LaBella FS vs. LaBella FL (String Tension & Balance)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by EliasMessiah, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. EliasMessiah


    Aug 28, 2020
    I'm currently using LaBella FS (45-105) but i find that the E string has lower tension compared to the other strings. Actually i would say that every string becomes a little stiffer, because the G string is the stiffest. This doesn't feel very balanced and i was wondering if anyone can confirm that the FL (43-104) would suit my bass better.
  2. EliasMessiah


    Aug 28, 2020
    Thank you for your response. I found like 2 people that said the FL are well balanced, but not necessarily in comparison with the FS. Still a bit undecided... Maybe i go with Thomastik's. People seem to really love them and say, that they're the best in the mix and i do sometime's feel like my Bass isn't heard well in the band.
  3. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    They are very unbalanced, with the A string so light it feels like a loose rubber band compared to the rest of the set.
  4. EliasMessiah


    Aug 28, 2020
    Funny, i just tried the TI "JF 324", which is the short scale version that also comes with a thicker E string. The D and the G string feel pretty balanced, but the A string is a bit loose, just like you said and the E string is way too tense. It is in fact so tense, that you feel like this string belongs to another set. I'm kinda disappointed. Sure, sound-wise they might be the best strings out there, but what is it worth, when they don't feel good.
  5. If you want a classic La Bella tone in a nicely balanced set, you might want to try the LB Low Tension Flats.
    Selim, trothwell and russellh86 like this.
  6. EliasMessiah


    Aug 28, 2020
    Don't know i'm a bit sceptic, cause 42-100 doesn't sound very balanced to me. I feel like the E-string might be too loose compared to the other strings.
  7. Here are the actual tension numbers:

    G 042 - 36.2 lbs.
    D 056 - 34.0
    A 075 - 30.5 (NOTE: This figure is unchanged from when the A was .070.)
    E 100 - 34.2

    (Total 134.9)
  8. I'm a big fan of the La Bella 760FL set. And they last forever. Got a 4 string set on a jazz bass that's 12 years old and still sound great, and a 5 string set on a Stingray that are 6 years old and going strong.
    Steve Boisen and TomB like this.
  9. littlebun

    littlebun Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    If you're used to the tension of FS, you will find FL a little lacking tension-wise. There is a tonal difference as the FL will end up a little rounder sounding as they get older. The FS keeps a little more presence as they get older. Before Labella offered the FS they custom made 45-105 flat sets for me. Bob, who worked there was little bugged that I wouldn't just go with the FL. They eventually started making FS for those wanting standard gauges. If you like the FS, just get another set and see how they are, as I find subtle differences in all their sets as they are handmade. Also, your particular bass just might have an inherent low tension on the E string. I have a bass that makes every 105 E string feel like a 100 gauge or lighter.
    Phaidrus and Mastermold like this.
  10. Madhouse27


    Sep 19, 2016
    I use the D and G from an FS set and the E and A from an FL one. Silks don’t match but it sounds and plays good.
  11. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    on my previous Pbass, i been use FL ,FS , LTF4A and FM(this only 2 weeks.... )

    About the string to string tension balance feel on FL and FS are depand plucking hand position. I only prefer LTF4A which give me a true string to string balance stiffness...
  12. EliasMessiah


    Aug 28, 2020
    UPDATE: I loosened the reiter on the bridge, so the action of the string wouldn't be as high, which actually made the string loose tension as well. I didn't knew that and i wish someone would have told me earlier... I mean, i can't be the first to discover this, right? So as summary, it turns out the balance and tension of a string set is meaningless, because you're able to balance things out yourself.

    I balanced the Thomastik's and they feel awesome now! I could go back to the LaBella's and balance them out, but after playing a while i find the Thomastik's sound better. The LaBella's of course are also superb, but the Thomastik's feel even more expressive and charismatic. One thing i don't like about the Thomastik's is that the D string has a weird rattle, although it doesn't come in contact with anything. It got a bit better but i couldn't get rid of it so far. Maybe i ask Thomastik, if they can send another string.
  13. shoulderpet


    Sep 24, 2015
    The Hofner specific version of TI's comes with a gauge .096 E string, as far as I know the Hofner set is identical to the short scale set other than the lighter gauge E string
  14. basss


    Aug 27, 2001
    What's a reiter? I recently went from the FS to FL on the same bass. Both sets balanced just fine for me. I liked the big growly tone of the FS better but they were very tight. The FL are more comfortable to play and get most of the way there tone wise IMO.
  15. basss


    Aug 27, 2001
    What's a reiter? I recently went from the FS to FL on the same bass. Both sets balanced just fine for me. I liked the big growly tone of the FS better but they were very tight. The FL are more comfortable to play and get most of the way there tone wise IMO.
  16. EliasMessiah


    Aug 28, 2020
    Reiter's are these little thingy's on or shortly next to the bridge, where the string sit's in. You can change their position to get rid of intonation problems and you can also set them higher or lower to change the action. Sorry, i don't know the english term for them.
  17. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    ? These? (set screws)
    s-l300.jpg That go in these? Or, is it these? (saddles) :)

  18. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    That would be “saddles”. I don’t see how they can modify string tension, but as long as you’re happy... :).
  19. bassfiddlesteve

    bassfiddlesteve Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    I prefer the 760FL which feels very balanced to me. The 760FS set is a bit too stiff and the tension is not as balanced across the set. As someone mentioned earlier this set was added to the lineup later for people who wanted standard guages.

    - Steve
    zombywoof5050 likes this.

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