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Low tension but bright flats. Do they exist?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by foudufafa, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. I have been a round steel guy for most if my bass life. I play fingerstyle and slap. I like my fingerstyle tone to be like Bernard Edward (punchy and mellow) and my slap tone like Vic Wooten(punchy, clear, and not too bright). Flats get me very close to Bernard's tone and I love that. But all the ones I tried were either too high tension (Chromes, Cobalt, Dunlop) or not bright enough (TI). I can get the versatility I need from the Dunlop but the tension is hindering my speed and slapping (like triplets). I wish the Dunlop would come in a light or extra light set. That would be perfect.

    Are there any flats out there that are low tension or very light that are bright enough to sound good and clear slapped?
  2. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chromes are too high tension for you?!
    seang15 likes this.
  3. shawshank72, woodyng2 and seang15 like this.
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    What gauges did you try? The lightest set of any of those mentioned should feel a lot like rounds in tension.
  5. Yes, I like low tension. To give you an idea I currently play Rotosound Funkmaster 30-90 set.

    I didnt know they made these. I will give them a try. Thanks
    woodyng2 likes this.
  6. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    I use Chrome super light gauge (.95-.40). Super low tension. Almost too low. But awesome af.
    tindrum and woodyng2 like this.
  7. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    Dunlop flats, while not as bright as Chromes, have a really "nice" tension. Certainly not as dark as GHS Precision flats or LaBellas. I use them along with Fender flats on all my P basses.
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats in the lightest 4 string set were a significant step up in brightness from T-I Jazz flats for me, with similar tension, but I only play fretless and never slap the particular bass I have 'em on.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  9. Labella's RX 45-105 nickel rounds
  10. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    I have a 40-100 set of Chromes on my '57 AVRI P,and find the tension pretty perfect for the popping/string snapping aspects. They are not as low tension feeling as the (mellower) Labella LTF set i have on my fretless Rick,but the even lower gauge Chromes set mentioned above may be perfect for your needs.
  11. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Where do the Fender 9050 flats fall?
  12. EB Cobalts do come in a light gauge:

    RaggaDruida, tindrum and woodyng2 like this.
  13. The 9050SL (40-60-80-100) would be fairly close to the Chromes ECB84 (40-60-80-100) in terms of tension and overall playing feel.

    Tonally, the Chromes have more of the high-mid clank, while the 9050s are more for the low-mid grind once broken-in.
    Eikari and DavidEdenAria like this.
  14. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    LaBella white tapes? they're pretty bright, and very "light feeling" flexible string.
  15. Great feedback folks. I have TI jazz rounds on my fretless and they are by far my favourite fingerstyle strings. But they sound very thin slapped.

    I tried the EB Cobalt flat but didnt like the tone. They are bright but I found their low end very muddy.

    I never tried the Labella but I think I will give that Chrome 40-95 a try.

    I have Dunlop flats currently on my bass and the tone is just great, both fingerstyle and slapped. Unfortunately they only come in one gauge. I really wish Dulop would make a ligh set.
  16. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    The general answer is, just use the brand you like but in thinner gauges, custom sets of singles if necessary. www.bassstringsonline.com is good for singles.
    You can buy Chromes singles in .032, normally for high C, so you can build a custom set .090 .070 .050 .032, or for more equal tensions .095 .070 .050 .032.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016

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