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Do all flats Thump?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mastershake, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. mastershake


    May 12, 2011
    I often hear the word 'thump' to describe the sound of many flatwound strings used by players on this forum. When I hear the word I imagine a deep dull percussive sound. I have never strung my bass with flats before but I'm interested in looking into a set.
    Two important things I'm looking for in a set of flats and thats note definition and sustain.
    A set I'm currently considering are the Lakland Joe Osborn signatures which some people believe to be the same as GHS Precision flats but I'm not sure if this accurate as I've heard the GHS strings are constructed on a hex core while the JOs are constructed on a round.
    Anyone else have experience with these stings? Is it close to what I'm looking for? Any other recommendations that won't cost a lot?
  2. .
    I suggest you try D'Addario Chromes.
    They definitely have definition to my ears and good sustain.
    They are my favourite flats behind TIs.
  3. mastershake


    May 12, 2011
    I've heard of chromes but I've heard Justin Meldal-Johnsen in a video described them as having 'short sustain'.
    here's a link
  4. Chalkjaer


    Sep 16, 2013
    I use the rotosound jazz flats, they have a great sound, there warm and soft.
  5. Chalkjaer


    Sep 16, 2013
  6. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    I personally cannot find anything about Chromes that I like... they seem to get a lot of love on here but I've tried them a couple times on a couple different types of basses, and I just don't like them... I use the Sadowsky flats on all of my basses except my fretless (Status tape-wounds)... I have Meds on my Precision, and Lights on my jazz and Reverend Decision... They are made by Labella so they do have a little of the Labella thump, but they also have a very bright (for flats) high end and just enough bite to get a usable slap tone... they may be worth you looking into
  7. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    Believe it, this is the closest it gets to the truth.
  8. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    I'm not sure it's always helpful to listen to people talk about their strings. "Thump"? Not really. The best thing is to listen. If you're concerned that these Lakland strings might not be what you want, and you can't find enough audio somewhere to listen to, then forget them and go with what you want.
  9. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    IMO "thump" is as much (or more) a matter of technique and EQ. On my Jazz bass I can make my Chromes thump, or ring out and sustain ... using differing techniques.
  10. Justice4trance


    Sep 20, 2013
    Foam mute!
  11. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    Tomastic Jazz flats when played with a pick and really spanked...sound like round wounds.
  12. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Sadowsky Black Label or Rotosound 77s best meet your description, IMO. They both are fairly bright (Rotos more than the Sads), with plenty of sustain.
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  14. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Thump comes from technique in my opinion. It is helped by gear and eq for sure but that sharp attack and immediate mute is mostly in the hands.

    I use TI flats a lot and they can get very thumpy and very NOT thumpy just by moving my hands around and varying the touch.
  15. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    chromes go "Twang"
  16. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Until they've been broken in, then they go "thud."
  17. I like GHS Precision flats a lot. They feel good and they're warm and musical. I also like LaBellas, Pyramids and Fenders. Don't much like Chromes (too bright) and Rotosound Jazz flats (tension). That's just me, though.
  18. LaBellas have a really nice balance of thump and definition, IMO. Sustain better than the other flats I've used, too (Rotos, Chromes, GHS). Also, they come out of the pack virtually broken in; Chromes are super bright and have a stiff stickiness to them for a couple of weeks, and Rotos have a sharp clankiness that takes quite a while to wear off.
    I did an experiment where I replaced mine after a year, just to see how radically they settled in, and there was virtually no difference – other than the inherent new string "sparkle" that wore off after an afternoon's worth of jamming, they were indistinguishable from the year-old set both in tone and texture.

    Somehow I keep coming back to them time and time again, no matter how much $$ I impulsively blow on experimenting with different brands.
  19. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I guess they "thump" because they don't "snap".
    Oh the joys of trying to use words to describe the subjective impression of sound.
    My experience is that most flats don't have that metallic ring to them when played hard, which I believe has to do with how they bounce off the frets. A lot of them have a certain rubbery quality to their sound, much like an upright bass. All lows, with little articulation in the highs. The only flats that I've ever tried that had any clarity to them were the GHS Brite Flats. They have the sustain and smoothness one typically wants in a flatwound string, but still have a reasonable amount of highs.
  20. mastershake


    May 12, 2011
    Ghs Brite flats are actually ground wounds.