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Lightest Flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by negriljerry, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. negriljerry


    Jan 17, 2008
    I've got a beloved but beat up old MIJ P/J with a shot truss rod. I get by with light half-rounds but even those are a bit too high on the neck for my lazy old hands, so today I'm going back to the Rotosound Funkmaster crazy lights, even though I'm not a round wound guy. What are the lightest flatwounds made? Thanks!
  2. shoulderpet


    Sep 24, 2015
    Lowest tension will be TI jazz flats
    Jeff Scott, ELG60, maeda and 7 others like this.
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I once tuned ADGC chrome flats to EADG. After a set up they worked great. Floppy but playable.
    onosson likes this.
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    You can do custom set using singles...

    Use .032 or .028 as a G string and go from there...
  5. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    As has been said...TI Flats. They are like stringing with al dente spaghetti noodles.
  6. In terms of the actual tension (as in pulling weight), the La Bella Low Tension Flats (42-100, 134.9 lbs.) are lighter than the TI Jazz Flats (43-100, 140.2 lbs.), although the TIJF's are the more "flexible" of the two.

    The OP is more concerned about the weight on the neck than the flexibility.
    woodyng2, trothwell, ELG60 and 6 others like this.
  7. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Good info!

    I have a bass with the LaBella LTFs and I love those strings. Like playing melted butter!
  8. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    TI flats, being 43 56 70 100, are not actually particularly light gauges (low tension).
    The overall choice of flats gauges in pre-packaged sets seems narrower than for roundwounds.
    What SLaPiNFuNK wrote: You can go far lower tension if you want, but that may require buying singles. Using typical gauge ADGC strings at EADG will work fine.
    onda'bass likes this.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Dunlop 40-100 flats may not be THE lightest and lowest tension, but they're the lightest and lowest tension that I can stand playing.
  10. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Labella LTF4a or Ti flat do help....

    In tension chart , LTF4a are lower than Ti flat. But, in real life are opposite, LTF4a stiffer than Ti flat.

  11. Without any doubts TI JF344 .. not cheap but they are definitely what you’re looking for (and sound good, which is not bad after all ...)
  12. +1 on this ... I recently made a direct comparison of TI JF344 vs. LaBella LTF-4A ... TI JF344 are more flexible, less smooth and more loaded with high-miss than the LaBellas .. the LTF-4A sound more traditional, are super smooth and sit between the TI and the Chromes in terms of inherent stiffness/flexibility ..
    woodyng2 likes this.
  13. I definitely have to try them sooner or later :thumbsup:;)
    JimmyM likes this.
  14. Weight on neck? Try to pull a string under axial tension sideways .. the higher the string’s tension the higher the force required for displacing it laterally of a given amount (this of course apply to a given string model/type; in reality the properties of the material and the way it fills up the string cross-section will also contribute to the end result when comparing two different strings).

    Why certain strings are listed as characterised by low tension when tuned, whereas they often feel stiff when played, depends on the way the string has reacted to the tuning and neck relief control process as executed by the person working on the bass’ setup .. if a string feels stiff when played, this invariably means that it has taken up a higher tension than another more flexible string having the same or similar cross-sectional properties (the same core we may say) and made up of the same material (the modulus of elasticity of most of the commercially available steels is, however, almost the same; hence, when we talk about steel strings, the material should have the least impact on the mechanical behaviour of the system)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  15. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Have you considered having the truss rod replaced?
  16. Manticore


    Feb 27, 2016
    tpaul beat me to it! Why not repair the truss rod or replace the neck? Neither of these two options are very expensive, and both will allow the use of any string that strikes your fancy.
  17. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    I like EB group 4
    95 to 40
    I use them on my MIJ jaz with a very thin neck.
    They sound GREAT TOO.
  18. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    Not to be rude, but this is like trying to find the lightest shoe so you can walk with a broken leg. I'd limp along with the rounds temporarily and put the money you'd spend on string experiments towards a replacement neck. You'll be much better off in the long run.
  19. Well put! :thumbsup:;)
  20. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    With all due respect to the above: they are all wrong. The best lowest tension flats, because they are consistent, won't turn your fingers black, even toned, and have greater longetivity:

    La Bella Low Tension Flats. Period.
    woodyng2 likes this.

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