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DR Hi-Beam Flats tension?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Jared Lash, Mar 30, 2009.


  1. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    hbarcat was nice enough to send me his clips of the LaBella DTF, DRs and Roto Steve Harris flats. While they seemed to be his least favorite, I really liked the sound of the DRs.

    But I've done a few searches and this is one question I can't seem to get a reasonable answer to: what is the tension like on these? It isn't that no one has commented, but that opinions seem to vary wildly from "they're just about as stiff as Fenders" to "they have less tension that La Bella extra lights".

    I'm looking for a somewhat low tension flat (TIs sound good but are a bit too loose for me) and curious where the DRs actually rank. Has anyone played the DRs and say, the La Bella 760FLs?

    I really need a new set of strings (some VERY worn Sunbeams) but I'm getting paralysis by analysis trying to decide on a set of flats after being a roundwound player my entire bass playing life.
     
  2. LuvMusic

    LuvMusic

    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    Mr. Robertson ;):

    I currently have my Fender P-bass and Squier Telebass strung with DR flats and my Squier VM Jazz strung with La Bella 760FL's.

    I am not an aggressive player nor do I slap, so my experience may or may not be useful.

    The DR's range from 9-14 months old. The La Bella's are about 6 months old. After playing them regularly (all three basses get played 3-5 times a week) and a couple of season changes here in Chicago, I'd say the string tension on all three basses is close to the same. The La Bella's may have slightly more tension (according to my touch) but not enough to impact how I play. And, I certainly would not describe the DR's as loose.

    FYI, I also prefer the DR's but the La Bella's do have a very nice voice on my Jazz. My 2 cents.....don't spend it all in the same place!
     
  3. Dwiggs

    Dwiggs

    Mar 1, 2008
    Wake Forest, NC
    I ran DR flats back to back with TIs on my P bass. I found the DRs' tension to be noticeably higher than that of the TIs (an improvement in my eyes) but not as high as the Chromes I had tried previously. I haven't tried the La Bellas yet, so I can't comment on those. I think I may have slightly preferred the tone of the TIs over that of the DRs, but not enough to make the switch back just yet.
     
  4. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Thanks for the comments guys. I like the sound of the TI's too, but again just a bit too low in tension for me.

    But on the other side of things, my current basses are currently strung with nickle SITs (ok tension wise), Sunbeams (which I love), and Slinkys (too low tension IMO) I just wanted to make sure the DRs weren't going to feel like steel cables.

    From some comments it seemed like they might be so I was going to try the 760FLs instead. But it sounds like the DRs may be right for me after all.
     
  5. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    One more question: am I correct in assuming that the DRs will have more low end thump than the TIs? My fretted Stambaugh has Nordy Fat Stacks which give it a somewhat Jazz-like tone. The TI's sounded good but were emphasizing the already very present mids while not giving me the more bassy sound I wanted. After trying them, I think I'd rather put the TI's on a P-bass if I had one.

    And of course, any more comments on the DRs tension would be appreciated.
     
  6. Mr. Ray

    Mr. Ray

    Feb 20, 2009
    Canada
    I don't know about DR flats but Pyramid Gold are an easy playing flat...very buttery and warm. They are a nickel flat.
     
  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Believe me, I've looked at the Pyramid Golds - they seem like great strings. And I may try them at some point. But not being a "flats" guy I'd rather try something a little less expensive in my first venture into "traditional" flats (meaning not the TIJFs) before shelling out for them.

    After all, being somewhat of a DR fan boy, I can get a set of flats, a set of SS Low Riders and a set of Sunbeams and string three basses for the price (including shipping) of one set of Pyramids.
     
  8. jk3

    jk3

    Jul 25, 2007
    Chicago
    GHS Precision Flats have a moderate tension, imo - very similar to a round wound. In tone and feel - I compare them to Beatle Bass LaBellas.

    PS: I currently have an SB2 getting setup with DR Flats - i will chime in with my thoughts - hopefully tomorrow.
     
