Flatwound Shootout!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by steamthief, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    Nothing's perfect, even strings.
  2. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Between our quests, we sequin vests.
  3. So, let me hear about direct comparisons between the LaBella 760FL set (0.043, 0.060, 0.082, 0.104) with the 760FS set (0.045, 0.065, 0.085, 0.105). How about string-to-string tension; balance in tone from string to string, etc. I've always used the 760FS set. I guess the mathematical harmony of a constant increase in diameter appealed to me. Too many folks have extolled the lights on Rickenbacker basses for me to ignore them.
  4. Just placed an order with Just Strings for a set of 760Fl's. Too many people here have testified to how close they are to the original stock flats back in the day. I went with the lights because the string diameters are closer to the stock than the standard set. I didn't want to mess with altering the nut slots, or the neck relief. There's plenty of time for that. Also, the amount that I hope to be playing on it, a little less tension would be good for my hands.
    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
  5. Zitch


    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    Just made the switch from rounds to flats with a set of Chromes 100-45, love em love how they feel, love how they sound, my only complaint is the E string doesn't quit produce the right sound for slap, but im waiting till they break in more before I give it fault.
  6. Zitch, not to worry. Hopefully, by the time those strings break-in, you'll discover that slapping really was an awful fad and you'll spend the next five years really listening to yourself play and getting the best tone out of your axe..... :bag:

    Sorry, I couldn't pass up that opportunity.
    Have fun with flats.
  7. Zitch


    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    Actually been playing for 10yrs and just started to slap this last year. Been doing rock and metal for years and kind of tired of it so now I want to incorporate slap and jazz into my style. FWIW my slap tone will melt the skin off your face. Sorry couldn't pass up THAT opportunity.
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Let's see... Larry Graham started slapping, on flats, back in what year? Probably around 1960. An awful long fad is what it is. ;) Another well respected slapper is Chuck Rainey, though he always used Fender round wounds, and turned the tone control all the way off on his P bass.

    Basses can make an awful lot of different tones depending on how you pluck a string. It seems a waste to just get one tone out of them.

    The 760FL set sounds fine slapped. But it's the old school slap tone, like in the Brick House clip I posted (part of the Motown clips).
  9. Blues Bass Man

    Blues Bass Man

    Feb 2, 2010
    Most of the classic Chuck Rainey recordings from the 60's & 70's were done on a Fender Precision Bass with Flatwound strings, including all the great Steely Dan tracks.
  10. P. Bass

    P. Bass

    Mar 17, 2010
    I'd love to read that. Any chance to get a link? Thanks either way.
  11. Oh, snap! I got told.
    Fair enough.
  12. I've got .02 here... I had a set of LaBella tapes (forget what they were called) on a Peavey Dyna-Unity, and it was a great sound. Surprise to me- I got lots of attack and plenty of articulation in the hi's. Not glass shattering, no, but it was no dull thud. They had sort of a low-end bark I really liked, and not only on the Peavey but on a modified Ibanez Roadstar as well- which was very much a P-bass...

    I currently have a set of TI Jazz-Flats on a 'partsed-together' Squire P-Bass with an old Duncan split-coil pickup. Wonderful sound, very warm and woody with a sweet, even tone. Even at low volumes they speak well within the mix. I really like these for country and reggae- these are great for reggae! Overtones are there but subtle, the attack is not clanky at all, and the sustain is musical. Definitely not an in-your-face approach though. I like to push these through a good dose of low-mids, nice and loud, to get a friendly, satisfying 'punch'. I'm pretty focused with the right hand, so I don't mind the low tension. It's part of the approach with these, you either get on with it or you don't.

    As long as we're getting liberal with our subjectivity! :hyper:
  13. Like the thread. I'm looking for some new flats too, thinking of those LaBella FLs or some D-Addario Half-Rounds.
  14. Stanley Pugh

    Stanley Pugh

    Jun 14, 2008
    Here is one for you guys, I have a set of Chromes that I used on several of my bass's.
    They sound okay on my Squire, Great on my Sound Gear and awful on my Fernandes Gravity five.
    All of the bass's are passive.
    Detroit's Medium flats sound great on the Fernandes and Squire.
    The sound difference was huge on the Fernandes I almost changed the Pup's.
    Now I am getting a nice warm jazz bass tones from it instead of overly brassy.
    Strings seem to be the most important piece of the tone puzzle.
    It seems to me that each bass has to have the right strings to get the best tone be it flats or otherwise.
    Based on the configuration pup's wood etc.
    All of that is also subjective to taste.:)
  15. Zitch


    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    I agree it all fits into the tone puzzle
  16. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I agree with this. I first discovered this about 28 years ago when I used to like GHS Boomers on a fretless P/J bass I had, but they didn't sound good on my Ricks. I had to use the GHS Bassics on those.

    More recently I swapped some D'Addario half rounds from one of my hand made basses to my '87 Ibanez SR-885LE. On the Ibanez they are very bright sounding, on my bass they were thumpier. But with round wounds my bass is brighter than the Ibanez.

    Go figure!
  17. harperbass


    Nov 16, 2009
    louisville, ky
    Are GHS Precision Flats long enough to fit on a Jazz Bass that loads from the rear? Chromes just barely make it and I have to cut off some of the wrapping that extends into the nut. Same thing on my '77 Stingray. I've been "settling" on Chromes though the old Ernie Balls were my faves til they drastically changed the output, then Dean Markley came around w/ the best flat wound ever, really loud, but they went away as well. Should have bought a case.

    I almost sprang for a set of Pyramids, but am afraid they won't be long enough. The G string (for the Fender anyway) is my obvious concern. I need an extra 1.5 inches at least. [don't we all]... Any info would be appreciated. GHS have no support as I recall.

    Sincere regards,

    Rick Harper


  18. mccartneyman

    mccartneyman Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Pretty much depends on the bass. I started playing in 1965 with LaBella flats on a '59 P bass. Sounded great. These days, here are my choices: Hofner Icon -- LaBella; Lakland 55-94 -- TI Jazz Flats; Lakland Skyline JO5 -- Chromes; Squier VM Jaguar -- Rotosound Jazz Bass Flats. I tried chromes on the 55-94 and didn't like them. Rotosund Tapewounds record well on the 55-94 but don't cut it live. The JO5 has Fralin pickups and the Chromes brought it alive after I tried TIs and it just didn't work. Right now I have nickel rounds on the 55-94 and keep flats on the Squier Jag. My Dingwall Combustion always wears the Dingwall rounds.
  19. My inability to slap sounds just as good/bad on flats as it does on rounds. I think that if you like slap bass, then good slap will sound good regardless of the string (though if you're slapping flats I recommend chromes, ear candy they are).
  20. Meshell N'deochello (sp? Sorry!) uses flats and slaps the piss out of 'em. That girl's got pocket.