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Good, Cheap flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Scott D, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hey, what are some good, cheap flats? Please don't suggest the Fender 9050FM flats, i got some, and i hated them. This would be for a fretted, probaby my Rickenbacker, i want less grind and mids out of it, just more of a dark bass tone, but not muddy.
    Thanks alot for your help.

  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Don't know how cheap you want, but Ernie Ball flats and D'Addario Chromes are pretty decent, and not terribly expensive. Dean Markley flats are also inexpensive, but IME they're very dark and thuddy. Webstrings is selling flats now as well, and Carvin flats aren't terribly expensive; I think the Carvins are GHS (rather than LaBella like the Carvin roundwounds).
  3. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I can get GHS Precision Flats for just under $20 here in VA.
  4. darkspec


    Jan 2, 2003
    Cleveland Ohio
    I just caught a set of Rotosound Jazz Bass 77 flatwounds on sale at a local music shop for 22$. This is my first time useing flats, but I dont plan on taking them off my jazz bass any time soon. Gives a nice tone at Jazz practice.
  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've been using GHS Precision Flats on my P Bass for a few months. They sound very good, have an even response from string to string, and are very affordable - under $20.
  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I've talked before about my terrible experience with Fender 9050Ms.

    My guess is that the QC just isn't there in Mexico (yes, they're made in Mexico). The two sets I got from the same batch were so bad that even the open string harmonics wouldn't agree at different frets. Intonation and even tuning was impossible.

    Tune at the seventh fret open-string harmonic and the twelfth fret open string harmonic would be off, etc.

    Dead all over the place, too.

    The set you get may be fine, but these were simply garbage. I won't be buying any more.

    Unfortunately, they're the only flatwound strings I know of that will work on a Sting without modification. :(
  7. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
  8. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Hmm. Here it is, but I believe all these are roundwounds.
  9. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA

    If you're using the stock Sting bridge it's no wonder why the Fender Flats aren't intonating properly. I'd put a bridge on that allows individual saddle adjustment and keep the original stowed away in case you ever sell.

    Fender Flats get my vote for best, cheap, old school flat. Tension is a huge factor for me and these have it in spades.
  10. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    I just got two sets of LaBella tapewounds from Carvin for $18.99 each plus shipping. They arrived two days after ordering. WooHoo!
  11. bill spangler

    bill spangler

    Mar 4, 2001
    Albany GA
    Two things:
    1) The webstrings.com flats are pretty good--I have a bass student who put these on his bass (a Hartke J/P style that he bought from rondo)and they have a nice thumpy tone. They are inexpensive and they get delivered promptly.

    2) The TI flats are only a little higher than your price range, but they will last a very long time and actually improve in tone as they age for awhile. They are also tolerant of being installed, removed and reinstalled. This is good in case you decide to go back to round wounds. Unlike most strings, you can actually resale the TI flats for 1/2 to 2/3 of your purchase price as long as they're in good shape. Check the dudepit out for their price. For these reasons, I think the TI flats are really the better buy. The bass dude also gets his strings out to you in a hurry.
  12. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I've written extensively about the Sting/'54RI bridge elsewhere on the site, particularly the inadequate bridgeplate length - or poor placement of the bridge, however you wish to define the problem.

    No, I mean that the strings I bought are too irregular to intonate on this or my other Precisions. I explained one symptom clearly in my post. It has nothing to do with the bridge adjustment. You don't get that far.

    "Intonation" consists of more than matching fretted and harmonic tones at the twelfth fret. That's merely a common method of approximating the proper intonation, and if the strings or instrument are defective, it won't work. See my original post.

    Dead strings are another problem, and these had Gs that went stone dead in about a week. Thud. The As went shortly thereafter.

    I like the tension of the 9050Ms, but I just don't want to have to worry about getting lemons. I'd also like to have nickle instead of stainless.

    "Dude" Barr warned me about these strings and I thought he was just being Dude. Well, turns out he was right.:meh: