LaBella Low Tension vs TI Flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Marcury, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    I have a Yamaha fretless AGB that I've come to love as my main player. I have always been a rounds on a Pbass (or PJ) player except for when I used tapewounds on a Rob Allen that was my main for years. When I bought the ABG I don't even remember what was on it, but put a set of LaBella tapes on it and Meh!

    It sat in the case for a number of years and then I got a great deal on TI flats and bought a couple of sets. Put one on the ABG and started to really love it. Sounded better and played much better.

    Far week at rehearsal the E string broke. I didn't want to take just the E string from the other set and have been saving them to try on another bass. So I went online and bought set of LaBella low tension flats.

    Man do I like these strings. the real test will be rehearsal tomorrow night, but the are definitely great feeling and playing. They are higher tension than the Tis and seem to have more fundamental. So it looks like I'm switching. I may have a set of Tis to sell.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
    Crispus, eadg98005, Ggaa and 5 others like this.
  2. Just for clarification...

    La Bella LTFs are stiffer in feel, but actually lower in tension (as in pulling weight) than the TIJFs.
  3. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I’m a big fan of TI flats. They are on most of my basses. But I like LaBella on my fretlesses. It’s all personal preference. Good luck.
    Loring and Marcury like this.
  4. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Interesting. I wonder how they achieve that.
  5. If you take a close look at the outer winding, you would notice the La Bella LTFs are very tightly wound with very little space in between, while the TI's are a little more loosely wound, especially for E and A, making them more pliable and flexible.
  6. WG Plum

    WG Plum

    Apr 9, 2021
    La Bellas for me too.
    Crispus, GlennRH and eadg98005 like this.
  7. bulldean

    bulldean Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2015
    La Bellas
  8. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    TI flats on all my basses, solid, semi hollow, and hollow. They seem to bring out the best in each.

    Nothing wrong w/ LaBella though. Also like Fender flats.
  9. 7dollarbologna


    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    I found the D & G underwhelming on the LaBella set -
    DCCat likes this.
  10. ComeHomeShane

    ComeHomeShane Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    Southern California
    Well, I've never used TI's but if you want some conformation bias... I use LaBella low tension flats on my short scale and really love them. Really sweet and clear highs with thumpy lows.
    Marcury and mrperkolator like this.
  11. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I have both, and like you had played TIs first (for years) and then discovered the LTFs. I have TIs on one bass and LTFs on the other, and I definitely gravitate towards the bass with LTFs. It's the classic quicker decay that does it for me - even an old set of TIs still has a lot of sustain.
    Marcury, Mastermold and jastacey like this.
  12. Rocknroller4

    Rocknroller4 Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2019
    Are La Bella's lower tension than say the Rotosound swing bass 77? The tension those strings put on my tuners is ridiculous. I am having trouble turning them... as soon as it reaches correct pitch it's almost impossible to turn. Worried it's damaging my bass headstock/tuners.
  13. Rayjay

    Rayjay If that’s even my real name..

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    I have a set waiting to go on my P5. I only have one problem- these Sadowsky Blue Label nickel rounds just won’t die! (Almost 1.5 years already). There is just something magic about DTFs, and I especially like the newer phase when they have a really sweet grunt when you dig in.
  14. T.I.’s.
    james condino and 7dollarbologna like this.
  15. Spupilup


    Jan 11, 2019
    New England
    I put TI’s on my L1000 a few years ago. The LTF’s went on my L2000. The TI’s are still on my L1000. The LTF’s lasted a couple of months before I got tired of them. I’ve been using TI Jazz Rounds on that bass for about a year. I have the Jazz Rounds on my Sterling short scale, too. I guess I’m just a TI kind of guy!
  16. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Yes, they are; quite a bit lower, actually. The La Bella LTF's published numbers total up to a fraction more than 136 lbs. (TIJFs are 143.6), while the Roto RS77LDs will pull on your bass's neck to the tune of 214.41 lbs. Far as I know, the La Bella LTF's are the flatwound low tension champs. An Italian company - Dogal - claims right on the box that their Carbonsteel bass strings have much, much less tension than the LTFs; like, 11 lbs. per string. To say that I'm very sceptical, is a huge understatement. I have a set of them, but... something's kinda hinky about them. I'm thinking that the box is a Carbonsteel rounds box that's been repurposed, and what's in there is a light gauge set of their R44 flats. Which are really nice strings (I have a set on my '13 Gibson Thunderbird), but the tension is nowhere near that light... I'll just have to gird up my loins, and put the Carbonsteels (if that's what they are) on something, and see... As for the Roto's? I've used them - and I like them. I had a set on my '78 Fender P-Bass for years and never had a problem. And it has an A-spec neck, too; essentially a Jazz Bass neck without the inlays. I had them on another Gibson Thunderbird for about 2 1/2 years; again, without a problem. They were still on it when I sold the bass a few months ago. But, if they bother you? Replace them, by all means...:cool:
  17. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I have La Bella LTFs on one bass and TIJFs on four, all fretless basses. Interestingly the TIJFs don't work well on the one I have LTFs on and vice versa. I don't find the LTFs feel any stiffer but I'm sure we all know a set that feels stiff on one bass doesn't on another for whatever reason (Roto 77s feel like high tension cables on everything I have except my Warwick Corvette 5 for example).

    @Marcury you know you can get TIJF singles if you want to make your original set up?
    Marcury likes this.
  18. Spupilup


    Jan 11, 2019
    New England
    Marcury likes this.
  19. muggsy

    muggsy Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    I can't get past the fact that you broke a TI flat E string. I love TI flats and have had them on some basses for more than 15 years. Never broken a string. What were you doing when the string broke?
  20. roborend

    roborend Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Rock Island Illinois
    I'm going to try the Labella ltf out real soon myself, the TI flats after years of reading how great they are on here....they blew my mind they are really really good.
    Marcury and Mastermold like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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.

    Nov 28, 2021

Share This Page