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Help! Flats for '51 P reissue with string thru bridge

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Chef, Jan 14, 2006.


  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Howdy;
    My new to me Fender '51 Precision reissue with string thru bridge came with really bright shiny new stainless rounds-not the sound I want out of this axe, at all;)
    I really like the Lakland flats on my Lakland hollowbody. Big fat round low end, and nice mids and highs too! I emailed Dan to ask if Lakland flats had the required length to accomdate string thru, and he said that they probably would but that they re not recommended for string thru and that the breakover and gle and tension at the saddle *might* cause them to break. Apparently this is indicated on the packaging as well. He indicated it might not be a problem, but wanted to give me the warning.
    So...real problem or not?, and if so, what are good alternatives? Sadowsky? Labella? From what reading I've done here, I don't think TI's are my flavor, folks seem to indicate they're pretty bright and not so thumpy and fat.

    thanks-chef
     
  2. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Phila,Pa.
    Try LaBella's or GHS precision flats. You will like either one. D'Addario Chromes are good too.
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    What about the string thru issues Sgt Pepper?
    thanks, alan
     
  4. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Phila,Pa.
    Sorry about that. All three come in super long scale. 34-36. Should be no problem.
     
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    What about the theoretical breakage problem?
     
  6. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Phila,Pa.
    I owned a 51 P re-issue with string through body and I used GHS Precision Flatwounds on it and had no problem with breakage or anything. They even intonated perfectly. You have to get the neck as straight as possible with it because of the vintage two saddle bridge. The combo of vintage frets and flatwounds allow super low action.
     
  7. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    I'am pretty sure that Labella's are not recomended for string thru, because of the breakover angle. However Labella's are the stuff when it comes to flats, they just have a great tone. Second on my list would be the Chromes.

    Another more costly option is to replace the two saddle bridge with an Am Dlx bridge. It is a perfect drop in replacement for the stock bridge. The downside is that they are about 60 bucks from most places that I've found them. This will allow you to use whatever string you want, as well as not having the intonation issues that some of these bridges exhibit.

    The best way to alleviate the intonation problems is like the other person said. I'll add to check your nut height, I look for about 1/64" clearance at the 1st fret. For a relief number, I would aim for .012" to .015". With these numbers you should be able to use an action number of about 5/64 bass and 4/64 treble side.
     
  8. I have been using TI Jazz Flats through the body on a P bass for several years now without any problems. But I listened to Dan's advice when I tried the Lakland flats and have strung them regularly. Not sure what I am gaining or missing in doing so, but if Dan speaks, I listen!
     
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have replaced the bridge with a 4 saddle late model bridge, but, it's still string thru only...
    Help;)
     
  10. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Doesn't that defeat a big part of what is cool about this bass. Those bridges are a big part of what gives that bass it's sound.

    You do need long strings for them basses though, huh.
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Perhaps. It came to me that way, tho the stock bridge is in the case. It also has had a Jazz pickup added in the bridge position. You can see photos in the basses section...
     
  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Perhaps. It came to me that way, tho the stock bridge is in the case. It also has had a Jazz pickup added in the bridge position. You can see more photos in the basses section...
     
  13. gbenner

    gbenner

    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    The Lakland flats are made by GHS. When Lakland was out of stock of their flats, I called them, the person I talked to said they were the same as the GHS Precision flats. No flats are recommend to be used with a string through bridge, but I have done it on my Lakland JO. Hey its worth a shot, if one string screws up, then don't do that.
     
  14. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    Phila,Pa.
    I have never heard of not being able to string flats through the bridge. I have done it hundreds of times and never had a problem. :confused:
     
  15. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, one problem that I would see is bending the string too sharply, and opening up the kinda sharp edges of the flat tape wrapping. That could hurt.
     
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Posts 13 and 14 are the sorta things I was looking to hear more of, thanks;O
    And yeah Sgt Pepper, if one couldn't run flats thru a string thru bridge, what the heck were all the fender bass players from '51 to '56 doing?
     
  17. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Pyramid Gold long scale rock big time , Sadowsky flats are worth a try as well.
     
  18. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Major Metal, I appreciate your comments, but really, ''can flats run string thru body" is my main question.

    The reps I talked to at Sadowsky, LaBella, and Lakland all say "no."

    That bums me out as I really want flats on the '51P, and these are brands I have used and really liked in the past.

    chef
     
  19. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    I use rounds in mine, but I would say that if string breakage is your concern, give one set a shot and if it doesn't work then you'll know better. I know that probably sounds obvious and condescending but it isn't meant to be.

    I wonder if the manufacturer considers the fact that the original bridge has barrels and not sharp points. The strings are eased over on the barrel bridges, not like on a standard bridge where the string rests on a sharp apex.
     
  20. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    Chef,
    I have a string through America Jazz Deluxe and a string though American Precision. I've used off the shelf TI flats on both basses for long periods of time (> 1 year) with no issue at all.

    I ordered a set of Labellas and I broke the E string right out of the package as a result of the break over angle. I called Labella and they sent me a new set with tapered ends which worked fine. Actually, I've decided I'm not a flats guy anymore, so PM me if you interested in those Labellas.


    Jason