I'm coming around to flats..

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SixtyCycleHum, Oct 22, 2021.


  1. Hey gang!

    Look. I'm 35 years old now. I've been playing since I was a young teen and gigging since not long after. It took me literal decades of loving and insisting on the brightest stainless rounds I could get my hands on (and there's nothing wrong with that, it sounds COOL :roflmao:), but I can't deny that I'm at the beginning of my "I appreciate flatwounds!" journey. Motown just does things to bass players, man..

    I am intrigued enough to give something a go on my Yamaha BB5000. Yet I'm chasing something that is going to both have, and maintain, some zing for as long as possible. Fresh flatwound zing makes me giddy, but I wanna keep it. Can you guys point me in several awesome directions like I know you will?
     
    mb94952 and Chicken Wing like this.
  2. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I'm confused. Flat wounds aren't zingy by nature. Some would say to try Chromes.
     
  3. No, not by nature. Yet I'm really into them when they're fresh as fresh can be. I guess that's what I mean. I want a set that will hopefully retain that for a bit.
     
    Chicken Wing likes this.
  4. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    USA
    Sounds like you might like Chromes, you can change em every couple years if you like or you could look into half-rounds/ ground-wounds.

    Flats will have to be played quite a bit for a minimum of couple weeks to even find out what they will eventually sound like once they settle in depending on your setup eq, pick-ups ect. Good luck!
     
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  5. It's a passive, action as low as can be, high tension. In my mind, while the Jazz is the obvious choice, the BB5000 might really TAKE to flats. I don't know much about the different varieties, having been a rounds guy all this time. Can you tell me more about grounds, chromes and halfs?
     
  6. 7dollarbologna

    7dollarbologna

    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    Chromes are the “gateway” set for newcomers to flats, after break in they are quite ordinary-
     
  7. Hmmmm. Are they anything like the phosphor bronze you'd see on acoustic basses?
     
  8. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    USA
    Sure...but I don't use flats on any of my Jazz basses. With ground wound the string wraps around the string cores are ground smooth but not as smooth as flats the results are a smoother feel than rounds with less string noise when changing positions and sliding, they also maintain better brightness. Chrome's are straight-up flat wound but seem to stay brighter longer than some others.
     
    SixtyCycleHum likes this.
  9. I'm increasingly finding it to be an unpopular opinion, but I just love the sound of an active jazz with bright rounds being played hard through an amp with a bright character. I wouldn't dream of putting mutes or strings which would diminish that clang I enjoy so much. Yet, with the old P/J Yammy, I'm open to trying out flats. Chromes, indeed, sound more like what I'm looking for!
     
  10. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    D'Addario Chromes are nice. They are a bit brighter than average flats but when I roll off the high end with the passive tone control on my P Bass.................they sound like awesome smooth and deep flat wounds.

    Ya might want to go with Chromes lightest gauge...........40-60-80-100

    Now, when you are ready, TI Flats are the world's greatest flat wound strings!!!!!!!!! Expensive. Last up to 10 yrs.
     
    alack, QweziRider, macmanlou and 6 others like this.
  11. I'm definitely not looking for the smooth and deep quality just yet, haha. My current tone is best described as "hair caught in fretboard". I definitely want to try out these chromes. I just heard a friend playing some fresh LaBellas on her Jazz and I absolutely loved it. I'm starting to suspect it was the "fresh" that I enjoyed mostly..
     
  12. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    USA
    Others will be along soon enough I'm sure to help. Chromes are brigher out of the box but will eventually settle down and darken up, I'm not really sure how often you would have to change em out to maintain that out of the box brighter-ness. I use Fender 9050 stainless flats love them, the can be bright enough for me if I wanted that (I don't) but give me clean and clear low end thump! Paging @JimmyM what say you?
     
  13. Definitely chromes. You fingers will love them and they are plenty bright or thumpy depending on your technique. I can get a sharp Jaco like growl on one song then get a fat vintage reggae sound without changing any controls, just my plucking technique and if I play near the bridge or the neck. I use the D'addario light gauge chromes (ECB 81). Try 'em you'll like 'em.:D
     
  14. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    Dead rounds = bright flats :roflmao:
     
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  15. Sharp growl makes my ears pick up. Thank you for your offering. It's YouTube research time!
     
  16. You're not wrong, but...ahhh damn it I got nothing :roflmao:
     
  17. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    I agree! Fender's flats are pretty decent and a bit brighter than "thud flats". Fender's flats have changed. They used to be made in Mexico with USA materials. Those flats were pretty high tension but they are VERY traditional sounding flats. But, now Fender's flat are made by "someone". And, I can't remember who makes them now. Fender's flats have lower tension than the older ones and the new ones are also somewhat bright for a flat.

    Fender's Flats are also an excellent string (but I did like the MIMs ones better. Still got one pack left!).
     
  18. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Add Dunlop Flats, EB Colbalt Flats, and EB Group Flats to your search.
     
  19. Try tapewounds perhaps. They definitely have some zing compared to normal flats, but not so very bright like rounds.
     
    68Tele-Bass and SixtyCycleHum like this.
  20. 7dollarbologna

    7dollarbologna

    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    I’ve never had an acoustic bass guitar
     
  21. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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