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Looking for "brighter" sounding flats.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by McThud, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. McThud

    McThud Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    For this particular bass, here are the specs (second from left in the photo):

    Franken-P Bass.
    Maple/Maple Board Jazz neck
    Fender 'Original '62' pickup.
    Swamp ash body.

    I've tended to keep flats on here but overall, with the current setup, most flats I've tried sound way too muddy. I'm sure it's a lot to do with the pickup, which I'd rather not change because I like the overall voice of it. I've tried standard LaBella flats, Dunlop Chromes, Ernie Ball Slinky Flatwounds, maybe one or two others, but not as balanced overall in tone that I'd like. I have half-rounds on my Jazz which I like but they sound wrong on this bass.

    If there are any others you'd recommend I try, please let me know. Mostly these have been in the 45-105 region, but I'm happy to go to different gauges for this trial. Thanks for your help! family1.jpg
    NoSlapForYou and alanloomis1980 like this.
  2. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    You may want to try TI's which have a more pronounced midrange character but I still don't consider them bright.

    Just a Q, have you tried rounds on that bass?

    edited to change II to TI...oops
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  3. Papuzzo


    Dec 11, 2017
    Milan, Italy
    Maybe tapewounds? If it must be a flatwound but with a lot of clarity, then I can only suggest TI flats, JF344. Note that if you like higher tension flats, the TI flats are more closer to roundwounds than flats in terms of feel and flexibility.
    McThud likes this.
  4. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats
    Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats
    dralionux, wboyd68, non and 13 others like this.
  5. TheDirtyLowDown


    Mar 8, 2014
    I stopped my search when I tried TI Jazz Flats (.043, .056, .070, .100).
    They're not cheap, but I've never wanted to change since then...
    mikecd1, Skillet, popgadget and 2 others like this.
  6. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I was gonna say chromes, but you been there.

    when you string it back up, come join the club ;)
  7. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Energy, dralionux, SteffanB and 7 others like this.
  8. Erik Asma

    Erik Asma

    Jul 20, 2019
    Perhaps swap your capacitor out for a 22?
    Or change pots. 500 instead of 250.

    Makes it brighter.
  9. McThud

    McThud Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    I actually have TI flats on my Squier VT Fretless Jazz where they sound brilliant. I initially bought them for the P but again, didn't much like them. My gut is telling me the pickup will need to be swapped, but I hate to do it as in general I like it's response very much.
  10. McThud

    McThud Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Arlington, VA
  11. McThud

    McThud Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    And that's the thing - this bass is heavily gigged. Dropping about $80 per set might end up killing whatever profit I make from playing!
  12. McThud

    McThud Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    Are the Cobalts much different from the Slinky flats? Pleading ignorance as I've little experience with EB strings. I've tried the Slinky's (in fact, that's the set currently on the bass).
  13. McThud

    McThud Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    I have TI flats on my fretless Squier Jazz - love them on that bass. I tried them briefly on the P - didn't like the way the pickup translated them.
  14. McThud

    McThud Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Arlington, VA
    You know, in seeing all these responses, I'm starting to wonder if maybe finding a warmer sounding roundwound would be a consideration. As much as I love the feel and playability of flats, ultimately I need to have a useful sound for multiple gigs. Any thoughts on that?
    e-flat, dkelley and uwrossl like this.
  15. Dalewyatt


    Nov 7, 2017
    The brightest I've tried by far are EB Cobolt Slinkys. Way brighter then Chromes.
    petch, dralionux, burgerdj and 4 others like this.
  16. EB Cobalt Flats = EB Slinky Flats. (Two different terms for the same thing.)
    McThud likes this.
  17. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    TI jazz rounds
    TI jazz flats
    Labella white nylon tape wound
    Labella copper tape wound
    Labella gold tapewound

    Try the white tapes, they have more high end and a punchier sound than flats.
    McThud likes this.
  18. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    Pure Nickel Rounds. GHS Balanced Nickels are a solid option.
    e-flat, unclebass, McThud and 5 others like this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    You want a bright flat, you can't do better than Chromes.
    McThud and DJ Bebop like this.
  20. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    EB Cobalts are the brightest flats I’ve ever played. More than TI and chromes
  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.

    Feb 26, 2021

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