Lower Tension Flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mr13ump, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. mr13ump


    Sep 25, 2011
    I have been looking for quite a while for a pair of flats that i can play. I love the tone, but with every pair of flats that i buy, i inevitably end up dumping them because they are too stiff. I have tried rotosounds, chromes, and i think DRs, and they were all just to stiff for me. I was recommended Thomastiks recently, and was also considering ordering some LaBellas, but would love to know what you guys think.
  2. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Labellas aren't any lower tension than what you've tried. TI's might be your best bet, but you may also want to try going down a gauge set lower than what you'd play in rounds. That usually equals similar tension to what you'd play in rounds.
  3. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
  4. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Have TI flats flats and they are not my favorites due to the piano like sound. Also have fender 9050L or Daddarios ecb 80 flats. Both are about the same tension as TI but half the cost.

    Both of these sets are a light guage
  5. mmbongo

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

    Flats are generally stiffer, so there might not be a huge difference in any of the pre-packaged sets you're buying. I actually found Chromes and Fenders to be fairly low tension myself. I was surprised.

    So if those are still too stiff, go with a lighter gauge. You may have to just make a custom set of 35, 55, 75, 95 or something.

  6. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    TI-JF344 Flats. Period.
    Close the thread where done here. :D:D:D
  7. MartinG1957

    MartinG1957 You can never have too many bones....

    Aug 5, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    Lots of threads on this subject - the majority answer is always TI :) I used them on P bass, J Bass and my 35" scale Yamaha - no competitors for sound, quality and low tension as far as I am concerned...
  8. T-I Jazz flats are the definition of low tension first-rate strings. Whereas, the little known T-I Jazz ROUNDwounds have even lower tension. I just tried sone Labella white nylon tape wounds (light gauge) and they had very low tension also,they might appeal to you if you like tapewounds.
  9. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    never tried them myself, but the general consensus is TI jazz flats, as others have already mentioned. one thing i'll say is don't be so dead-set on using the same gauges as you do with rounds. TI's are quite pricey, and if you dont want to spend that much, whatever flats you've tried and liked the sound of, buy a set in the lightest gauge you can. maybe a 40-95 set will work better for you than a 45-105 set.
  10. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    You have a two string bass?
  11. I would try lightening your gauge. I love the .045-.095 GHS Precision Flats. Its my go to string and the tension is butter.

    I had a set of Chromes with the .105 E string and I just couldn't bare it. Wasn't the Chromes' fault. Just too thick of a gauge.
  12. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    EXACTLY. I had the same problem and solved them with TI's, 40-95 Chromes, Half-rounds and Ernie Ball Group IV.
  13. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    The lowest tension flats are TI Jazz, Pyramid Gold, Sadowsky Black Label, in that order.
  14. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    I have found the La Bella 760FX set to feel a lot like TI Jazz Flats.

    Those who say "La Bellas are high tension" or "Chromes are high tension" etc. haven't tried the light sets.
  15. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    but then it wouldn't be a fair comparison if the set your comparing is 50-105 and the other is 40-95. it's (almost) a given that a lighter gauge set will be lower tension.
  16. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I've only used the 760 FM's. Do the FX's have the same deep tone as the heavier strings?
  17. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    On My RIC, I have tried the TI's and EB group IV's. The TI's were too floppy for me but sounded fantastic. I probably should have removed my Pickup cover and tried playing right in that spot. The Group IV's are perfect tension for me but have a bit less "life" in them.
  18. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I'm amazed nobody has mentioned GHS Precision flats yet. Far lower tension than Chromes, even at standard 45-105 gauge. I recommend 45-100 for better balance, but those were the strings that transitioned me from TI's to other higher tension flats. Currently using Fender 55-105 (again, for balance) but am going to jump on some GHS again soon.