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Flats - LaBella vs. D'addario

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by JimmyM, Dec 24, 2011.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/4/27/1885410//Flats-Daddario-PLyte-QPsP-Type85.mp3

    http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/4/27/1885410//Flats-Labella-PLyte-QPsP-Type85.mp3

    Tonight I recorded my bass using Labella Deep Talkin' Flats 39-96 and compared it to an older recording I had when my bass had D'addario Chromes 40-95. I have been using the Labellas for a couple weeks now, and they've struck me as being really bright, despite my efforts to deaden them. The deadening worked but they still had that clicky top end. So I did this recording tonight to see how clicky they are in comparison to the Chromes.

    Bass was my 95 P Lyte with Duncan Quarter Pounders, P pickup only, tone knob all the way up, into a Countryman Type 85 DI, into an old ART Dual MP tube mic pre, and into the compubox. Tried to match levels as good as I could for 2:30 in the morning. MP3's encoded with lame at 96/44 mono. I'd estimate that both sets of strings were about equal amounts dead.

    OK, so was I just hearing things? :D I think it's pretty obvious that the Labellas are much much brighter. With me, a little bit of brightness goes a very long way. I like to have a little attack, but not that much. So the Chromes will be going back on the P Lyte. That isn't to say the brightness of the Labellas is a bad thing. Some may like it. I'm just not one of them. They worked out well on my Realistic violin bass because it's a very dark bass, but not on the Fender. Kind of a drag...my initial impressions of them were very good...they were deadening up nicely after a couple weeks, and they felt good under the fingers. But the Chromes work better for me, so back they go, and I'll use this set of Labellas as backups for my Realistic.

    I think I'm done looking to replace the Chromes, too, at least until Fender reverts back to the old formula and makes a 40-95 set ;)
     
  2. Isotonic

    Isotonic

    Oct 19, 2011
    Round Rock TX
    Interesting. You sound great!
     
  3. mazdah

    mazdah

    Jan 29, 2010
    Kalisz, Poland
    I wouldn't say it's the brightness...but yes, new LaBellas are pretty much like nickel rounds sounding.
    I'd say they are more "percussive" - and that's why they have that clicky attack.

    Looks like you just like chromes better. I don't. But your sound on chromes is AMAZING! I think you should stick with the chromes.
    Here is me and kinda-my sound on Labellas. 2,5 years old:

    Tangerine - Wynocha bass cover - YouTube
    DI from Ampeg BA108 to Line6 interface. I prefer the sound coming out of speakers much more, more life in it.

    That's my bands song, sorry that you can't understand a word (it' in polish) - the lyrics are pretty fancy haha ;)
     
  4. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    You're like the bluewine of LaBella strings :D
     
  5. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Great playing, btw. The LaBella's do sound a bit brighter, but I'm not sure if it's necessary brightness coming through or just a much stronger upper mid characteristic. I know my Chromes seem to be all about low mid punch.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Mazdah, your bass sounds a lot like mine does in a mix with the Labellas, even though yours are a lot older. Sounded really good. I totally get why you like it. Wasn't aware the BA108 had a DI on it, though I never really looked for it.

    JMatt, I'm only going to forgive you for the Bluewine comment because you complimented my playing ;)

    Thanks guys!
     
  7. P. Bass

    P. Bass

    Mar 17, 2010
    Toronto
  8. mazdah

    mazdah

    Jan 29, 2010
    Kalisz, Poland
    And I totally get why you like chromes!
    I might check them again in the future and fiddle with bass/eq a little more. I found them a little "cold" with my setup... but your recording says something different :)

    Well.. it's not the DI line out, but 1/4 jack line out. Works good!
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That was very cool. In a mix, I don't know that I have strong opinions about any of them one way or the other. But it was a cool song and really solid playing.
     
  10. bluesblaster

    bluesblaster

    Jan 2, 2008
    Just my opinion here, but if your looking for a more traditional flatwound sound try using a heavier gauge like .104-.43 (760FL,s) or similar, and roll your tone control off some, that should take care of that nasty clicking sound.
     
