Modern Flatwound Strings With OK Slap?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by OldSchoolFlats, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    I'm no slap genius, but I like to do it some; and chromes worked find for me. I tried the mediums, but the seemed to heavy to me and I like the lighter gauge Chromes better.
  2. sxaxsx


    May 23, 2012
    Harrisburg PA
    I think you can slap with any flats. Slap tone isn't so much the string as it is the EQ. At least for me I tend to scoop the EQ a bit to get slap tone. A lighter gauge than you use in rounds is probably best, a 100 E has plenty thump.
  3. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    At the risk of throwing gasoline on a fire...
    ...any reason not to go with La Bella Low Tension Flats (LTF)? In comparing string to string tension, and wrap lengths, I am close to "pulling the trigger" on the LTF.

    My main interests are:
    • Proper string winding-length for my tuning pegs. The Chromes are about 1/4" too long for my B tuning peg.
    • Overall flatwound "vibe". Doesn't need to be "bridge cables", but no roundwound "twang".
    • Ability to slap, sometimes. Not Marcus Miller, more original Larry Graham.
    Lots of Awesome strings on this thread, but the LTF seem to have:
    • Tension similar to rounds.
    • Balanced tension between strings.
    • Silk winding, similar to TI Jazz Flats, which I like except for the extremely low tension.
    • Good documented specs on vendor web-site.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  4. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    I have plenty of EQ: bass, amp and GT-1B.

    I think I'm looking for a "new flatwound" vibe, though, that isn't quite as muffled as old-school high-tension flats.
  5. La Bella LTFs wouldn't provide the "new flatwound vibe" you're looking for. They're as old-school as any La Bella Flats, except in a lighter package.
  6. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Roto 77’s in 40-100 are slaptastic
  7. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    Looked at those. How’s the
    Crap. BTW, I see you’ve been involved in this conversation (flats/slap) for 8+ years. Leaning back to Chromes, but still researching...
    Bruiser Stone and DJ Bebop like this.
  8. Ernie Ball Stainless Steel Flats might be worth considering. They're not quite as "old-school" as the La Bellas, not quite as bright and roundwound-like as the EB Cobalt Flats and not quite as stiff-feeling as the Chromes.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  9. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    I thought the throaty slap tone from SIT PowerFlats was pretty solid.

    They were my first and only experience with flats and though I think they're a good string, they also helped me realize that flats aren't for me.

    Still, they are an option not mentioned yet and I dug their slap sound.
  10. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    D’Addario chromes IMO
  11. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    Somewhere in time
    Not at all in my experience - they were noticeably stiffer than the Daddario rounds it replaced when I tested chromes.
  12. Tim Craig

    Tim Craig Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    You can submit a request to the string manufacturer for a “deviation from intended playing style” and see what happens. Most string manufacturers have these forms on their websites. Until you receive a written response permitting the different playing style I would definitely not recommend slapping.
    OldSchoolFlats likes this.
  13. drumvsbass


    Aug 20, 2011
    Slap on flats is just as funky. It's not Marcus Miller, but it is funky.
  14. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    OK massive thread-drift now...
    ...I am SERIOUSLY considering DR Sunbeams. Like I said: thread-drift.

    I only have one bass, and have to compromise. With my active EQ, P/J pups and a Boss GT-1B, I can dial-in old-school with most any string (within reason).

    I tried DR Low Riders once, but they seemed inflexible (for rounds), and had kind-of a "clanky clunk" to my ears.

    On YouTube, listening to various vids, the Sunbeams sound nice for chords and slap, and again, I can sort-of dial-in the "thud" with my rig.

    While I can roll-off the highs with rounds, rolling-up the highs with flats is harder (for nice siunding chords).

    Question: With medium gauge, do the Sunbeams have an OK "fundamental", so if I roll-off the highs, and add some "meat" with my myriad of effects, I can still get a bit of "thump"? I realize it won't sound the same as true flats, but after listening to so much Marcus Miller, my tastes are changing. Still hoping I have the option for sound similar to flats through a slightly over-driven tube-amp. My GT-1B has various amp and distortion modeling options. Looking at this set: Medium, (45, 65, 85, 105, 125). I see a 130 B is available, but ass-u-me that the 125 would be a bit tighter. Don't like a floppy B.
  15. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    If the construction is similar, the 130 should be tighter (higher in tension) than the 125.

    I've not played Sunbeams much, but I recall liking them more on some instruments than others.

    I wonder if you might like the new GHS Balanced Tension Nickels. I'm trying a 4-string set, for the first time, on my main player. They definitely have more fundamental than other rounds I've played and slap fine - if you're feeling the Marcus influence, they're scooped, to my ears, which plays into that, without as much sheer top end.

    I'm not sure if they're the string for me - I think I like more present and complex mids - but the feel is nice and even and the G-string doesn't sound thin. I can see why people dig them (and I am going to play on them a bit more before I make final judgement).

    Can't comment on their B-string.
  16. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    OK, went for the DR Sunbeams, 130 B.

    My profound thanks to all here for the feedback. I realize I was "all over the map", but I'm just getting back into bass, and looking to get into things that flats are not ideal for. I only have the one bass, and funds are tight. In the past, I only used flats.

    I always found that it all starts with the strings, so I always liked to find "the strings" for a given bass, so that I then have a firm foundation for:
    • Neck adjustments - I don't like to change neck tension frequently, or much. Messed up a neck once decades ago, so I am careful now.
    • Tone - I like to "know" my strings, so I can then adjust everything else. I like to have lots of "patches" for different kinds of music (more than the tone pot and pickup selector).
    Thanks again!
  17. basmartin


    Aug 6, 2007
    Larry Graham used nylon tapewounds in the 70´s, very funky sound.
    T Bassman likes this.
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