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Flats Tryout Round 3

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by markjazzbassist, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    I've been searching for my "sound" for a while and found it with my 69 Jazz and Flats. I did a big flat hunt a while back and tried a bunch (chromes, fender, labella, rotos, pyramids, ernie balls, TI) and finally found a couple sets i loved.

    I really liked the D'addario chromes (45-100) and labella 760FL (these were my favorites). I loved the mids of the labella and their low mid punch. I like the mids of the chromes (more high mids) and their clarity.

    I've come to another crossroads here after doing some recording and noticing how thin my bass tone is. I have a strong attack, yet light touch (fingerstyle) and have noticed that my tone isn't deep/full and doesn't sustain (i know i play flats, but i think i can get a little more beef). Also due to the lack of heft, i can get a little buried/covered in the mix, and I was hoping either more full/deep tone or clarity would resolve that.

    So i'm trying some bigger gauge units to see what will work. here's what's coming

    Chromes (45-105)
    Labella 760FS and 760FM
    GHS Precision (45-105)

    I've never tried the GHS and thought "what the hey", i'd give them a try.

    Thoughts? Opinions? What do you think I'll end up with?
  2. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I was in the same boat as you a few months back, and also found out flats on my pbass was it. I tried alot of strings and in my experience I found that the ghs precisions were the best. They give that good low thump sound without the harshness of higher notes. Was in the studio and recorded first 5 songs with my rounds then with the flats, everyone in the room said the same thing, wow. just my 2 cents
  3. adivin


    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    If you like the Chromes, you will like the Sadowsky flats even more. Not quite as much top-end and slightly less tension. Great string. My search has ended.
  4. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    i've had the chromes on for a couple days now and the initial brightness is gone. i'm really loving the tone of the first 3 strings, but the low E just sounds like a loose low tone, it's not even slighty tight (which the other strings are very tight). I'm not talking about tension, just the tone. Might just be the larger E, but we'll see.

    The FM are here, just waiting on the FS and GHS.

    What labella is closest in tension to the 50-105 chromes? FM or FS?
  5. screaminglucy


    Jul 20, 2009
    TX, USA
    FM i would say. FS definitely feel looser.
  6. CrimsonGhost


    Nov 14, 2000
    out of all of them, what did you think of the rotosounds?
  7. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    bright, stiff and i didnt enjoy them very much
  8. cymbop


    Mar 1, 2006
    Durham, NC
    I play 760FLs, so I'm subscribed to read the FM and FS reviews.
  9. lmfreeman9


    Sep 1, 2007
    Definitely the FM's.

    Also, you might try the DR Flats, lower tension, nice all the way around and similar to the Sadowskys.
  10. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    I'm not surprised. I tried the ECB81 (45-100) and ECB82 (50-105) sets. The gauge made a big difference. The 45-100 was a nice solid set on a ash P/J. They were great for swing and funk... but combined with that bass, just too "modern ash jazz" tone for me. The 50-105 didn't help. The E string was crap. It never got a solid tone and I wound up throwing them out.

    Now I'm trying to be careful to buy the right gauge the first time. I'd like to hear the results of your 760 and GHS tryouts.
  11. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    i just tried all the strings last night for the first time. I gave the chromes about a week to tame down a little bit (played every days for a couple hours) and they did a little, but the E string was unruly. Just terrible sounding, i'm not digging the brightness of those strings.

    760FS - These really didn't feel that much different from my 760FL's. Just a little teenie bit bigger, and I need to give these more time, but they were just a little bit "bigger" sounding than the FL's, not much though. A little more tense, but when i compared the string sizes, i'm not surprised. .01 difference on the E string.

    GHS Precision - These were kinda odd. The E and A strings were "dead" sounding out the door which was nice, but the D and G were as bright as the chromes. Which was kinda a mind boggler, i'll give these a little more time too. The tension is in between the FS and FM.

    760FM - These were a nice surprise. The E and A strings sound HUGE. Big big big E string, and the D and G have some nice girth to them too. The tension is equivalent if not more than the chromes, and they are currently on my bass. I'm going to give them a shot for a week and see if i can get used to the tension. If not, then i'll hop down to the GHS/FS sets.
  12. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I wasn't really a fan of Chromes myself, for the same problem as you. It seemed like as the strings got thicker, they got muddier. The E was pretty bad, but the B was downright disgusting.

    I 2nd the Sadowsky flats. I put them on last week, and I'm surprised how much I stick out in the band. They have a lot of the LaBella characteristics, like tension and feel (because they're made by LaBella), but they have a sound of their own. They have a lot more high mids and punch than any other flat I've played. They actually sound really round-ish, but without the ring and overtones.
  13. I know the feeling. I just got a new Lakland and have tried only a few different strings (Labella DTF, D'Addario Chromes and of course stock Lakland rounds). I'm still searching.

    Chromes got taken off after about 10 hours...just couldn't get around the fret click. I liked the tone, but the "click, click, click" was driving me nuts.

    Labellas just had too, no pun intended, flat sound for my taste. I love them on my Ibanez, but not my lakkie.

    Right now, I'm playing with the stock lakkie rounds, until I can find something else. May try D'Addario Half-rounds next.

    If anyone wants the Chromes, throw me a few bucks + shipping.
  14. phoaglan


    Jun 19, 2009
    Warrenton VA
    Thumbs up for the DR Flats.
  15. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I hated my Sadowsky flats, so I say stay away. Wayyy to bright for flats, IMO.

    Just bump up a gauge on the Chromes.
  16. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Really? You think the Sads are brighter than Chromes? That's the first time I've ever heard that. I Thought the Chromes were crazy bright for flats (except for the E and B).
  17. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    If you find yourself muting strings a lot like I do, DR flats are a great choice. The only problem I have with them is the slap response on the E string, and a lack of upper harmonic content. If you like a deep sounding flatwound with loads of punch in the low mids, DRs are awesome. They also are nice and lowish tension, and smoother than glass.
  18. CrimsonGhost


    Nov 14, 2000

    want to get rid of the labellas? pm me!
  19. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    Been wondering about DR flats. Not too much written about them. Seems like lately though they're getting mentioned a little more....and it seems positive.
  20. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I absolutely love them, and I've always laughed at people who asked me what kind of strings I used. I never thought they made much of a difference, but DR flats are weird. They are definitely not a string for someone who can't decide between flats and rounds.
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