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Just bought a '66 Prec - Flats or rounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by hoel, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway

    As mentioned I've just bought a sunburst '66 prec. I'm gonna have it set up now, and I wonder what strings to choose. I have tried flats on someone elses bass once, but alyways used rounds. I like the "Motown-tone" and also Donald "Duck" Dunn's sound on the Stax-stuff.

    Could someone get me some information/advices?

  2. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    For that sound, and especially on that bass, I think you need LaBella flats. I use the "Deep Talkin' Bass" set, but there are others including a Jamerson set. Is that bass string-through-body? If so, you need the extra long strings.
  3. I use Fender 9050L or ML flats on my P-Basses. They get the tone you're looking for.
  4. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    As an alternative you might try GHS pressurewounds ... I use them on my 68 P-bass ... nice old skool thump, but with a lttle attitude!
  5. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway
    GHS Pressurewounds : Is that flats? Are they expensive?
  6. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    That bass screams LaBella DTB flats!
  7. I have played EVERY flat out there over the years and I have switched to Sadowsky Flats since the first set I tried. I guarantee that if you try a set you won't want to use anything else. The Sads are a bit brighter and punchier than any other flat I have tried and you get the best of both worlds, that good old thump as well as very good articualtion and a smoothness to the sound that I find lacking in a lot of other strings......Good Luck!


  8. xparis001

    xparis001 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Providence, RI
    Senior Product Manager, Akai Professional
  9. Giraffe

    Giraffe Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    San Diego, California
    If I'm not mistaken, Pressurewounds are GHS' take on the half-round/ground-wound school of string making, which involves starting with a roundwound and grinding or compressing the outer surface to a smoother, flatter shape. They mostly lie between the brightness of a roundwound string and the smooth thump of a flat. One big advantage for someone who has always played roundwounds is that the half-round type strings tend to fall between the lighter tension of a roundwound and the much heavier tension of a flat. The transition from rounds to flats can be very troublesome for some guys because of that big increase in tension.

    The half-round style strings won't do exactly what a roundwound or a flatwound will do, but for many players they are the perfect compromise. You should have a lot a fun testing different sets on your new bass! Good luck!
  10. bsullivan


    Dec 13, 2005
    Lansing, MI
    My '59 currently has GHS brite flats. They are ok but I like the LaBellas much more. The GHS strings were about 1/2 the cost, however.

  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Great, more strings for me to try;)

  12. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    For the motown sound get the Labella Jamersons, they're what Jamerson used and he pretty much is the motown tone. I believe they're also what Duck Dunn used/uses. The fenders, the big 9050 set thats 105-55, also emulate the sound. I used the use the fenders, but now I use the Jamersons. Both are great strings and will get you that vibe. Just remember, the longer they're on there the better. Those guys didn't change there strings unless they broke, and that can take more than 10 years with flats. If you're new to heavy gauge strings then the fenders are a little easier to play on IMO. The Jamersons have a 110 for an E. Also to get the motown sound you need to stick some foam under the bridge cover. Goes well with the flats.
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have LaBellas on my 51 reissue, and have Fender 9050's on my Rev P/J. I like them equally. The LaBellas are a little smoother to the touch. I have the Lakland Joe Osbourne flats on my Lakland Hollowbody, and I like them too, though they seems to convey a little more finger noise when sliding...

    I've not tried the DA Chromes, some guys really like them. I've not tried the TI flats either, some guys really like them too.

    There is a strings forum here you could search, this is a pretty lively and often discussed topic.
  14. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I also have a 1966 P-bass.
    While rounds sound good on my bass, DR Low Riders, Or Ken Smith Compressors.
    Flat are the S**T.
  15. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    I'm pretty sure you're eventually going to try both flats and rounds. My 66 Precision currently has rounds on it, but its had every form of flats on it as well, including the old Jamersons which are huge cables. Flats that have worked very well on my 66 include- Chromes, Fender, Labella, GHS. Flats that have been OK on there, but just not so much my style include- TI, Sadowsky, Rotos. All good strings but my preference leans more to the Chromes, Fender, Labella, and GHS. If the 66 will be your primary bass, you may want to consider rounds. I have Elixir Poly on there now and have been diggin them for quite a few years. Other rounds that I've had on there (both nickel and SS) include Fender, Daddario, Boomers, Roto, Sadowsky, DR, TI, Labella and a few others. To my ears, the older Precisions have a real nice mid thing going that chimey strings just destroy. For my tastes, whether the string is flat or round, my Precision works best with strings that bring out those rich mids.
  16. ebe9


    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    Presonal preference is for flats, I am curretly using D'Addario Chromes and they are getting the job done very nicely. I am not sure however if they would be suitable for the tone you are looking for, but all in all they are very decent strings.
  17. hoel


    Jul 16, 2003
    Oppdal, Norway
    Thanks for good advices. The '66 P-bass will be my "old-school-tone" bass, that's why I'm considering flats. I also have a '64 Jazz, and a Darryl Jones 4 that I use for more "hi-tech-tone".

    I understand flats are tighter, so I can't just switch from rounds to flats and back again without giving the truss-rod a turn?
  18. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    It depends, I've heard that the TI flats have very little tension compared to most flats. The Labella and Fenders that I use will definitely put some pressure on your neck though. Not sure how they compare to rounds of similar guage. The only rounds I've had on that bass were on there when I bought it and they had a 95 for an e which is the size of my a. If you have heavy gauge rounds, depending on the type, there probably wouldn't be that much of a difference. If it's your old school tone bass though, I'd just leave flats on it, they're old school tone, and they get better as they're in use. I can't stand them for the first couple of weeks.
  19. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine

    I've not had to yet on basses I've switched around, but YMMV....
  20. For most flats there is a bit of adjustment involved...BUT for the Sadowskys I can just swap them with my Sadowsky nickels and never touch a thing!!! It is the coolest thing since sliced bread!!



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