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Flatwounds on a P-bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jimmys, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. jimmys


    Dec 26, 2005
    I've heard and played on Jazz basses strung with flatwounds and really like the feel- I'm wondering--- Do you play a P-bass with flatwounds? What do you like it? I'm thinking about buying a P-bass, hope I can find a deal on a used 80s model- I love the feel and simplicity of a P-bass but wonder how flatwounds match up with it. (I really don't have a particular tone I'm shooting for, just something a little different).
  2. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    I don't play a p-bass or flatwounds, but I don't think you're gonna get a very "different" sound. I think it'll be very smooth, deep, and classic sounding. Think James Jamerson.
  3. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    There's been alot of discussion about flatwounds on a P-Bass. In short, they are a classic combination, basically because they were the first in electric bass.
  4. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I swear by P's. I swear by flats.

    People will tell you that the combination is one dimensional but truthfully I don't see it. Just like any bass you can just turn some knobs and it'll sound completely different. I play metal, hard rock, and classic rock and it sounds GREAT in all of them. I also play with a pick which isn't the "traditional" way to play a P+flats but who cares!!!! The tone is amazing.

    BTW I highly suggest Thomastik-Infeld Jazz flats. They are very unique strings and I cannot express how much I love them. Half my tone comes from these strings!!!!
  5. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    I also string all of my basses with flats. Although, I am sad to say (but I am working on it) I don't own a p-bass. However, I also play with a plectrum and use flats and it IS a very, very good sound. Love it.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've got a P copy I built with Labella flats. It's the only bass I have with flats, but I love it.
  7. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I owned a Read Custom P w/ flats and it was awesome. I'm getting my MIM Jazz on Wednesday and I'm putting Labella Flats on it.
  8. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Flats actually go better with the P-Bass. The neck on the P can handle the extra string tension better than a Jazz neck. ;)
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Actually, there's no difference in how the two necks handle the extra tension. The J is just a little thinner at the nut. But neither a J nor a P neck have a problem handling the tension. Remember that up until the mid 80's, all Fenders came stock with flatwounds.
  10. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I played rounds on everything for 30 years or so (except on Double Bass of course) until I bought a Lakland hollowbody this summer.
    I'm pretty well digging the flatwound sound, and the Lakland flats are a nice combination of whompin' lows and high end clarity. I've heard the same the about DA Chromes.
    I can say that rolling the tone off on rounds and really having flats on a bass records very differently.
    I have a P-Bass I'll be ordering flats for, and I've been listening a lot to old Motown stuff :cool:
    While I dunno if I'd be happy with only one bass and having flats on it, I am definately gonna be happy with one or two of my herd wearing flats....
  11. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    I use LaBella 760FL flatwounds on my P/J basses and that combination IMHO works for almost everything that I play style wise; Classics, Rock, Country, Folk, Blues, etc. Although for ballads I also like the Lakland Hollowbody with the same 760FL flatwounds.

  12. I have a 66 P bass and believe me, I tried a ton of strings on it over the years.

    Then I matched it up with TI jazz flats. (Set JF344)

    Whoa.....a match made in heaven!
  13. I use Fender 9050's on my P-clone and I love them. They are relatively high tension strings compared to the TI's, though. I think P-Bass + flats = tone heaven.
  14. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    My '74 Jazz has Fender M/L flats...a large, full sound with decent clarity. I think these strings are more stiff that high tension. Put light Chromes on my L-1000 and these are a very different string...much more flexible, more mids and sustain...a different tone and feel. Also have a P Bass with Brite Flats and they're yet again a different feeling and sounding string...not as bright as the other two, a flatwound sound, but more of a roundwound feel (they're ground wounds).
  15. RLT


    Jul 10, 2004
    South Central OH
    Flats on a P classic! Of course the string companies make very little money off of me. I have a 84 P that has had the same set on it since about the beginnig of of it's life.
    I LIKE the Jamerson sound.
  16. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    Fender Precision + D'Addario Chrome flatwounds = :cool:
  17. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    I fell in love with my 'P' all over again after putting flats on it.
    Incidently, I tried flats on my Carvin lb70p (modern tone)and didn't like them on it.
  18. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Yea I only prefer flats on a more classic bass like a P or a J. I tried flats on my Peavey Cirrus that I had and they didn't feel right.
  19. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Me too.
    My 1966-P-Bass has had TI-flats on it for 2-years.
  20. I have a 5-year old set of TI Flats on my MIM-P with DiMarzio DP146 pickup.

    I recorded the strings new, then again after 5 years. They aged into a very upright and "woody" sounding, ka-chink, ka-chink.

    I'm thinking the perfect use for this bass is putting my fretless neck on it and making it into an upright impersonator. This will give me a roundwound, fretted Jazz with a P neck (my favorite size), and a fretless P with woody sounding flats.