We are going in the studio for a couple weeks, next Monday. Hopefully, they'll break in...

    Any other suggestions? What about D'Addario half rounds? I see on the back of D'Addario's box, half rounds are kind of a happy medium between the two. Any thoughts on these, or even other brands?
  2. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I have used the D'addario half-rounds on a fretless bass and I hated them. If you think Chromes are sticky, you will HATE the half-rounds. They are way stickier than the Chromes and the stickiness takes MUCH longer to go away.

    As far as the Chromes being sticky, give them a little bit of time to break in. A couple of weeks worth of regular playing should be enough. I have a 1-year old set of Chromes on my MIM P-bass and they are definitely not sticky anymore and haven't been for a while, but they were when I first put them on. As far as the tone, Chromes are fairly bright compared to other flats and may not be everyone's ideal flatwound-type tone. I like them a lot, they are flats with clarity and just enough zing to pull off different styles that a lot flats don't handle as well. But, if you want traditional flatwound tone, they may not be for you.
  3. MKoby


    Jul 14, 2004
    MD/Metro DC
    I like the D'addario half-rounds on a fretless bass, and have had a set on since 1981. Mediums.
  4. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Too late now, but next time you get chromes run each string through an alcohol soaked paper towel a few times before you put them on.
  5. Orco87


    Mar 26, 2000

    I love my chromes so far, able to do many different styles suprisingly and blend well where I would think flats wouldn't go. Even able to slap and pop and sound decent, not as bright of course, but they're really good warm strings, easy to play and have great tone. I recommend them as well!
  6. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    I would never throw on a fresh set of flats when I have a recording session right around the corner.

    It literally takes months for flats to really get juicy. A few weeks for them to become bearable, but months to sound great. I put new chormes on my P about 3 or 4 months ago, and they're just now getting to the sweet spot. And this bass is my daily player.
  7. dwm74


    Nov 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I've been intrigued by the idea of putting flats on my P-bass for a while. After lurking in the Strings forum for the last few weeks I've decided I'll give the Chromes a try.

    From what I can gather, they seem to have a nice combination of characteristics...the feel of flats, but with a little more 'zing' than standard flats.
  8. stranded horse

    stranded horse

    Dec 8, 2009
    outer space
    [ ] yes [ ] no
    My TI flats sounded beautfiful right from the start.
    trothwell likes this.
  9. I love Chromes for this very reason - they have a very unique tonal characteristic of their own, not too zingy (like rounds) or not too thumpy (like traditional flats). I would recommend them to anyone who's contemplating switching to flats for the first time.

    The Chromes on my P are a little over a year old, while the ones on my J are about 7 months old, and we're just getting warmed up!

    By the way, I have not experienced any of the "stickiness" I've heard some people complain about.

  10. Agree, Chromes are unique flats, brighter than LaBellas, which is good for rock but perhaps not as good for motown stuff. I like them, use them on a lot of basses along with LaBellas, TI flats, DR flats, and Fender flats.
  11. makkE


    Jan 19, 2010
    Normandie, France
    Regarding stickyness:

    They feel very weird at first. Your fingers stick to them, and there is a wierd noise-sound going on, when your plucking fingers let go of the string.

    However, this will wear off completely withing 1-2 days.

    I also took advice from a german forum, saying that chromes would come full of oil and sanding residue. This is true, so I cleaned them with alcohol and tissue before using them. A lot of grime came off.

    On the tone: I can only agree with previous posters. Chromes have a sound of their own. They are smooth and mellow, but at the same time, they have a distinct bite to them, wich makes them very versatile.

    You can go from agressive punkish/rock pick-playing to very warm and woody plucking up the neck in an instant.
    I would recommend them to anyone trying flats for the first time, because they still have some sort of rounds characteristics, wich makes the transition less shocking :)
  12. Stan13


    Nov 29, 2009
    Winnipeg, Canada
    I just switched over to Chromes(had never tried flats before) on my Ibanez prestige 1000EFM and I love em!! Wish I had switched over sooner. Still playing with the tone on my amp, but getting closer to dialed in to what I want.
  13. I played on them for about 3 hrs or so last night, and they did feel a lot better.

