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Flats on a string thru body bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by GBassNorth, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Has anyone successfully strung flats on a string thru body Mustang or other short scale bass?

    I'd really like to give a set of flats a try on the Mustang but most of the sets I look at claim they can't be used on a string thru body bridge because of the break angle. Are there any options short of drilling the bridge for top loading or buying a different bridge?

    I was hoping to try some TIs or LaBella short scale flats if possible.
  2. bobalu

    bobalu Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    AFAIK, LaBella is the only manufacturer that actually warns against using flats on a string through (I could be wrong though).

    Notwithstanding, I have used flats on a string through Jazz bass (not a short scale, I know) and never had a problem with wraps unwinding or strings breaking. They were TI Jazz flats.
  3. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    There's another current or recent thread that talks about a new Labella flat made specifically for the Mustang scale and through-body stringing. I think the code for the string contains MUS so you should be able to search for it.

    It's true that their normal DTF strings can break used through body but apparently the Mustang flat involves a redesign to the ball end.
  4. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    My first and last experience with flats & string-through was in 1984 when I put flats on my PV T-40. The extreme break angle coupled with a more rigid string was not a good combination. The G broke during the first gig (at the bridge saddle) and the E failed soon after.

    I understand the desire to get good downward force on a bridge saddle, but the break angle on some basses goes beyond the useful range, IMO.
  5. AmadeusXeno


    Mar 8, 2011
    I had no problems with Rotosound flats going string through on my Ibanez ATK750. Not sure if it matters but I used a 45-105 gauge set.
  6. bigalbass


    Dec 12, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    I am currently using Fender flats (they were the only ones long enough) on my Fender Sting 54 P bass reissue with no problems. This bass was loaned to Chris Matheos for the recording of Bobby Radcliff's Natural Ball.
  7. 2 years have past since my jazz bass has sadowsky flats on it strung trough the body, no problem here
  8. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    I've got TI Jazz Flats on two Precisions and Fender Flats on another Precision; all through body with no problems.
  9. mwesth


    May 30, 2009
    Skovlunde, Denmark
  10. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    So it's looking like the TI flats are no issue but the La Bella flats could be hit or miss.

    I'll give the TI's a try, will they get that old school sound or are they overly brite? My point of reference is Chromes, much too brite out of the pack for me and never really seemed to dull down, so how do TI's rank against Chromes (brighter or darker in sound).

    The Chromes were fairly stiff but I've heard the TI's are very loose for a flat wound, maybe even more so than roundwound strings. I dont think that will be a problem with my left hand but my right digs in every now and then so if it's true I'll have some getting used to do.
  11. RFMac


    Jun 27, 2010
    British Columbia
    The TIs do not sound like a classic flat if that is sound you are after. They sound great, but if you are looking to emulate old school flat sounds/tone they don't do it. That said they are to my ear an exceptional sounding and playing string. They just don't thump like dead LaBellas or Fenders. As far as a comparison to Chromes they are not nearly as bright and as has been stated in this forum before they have a much stronger mid range presence and thus sound extremely warm in comparison. As far as tension goes, they feel like a standard roundwound and there floppiness is somewhat exagerated in my humble opinion. -Cheers.
  12. mwesth


    May 30, 2009
    Skovlunde, Denmark
    Forgot to mention, that I have been using Chromes on my Mustang RI without any problems..
  13. I use EB Flats 45-105 on my Precision...string thru. No problems here.
  14. sqrat51


    Nov 21, 2011
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    I have GHS Precision Flats #3050 on my Mustang Bass. They work fine and have a good thump. Whatever brand you get, try to find out the overall length before you purchase them.

    Some short scale strings are too short to accommodate the little bit extra needed to go through the body. A Mustang is about 33" from nut to ball. D'Addario has good info about this on their site.
  15. mc_muench


    Sep 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I had flats on my mustang, we had to use medium scale because of the string through body, I think I used fender flats, worked perfect.
  16. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Canada, eh!
    I think you could use D'Addario "Chromes" medium scale flats on a Mustang. Just email them to ask about break angle concerns. The medium scale strings will definitely be long enough.

    Chromes are a brighter sounding flat, relatively speaking. But your options are limited.
  17. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Canada, eh!
    You must have to wrap an awful lot of the string around the posts. The GHS 3050 is really too long even for a top-load 34" Precision.
  18. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    my Carvin LB20 came with Carvin (LaBella) flatwounds strung thru-body.

    you can defintely see a little unravelling where it makes the angle. who knows how long it will last? i have 3 gigs under them so far.

    i definitely will NOT string-thru the next set of flats
  19. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010

    Of all the flats I have tried, these have the best old school P Bass tone. They can create everything from a nice percussive attack, to a hollow woody tone, all the way to a simple deep fundamental Motown tone.

    I have flats on three basses right now. TI Flats are on one of my Rics, they are a very expressive, melodic string.

    Chromes were too chimey for my tastes.

    I got a set of Roto TruBass RS88 Tapewonds fresh in box that came with a bass I bought. I just put them on one of my Hamer's with the 2Tek bridge, essentially string through. I can see some straining and stretching in the tape as the string goes over the bridge, we'll see how long before the tape cracks off. Can't tell what is happening to the strings themselves. What the heck, they were free. These give a tic/tac sound, think Patsy Cline or other late 50's, early '60s Nashville sound.
  20. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've got Precision Flats on a five string bass that can only string through the body. Even the B string works.

    I've been using Lakland Joe Osborn flats for almost 15 years. I could easily switch to Preceision Flats. They're practically the same (great string for me) and you can get them for less money.

    I've used a lot of different flats and that's saying something. I wasn't as happy with Chromes or TI Jazz Flats, Fender Stainless flats (to me, yuck!) or anything LaBella. YMMV, but I'd recommend the Precision Flats as well.


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