Flats: I tried, really I did

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Mikhail1, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Mikhail1


    Apr 8, 2008
    But I'm afraid they are not for me. This is no knock against flats, the light gauge Chromes I tried were head and shoulders above the old style flats I used back in the 70's but I felt they were just not versatile enough on my p bass. I had them on for over 7 months and while they sounded good for some things, I seemed to get lost in the mix. I kept turning to my j bass with D'Addario rounds for most stuff and missed that p bass punch. So I've got some Boomers and SIT Powerwounds coming and get to decided which will go on my p bass. The Chromes will go in my stash bag in case I ever need that flat sound in the future. Thanks for hearing me out. I'm Mikhail and I have a string addiction...
  2. I feel the same way about them. I like the feel but they are not very versatile. I switched to half rounds on my fretless to get more punch but they are no roundwounds
  3. I went through a few sets of flats in the late 1970s.

    I must have been underwhelmed.

    I use nickel-rounds in standard-sorts of guages. Cheap. Nickel. Rounds.

    And change them every two or three years. Maybe.

    Around here, that means I've proven myself unworthy.
  4. MoreBeer


    Jan 5, 2014
    Either you like flats or you don't. For me, I have flats on all my basses except my two Ibby's. I like the feel of flats along with the thumpy tone. I mostly play classic rock as a hobby and they fit well with what I play.
  5. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    Actually the daddario Chromes aren't exactly what defines the flatwound strings sound, they're far brighter than, say, LaBellas or GHS Precision flats.

    That said, Chromes are one of my favorite flats. Very versatile strings.

    For the thumpier classic old style flats sound I prefer GHS precision flats.
  6. edpal

    edpal Inactive

    Oct 3, 2007
    OP - it's ok brother, many of us don't like flats. The only thing I like flats on is an upright.:D Everything else gets nickle, roundwound D'Addarios. I don't get you guys and your re-using strings. Once they come off I consider them suspect. I change strings about every 2-3 months. I like a fresh, bright tone.
  7. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I use Chromes. Some people don't like them. That's how it goes.
  8. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    I tried MANY flats.....could never get used to them....they always were removed in a week or less....

    Then I tried a set of sadowsky black label flats on my Lakland 5560 PJ....LOVED THEM....
    I will never pay "only flats" but I am finding out when and where i like them....

    BTW...black labels sound GREAT on recordings.....

    In fact I just bought a new "replacement set" ..... I think I will always change flats quicker than rounds...
  9. TRob1293


    Feb 1, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
    Get a 'punchy' amp and you'll never get lost in the mix when playing flats.
  10. e-flat


    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    I just feel grateful that there are SO many options to check out! What a time for experimenting.

    I've been using DR Sunbeam Roundwounds for years and love them, but I always find myself dialing out the "sizzle and pizz" of the round wrap. I recently revisited flats on a new bass (Chromes, 45-100) and I love them for that bass... Full frequency from the dubbiest lows all the way into the high mids, but without the "pizz" in the highs of rounds!

    Now I'm on a flats & tape wound kick, and feel like I've been missing out on this for years. :)

    Whatever works, right! All we can do is experiment & decide what we love most.

    Enjoy brother!
  11. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    apples and oranges. I played a bass with flats once didn't care for them
  12. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    Chromes? That was your mistake. Get a good sounding set of flats and try again.
  13. Try a set of Labella tapewounds. Some of the hi of rounds and the thump of flats. I play many different styles & find these the best of the tapes and very versatile.
  14. Just George

    Just George Fingers on 4 Flatwounds

    Dec 29, 2008
    Third rock from the sun
    Artist Relationship: Wilkins-Ampeg-La Bella
    I Tried the new La Bella 760T White/clear nylon tapewounds at NAMM and they sounded really nice from warm lows to smooth highs and were even smoother in feel than the flatwounds that I normally use. They have more midrange than the flats and the tension is less than the flats. I'm looking forward to trying them on my P/J soon.
  15. I had flats on a bass of mine. I liked them, but they weren't on the right bass. Personally, I'd like to get a '60s and a '70s Jazz Bass. I'd string the 60s with flats and the 70s with rounds, and that'd be that. I (Personally! Don't kill me!) Think that the '60s Jazz Bass sounds so much better with flats. But that's just me.
  16. +1 to the Sadowskys. I have Chromes on my fretless, but the Sadowskys on my P/J5, and they absolutely kill. They are very versatile as they retain quite a bit of sizzle, so they sound great through dirt/flanger/wah and other effects. With a pick or with fingers, they just sound great.
  17. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    They are indeed not for everyone or for all styles of music, but they do have their use. Flats fit the bill for a lot of music styles and a lot of players. I tried flats twice over a period of a couple years and didn't like them. When I finally found the right combination of bass & flats, it was a bit like buying a new bass or new amp. There's just a whole new variety of tones to explore through different amps & speaker combinations. I discovered tones I could never dial up with rounds. I still have a few basses wearing rounds & still play them when they fit, but with flats on a a couple basses, I have a few more tools available.
  18. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I am not really a fan of flats at all but my 1974 P is always strung with flats. Partially for recording, partially for the odd blues gig I do and mostly because the frets on my P are almost completely worn. Flats will help me get a few extra years out of them.

    I am buying a Rob Allen this week and it will likely keep the LaBella black tapes. I am looking forward to trying tapes on a RA bass.

    These 2 basses really need flats. Everything else gets bright new SS rounds.
  19. vxjoe


    Sep 22, 2013
    Just put a set of half rounds on my Squire P and G&L L2500. Previously tried rounds then Chromes. Immediately noticed the added tension using the half rounds, not bad just more. The P has a set of mediums and I'm loving them. Great tone and feel, now it sounds like a P, thanks to the medium (50-105) change. The 5 er (45-130) does not come in a medium, but the strings made a positive difference. These are tapered and the B is more defined. All good and the fingers are still not raw after an evening of play, 4 hours. These Daddario half rounds remedied my concerns about the Chromes, low tension and lack of defined thud.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I hear you about flats. I like them for certain things, and I actually used flats exclusively for a couple years, but one night a couple years ago I tried rounds again and realized why I used them for most of my playing career. A few months later I tried to regain the flats love, but it was no use...I'm a rounds guy. I'll still use them for some recordings and for occasional forays into thumpland on a gig, but I'm a rounds guy and I'm unapologetic about it.