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Flatwound tension on 6er

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Tryptaview, Oct 8, 2019.


  1. Tryptaview

    Tryptaview Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    I know there are a few posts about this but im not finding my exact answer. I have a 34" acale ibanez sr506m that i had defretted. I put labella gold flats on it the .128 set. The tension is a bit much especially learning to adjust to the width of the board ( im used to playing a 5er). I was looking at TI flats but the gauge is thicker than my labella golds wont they have more tension? Another option is getting a set of labella low tension flats the .120 set for a 5er and just keeping the high c from the gold set. Or another option is putting rounds on it but i have a maple fretboard coated with poly. Would rounds be too rough? Are there softer rounds available? I play Jazz, blues and occasional rock. Nothing crazy. Thanks guys.
     
  2. Gauges alone don't tell the whole story...

    TI Flats are unique in the sense they have a very thin round core, making them supple and flexible, while the La Bella Gold Flats use their standard hex core, making them stiffer-feeling overall.
     
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  3. Tryptaview

    Tryptaview Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    Ohhhh ok i didnt know that i thought tension was decided by gauge alone. What do you recommend for my situation?
     
  4. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    It actually isn't, except for the C and B. The Thomastik JF346 is 033, .043, .056, .070, .100, .136, vs. .029, .045, .065, .085, .105, .128 of the La Bella 760FGS-CB. So, based on gauge alone, the most logical assumption is that you can expect a reduction in tension with the T-I set. Plus, they are known to be really low tension (besides being high flex to boot): that .136" low B may look intimidating, but its tension at 34" scale is 34.83 lbs, vs. 43.41 lbs of the D'Addario Chrome low B, which is lower in gauge (.132"): sure, the La Bella is lower still, but it's not likely to have less tension than the T-I. As a further point of comparison, the GHS Precision Flat .126" low B pulls 34.4 lbs, almost exactly like the Thomastik-Infeld.
     
    Tryptaview likes this.
  5. There is a difference between "tension" as in pulling weight and "stiffness/flexibility". What you're concerned about for your purpose is "stiffness/flexibility", ie how they FEEL under your fingers. Gauges alone don't determine how a set of strings FEEL.
     
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  6. Tryptaview

    Tryptaview Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    You guys are awesome thank u for the replies. So im assuming i should bite the bullet and get the ti's? They only make me nervous cause of the $120 tag
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  7. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Well, that's a whole other matter! :D
    Look into videos and reviews, and if you decide to get them and then not to keep them you can recoup some of the investment by selling them on the TB classifieds: people here know that lightly used flats are perfectly usable.

    By the way, and not to be taken as a push in that direction per se, but they can be found at a li'l less than 120 bucks, here and there:
    https://www.amazon.com/Thomastik-Infeld-JF346-Bass-Guitar-Strings/dp/B00162ZSWQ
    https://www.stringsbymail.com/thomastik-infeld-jf346-jazz-flat-wound-6-string-bass-33-136-4497.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  8. Tryptaview

    Tryptaview Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    Awesome cant thank u enough!
     
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  9. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Not necessarily due to construction differences but probably yes. However, they are known to be less stiff. So probably higher tension and lower stiffness, no idea how that 'feels' as a result.
    It mostly is. Tension is determined by mass alone, which is indeed primarily determined by gauge, but there is some variation between brands/string types due to construction differences causing differences in string density.
    However, 'feel' is also affected by stiffness, which is different to and independent of tension.
    Tension, stiffness, feel: 3 different things usually confused with each other.
    By 'tension' are you referring to how tight the strings are (which is what 'tension' means and only means) or how they 'feel'?
     
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  10. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    NYC
    TI are pretty good on a fretless 6. I am using them now and they work great in a live situation. They have about the same tension feel as my normal rounds. But I have had other flats on the same bass without issue.
     
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  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'll address the flatwound issue since that appears to be the primary concern. Contact Jason at FretNation for guidance...he's your best resource. Your best bet may be a custom singles set Bass and Guitar Strings, Amps and More from Fret Nation. Some extra coinage involved but you'll get what you're looking for. FWIW, I use the LaBella LTF's in a 5 string set but the Chromes are super-nice and come in a wide variety of gauges.

    Riis
     
  12. Tryptaview

    Tryptaview Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    I guess what i mean by tension is that it is tiring and difficult to fret the strings especially closer to the headstock. The action is pretty much as low as u can get
     
  13. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    First off from personal experience, 6 string flat sets have much fewer options than 4 and 5, so you may have to compromise a bit and just go with "better" instead of "perfect". TI's are flexible (probably the most flexible flat) which gives a softer feel than most, but have a little more modern sound that not everyone likes. I've also used GHS Precisions and liked those. They aren't as soft as TI, but are still very playable and have a more traditional flat sound.
     
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  14. Tryptaview

    Tryptaview Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    What is the opinion of rounds on fretless? Poly coated maple?
     
  15. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    Rounds will be ok, especially if the board is coated. I've used rounds on uncoated boards and it's been fine.
     
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  16. steubig

    steubig

    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca
    as mentioned, thomastiks are great. i’ve been using them on 6-string fretted and fretless basses for at least 20 years. i went through a bunch before and after. the thomastiks won for me. as far as price, they last a long time. i have basses that have 17-year-old thomastiks on them. harmonics and fundamental are still good.

    i have a friend who loves pyramid strings, so i’m gonna try some of those. we’ll see. they are not cheap but are supposed to last a lont time as well.

    i have one friend who uses the la bella “low tension” flats. he seems to like them. i have no idea where they are in the tension scheme.
     
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  17. The La Bella Low Tension Flats are actually slightly less than the TI Jazz Flats in terms of overall tension (as in pulling weight), but they're not quite as flexible as the TI's.
     
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