    And as far as the tone: Like a dumb as$, I installed a new rack tuner at the same time I put the new strings on. However, I sent my signal 'post' eq, therefore I wasn't getting the benefit of the amps eq. After realizing this last night and changing it around, I really like the tone of the Chromes...I'm sure, as all new strings do, they'll only improve with age. I still, however, kept the 'roundwound' low B string...just for the bottom 'punch.'

  14. Me 2. I finally just went 'flat' on the eq and started over from scratch. I'll see how it sounds this evening when I go down to play. After 'tweeking', the eq...that is, for a couple of hours my ears and brain say, "That's it...that's the sound you've been looking for.":) Only to go down with 'fresh' ears the next day and have my brain say, "what the hel! were you thinking...":eek:
  15. dwm74


    Nov 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I usually don't quote myself, but I stopped at GC on the way home from work this afternoon and bought a pack of Chromes (50-105). I immediately put them on even though my GHS Boomers (rounds) still had plenty of life. After playing them for two hours straight, you can count me as a convert. Obviously I can't tell how long they're gonna last, but I like everything else about them. Took a few minutes for my plucking fingers to get used to them, and had to raise the pickup slightly for the D string (for volume), but all else is great.

    I have to admit the tonal difference isn't as much as I had expected. There was definitely a noticeable difference, but I kind of expected to hear a night-and-day kind of difference. Not a complaint, just an observation. I did have to adjust the 'bass' on my amp down by 1, and tweaked the tone up on my P from my normal 7 to about 7.5. But overall, I am very pleased with them, and am glad I gave them a try.
  16. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    They're flats...they will last as long as you want them to. I've had mine on my Fender for about a year and they still sound great. Flats don't go "dead" like rounds. Justin Meldel-Johnson has video talking about Chromes and he plays a bass that has had a set of Chromes on it for 4 years.

    Glad you guys like the Chromes, they are really a unique-sounding flat. They can do the traditional flatwound sound if you want, but they can also do a lot more as well.
  17. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    I never had a problem with my chromes being sticky, in fact they're the smoothest feeling string I've ever used. fingers just fly on mine. I first used the 100-45's for a year and now I'm on 105-50's and these babys give me the greatest open "E" I've ever had (on my jazz bass), fantastic tone. I've had the "new" set on about 4 months now and they are sounding awesome. all I do is after every gig, give them a wipe down with a lint-free cloth and a wee bit of guitar polish and bingo, a really funky spanky string with full, broken in fundamentals (as they're flat you can just clean off all that tone killing,finger sticking gunk). The best of both worlds! I save SO much money now I don't have to change strings all the time. Great for practising unplugged too as you will get alot more acoustic volume/vibration. Cool!
  18. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    TI's do sound good out of the pack..... but they sound completely different after a few months. The barely played set sported on my G&L SB2 sound completely different from the well played in three year old set on my SB1.
  19. I just put some Chromes (45-100s) on my Lakland 44-02. I know what you are talking about. It kinda feels like the strings have a "matte" finish and are a little gripy. The Lakkie does sound good though. Conversely, I just put a set of Rotosound 77s on my custom 4-string and they have a very polished finish that is slippery. Very bright as well, if anyone is interested in an alternative to Chromes.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong or hallucinating, but I tried Chromes about 10 years ago and thought they were the dullest, most lifeless string I'd ever played. I couldn't believe the bright sound out of this new set. I didn't think they were even the same string. Did they change the formula over the last 10 years or something?

    Anyway, all this is coming from someone who has played TI Jazz flats for 20 years, FWIW.
  20. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    If I wanted to sound like a piano, Id prolly play piano. I like Chromes a lot better than TIs. Just sayin'
  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.

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