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Experience with Ernie Ball Flatwounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Diesel Kilgore, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Looking at the selection of bass strings at the local store today and talked to the music man about some of what he had in the flatwounds. First thing he recommended were the Ernie Ball flatwounds.

    Here at TB the consensus usually rests with D'Addario Chromes, LaBella's, GHS....But haven't really heard much of anything about the Ernie Ball's.

    Super Slinky's have been my go to string since I started playing. I consider them to be an above average all around string at a good price. But don't know if it would be worth it to venture into EB's flatwound offering. The price (at the local shop at least) was quite a bit cheaper (about $15) then the D'Addario Chromes.

    Curious to what you guys think of the EB flats?
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Have you used D'Addario Chromes? If so, then you've used Ernie Ball Flats.
  3. ^^^^^^^^ I think the windings are different on EB flats; I don't think they're re-packaged Chromes. The ribbons aren't as wide on EB flats.
  4. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Long story short: D'addario used to make EB flats, then EB started making their own, D'addario changed their formula, EB did not. So, technically, EB flats are the OLD Chromes. I've played both and there are subtle difference.

    o EB flats have more "clank" when fresh out of the pack.
    o EB flats have more of a traditional flatwound sound after breaking in, but not as close to GHS or La Bella.
    o Less clarity than Chromes and no upper-mid brightness either when broken in.

    That's about it. EB flats are good, but they are nothing special. I'd recommend going with the two alternatives: Chromes for the brightness & clarity or Fenders for midrange bite and growl. Not to mention the Fenders are cheaper.
  5. +1

    I use both, very similar. Great strings. I'm getting the flatwound tone I want from my EB's, no need to spend 3X the $$$.

    Chose your gauge/tension wisely. I have found this to be the key to maximum enjoyment of flats.
  6. Deaky


    Oct 24, 2006
    +1 for Fender flats. Ive got them on 2 of my Precision basses and they have a nice bite to them.
  7. How many different gauge sets does EB make in flats?

    The local shop had a couple packages but they all were the same gauge. .40 was the G string gauge IIRC. I can't remember what E was.
  8. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    23 ft below sea level
    EB flats are available as singles. I just discovered them and bought some. They absolutely feel, play and sound like Chromes, of which I used many sets. These single strings allow you to compose your own set. I'm using .045, .060, .080 and .105, which gives about the same tension for each string.
    The strings I found start with 0.040, incrementing in steps of 0.005 to 0.110. There's also a 0.135 available.

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