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Installed some Dunlop Flats 45-105...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Vinnie Boombatz, Dec 27, 2017.


  1. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Banned

    May 26, 2010
    Put a set of these on my Classic 50's Precision. For whatever reason this bass does not like heavier gauge strings and sets like GHS Precision Flats and La Bella 760FS kept requiring me to keep adjusting the truss rod. Worried I'd max it out and run out of adjustment I decided to compromise and put on a lower tension set.

    Initially had TI's on the bass several months ago and just hated their floppiness. Sold those fast. Next I tried some La Bella 760FL's. Loved the glassy feel of these and they sounded nice, but they felt really thin under my fingers, and I prefer the feel of medium gauge strings. This bass sounds incredible with 760FS, but they're tension is too high for the Classic 50's.

    So I slapped on a set of the Dunlop Flats 45-105. The feel great, are lower tension than GHS Precision Flats and La Bella 760FS of the same 45-105 gauge, but nowhere near as floppy as the TI Jazz Flats. Shinier than the GHS, glassy and smooth feel, but not as glassy as the La Bellas.

    Others have compared these to Chromes, but I'll go on a limb and say they don't really sound like Chromes. Chromes have this weird high/upper mid metallic characteristic to them that deosn't seem to fade even after playing the strings in for a few months. In my experience this is just an inherent characteristic of Chromes, like it or not. The Dunlop are bright out of the pack, don't get me wrong, but they don't have the same metallic thing going on that Chromes do. Even when you roll off the bass with Chromes they still have this characteristic sound to them. When I roll off the tone with the Dunlops they become warmer, rounder, mellower. The Dunlops definitely can get into old-school territory when new with a crank of your tone knob. What I like about this was with some new strings if you turn the tone knob enough to dial out the clank or zing the strings get muddy sounding. With the Dunlop they still retain definition without turning to mud when you turn that tone knob. They have a prominent low end, but may be just a tad scooped sounding compared to say, GHS Precision flats that are just big, fat with that wooly/warm thump/thud in the low end. Dunlops are a little less in your face, but still have a pleasing sound. Dare I say a little more refined that GHS Precision flats if that makes sense. And don't take it as me trashing the GHS Precision Flats because I love their huge, rich, in your face low end that even La Bella don't have.

    Hopefully this helps some people. I've just been on a quest for finding flats I like for each bass.

    p64uK6N.
     
  2. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Yes, Dunlops sound nothing like Chromes. I felt like the Dunlops were farther into the vintage category than people had described them to be. Not really a fan.
     
  3. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    Tq for your fresh from pack Dunlop Flatwound string review. Let play it several weeks or months then share your review again. Tq
     
  4. @JimmyM is one of the people I know of who have used the Dunlop Flats in the past year. Maybe he can share his perspective on them.
     
  5. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Banned

    May 26, 2010
    Weel, to each his/her own. My first foray into flats were Chromes several years ago. Need had played flats and thought Chromes were the best thing ever. Also, around that time I bought a bass used and it had La Bella flats on it. Liked how they sounded but they just weren't the sound I was looking for/couldn't get a usable sound out of them at the time for the music I was playing and was just inexperienced as a player.

    Fast forward a few years and my tastes have changed and really enjoy playing flats for their feel and tone and am leaning more into the "vintage" tone camp and not much of a fan of Chromes anymore. Instead of liking the ring and clang of rounds I'm more into being felt than heard (if that makes sense) and value thump and feel.

    I think the Dunlops could be seen as sort of a "gateway string" for some who have always played rounds and just aren't ready or looking for that much of a drastic change in tone. You can still get that ring and clang that you get from rounds with your tone control up without the signature metallic ring of Chromes, but when you dial back the volume with the Dunlops you start getting into the warmer thump territory, but you won't get the full effect that you'd get with La Bella or GHS. Also, the Dunlops are a great for someone who isn't ready for the drastic change in feel going from rounds to much stiffer flats. This could also be said for TI Jazz Flats, too, but they're much more expensive than Dunlops and as mentioned, were too floppy for my taste.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I pretty much agree with Vinnie, although I really don't think they have much in common with rounds once they go dead.
     
  7. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Banned

    May 26, 2010
    Thats a good thing in my opinion.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  8. ClaytonS15

    ClaytonS15

    Jan 13, 2011
    Massachusetts
    I used Dunlop flats on my 1981 Ibanez Blazer P-bass for about a year and then went to Labella 760FS. Initially, I was into the thump I got, but the tension was higher and I was not happy with the low E string. It just sounded dead. Yesterday, I put my old Dunlops back on, and it’s like someone took a wet blanket off my bass. It’s alive again! Bass strings are weird. I have Labella 760FLs on my G&L SB2 and am happy, but now I’m wondering if I should get the Dunlops for that bass too... I love them! I also agree that they do not sound like Chromes. They really have their own sound and I’m liking it a lot on this bass. Less tension than Labellas but more than DR Legend flatsive also tried. They aren’t as polished in feel as the Labellas or the DRs but it doesn’t matter to me. I like the feel and tone I’m getting from the Dunlop flats.
     
  9. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    Dunlop flats 45-125 on a Fender AP jazz V here. It’s still early, esp for flats (less than a week) but so far, they’re a winner. They come the closest to what was my favorite, the famously discontinued Sadowsky black label flats — a nice balance between warm thump & modern articulation. Or to put it another way: warm & clear. I like dark and these are dark but with clarity. And they are very comfortable to play — responsive AND lowish tension.

    Ironically, Fender’s V mod pickups in this bass, a combo of alnico 5 and alnico 2, deliver the same: vintage + modern. (Took me awhile to figure out what VMOD referred to.) So maybe these strings and pickups are meant for each other.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019 at 6:14 PM
    JimmyM likes this.
  10. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    And Dunlops don’t sound like Chromes at all. Not even close.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, finding that out on my gig. More middy and brighter with Chromes. But I like both a lot so maybe I'll stick with both.
     
    Selim likes this.
  12. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    It's why I have 3 different flats on my 3 basses. It's allowed to like more than one!
     
    JimmyM and tindrum like this.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Honestly, after applying EQ, the tonal differences were pretty much lost on me :D
     

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