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Flats/Rounds for P & J

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by rjny36, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. rjny36


    Jan 29, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    I've decided I'm going to buy a Fender Jazz bass to compliment my Fender P, which I currently have strung with roundwounds. I was thinking that, when I get the Jazz, would it be a good idea to put flats on the P, and rounds on the J?

    I'm looking for as much versatility as possible, and I want one bass that "lays down" in the mix, and one that punches through it, depending on the songs I'm playing. From what I can tell from having played some Jazz basses, they seem to naturally cut through much better than my P does, anyway, so would doing this just further widen that gap? I've never played with flats before, so I'm somewhat unfamiliar with how they'll affect the overall tone.

    Or maybe my thinking is backwards, and the J should have flats? Let me know what you think.
  2. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    I vote for flats on the P-bass and rounds on the Jazz. That's my set-up right now and I love it. For flatwounds, I'd recommend D'Addario Chromes. My P-bass with Chromes (and a Seymour Duncan 1/4 Pounder) is the biggest sounding bass I've ever owned. Just enormous. And it does have the ability to cut through with the tone knob wide open, as well as to lay back with huge bottom end. It's tons of fun. The Chromes really play great, too. I'm using the lighter gauge, .45-.100. I've tried flats on two of my J-style basses and didn't like it.
  3. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Sounds like your plan is just fine. Flats+P is a classic combo, as is rounds+J. It will certainly give you a range of tonal possibilities. That said, I love the sound and feel of my J with Chromes.
  4. I second the D'Addario Chromes Flats for P
    I suggest GHS Boomers .045-.105 Rounds for the Jazz. That is what I am currently using. They are clear and distinct, punchy, excellent lowend with very good mids and smooth bell like highs. My son said just tonight that my bass sounded very clear and the best it has ever sounded.
  5. rjny36


    Jan 29, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    I went out and bought the D'Addario Chromes for the P, yesterday, and put 'em on. After re-adjusting the action slightly, I absolutely loved the way the played, and even more importantly, the way they sound!! I'd always used D'Addario Slowounds on it, but I can't imagine I'm ever going to put anything other than flats back on this thing. The lows had a nice "thump" to them, but retained a good definition, and the highs were still punchy enough for my taste. In short, it was the tone I'd always been looking for from my P! I'm very excited to see how it will sound at an audition, tomorrow.

    I'm going to pick up my Jazz bass on Monday, and I may just try the GHS Boomers. You folks steered me right on the Chromes. Thanks!
  6. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Just to complicate things. I have a 61 Jazz with frets worn all the way down. I threw a set of TI flats on it and I am completely blown away.

  7. Had TI Jazz Flats on my Jazz bass recently. They are good sounding for a flat but the floppy E bothered me some and while good sounding for flats my Jazz sounded more like a P with them. I originally put Boomers on my Jazz when I got it at the suggestion of a Guitar Center salesperson/bassist and absolutely loved the sound but my technic a year ago was pretty sad and I had a lot of string/finger screech, plus I was not used to large round wound bass strings and thought they felt like a rasp or metal file. I was just starting to play bass then after trading my guitar in.
    I tried several strings but could not find one that sounded anything like the boomer. I found the Elixer Nanoweb that was ok and suffered no problems with finger noise..but in the end I was just not satisfied with the total sound. When I put Boomers back on two weeks ago I was amazed at how much my technic had improved. My son said "Those are the best sounding and clearest strings you have played". With a J-Retro preamp I put the bass to flat position as these strings can get pretty potent in the low end. I think they exibit the best overall sound from lows to mids (excel here). The highs are pretty darn good too, smooth and not harsh in the least. They are easy to control the amount of growl. I can have it with the mids and highs up some and remove it with mids and highs turned to mid position and bass up some.
    Of coarse, everything is subjective to the particular individual and bass rig in question. For instance I have read where some try them and think they are ok but liked the D'Addario's better while others, like me, really like them.
    At any rate, at least they are not expensive, as bass strings go. I paid $16.85 plus tax at Guitar Center. I think they will be worth your try.
  8. PinkFloydDan


    Jul 4, 2005
    I just bought TI flats for my P-J Reverend rumblefish. When I play my fretless, I just feel so much more comfy with flats---and my fingers don't slip. I feel like i have better control and there is less finger noise.