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ideas for a replacement for GHS brite flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by paulraphael, Apr 14, 2006.


  1. paulraphael

    paulraphael

    Apr 13, 2006
    Brooklyn
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    I have a G&L L2000 that has a lot of character ... some of it good, some that needs to be tamed. Even though it's alder with a rosewood board, the tone can be too bright and edgy and metallic for my taste sometimes. It has a big fat bottom end--that's not the issue. It's that i find it hard to tame aggressive edge without getting rid of the upper midrange presence that I like. I want to deal with the issue with strings, and not eq, if possible.

    What's worked best in the past are GHS Brite Flats. I know a lot of people hate them, but they've worked pretty well on this bass. I tried many, many other strings, mostly roundwounds, with the next best probably being DL low riders in nickel.

    One thing I like about the brite flats is that they last practically forever. A thing I don't like is that they take almost forever to break in. They sound horrible on my bass when they're new. I also wouldn't mind slightly lower string tension. And for groundwounds, they could certainly have a smoother finish.

    Any suggestions on a substitute? I'm looking for very present, warm mids, and a strong, punchy bottom end. I don't need a lot of trebble extension. I play finger style, and my amp will reproduce any highs that are there just fine. One string I haven't tried is the TI Jazz flats. I use these on my fretless. I like the mids and the highs, although on that particular bass (cheap-o korean ibanez) there isn't much low end. Not sure if it's the strings or the bass. I'm also not sure how much I'd like the low tension on my G&L.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    The ones you might like a D'Addario Chromes, but I've heard those are very bright flats.

    The TIs got my vote. I had super low tension Hi Beams on my G&L L2K5 and it was great. Low tension probably isn't the deal. :)
     
  3. ebe9

    ebe9

    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    Second the Chromes, very bright for flats.

    I am still breaking in a set after 2 months (my fretted tends to get for play though so working on about an hour every 3rd day)
     
  4. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    I'm not sure everyone here realizes that Brite Flats are actually groundwounds, not flatwounds. So, real flatwounds may be too drastically "flat" for you. However, I'd still give them a try. Chromes are a good suggestion-- they do give you more overtones than GHS Precision Flats, for one, and are less stiff.
     
  5. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Also, this may be painfully obvious and/or simplistic, but have you tried using your G&L in passive mode? I have an old L2000 that's too "strident" for me in preamp mode, and it took an embarassingly long amount of time for me to realize that the passive mode gives me the "organic" tone I like. (Duh.)
     
  6. bazzanderson

    bazzanderson

    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Dude....Chromes! I've used brite flats before and I'm pretty sure Chromes are just a tad bit "slacker" feeling. Still a nice tight (but not too tight) flatwound. And...they are nice and bright at first and lose a little of the brightness but keep the ability to cut through. GREAT for fingerstyle.
     
  7. paulraphael

    paulraphael

    Apr 13, 2006
    Brooklyn
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    Sure, I've played it passive. On my bass the difference is pretty subtle.

    So the chromes: do these have a real flatwound quality? That might not be what I'm looking for. I like how the brite flats sound like roundwounds but with a mellower top end, but still have a pretty full range sound.

    How would you describe the chromes, compared with a typical nickel roundwound?

    Thanks again,
    Paul
     
  8. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    If you've never compared roundwounds (or groundwounds) vs. flatwounds yourself, it's hard for me to put the difference into words, but...
    The Chromes will have none of the "sizzle" that the Brite Flats or any nickel roundwounds have. None.
    But compared to most other flatwounds (in my experience), Chromes have more definition and less dull "thud," plus they're more flexible feeling than GHS Precision Flatwounds or any LaBellas. They're still less flexible than nickel roundwounds, or Brite Flats, though.

    My issue with the active/passive choice on my L2000 is that when I use the preamp, the highs sound more prominent, but are still "musical", whereas the mids start to sound artificial and honky. This took a while for me to realize, maybe because on my 5-string Stingray, it's the opposite. (On the MusicMan, the highs get too brittle when you crank the treble knob, but the mids are always "musical" no matter where you have that knob.) (I know, there are many differences between the two basses' electronics and they really shouldn't be compared, but sometimes you just get so used to a particular bass, and...) :meh:

    Anyway, I hope this all helps...
    Maybe someone else can offer a comparison of different groundwounds, which might help you more.
     
  9. paulraphael

    paulraphael

    Apr 13, 2006
    Brooklyn
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    Thanks, that does help.
     
  10. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    I pulled out the Mar. 1996 issue of Bass PLayer, the one with the long, unscientific comparison of strings, and here are their comments on sets comparable to Brite Flats. This info is 10-years-old, so take it with a grain of salt.

    D'Addario Half Round Series II
    .45, .065, .080, .100
    Groundwound stainless steel
    Tension: Medium
    Output: Medium/Hot
    "Flatwound-like warmth with a precise top and healthy sustain. Clicky pick sounds."

    D'Angelico
    Smoothround Bass Hits
    .045, .062, .084, .103
    Groundwound nickel-plated iron
    Tension: Tight
    Output: Medium/Hot
    "Smooth tone with good focus and a glassy top. Semi-dry finish."

    Dean Markley
    Ground Round Wound
    .49, .062, .077, .098
    Groundwound nickel-plated steel
    Tension: Tight
    Output: Medium/Hot
    "Powerful, semi-mellow tone with clicky top. Medium-balanced set with good tic-tac pick sound."

    GHS
    Brite Flats
    .049, .062, .084, .108
    Groundwound nickel-plated iron
    Tension: Tight
    Output: Medum/Hot
    "Maximum throb, semi-present highs, and superb sustain. Good tic-tac pick tones."

    Ken Smith
    Slick Round
    .044, .062, .084, .106
    Groundwound nickel-plated iron
    Tension: Medium
    Output: Medium/Hot
    "Smooth bass, active mids, and semi-bright highs that cut with a pick or fingers. Semi-smooth feel for solos."

    LaBella
    Deep-Talkin' Bass Round Polished
    .045, .063, .085, .107
    Groundwound stainless steel
    Tension: Medium
    Output: Medium/Hot
    "Acoustic-like bass with heavy mids and semi-mellow highs. Good pick click."
     
  11. D'Addario Chromes
     
  12. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Thomastik Jazz Flats or Lakland Joe Osbornes.
     

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