My experience with Chromes

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by AndyII, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. AndyII


    Mar 13, 2014
    Looking for a good set of flatwounds, I initially selected Chromes based on broadly good reviews.

    First, I put them on a Warmoth creation: G4 body, P Neck, Stew-Mac P-pickups, high mass bridge. Strung the Chromes on, and I hated them. They got replaced with GHS pressurewounds in a hurry. Awesome. Gift to my brother.

    Next, I built a P Bass kit which turned out to be pretty nice. Chunky, P-style neck and I upgraded to Kent Armstrong pups. Put the Chromes on to finish it out. Sucked. I replaced them with D'Addario XL170s. Excellent.

    My totally unpleasant experience with Chromes led me to use GHS Precision Flats on my next P Bass project. Fabulous strings. Love 'em.

    So I finally got around to restoring the first bass I ever built, a J Bass kit from BYO Guitar. Replaced the pickups with GFS, upgraded the pots, and on a whim, strung it with the twice-rejected Chromes. I love it. Couldn't be happier.

    It took a long time, but I finally decided I like Chromes. Any other similar experiences out there with various strings?
    amusicalperson likes this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Wow. Interenting.

    After attending a concert with my young kids recently and hearing their bassist's amazing tone with a 70s P bass and Chromes I have been seriously considering giving them another try.

    Tone wise how you compare the Chromes with the GHS Precision flats?
    amusicalperson likes this.
  3. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I tried GHS PW on one of my P basses, I liked them but they went dead after 6 months, I put them on my Newly acquired Jazz Bass and they sound good...o_O
  4. AndyII


    Mar 13, 2014
    The GHS Precision Flats had better initial feel to them, and they have more "thump" to them. Much less sustain also. Great for blues. The Chromes are a little brighter, especially paired with hot j-pups. Probably more versatile. I didn't check out the GHS with anything other than standard Fender P-pickups. So, the comparison doesn't really account for all the variables.
  5. AndyII


    Mar 13, 2014
    Overall, different horses for different courses I suppose.
  6. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    I've had similar experience with Chromes.

    On my Carvin LB75? Great.
    On my Yamaha BBN5? Nope.
    On my Fender CS Jazz? Nope.
    On my Yamaha BBN4 with a Kahler? Great.
    On my '76 Fender Jazz? Great.
    On my Squier VMJV? Nope.
    On my Warmoth P? Great.
    On my Squier Matt Freeman? Nope.
    On my EBMM StingRay 4 HH? Surprisingly, great.

    The only bass I ever had more than 1 set on though is the LB75 and both sets sounded great. So I have no valid evidence that Chromes would sound good or bad on any of those were I to try a second set. Being as I've purchased quite a few sets though, I have not noticed any lack of consistency in the string themselves.

    I really like the sound of the Cobalt flats (hybrid .045-.105) from Ernie Ball on my CS Jazz, but despite every trick in the book, I seem to have issues with the G and D strings not holding up if I use a pick. I've never had a problem with strings before the Cobalts and since throwing a set of D'addario EXL165's (.045-.105 just like the Cobalts) on there I have not had a string problem since.
  7. How long had the Chromes been opened for? I rarely like the sound of fresh flats, but letting them age awhile improves their sound. Most people think that you need to leave them strung on a bass to break in, but as long as the pack's open the flats will age, IME.
  8. AndyII


    Mar 13, 2014
    Interesting. This particular set has been out of the pack for the better part of a year now...
  9. The very first set of flats I ever tried was the Chromes ECB84 on a Fender MIM P bass and they completely changed my bass-playing experience. My son ended up playing that P bass for the high school jazz band for 3 years with the same set of Chromes and they sounded GREAT every time I heard them in the mix.

    So, when I got myself a J bass, I had it set up with a set of the ECB84. They did start out not too bad but eventually turned kind of unbalanced tonally with a thuddy E and a twangy G, so I switched to the Fender 9050L and found them to be a better match for the J.
    Eikari likes this.
  10. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    The old fomula ECB81 make my previous jazz bass sound Nice.
    For the new one..... sorry, muddy E and Zingy G give me a chance to try 760FL , 9050L and finally end up with Sadowsky 40-100 flat.
  11. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Chromes sound greta on my shortscale EB-3 copy--the sound cuts through much better than nickel wounds.
  12. I used Chromes on a couple of shorties and also an Ibanez SR500.

    They sounded good on the 500.....on the shorties they sucked.

    But in my opinion they are a pretty stiff string. Stiff to the point of annoying to play even though they are smooth.

    No likey.
  13. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Too stiff for me.
    Mediocrity Man likes this.
  14. Robroy

    Robroy Guest

    Jun 21, 2006
    My take: after the first week or so they all sound the same, other than the obvious flat vs wound and gauge differences. But I admit that opinions vary.
  15. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ

    Mar 11, 2013
    I have yet to find a bass that I like chromes on. I've just never been able to enjoy the sound of these strings... I keep an old set around and whenever I get a new bass, I immediately throw them on (because I don't like rounds, generally) but without fail, the first moment that comes along, I buy something else to replace them. I dislike chromes so much that I actually bought a set of DR SS LoRiders for my Ray34, just so I didn't have to keep playing on them. Lol.
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    There should be a disclaimer on each box of Chromes. ATTENTION! The strings included in this package will only get better with age. Please be patient.

    FWIW. The only flats that gave me fits with diffrent basses were TI's.
    Pantone 333, Mastermold and Robroy like this.
  17. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    I've never found a more versatile string than the superlight gauge Chromes. On a PJ bass they cover from thumpy to slappy and everywhere in between with great feel and tone!
  18. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I have a 4 yr old set of chromes 40/100 that sound fantastic but are too light for my taste
    I hate chromes as well when new but find a good used set and they will win you over.
    I find of all the flats, chromes have the longest break in period.
  19. Bourbongangster


    Nov 5, 2015
    I just got a set of Chromes for my Hofner Club. I went with them because they were the only set of short scale flats I could find locally, and I didn't want to buy online because I was using cash I got from my parents for Christmas. I have been playing with rounds for about three years and found that I was constantly palm muting, so I figured it was time to switch to flats. I just put them on last night and spent about two hours jamming along with some Pavement through my new Sansamp VT Character Series and a Cafe Walter with headphones. It was awesome. I have finally found the sound I'm looking for.

    Keep in mind, I have not compared the Chromes to any other flats. So basically all I know for sure is that I love flats, but I can't say the Chromes are better or worse than any other flats.

    One issue I did find though is that on one of the strings, the silk extended just barely into the nut on my bass. I've never had that issue before.
  20. lowerclef


    Nov 10, 2003
    I hated them at first. Way too clanky and bright out of the box for me. But now they're great fully broken in.

    Other flats I've used get a tad more thump on the bottom end but the tone isn't as good when you dial up the tone knob.

    With Chromes, I find it gives me a good broken-in nickel round sound without string noise when dialed up. Great for the occasional lead!

    Honestly, it's tough. I've tried Fenders, DRs, TIs, and Chromes. Still want to try Sadowsky, LaBella, Pyramids, etc. etc. They all seem to have their pros and cons.
  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.

    Jun 25, 2021

Share This Page