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How do other flats compare to D'addario Chromes?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by MustangLouis25, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. MustangLouis25


    Jun 21, 2015
    I have a set of 40-100 D'addario Chromes on my bass and was wondering how they compare to other sets.
    This is what i'm interested in knowing:

    How long they take to break in,
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    There's a lot of flat sets out there.

    Which candidates are you looking at? Or what type of tension/brightness/settle-in time are you looking for?
    ColdEye and shawshank72 like this.
  3. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Although I can say that Chromes are the slowest of Flatwounds to break in.
    Some like that, some don't.
    chris merrill likes this.
  4. MustangLouis25


    Jun 21, 2015
    I'm looking for clear strings but not overly sharp and bright. I like to slap my flats and play both softly and quite hard and also bend them so I like them flexible but not very loose. My chromes took 2 weeks to break in and I love the sound of them. I'm looking at any brand of strings. I hope this helps. thanks
  5. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Try the SIT Powerflat, I did and I love them for similar reasons you have elaborated...
  6. Sounds to me like the Chromes 40-100 that you have is in fact a very good choice.

    The only other flats you might want to consider is the new Dunlop Flats. I haven't had a chance to try them myself, but based on what I've been reading, they may be a good choice for you as well.
    Klonk likes this.
  7. MustangLouis25


    Jun 21, 2015
    Thanks for the recommendation, are they more like half round / pressure wound rather than flat?
  8. MustangLouis25


    Jun 21, 2015
    Thanks for the suggestion, I do love the strings but I just wanted to see how others compare to them.
  9. When I first discovered the world of flats, I started out with two sets of the Chromes ECB84 (40-100). One set was on my J bass for four years, while the other set was on my old P bass for three years.

    The one on the J eventually got a little unbalanced tonally with a very bright 40-G and a thuddy 100-E. The one on the P was still sounding great when I sold the bass after three years, though.
    kennsol likes this.
  10. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    They are flatwound.
    Klonk likes this.
  11. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    You say clear and like to slap I think Ernie Ball Cobalt Flatwounds.
  12. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I would try the Labella Deep Talkin 43-104 set. Stiffness wise, they fill the gap between the super loose TI's and most standard gauge sets. They are very slap friendly, partly because of their glassy top end and partly because of their relatively loose (compared to most sets of a similar gauge) feel. They have give, but they aren't floppy. They are a truly balanced set, IMO. They do a great job of sounding both modern and classic depending on your attack and tone settings, where other flats mostly give you one or the other. All IMO, etc.
  13. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Chromes are a moderate tension very clear sounding flat. Some people characterize that as a bright sound. But I think 'clear' is an actually more accurate description. They're somewhat unique. EB Cobalts share some of their characteristics, as do a few other 'bright' flats. But Chromes are what they are. If you like them, there's nothing wrong with sticking with them.
    Kipp Harrington, Mili and TC.65 like this.
  14. Tigerpig


    Oct 27, 2016
    Norwich UK
    I've found the trick with chromes is to be undecided and take them off a couple of times in favour of your old roundwounds. Then when you decide the old roundwounds are too insubstantial in comparison, you stick the chromes back on and the tension has adjusted, they settle in better and they stay on. Depending on how many times you do this the silks will be at different stages of fluffy.
    Reiska, Klonk and Killed_by_Death like this.
  15. Tigerpig


    Oct 27, 2016
    Norwich UK
    I much prefer chromes to Fenders and La Bella. They're fuller sounding than Fenders and set-up more easily/have a more usable tonal character than La Bella, which are very much a one trick string IME.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you liked the Chromes, I think you would love Dunlop flats. Similar in some ways, but a little more flexible, though not crazy flexible like TI's. They're also extremely smooth and not all sticky and grabby like Chromes can be when they're new. Tonally, the Dunlops may be slightly less middy than Chromes, but they don't lack for mids.
    Camarillo, TritoneTerror and physics like this.
  17. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Oh, that's so right. There's no strings I've taken on and off more than Chromes. There's always a set or two sitting in my string box, having been taken off again and waiting their turn to get put back on. And, yes, the blue silk ends get fuzzier and fuzzier... They've stuck on a couple of basses, GHS Precision Flats have stuck on a couple of others, and LaBella's on one, but only TI Jazz Flats really turn my crank when I play my basses with them on ('68 Fender P, G&L M2000, '95 Peavey Foundation 5 with VFLs, soon to be on a G&L L1500 fretless).

    To get to the OP's question, though: given the techniques you describe, the Chromes may be exactly what you're looking for. Their odd character as a very focussed, yeah "clear" works, string is kind of unique. I sometimes think I look down on them since they're so ubiquitous and kind of ignore their strengths. If you haven't seen this video, have a look since it's pretty much spot-on:

    BassGreaser, Tigerpig and Klonk like this.
  18. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    You've got the right flats for you then, based on this description. I've tried nearly all of 'em over the last 30 years. Chromes are flats that respond almost more like rounds, but CAN behave oldschool depending on your bass and technique, and sound better than any halfwound, etc. that I've encountered.
  19. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Two week old Chromes are extremely bright (or "clear") by anyone's standards....to my ear it's a slightly unpleasant metallic clang. But if you like the sound it's hard to match with anything where that sound won't have gone pretty dead after six months. Chromes do die off more than two weeks would show but they always hold that brightness or clarity more than most other sets. They're a medium-ish tension string too...it sounds like you might be there.

    (BTW to most flat players two weeks isn't even close to broken in....try two years. I'd caution you not to be making final judgements on any flats before six months.)

    But if you are curious you've had some well described suggestions and it's time just to buck up and try some sets. It's not a bad investment though.
    A) Flats keep well and even if you think a particular set isn't what you want your tastes may change or they may work on a bass you don't have yet.
    B) A collection gives you various useful points of comparison to come back to. You can tell by the responses here that most of us have tried a bunch of sets and value a collection of some sort.
    C) If you don't see any long term value in a collection install them uncut because there's always a market here for uncut used flats.

    One thing I'm reading from you is you like the smooth feel but want a much brighter sound than the classic ten year old LaBella thud. As long as you're being curious GHS Pressure Wounds might be something you'd like after a few weeks of break-in. They're cheap so it's not a huge risk.

    At some point too you owe it to yourself to spring for TI Flats just to know. Generally it's either love or hate. If it's hate you can always get at least half your money back on a new uncut set. If it's love there's absolutely nothing else like them and they stay brighter for years longer than any other flat.
    Klonk, 40Hz and chris merrill like this.
  20. osonu


    Aug 5, 2013
    Las Vegas
    The only thing I have to compare them to are LaBella DTBs on a P bass, but I put a set of Sadowskys on an SR5 and they seem much clearer than the DTBs, but not overly bright or zingy. They are built by LaBella, so very smooth feel.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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