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Flatwounds : top load or string through body???

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Godfather, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Godfather


    Feb 4, 2001
    I went online to look for a set of flatwounds to put on my new ( to me, at least) TBC 4 string ....on one site, there was mention of a certain flat being the correct application for basses with top load bridges....

    Can someone please clear this up for me ?...

    Thanks !

  2. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    All flats are fine for top loading, it's stringing through you should be careful about with some brands. Apparently they can be damaged from the increased break angle at the bridge. I avoid it because I don't see the point of stringing through the body.
  3. Godfather


    Feb 4, 2001
    OK, thanks.....I guess the next question is:

    Does anyone know of a type of flat that claims to be OK with a string through bridge?.....I would at least like to have the option, based on the way they would sound in both modes ...
  4. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    To the best of my knowledge, the only flats that might not be suitable for string-thru are those that are very heavy gauge, such as Labella Jamerson Flats... and Labella does suggest top-loading only this gauge. In a way, it's sort of a common sense thing... the break angle of a string-thru is substantially more than top-load, and a very heavy gauge string (E string is the only string of concern) might not want to bend that much. I'd say that any other gauge, say up to .105 (medium) would be just fine... but that's just my opinion.
  5. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    +1 string the heaviest string through bridge/top load and the rest through the body if you are concerned about string breakage. I have a set of Ti Jazz flats, SIT power Flats,Labella Deep Talkin' Flats and D'addario Chrome flats and they are all on basses strung through body and I have had no problems with any of them so far (at least a year on each bass).
  6. Godfather


    Feb 4, 2001
    thanks, folks....I was going to ask about a hybrid approach ( some top, some through ) but Nighttrain 1127 seems good with it....I am guessing that there is no appreciable sonic difference?
  7. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I don't know about other brands but I have a set of T.I. flats on a string through body bass with a pretty steep break angle and I've had no problem with breakage in the 3 years they've been on that bass which gets played a lot.
  8. I just put a set of Medium Chromes on my Jazz. It's got a Badass III on it, and when I strung it through the body the thread wrapping at the end of the strings ended up right in the grooves of my nut. HOwever, when I tried to restring them through the bridge, I wasn't able to fit the E string through the hole due to the threads at that end.

    Needless to say, I have it strung through the body, and had to cut away the threads that were extending into the nut.

    No other problems thus far.
  9. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    I've had good luck stringing my med chromes thru the body on my 5'r; they've been on and off the bass 3 times with no problems. LaBella has stated that their flats, aren't ideal for thru the body stringing.
  10. acleex38


    Jul 28, 2006
    I string my fretless Birdsong with medium Chromes through-body - my Cortofusion has been strung both top-load and through body. Scott at Birdsong is sketchy about doing the through-body with flats, but after I had good luck with the Cortofusion, he set up the fretless that way for me.

    I notice a slight difference in feel. Actually, I noticed a slight difference in sound too, but I chalk that up to "fresh strings" so please don't take my assertion as throwing fuel on any pre-existing fires about string-through.
  11. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    The feel might be a bit different but the tone won't change enough be discernible or to matter in any real world situation, IMO. LaBella counsels against it, and I think Lakland as well for their flats.

    I've done a bit of comparing myself on a SCPB with the same strings and they sounded the same to me, and the consensus seems to agree with this based on past threads.
  12. I called La Bella (E. & O. Mari) and Dean Markley about this. La Bella cautioned against through body stringing for all of their flats except the light gauged set. Dean Markley said that it was alright to string their flats through the body. They also added that if they were wrong and a string broke that they would replace it.

    As posted here, mileage varies. If a tailpiece / bridge has no sharp edges or burrs then the increased break angle of through body stringing might not be a problem. I stuck on side of caution and stringed through tail / bridge.
  13. I have had that same problem, that's why I took them off. Actually, that's the problem with all D'Addario strings that I have tried. They just seem too short for Fender MIA basses that have strung through bridge.

    Has anyone had a similar problem?
  14. Godfather


    Feb 4, 2001
    While I have the attention of an obviously learned and helpful group....what type of difference do you find between top load and through body with the same strings?
  15. biff brown

    biff brown

    Jun 26, 2007
    san marcos, tx
    I used to use rotosound medium guage strings in flats on my string through bass. sometimes the wraping would be on the nut but it varied set to set. My bass also has an extended neck on it and thats why
  16. DavePlaysBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    I have put TI flats, 5 string super long set, thru body, no issue.

  17. The experience / theory / claim is that through body increases sustain. Some say this is true, others say they don't notice a difference. In my case, I strung through the body of my P-bass when using roundwounds, then top loaded using flats. There is less sustain but that's certainly caused by the nature of flats. It probably safe to say that the differences in through vs. top is negligible with flats. Again, actual experiences vary.

  18. Jeff Huber

    Jeff Huber

    Oct 15, 2010
    I decided to give the redoubtable TI long (34) flats a spin on my MIA J with a BA III and was looking for some info on which way to string them.

    As to length issues, without actually having measured, it doesn't look to me like the total length will be all that different body or end strung though a BA III.

    Anyone had specific experience with this?

  19. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    First question: I've had TI flats on my Lakland 55-94 thru-body with no problem. I've also had them top loaded and notice no difference in sound or sustain. I've had Chromes top loaded on a Lakland JO fiver but when I tried to top load them on the 55-94, the B wouldn't go though the bridge opening, so I put it through the body with no problem. I now have Sadowsky flats on the 55-94, to loaded. They sound just fine and I actually like them better than the TIs. Chromes were nice, but I Think the tension of the Sadowskys is a nice compromise between the TIs and the Chromes. I also have Rotosound Jazz Flats on my Squier Jaguar, but that is top load only. They are a great improvement over the stock Fender rounds it shipped with. I've also used Rotosound tapewound on the 55-94, top loaded. They record great but lack something live.
  20. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    It may or may not matter depending on the particular bass. If the bass is otherwise "healthy" it is not going to matter much. But of one the saddle pieces is really low and/or far forward, through body can insure a strong break angle and max pressure on the saddle piece. This can improve sustain and tone.

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