Getting Better Sustain With Flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by eJake, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Hey TB!

    I have a Fender MIA Jazz Deluxe 5 (active) strung with a set of GHS precision flats (if I remember right they're 45-125). I love the sound of flats but have been having problems with sustain. I gig with a reggae band a couple times a week and have been bringing out a Chinese Squier strung with rounds (mostly because I don't want some person dancing on the stage to spill a drink on the most expensive thing I own). Anyway my shoulder hurts from doing back to back gigs (bout 7hrs) with my Squier that feels like it's made of cast iron so last night I brought out the fancy bass. Man I loved the tone, I'm still not even a fan of the active electronics in the bass but it made those flats sing.

    Major problem is: at the end of songs I want to hit one long low note. With this current setup the note is decaying really fast and I have to rub the string constantly to try to get it to sound without a percussive hit.

    Will different strings change this? Different bridge or saddle settings? I'd like to gig out with flats more especially for the reggae band but I need the capability of long low notes.

    Thanks for your time
  2. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Can't answer your specifics but my TI flats are still ringing from a gig 2 weeks ago.:D
    Jaimelarumba, Eikari and eJake like this.
  3. From what I've read, the Dunlop Flats are known for roundwound-like sustain and suppleness.

    (Disclaimer: I have no personal experience with them.)
    eJake likes this.
  4. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    I do not know what your problem is. My five year old set of GHS Precision Flats give me an easy 16 beats of sustain before a slow steady natural decay. Flats have so much sustain that is the reason Leo Fender put mutes inside his bridge covers and to make them sound more like a double bass violin.
  5. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    That's funny man I also don't know what my problem is.
  6. String the squier with one flat and compare sustain ? This will help spot string or bass issue.
  7. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Nice call I'll give that a go
  8. shoulderpet


    Sep 24, 2015
    Expensive but TI Flats have a long sustain to them
  9. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    For more sustain, I always pick or attack near the neck. But my problem is having too much sustain with bass. Most songs I play have variable values for the notes. Seldom do I need to sustain a note for longer than one or 2 seconds. However, it all depends on the style of music. Some songs have notes that sustain a long long time, while others have 1/2 notes or faster.
  10. lloganbracee


    Sep 9, 2017
    Combine flats with hot pickup(s) & get more sustain. Plenty of affordable hot pickup options just about any housing.
  11. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Flats are stiffer on average so inherently have less sustain. Smaller gauges will make the strings more flexible, as could a different brand.
    eJake likes this.
  12. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    +1 Ti flat

    long sustain plus full sounding G string !
    eJake likes this.
  13. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Good info thanks!!
  14. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I appreciate the love for the TIs but I'm not ready to drop the money yet for a couple reasons.

    First I'm cheap af and I have this set of precision flats that should probably be good for 5 or 6 years and I'm just gonna throw em away?

    Second though I dig the sound of the flats on the American V my lack of experience with active electronics and flats (respectively) is a bad combination.

    So having just read the above paragraph I think I'm going to buy some rounds for this bass put the flats on the squier and see what happens. Thanks for all the responses
  15. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Maybe you can start with Ernieball cobalt flat first.
  16. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Don’t hit the string so hard and it’ll sustain better.
  17. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    "One long low note"? As in, an open B? If so, could it possibly be that your amp/cab just can't do that for as long as you'd like? How's the sustain on the other strings? Just asking...;)
    Linnin likes this.
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