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Labella Quarter-rounds? How are they?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bassguy1960, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. bassguy1960

    bassguy1960 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2012
    Central Illinois
    I'm just getting back into electric bass after almost 2 decades of playing strictly upright (bluegrass). I have a 1978 Jazz and a newly acquired 1977 Kramer 450B. Both need strings and I'm looking at the Labella deep talkin Quarter Rounds but would like to get some opinions.

    I'll be playing probably country and some rock, but will also be playing a little slap too.

    full rounds tend to tear up my fingers and frets and flat wounds ar a bit muddy for me.

    IIRC I used to play GHS half rounds waaaay back in teh 70's and earyl 80's..

    Any reviews are appreciated.
  2. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    DR has some round core nickel and steels that are low tension and fret friendly. Sunbeams-Nickel Hi Beams-Steels. I use their black beauties coated and love them. I lot of guys here use GHS Progressives which are a compressed string,I think. Go to www.bassstringsonline.com and talk with Jason, mention you're a member and get VIP pricing. Good Luck
  3. korybaugus


    Sep 27, 2009
    San Francisco
    I've been using the quarter-rounds on a p/j with an alder body and rosewood board, happily, for about a year and a half.

    I think they're really great on that bass. They sound really full and warm like a flat, but have quite a bit more mid-range clarity and an itsy-bit more high-end bite than a flat. If you roll your tone off they pretty much sound like a flat. I sometimes will open up the tone knob, use a distortion pedal and pick to get a nice agressive, grindy tone.

    They feel great too. Nice and smooooove.

    Probably, the most versatile string I've tried.
  4. @korybaugus....what gauge are you using?

  5. tappel


    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Just my opinion, but I HATE quarter rounds and any other ground wound type string. They feel unusually sticky to me and have awful note fundamentals and weird overtones. Maybe they work in a live situation, but I tried recording with them once and it was a disaster.
  6. korybaugus


    Sep 27, 2009
    San Francisco
    I'm using the light gauge.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

  8. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Sounds like a job for GHS Pressurewounds.
    bolophonic likes this.
  9. bassguy1960

    bassguy1960 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2012
    Central Illinois
    Funny you should mention that, I put GHS Pressurewounds on my 1977 Kramer 450B last night and am trying those too. Too new to tell if they're better or not.
  10. MKA


    Apr 14, 2012
    Northern Europe
    Bumpin this thread for more info on the quarter rounds!

    I usually play flats, but I'm thinkin I could try some warm half/quarter/or whatever-wounds on my 1977 stingray. I've tried the ghs pressurewounds and found them too bright, lacking fundamental and the E string sounded deader than the rest. Tried the the daddario half rounds once too and they were ok but a bit sticky and kind of dull sounding.
  11. MKA


    Apr 14, 2012
    Northern Europe
    Bump. Has anybody tried both these and ghs pressurewounds and could maybe describe their differences?
  12. Bump. Can anybody comment on La Bella string life for the QRs?

    My interest is finding a bright, ground-wound type for fretless.
  13. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    Been using them for about 6 mos in the med gauge. I like them, but they're more like a flat than a round in sound. If you're looking for a bright string, they're probably not for you. IMO, these are great if you like flats, but not the tension.
  14. robfitz1968


    Dec 11, 2007
    I would recomm a set of light chromes, 40-95. I think youll find they have plenty of high end, and very easy on the hands :bassist:
  15. Thanks, but I'm looking specifically for half-rounds, either ground or pressure wound.
  16. SelimSivad

    SelimSivad Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    I use both these strings extensively.


    I find both to be highly playable strings. The GHS are softer and nickel-plated (round core, I believe) and real easy to play on. The Labellas have more tension, but their tension in relation to other strings I've used is one of the things I really like about them.


    Labellas have a prounounced (but musical) midrange, combined with a strong (flatwound-like) fundmental.

    GHS have that warm midrange tone that you get with nickel-plated strings, but with more fundamental (once they break in) than other nickel roundwounds I've used. That fundamental is one of the main reasons I use them.

    The Labellas are closer to flats than the GHS Pwounds. They are to me, something like a flatwound string that is easier to play on. Having said that, however, there are flatwounds and there are "not flatwounds", and these are not flatwounds. They are stainless steel strings that have been ground down a bit and some of that tonal edginess & brightness you find in a steel roundwound is ground down with it.

    String Life:

    Both have a long string life, in the sense that as they get older, rather than just "go dead", they take on a different tonal characteristic, and for both it is the same: they both get more thuddy, warm & flatwound like. Pressurewounds are a great string if you are into playing on real dead roundwounds to emulate the sound (but not the string feel) of flatwounds.

    The reason I use both these strings is because I have always searched for a string that lies in between flatwound & roundwound strings ("the best of both worlds"), and these two come the closest for me.

    But I should say, maybe as a kind of disclaimer: I LOVE flatwound strings. Once you get used to the girth and the REAL (not eq'ed) fundamental + juicy midrange, it's real hard for me to use anything else. I want my bottom end to come from the bass & the strings, not from EQ.

    Sadowsky flats are my string - very playable, with a very organic, woody sound.
    ProdigalBassman likes this.
  17. SelimSivad

    SelimSivad Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    They have lasted long for me in the sense that their increasing deadness is a musical deadness, rather than just dead and of no more use.
  18. MKA


    Apr 14, 2012
    Northern Europe
    Thanks, great informative response!

    I personally found the ghs pressurewounds too bright, so if the Quarters are more like a true flatwound, I definitely got to try them. Usually I play flats (TI's mostly), but sometimes I feel like I need something just a bit more round-like.
  19. Not to dig up the thread or anything, but they were freaking awesome on my short scale Gibson. I've been scouring for another set as I have somehow misplaced one when I changed over to flats for a project I was working.
  20. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    They're discontinued unfortunately.
    As I noted in another post, Bass Direct in the UK still has some sets left (which might be of little interest if you're the wrong side of the Atlantic, and of none if your bass doesn't take medium-scale strings because they're apparently out of shorties, or never had them in the first place):
    LaBella Quarter round strings