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I found a flat (Help me find a flat [or something].)!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by twinjet, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Update: I found a flat! D'Addario Chromes did the trick!

    Hey gang,
    Not sure if it's how people demo them or if I really just don't like flats. But I want to. I like a mellow sound that isn't muddied, or hollow.

    I have ruled out:
    LaBella 760FL "Deep Talkin' "
    GHS Precision Flats
    D'Addario Chromes

    The sound I want is deep, but one that doesn't lose clarity. I don't like mud. I don't like a hollow sound. The sound I was digging was that of a worn-in roundcore, but I am trying to find something that inherently owns that trait.

    I play more jazz than anything, but a bit of my playing is that which supports an acoustic guitar with a strong foundation.

    Am i stuck with aging my strings or is there hope?
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
    Mvilmany likes this.
  2. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    I'm curious to see other responses--I'm looking for something similar, too.
    GHS Pressurewounds would be one thought. I've got them on one of my basses, and they sound really good. Another idea (just based on reading) would be La Bella Copper White Tapewounds, since it seems like they're all about warmth and clarity.
    Joedog, BassJuju and 40Hz like this.
  3. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    You might want to give Labella Quarter Rounds a try (before anyone comes in with the halfround hate, these are nothing like GHS or Daddario).

    It sounds like you aren't looking for flats. You're actually looking for GHS Boomers. When they mellow (which is in, like, a day), they are thump city and come closer to sounding like flats than some flats can even manage. They are like pure fundamental, with some zing.
    trothwell and Bolsyo like this.
  4. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    How long do Boomers last (meaning, how long do they stay in the mellowed state before dying)?
  5. For a set of flats with all the full-bodied low end goodness of the traditional flats, but with rich, smooth mids (ie not clanky or clangy) for punch and clarity instead of just thump and thud, the Sadowsky Black Label Flats may be worth a try for what you're looking for.
  6. Fyi...

    I've just learned that the La Bella Quarter Rounds are now discontinued. Sigh...
  7. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    What is the tension of the Sadowsky's like?
  8. The only set I've tried is the 40-100, which I find to be very manageable. While they're not considered "low tension" like the TIJF's, they're quite comfortable to play on for being flats.
    Mike N likes this.
  9. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Just received a set from BSO last week. Guess I'll hold onto it.
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.
  10. It was none other than @SLaPiNFuNK himself who told me about it just a few days ago.
    MrWolf14 likes this.
  11. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    It varies. Some claim they last forever, most claim they die off pretty quick, mellow off and then stay pretty thuddy for a good bit. Realistically, they have the half life of Daddario XL nickels, IME. It all comes down to your PH, how hard you're playing them, etc.
    fermata likes this.
  12. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Well, he would know. They're still on Labellas website, FWIW. I have an extra used set I can sell you cut for 4-in line Fender. PM if you're interested.
  13. Hamish MacCleod

    Hamish MacCleod Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    South America
    When I think of the tone you described I immediately think tapes. I use Rotosound 88's. YMMV
    Wesley R and 4stringmachinepete like this.
  14. rd1959


    Dec 11, 2016
    North Carolina
    I like Dunlop flats. Smooth feel, good clarity, and they do have a little top end bite when the tone is all the way up.
  15. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    DR Legends. Round core. smooth, articulate, full. Don't change much from new to old.
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    ^This. Pressurewounds or Copper Whites.

    I'd strongly suggest trying the Copper White Nylons. I was never a fan of any tapewound string until I tried these. Now they're one of my favorite strings precisely because they have a warm rich tone with good mids and some decent bottom.
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  17. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    At the risk of redundancy, Thomastik Jazz flats.
  18. I'll put another word in for tapewounds. I actually like Fender's take on them, though they are quite different from most others, and I have the LaBella black tapes which are great and very smooth, in texture and sound...

    For regular flats, I'd consider Rotosound 77s. They're a great string I come back to time and time again, but the one drawback (possibly) is they are very stiff tension-wise. For me, they are tonally pretty close to what you describe.
    /\/\3phist0, wmmj and barebones like this.
  19. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I like Rotosound flats for the tone you're describing, although some people complain about the high tension. I dial them in low with very little relief in the neck, and they work for me. I do play with a heavy right hand.

    I have Ernie Ball Cobalt flats on my fretless right now, and I need to try them on my fretted. I suspect they will deliver much of what I like about the Rotos.

    Thomastiks feel nice and light, and they sound great. They have nice highs and mids and sound clear and balanced, but they don't have as much metallic *zing* to them, due to the nylon filament between the core and outer flat wire.

    For black nylon tape wounds, I like GHS. They have decent highs and good string to string balance.
    Wesley R likes this.
  20. I was going to mention the cobalts! I also have them on my fretless jazz, and they are fantastic strings, and very low tension. I'm unsure if they would be as nice on a fretted, but I actually haven't tried so I can't say...
    pudgychef and barebones like this.

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