I Love TI Flats, But I Can't Afford Them

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by R D Maynard, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. I wish I could put TI Flats on all my basses, but they're just too expensive! I can hang with using them on my main playing and recording basses, but, at the current prices, stringing every bass in the house is like a month's rent! Are there any similar strings that won't break the bank?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2020
    Yellow Bang66 and uwrossl like this.
  2. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    Maybe the Dunlop Flatwounds. :unsure:
  3. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I think that says more about how many basses you have. Maybe sell one to fund strings for the others. :meh:

    This is like an automotive enthusiast with a big garage full of cars complaining that gas costs too much to fill them up. :p
    sears, imabuddha, crobasster and 67 others like this.
  4. Become a supporting member so you can look for a used set in the classified.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    You don't have to be a supporting member to shop the classifieds.
  6. Thanks, but I already have several used sets.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    This. I don't know how many instruments you have, but would you be better off with a few less instruments set up the way out like? Sell a few to fund the others.
    CapnSev, gebass6, mcnach and 4 others like this.
  8. My bad. I guess you need to be a supporting member to be able to SELL stuff in the classified, not to BUY.
    Mr Cheese and NKBassman like this.
  9. Keep an eye on Amazon . You can find them around $50 TTD fairly regularly. They tend to fluctuate like gold.
    Danny C, Relsom and Eric Cioe like this.
  10. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    La Bella low tension flats were designed to compete with TI at a lower cost point.
    Root 5, R D Maynard, Dabndug and 12 others like this.
  11. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Alembic Epic-1.JPG Some thoughts...
    - Unless you have several basses that are the same - or at least very similar - and/or you need "Backup" basses for performing? I honestly don't understand the compulsion to have the same strings on every bass one owns. Especially (given their initial cost) TI Jazz Flats. I've been playing basses with flats - almost exclusively - since 1968, and if there's one thing I've learned about them, it's that flat wound strings do NOT all sound the same. And what sounds great on one bass, very often does not sound so great on another bass. I can vouch for this; I've had to try a few flats before I've found the ones I think sound best on a particular bass - many times...
    - There's nothing that says you have to change all your strings, all at once. If I were to buy all the TIJFs necessary to re-string all my basses at the same time? It would take my next two paychecks, and mortally wound my wallet. But, a set of them, every other paycheck? Not nearly so painful, wallet-wise. But, since I currently have 24 basses? It would take quite a while...
    I like TIJFs, too; and yes, I think they are wonderful sounding strings - on the right bass, playing the right music. I have them on this Alembic Epic, and for what I play (and how I play it) on this bass, they are just, simply, superb. But, on every bass I own, for everything I like to play? Uhhh.. no. I could make them work, and they would sound...OK, most of the time... but I've found other flats, for my other basses, that are much better than "just OK" for what I use them for. I simply can't see spending that much money, to have strings that mostly sound "OK", just so I can say "I use XX strings on all my basses." Especially when I can often spend a lot less for a set of flats that, IMO, sound much, much better than OK on a given bass...:cool:
  12. Given their extreme longevity, I would argue that TI flats are the most economical string on the market, and you can't afford NOT to install them on all your basses! ;)
  13. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    This is true of all flats. Amortized over 10 years, they are practically free. ;)
  14. I have vacillated on the concept of stringing all 18 of my basses with the TI flats as well. Then I play one of mine with GHS Tapewounds , GHS pressure wounds , GHS Precision Flats or one of the few remaining with roundwounds and decide against because variety is the spice of life.
  15. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I have always been under the impression that you folks with lots of basses have them mainly to provide choice...seems very strange to want to put the same set of strings on every bass.

    That said, I'd imagine hitting up Jason at https://www.fretnation.com/ with a bulk order might get a price drop...or advice on decent alternatives.
  16. Beetfarm615


    Feb 15, 2017
    Copy the amazon url in camelcamelcamel and get notification when it drops below your set threshold.

  17. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    London, UK
    They’re a completely different sound & vibe, though similar-ish for feel. Stiffer than the TIs, more thumpy & old-school. The TIs have lots of sustain (for a flat) even when they’re old.
  18. uwrossl

    uwrossl Blues/Soul/Rock N Roll Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    Huge TI fan. My favorite flat. If you want an equivalent definitely try the Dunlops 40-100. Very similar feel to the TI's. Also share a lot of similarities in stiffness/playability and tone. Great midrange character. Smooth top end. Sustain that is on par and maybe slightly more than the TI's. Difference is that it is a slightly darker string than the TI's with more oomph on the low end. The Dunlops will get a bit of that woody quality of the TI's once played in. I always use TI's to record but live it's always a toss up. There are definitely situations where I like the little extra oomph or depth I get from the Dunlops. Both the 40-100 and 45-105 sets are great and neither are stiff under the fingers but the 40-100 set will get you as close as I've found.

    I've tried a ton of flats recently. La Bella LTF's have a lower tension rating than TI's and Dunlops but feel noticeably stiffer under the fingers and are decidedly La Bella when it comes to the tone. Great strings but IMO a completely different flavor than TI's. Pyramids get thrown in the TI comparison conversations as well but they are quite a bit stiffer and have a very thumpy and quick decay. Also ran through GHS, Ernie Ball Cobalts, Fender 9050, Rotosound 77's, and Chromes. All great strings with different flavors.

    In the end there's nothing like TI's...plain and simple. But I think the Dunlops will get you in the ballpark and particularly the 40-100 set. It'll get you ballpark while also giving you a slightly different flavor.
  19. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    doesn't seem like many other flats are constructed like Ti's ... hence , the feel , sound & price ..

    i have a used set of 1 bass - around $30

    just put a set of Ti rounds on another ... $60 plus a months wait to ship from UK ... another low tension set

    tried some Roto 77 , lighter gauge ... cool sound , bit stiffer ... as is every other set of flats i've tried ..

    if you want Ti's on every bass ... then make a plan to do so ... follow Amazon or buy used ...

    complaining about the price of strings, handmade in Vienna, doesn't /won't help at all ... they seem to have no problem selling them .!?!
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  20. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    This is great information, thanks. Currently on trial with TIs, but not sure yet how the low tension will suit me in the long term. If the Dunlops are similar tonally but with a stiffer feel that might be better for me.
    TN WOODMAN and uwrossl like this.