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Flats on a 5 string?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bassnyc1, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. About 14 months ago, I succumbed to the TB induced gas and finally tried flat wounds on my P bass. (LaBella) I love them and thanks to bassstringsonline I've been experimenting with lots of strings during the past year. Anyone use flats on a 5 string? If so, how's the B string? Would there be any advantage to using a SS round wound in the B string and the other 4 strings flats? I ask that because I've noticed that SS strings are more articulate (IMHO) than other less bright strings for the low B. my current #1 bass is a Valenti 5 string with PJ pickups. I am looking for a good rock tone.

    Sorry for the ramble. Any opinions?
  2. I used a light set of GHS Precisions with a .128 B string. It made for a balanced sound. The B was not floppy at all. GHS now makes a medium set with the same gauge B, but I prefer the light gauges. I also used a 5 string with D'Addario Chromes, but they were too twangy for me.
  3. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    I suppose you should try mixing them to see how you like it. But if you like how the E sounds with flats you'll also like the B. As long as your bass is capable of letting the B string come alive you should be good either way.
    FWIW I have a Bongo 5 with rounds, and a Pavel PJ 5 with TI Jazz flats and B is fine. Actually I find losing some of the upper harmonic content makes it more solid.
  4. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    5 string fender Jazz with Chromes.
    I used to play Rotosound TruBass 88 's - I miss that tone but don't miss the noise from not grounding out on the strings.

    Flats were a reasonable compromise. I can still really tug on my strings and keep things electric for everyone else, even if they're playing acoustic instruments.
  5. BassIsFun17


    Jan 16, 2006
    yeah i'd definitely +1 D'addario chromes and maybe even La'Bella Deep Talking flatwounds.

    they both have nice b strings.
  6. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    A while back, I had a set of Lakland Joe Osborn flats on a Musicman Stingray 5 H. Sounded great! I sold the bass because 5s aren't for me.
  7. Thanks for all your replies! This one above seems to make sense as to whether or not to mix different string types. I love the thump I get from the LaBellas on my P bass so maybe I'll try their 5 string set.
  8. My #1 bass is a Mike Lull M5V, strung with TI jazz flats. I think the B string sounds great.
  9. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    My favorite flats for a fiver = Sadowsky Blacks. $45 a set, tapered B string, more tension than TI Jazz Flats, but not too much. After Sadowskys, the others I like are, in order

    TI Jazz Flats
    GHS Precision Wound

    Chromes worked really well on my Lakland JO5 Jazz but not on my Lakland 55-94 (J&MM)
  10. I had the chromes installed on my jazz bass v for 4 years they are nice and bright but since the higher tension didn't agree with my hands, I decided to switch to La'Bella Deep Talking flats and i like them as well as the tension is lower and it has a nice thump.

    They're both good, the difference is the La'Bellas are like $10-12 more than the chromes.
  11. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I've been very pleased with TI flats on several different 5-string basses, all 35" scale length. I'm itching for a 5-string P-bass with reversed Quarter Pounders - strung with flats, of course. ;)
  12. I just pulled the trigger on a 5 string Sadowsky flats. Can you please elaborate more on the B string? I had the 4 string version and was very pleased with it, but I´m a little concerned about the B.

    Thank you!
  13. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    The B is good if you like taper core strings. The LaBellas are similar with a little more thump, less highs. LaBella makes the Sadowsky flats. My hunch is they took out some of the dampening material. DR Legend flats are very smooth like the Sadowsky/LaBella flats (even smoother), but don't have a tapered B, and are a bit more flexible due to the round core. GHS Precision flats are duller and thumpier and have a different finish to them--great strings but not as versatile tonally. Chromes are not quite as smooth feeling, but much brighter initially, almost as bright as a round wound. They take quite some time to mellow out before they sound like "normal" flats. Thomastiks are great, but much looser feeling. Overall for me the Sadowsky and LaBellas get first place, and DR and Thomastik come in second. I loved the GHS, but they are needing more highs.

  14. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I don't believe that I've ever tried a taper core string. What are its general characteristics?
  15. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Not as much tension, clearer down low on the FB...sort of. Much info on this. Search the forums.
  16. I have LaBella Deep Talkin Flats on my P5 (and they will always be there) and a set of Chromes on my active P/J5. I also have Chromes on a passive 5 string semi-hollow.

    Love 'em love 'em.

    A couple of notes: The Chromes has a stupidly fat winding at the ball end of the .130 B, so I often have to 'modify' the bridge to get it in there (even after taking off the silk). The LaBella B is tapered if that matters.
  17. xav_paris

    xav_paris Gold Supporting Member

    May 9, 2003
    FRANCE, near PARIS
    On a Fbass BNF5 (fretless), macassar ebony fretboard => 34,5" scale

    TI JF 345

    Excellent sound vs. Loose feeling but attenuated thanks to 34,5"

    B is fantastic

    Long life and keeping the original sound

    Full, complex mids, soft highs

    Absolutely not thumpy

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