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Low B Flatwounds dull thud sound

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by alembicbassist, May 3, 2002.


  1. I tried D'Addario Chromes last year. I wanted Flats with a healthy tension on the B since I have a 34" bass. The Low B had to much of a dull thud sound. I went back to GHS Boomers roundwound.

    I recently bought GHS Precision Flats, but the store only had E - G. I put the old D'Addario Low B back on. Again dull thud, so I put a Low B GHS Boomer back on the B. Now I have one groundwound and flatwounds on E - G. I like this approach for now.

    Does anyone make a Low B that does not have a dull thud sound? Should I try a TI flats that I hear people like but is floppy. Does the TI have a dull thud sound? I play real hard at times, so I figured I need tension.
     
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    The TI B is not as thuddy as you describe the Chromes being. Nor is the Rotosound 77 B, but Roto flats are pretty bright to begin with. The TI's are pretty low tension, as you say, but they worked well on my 34" 5 string. I can't say whether they'd work as well for you.
     
  3. Do you think the tension of the B affects the tone? I figured the high tension would be more piano like and the low tension would be more dull? I don't know if this reasoning is right.
     
  4. lowb

    lowb

    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    I use Status flats, and they seem very good. However i have a piezo pickup in the bridge so i can eq a bright sound if i want ( i use flats on my six string Sei frettles)

    Why not give them a try, they're well priced, about 21 pounds, and feelvery smooth.

    Peace
     
  5. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Yeah, that's what I used to think. However, I've tried some really low tension strings that sounded pretty good, such as .040-.095 Elites (4 string, obviously). Also, I've tried the "Jamerson Set" and the Rotosound Steve Harris Flats, both of which have .110 E strings, and didn't get the clarity and punch I like from the E on either. So, I feel that while tension is a factor, there must be a lot of others. I haven't been playing five strings for long, so I don't have a lot of strong opinions on B strings, but I think my E string experience applies. That said, I'm not planning to use flats on my fivers, because I've found some rounds that give me the punch and clarity I like. Tried the Roto Flats and the TI's (five string), but they didn't do it for me, unfortunately.
     
  6. The TI flats worked for me, the B was fine, and I like to dig in ocassionally. I've gone back to La Bella SuperSteps however, as I found the TI's tended to get a bit buried in the 6 piece latin band I play in. Now the La bella B string, THAT'S the voice of God!
     
  7. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I just got my new (to me) Sukop fretless 5 with what I believe are D'addario flat chromes, and lo and behold, the exact same scenario, e-a are awesome, B is not. I have the same strings on my fretless Pedulla and hadn't noticed the problem before, but I'm sure it varies from bass to bass. This one cuts fantastically through the mix, in fact the guitar player had to ask me to turn down twice, that has never happened before. But the B almost disappears. Has anyone else had good luck with the Labella's like Marty? Or should I just try TI's? I guess I could put a roundwound there as well and hope it doesn't chew up the board too much. BTW, it has a wenge board.
     
  8. Thomguy

    Thomguy

    Oct 15, 2001
    New York, USA
    I think you'll find the T-I's one of the most balanced sets available! True that the overall tension is lower but, here's the stats: The E string, which is a .100 has 34.39lbs. of tension while the B, which is .135 has 34.83lbs of tension! It may seem like a big jump in diameter, but the playability is excellent because of the even tension. Good luck and keep us posted as to where you land.
     
  9. I run TI Jazz Flats on my RB5 and the B string is just fine. The tension of the B is only about a pound less than the D'Addario chrome flat which is the highest I'm aware of in 34" scale.
     
  10. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on some TI jazz flats, one more question though, do they feel sticky? The strings on my Sukop, are, the former owner thinks, Ernie Ball flats, and are super sticky with a dead B string. I also have black (plastic?) strings on my '75 fretless P and hate playing them. Just wondering if a stainless flat would be less sticky.
     
  11. Shadow123

    Shadow123

    Aug 1, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    I am struggling with the dull low b issue at the moment. The strings that were on the bass when I bought it used sounded balanced. I tried a set of Ken Smith Slick Rounds on it and the low b was now dull sounding. I thought it was just a bad string because I use Ken Smith's on my fretted bass and they always sound awesome. Next I tried a set of Ernie Ball Flatwounds. It has improved a little but is still noticeable. I was debating on trying to remove the cloth coating on the string where it makes contact with the piece of metal that holds the strings down. With the amount of people I see having this issue there has to be something the string makers need to fix.