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Flats on a Jazz ?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jsllim, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. jsllim


    Feb 5, 2009
    Hey guys,

    Tried a search, didn't get the results I was looking for. I just got a new Fender American Standard Jazz for Christmas, I love it, it has the stock rounds on them now. I put some flats on my other jazz about a year ago and fell in love with them. When talking to another bassist about my new bass and how I will eventually put some flats on my new bass, he cautioned/warned me that flats would eventually start "bending/damaging" my neck or whatever opposed to rounds. Is there any truth in this statement at all? I don't understand how flatwound strings would bend your neck more or cause more damage to a neck than roundwire's would. I want to take care of my new baby and don't want to do anything to potentially harm/damage it. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. DriesG


    Feb 27, 2009
    Gent (Belgium)
    Flats are made for p basses... :bag:

    No: it's completely safe. I've played for about 2 years with TI flats on my '72 j and really liked them. Made my j sound really warm with a big bottom.
  3. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Hey JM. All I can think of is that he meant that higher tension strings put more tension on a bass' neck. Well, the only response to that is...duh. However, there would not be enough tension in any set of "normal" strings that would do this to a non-faulty neck.
    String up those flats, enjoy, best sound IMO are flats on a Jazz.
  4. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    If anything, rounds are more likely to cause an issue by wearing into the fretboard. Totally safe.
  5. My am. Std. Jazz had Sadowsky flats on it. Sounded amazing. I had to sell it to fund my Adamovic wich sounds more amazing. :)
  6. I have TI flats on my Highway One jazz (sounds great...)
    Gave it a new set up due to LOWER tension...
  7. blocbul


    Nov 25, 2013
    You might just need a slight adjustment on the trusrod to counter the additional tension if any.
    Used flats (Daddario chromes 45/100) on Jazz for years with no issue
  8. Doctor_Clock

    Doctor_Clock The Moon Machine Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    I got Fender flats on my jazz and I will never change back to rounds on that bass. (and no, there has been no neck issues)
  9. jsllim


    Feb 5, 2009
    Ok cool. Thanks for the responses guys. I didn't think there was any problem putting flats on my jazz, just taking precaution and making sure I wasn't missing out on any info.
  10. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    I put lite gauge GHS precision flats on my jazz. just had to tweak the neck an 1/8 turn. they sound great and silky smooth.
  11. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke

    Jul 27, 2013
    I have an affinity jazz V. As soon as I got it, I put XL Med adjusted the truss rod about 1/4 turn(over a couple days, it is an affinity). A couple of months later I decided to flats on, as I love em on my VM tele.

    So0o... I put Chrome Med Light on and lowered the action from 7/64ths to 3/64ths. I had to then back the truss rod a 1/6th turn. Even though the Chromes have more tension, lowering the action had (I assume) put less bowing tension on the neck.

    Take from it what ya will.

    Dave :bassist:
  12. circuitspore


    Aug 27, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    I think the fact that Fender basses were shipped with factory-installed flatwounds until the early 80's is lost on most bass players. As far as I know, there hasn't been a mass epidemic of vintage Fender Jazz bass necks turning themselves into starter bow-and-arrow kits.
  13. +1 circuitspore

    Go Ahead!
    It will be fine
    You might need to adjust the truss rod a little bit.

    A relatively long time ago I had my Jazz-style Bass strung with a heavy set (I got by accident, thinking it was med-light) of Fender Flats (the old ones) for more than a Year and a half, the neck barely noticed a thing.
    Right now I have 40-95 Chromes on it, but not due to being cautious not to stress the neck.
  14. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
  15. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    I've had La Bella 760FL flats on my '62 AV Jazz since 2008. Neck is solid as granite.
  16. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    + 1 To both.

    I'm one of that bunch who feels that you rob a JBass of it's broad tonal range by using flats but I also realize it's all a matter of personal taste. One other option you might consider for the Jazz is a set of Pressure Wound strings. They're on the mellower end of the tonal spectrum but still offer full tonal versatility and they have a very nice "feel" to them.

    And tell that other bassist he doesn't know what in the hell he's talking about and to stop giving advice based on inaccurate information. :rollno: The string tension of some rounds is even greater than that of some flats and that's what exerting pressure on the neck. String manufacturers wouldn't stay in business long if their products damaged a bass.

    Consider what he told you an urban legend or worse. :eyebrow:
  17. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Flats do less damage than rounds. I'm sure everybody would agree with that.

    I also think flats suit a Jazz bass better than they do a P.
  18. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    Why? I'm always curious about that point of view.
  19. I put flats on my Sadowsky standard 5, and I love 'em! I was able to lower the action quite a bit because of the lack of fret buzz. Just a minor tweek to the truss rod and I was good to go. I can still get a very aggressive sound by digging in a bit. Bonus having absolutely no string "squeek" during position shifts.
  20. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke

    Jul 27, 2013

    You get more tonal variety, while staying in the "theme" of flats. Like motown with a kick.