  9. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    I bet you will like that set up

    I heard the DR's are thumpy. I know the GHS are thumpy. I have a set of Fenders 9050ML now., I may go back to GHS or try the DR's...everything DR makes seems good so why wouldn't the flats be any different.
     
  10. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy

    Mar 8, 2009
    California
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    I switched to DR flats on my Ric 4003 from the stock strings and found them very comfortable. Tension seems close to the previous set (close enough to not have to adjust the truss rods), neither flabby nor tight. In this context, I like them a lot. Sound-wise, it's like a Ric with better manners ;-)
     
  11. Dwiggs

    Dwiggs

    Mar 1, 2008
    Wake Forest, NC
    The DR flats are definitely thumpy. They sound cool enough on their own, but they're pure magic in the mix. They sound great and feel really good as well. Try 'em, you'll like 'em.
     
  12. kirkm24

    kirkm24

    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    The DR flats are great strings. I'd like to leave them on my P bass but it seems like everything I play now a days requires that extra snap that can only be obtained with rounds.
     
  13. Mr. Ray

    Mr. Ray

    Feb 20, 2009
    Canada
    Once you have a set of Pyramids they will last you for years. The only other flat I like are the Labellas in light or regular...but the Pyramids are the warmest flats I've used. I have them strung on my Washburn AB-90 and I get a lot of compliments on that sound.:)
     
  14. kirkm24

    kirkm24

    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    I know it sounds dorky to quote myself but I gave my bass a try today in a full band setting and actually was able to get the snap I needed out these strings. The more I play them the more I like them. I am a DR fanboy for life!
     
  15. jk3

    jk3

    Jul 25, 2007
    Chicago
    got my SB2 with DR Flats back last night. Ive played them for a few hours now. I have to say - i'm dissapointed.

    To answer the PMs question about tension: The tension is not bad - not a far cry from a round-like tension.
    Less tension than chromes and fenders more tension than GHS Precisions.

    imho, in a blind taste test i would probably not be able to tell the difference between DRs and Chromes (other than the tension there isnt to much differential, to me).

    Tone-wise they're good, but for me flats are 90% Tension and Feel (and feel is about as subjective as it gets).

    In the end i would rather pay Less for Chromes, Laklands, GHS and More for Sadowskys, LaBellas, etc. than pay $42 for DR - not sure how they came up with that price point.
     
  16. pc

    pc

    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    GHS Precisions are very similar to the HI-beams rounds.

    I changed to them two weeks ago and didn't percieved any difference on the neck's action.

    I used the 6 string set
     
  17. kirkm24

    kirkm24

    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    There are lots of sellers who offer these strings for $35. But I see your point nonetheless.
     
  18. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Well, I took the plunge and will give the DR Flats a shot.

    In fact, I did what I mentioned above and ordered three sets of DRs (Low Riders, Sunbeams and Flats) to eventually string up on three different basses. The other two sets may wait a bit, but the flats are going on as soon as they show up.
     
  19. kirkm24

    kirkm24

    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    I installed a new pickup on my bass and carefully removed the DR flatwound strings. When I went to put them back on the windings up by the peg came undone and the the whole string broke when I tried to wind it up. I don't think this should have happened so easily. I e-mailed DR and am awaiting their response.

    In the meantime, I have a gig and will have to get Chromes since that is the only flatwound string available from the local store. I think DR will take care of it as they have been known to do before.
     
  20. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Regarding how much tension a set of strings has, can anyone tell me how one goes about determining this without actually measuring it with some kind of specialized apparatus? I've searched the forums and I can't find an answer to this. It seems to me that when one refers to "tension" they are actually describing "stiffness" which is fairly easy to compare qualitatively from string set to string set by how they feel when you pluck them (as in, the Roto's feel stiffer than the LaBella's but not as stiff as the DR's).

    As usual I could be wrong. Someone help me out with an answer that makes sense. :bag:
     

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