Ideal strings for ABGs?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by UtBDan, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. UtBDan

    UtBDan Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2004
    Just got a Thunderchief, wondering what's the best strings for them.
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    For any ABG... I recommend the La Bella Nylon Tapewounds 760N
  3. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I've had a few sets on my Thunderchief and I think that the "best set" depends on what you want for a result. TI Jazz flats have been my go-to set for quite a while, but I have also had good results from the original Elixir bronzewounds and with TI Acousticores. Right now I have a well aged set of Jazz Flats on it and it has a lovely "mini URB" sound. Not the most acoustic volume but wonderful tone.

    I can look through my backup sets to see if I have any that came off of my CB10F. Maybe that would help.
  4. rch427


    May 31, 2002
    I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I have a very similar question, and I thought it didn't make sense to start an almost identical thread. I'm a newbie ABG player with an Olympia OB3CE that's still unstrung; I figure I probably should put *something* on there, since the air-bass playing is going nowhere.

    Here's the deal with my bass: it's totally acoustic; no more electronics, and no desire for them. (I got it for $30, since it had been stripped.) I play really crude folky jazz, and will only be using the bass for home recording projects, so projection isn't an issue, nor is playing live. Budget, however, is. Ideally, I'd like it to sound as close to an upright as possible (yes, I realize how impossible that is).

    I keep reading about how great Thomastiks are, but frankly, I can't justify their price. Is there a cheaper string that anyone would recommend for my particular bass and needs? T.I.A.

    -- Robert
  5. I have a thunderchief 5 strung E to C with TI flats and love the sound they give. I have tried all kind of strings on this bass and have always come back to the TI's.

    If they are too expensive try another set of flats in your price range. Flats! They just feel great and give a darker jazz tone to the ABG's
    Another reason I use TI flats, well there are 2 reasons the gauge and tension of the strings suit the ABg's better.
  6. rch427


    May 31, 2002
    Mark -- I can't seem to find T-I flatwounds for acoustic basses; the only ABG strings I can find by them are rounds. Do you know what the name or model of the flats you're talking about is so I can search for them?

    Thanks --
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I think I damaged my Thunderchief by having Labella nylons on it. They are very large guage, very high tension strings, and the top bracing on the Thunderchief is unconventional and fragile - that's why it sounds so damn good. Pay attnetion to the size recommendations on the Tacoma website FAQ.

    I use D'Addarrio phosphor bronze bass guitar strings and they are nice. They were the brand and guage that originally shipped on the bass from the factory.
  8. rch427


    May 31, 2002
    Thanks VERY much for this advice! I'm a total ABG newbie, so I'm glad to have this info before making a mistake.

    Cheers --


  9. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    I've got EB Eathwood strings on my fretless ABG now, and they're just peachy. Brian Ritchie of VF uses Martin 80/20 strings, but mainly just because they're cheap and available everywhere - he changes them every set.

    I've also used TI acousticore strings, which sound amazing. I had to jack the action way up to get any acoustic volume out of them, and they feel weird at first because they roll under your fingers, but the fretless sound is beautiful.
  10. rch427


    May 31, 2002
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the T-I Acousticores round-wounds? I may have been misinformed, but I'd heard that flats produced more of an upright bass sound, which is what I'm trying to approach. Opinions?

    Thanks --


  11. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Yes, they're roundwound. I was answering the original poster re: ideal ABG strings. FWIW, acousticores are very mellow for roundwounds, due to the nylon core, but no, they don't have the dull "thunk" of flats.
  12. stretch80


    Jan 31, 2005
    My fretless ABG is strung with D'addario Chromes, which are a flatwound string. They sound great -- can get a real upright bass vibe, but still have some ring. Also last a long time.
  13. They're just "TI Jazz Flats", not specific to acoustic basses. Doesn't mean they wouldn't work and sound great though.

    TI acousticores are definitely pricey, but they last forever (up to a year and more if you want) and (imo) the tone only gets better as time goes on.

    I haven't tried TI flats specifically yet, but from my experience with the Acousticores, they can get a very upright-esque tone if you mute them. Either palm muted or with some cloth under the strings by the bridge.

    Here's a soundclip of my Kinal Kompact acoustic with TI Acousticores (muted at the bridge). Going for an upright kinda tone in this song: I Loved You - BassMix.mp3
  14. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    They are nylon cores wound with fine bronze windings. So, they are much warmer than steel-core bronze strings, which sound like big steel-string guitars. But, they are nice and lively, and the windings are small enough that they do not score a fretboard like normal electric bass roundwounds (I have had them on a maple fretless board for a couple of years, and they behave very well regarding wear, and sound great still). Very light gauge, so not much acoustic volume, but great tone. I have a set on a lightwave bass, not an acoustic, but I understand they are specifically designed to work with piezo bridges. I have no personal experience, but I would think that a little muting at the bridge and they would do the upright thing very well on that acoustic if volume were not an issue.