Flatwound strings that are bright like roundwounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by HazyMan, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    Ernie Ball Cobalt Flatwounds are definitely the most suitable string for what i'm looking, but i want to see if there are any other, cheaper alternatives. Any other brands that you can recommend? I am interested in D'Addario Chromes and Fender Stainless Steel Flats. Are they any similar to Cobalt Flatwounds? If they lose their brightness fast, is it possible to bring it back by using denatured alcohol, by the way?
  2. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    You're not gonna find anything better than the cobalts for what you want.
    SlimS, Holdsg, onosson and 5 others like this.
  3. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    Fender 9050s. (Similar to Chromes)

    Forget about extending life by boiling, soaking, etc. Nothing can bring them back to like-new. (You may coax out a week or two of slightly improved performance.) Once oxidation sets in, it can’t be reversed.
    BassYerFaceoff likes this.
  4. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    As my taste in flat wounds runs in the opposite direction, I'll just say that I can't argue with Gorn. And yeah, Chromes would probably run a close second... As for boiling/soaking flats? Well, as I've said before; I refuse to slave over a hot stove for something I can't eat. I doubt that you'd get much of the "new flats" sound back if you did. And you'd certainly not keep it very long. The whole idea of flats - and breaking them in so that they sound like they're supposed to - is to avoid making those annoying bright sounds, in the first place...;)
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  5. Fender 9050 flats and the D'A Chromes are good options for someone who's venturing into the world of flats for the first time. But they're NOT designed to sound like rounds like the EB Cobalt flats. Their best tones are when they're broken in and have mellowed a bit. Don't even try to bring back the initial brightness as it is pointless and defeats the whole purpose of having flats.

    If you want flats that sound like rounds, stick with the Cobalts.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  6. Gdeak


    May 21, 2016
    San Diego
    I've tried Cobalts and D'a chromes. Didn't love either one but I guess if pressed I'd try the Cobalts on another bass.
  7. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Pownal, ME
    It seems to me I used to get GHS Brite Flats for this type of thing. Been so long since I used them I can't really give you much info and I've never used chromes so I can't make a comparison, but it seems to me I remember liking them and used them for years on my Precision and G&L basses.
    dan1952 likes this.
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Pros who record will tell you that rounds can be made to sound like flats, but not the other way around.
    diegom and SpruceApple like this.
  9. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
  10. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Thomastik Jazz Flats are pretty bright
    macmanlou, Bonafide, Gizmot and 2 others like this.
  11. howlin


    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm Not There
    GHS Pressurewounds might get you there...
  12. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    The only reason why i'm not really thinking of the Cobalt Flats are because they are as expensive as Elixirs, so i'm not sure if there is much of a point in buying them. I want to find cheap strings that are bright and last for a long time in general. I just thought that flats specifically could do that since i've looked for some info. Can someone maybe tell me about long lasting and cheap (30 euro maximum) rounds? i know im changing topic the other way around but i really need to find something ideal. I've made like hundreds of threads about strings this month
    Fender_Bender likes this.
  13. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts I like bass. And airplanes. Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Beat me to it. Chromes and cobalts are similar. Roto flats are a step brighter. TI flats start out kind of bright but they mellow out.
  14. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts I like bass. And airplanes. Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Cheap bright long lasting rounds? Dunlop super brights. Very cheap, consistent, easy to play, and they last forever. For me, they stay on at least 3 months and dont really lose much brightness.
  15. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    Bright flats? Oxymoron.
  16. What about D'Addario tapewounds? I've tried these on a few basses and have been surprised at how much snap they have with the tone wide open. Dial it back, and they're nice and thumpy like regular flats. The downside is that you're insulated from the ground loop, so they can make your bass a little noisy.
    HazyMan likes this.
  17. I'm looking for exactly what you are. Bright Flats. I've never tried flats before but I know they are less harsh on the frets and play smoother. I am using D'Addario Pro Steels now. These are probably the brightest strings you can buy and I understand that. However, I have Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounds and they can "brighten up" most any string since they are a relatively "hot" pickup. So, I'm thinking, the Chromes, Cobalt Flats, Roto Flats, Brite Flats, or Super Brights will still have a pretty bright sound... no matter which brand I decide to go with. I did read that the Chromes have a higher tension than most flats. As much as I like D'Addario strings, I kind of want to stay away from those, due to the higher tension. I also read some reviews of people complaining about the Dunlops' ball end coming loose and breaking off. Soooooo... looks like I may go with the Cobalts (pricey), GHS Brite Flats, or the Roto Flats. Let me know what you have decided on. I'd appreciate your report.
    HazyMan likes this.
  18. Thuddy Waters

    Thuddy Waters

    Mar 20, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Where can I find that brand?
  19. Rotosound Steve Harris strings are supposed to be really bright but they are very heavy gauge.
  20. Just wipe your strings down every now and then with a paper towel sprayed with degreaser. I use purple power degreaser typically and it brings them right back to life. I use TI flats on all 10 of my basses. My 6 year old set sounds just as good as my 2 week old set.
    OzzyGreg, xaxxat and Tony In Philly like this.

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