  11. Handyman

    Handyman

    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I've noticed that the really light gauge LaBella sets are quite a bit brighter than the heavier gauge sets. Of course, if you like relatively light strings like I do, there's not much to be done about that. :)
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry, but not a fan of heavier gauges at all. If I liked heavier gauges, I'd just put these two old sets of Fender flats I have back on.
     
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Great playing, the LaBellas are brighter for sure, but in the recordings I like them more than the Chromes.
     
  14. P. Bass

    P. Bass

    Mar 17, 2010
    Toronto
    Thank you Jimmy. (the WAV recording on YouTube: My P-Bass over "Things Have Changed" - YouTube -use 720p for full WAV sound.
    Checking them out thru my Sennheiser HD600 headphones was very revealing when soloed, but in a mix out front in the house I think it boils down to either flats or rounds. [The exception to this is using a mute to deaden the decay. Another method of increasing "thunk" besides a mute, is by squashing the bass with compression. You can hear an example of this on "Hurry Sundown" / Fender P-Bass @ my YouTube channel, accessed from the link above]. It's how you set the bass & amp eq that's more important I feel. Generally speaking, passive tone roll-off is great right in front of the amp but it's not gonna hold up well out front. I also think the secret is to avoid too much bottom end eq & focus on the low mids & mids w/flats. Adding a bit of top end on the eq sounds edgy to the player close up but sits well out front.
    Here's a couple of P-Bass/flats songs. I know how you like the SVT so have a listen.;)
    B.
    10 - John Mayer - Good Love Is On The Way (Live in LA) - YouTube
    John Mayer - Who Did You Think I was (Live in LA) [High Def!] - YouTube
    John Mayer - Everyday I Have The Blues (Live in LA) [High Def!] - YouTube
     
  15. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Jimmy, you know I'm a LaBella fan (but I use 760FL sets [.043 to .104]). I think the FL sets are the way to go, personally. I admit I like the way the Chromes sound better, on that bass.

    ADDED: P. Bass, I have that DVD. I've never heard a better bass tone than Pino's in that recording. I love that tone! Not sure if he's using the T.I.'s on that bass or the LaBella's. I asked him, during a internet broadcast, what strings he was using for the P.S.P. recordings and he said they were LaBella.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    They sound really good on Pino's bass for sure. I think it's a good set of strings in a lot of ways.
     
  17. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I wouldn't play Labellas if they were that bright- luckily I like bigger gauges. The .105 set is perfect for me in the Chromes and the LaBella FL760 set.

    Sounds like the Chromes work best for you. Have you actually tried rolling off the tone a bit with the LaBellas? I think they shine on a P with just a drop of treble rolled off on a P, though the Jamerson set is perfect wide open to my ears.
     
    madjazzbass likes this.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, tried it, couldn't find the happy medium between too bright and too dark. Once I got the edge tamed, the rest of the frequencies were gone.

    I should just get myself used to using thicker gauges again, then I could these old Fender sets I have and I'd get the sound I want.
     
  19. P. Bass

    P. Bass

    Mar 17, 2010
    Toronto
    If it's the tension that is the issue, you may wish to try what I do to make that more pleasant to play.
    I use a progressive slope & adjust the pups accordingly.
    The E string can be higher than the others because it's arc of vibration has more amplitude & so on down to G.
    These measurements are with OPEN strings (NOT fretted at 1st fret). If your nut slots are good, you'll be OK.
    I set the E @ 7/64" from the under side of the string to top of 12th fret. A @ 3/32", D @ 5/64", G @ 2/32". (I have a machinist scale graduated in 32" & 64". This will probably be quite satisfactory for most any tension of 105-45 ballpark gauges.(especially the old Fenders) Give it a try Jimmy. You can even go a tad lower if you use a light attack.
    B.
     
  20. tjh

    tjh

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    FWIW, I have Chromes on two basses, and they seem to be the go to ... but I have the Labella M's on a CV Jazz that they sound very good on, and I am able to get the action down super low and this heavier guage is so easy to play that way ... I have a set of Sads going on one bass to replace the Labella FL's which seem to have lost their spot in the line-up, but it is almost like a person needs two or three different flats strung up to really get the best of all worlds ... it might be just enough variety to actually curb some of the appetite to keep buying that way too :) ... JMHO
     

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