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Do flatwound strings last forever?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Richard Sabines, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Sep 25, 2007
    Im thinking to change my rounds in my p bass to flatwounds, maybe daddario chromes or rotosound flats by the opinions read here.. My question is how often do you worry to change the flatwound strings, if you ever change them.
  2. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Some only change a string when one breaks. Steve Harris changes his after every gig.
  3. JohNLA


    Feb 18, 2009
    Yes, until the end of time;)
  4. I have D'Addario Chromes on both of my basses: a Squier Affinity Precision and Squier Affinity Jazz V. All I can say is praise for these strings. They are highly revered here at TB, and are considered to be the best "starter" flatwound, for those who may be buying their first set. As for longevity: James Jamerson kept the same set of La Bella flatwounds on his Precision for as long as his career lasted, so ~30 years (?). Flatwounds do cost a bit more than rounds, but they are SO worth it. Try a set of Chromes and see what you think. Check this thread: A lot of really good discussion on this one. Best of luck! http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=519803
  5. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    Its rumored that James Jamerson never changed his strings. But that is a rumor, as no one can verify, IIRC.
  6. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    James Jamerson did not use one set of La Bella Flatwounds his whole career. James played at least three different Fender Precision's at different times in his career.
  7. Joe.shaffer


    Nov 25, 2008
    Cabot, AR
    I've had the same set of LaBella flats on my ibby for about six years now. I wouldn't say forever, but I have no plans to change them until one breaks.
  8. cpb1951


    May 22, 2009
    "Do" flatwound strings last forever?
  9. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Not a rumor.

    Jamerson DID change strings but only if one broke meaning his strings were often years old. And he cleaned the bass but never the fingerboard since "the dirt keeps the funk". When he was in LA Paul Jackson Jr. bought him a set of roundwounds to try and help him modernize his sound but James never put them on.

    Standing in the Shadows of Motown should be required reading (and rereading, not to mention song learning) for every bass player. ;)
  10. Fred19137


    Jan 23, 2009
    active musician
    I have never had to change mine. :)
  11. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    If one breaks, change the set to maintain tonal balance...unless you're really hard up for cash (Been there, done that.)

    It should be years between string changes.


  12. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    Yes,every bass player should read Standing In The Shadows Of Motown.Keep in mind,the Bass Jamerson used in Los Angeles was not The Funk Machine,pictures of him in the L.A. Studios have proven this,he did not use one bass his whole career as many seem to believe. Keep in mind also,that James lost work as a result of using flatwound strings that were several years old.
  13. GKevinK


    May 23, 2008
    Glen Burnie, MD
    I did have the E string on a set of LaBella 760FL's go kinda dead on me after 4 or 5 years. It might have been rectified by the boiling trick, though, which I didn't try.
  14. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    True. Having super old flats led him to have some serious intonation problems in his LA session days that cost him gigs.
  15. Phil Chen (Bassist on Jeff Becks "blow by blow) has had his flatwounds
    on his pbass for 45 years!!!!! still going strong says Phil
  16. My Chromes have lasted forever, so far.
  17. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Sep 25, 2007
    It seems I can die with the same set of strings on:hyper: Good for my economy, modjo for my bass:cool:
  18. still have mine for 3 years!!!!!
  19. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    Flatwounds were found on Mars on the first Fender. Thank god someone put a bright fresh new pack of rounds on it. Sarcasm lasts forever...
  20. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    My oldest set of flats is only 4 or 5 years old. But I have been told that the first sign of trouble is that they will not stay in tune.