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My first flats set (D'addario vs. DR)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by eukatheude, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. So I have recently bought a Warwick RB streamer, fiver fretless. I installed a set of D'addario rounds but, strangely, the ebony board is getting lots of wear. Much more than the rosewood board of a cheapo defretted Cort I've been banging on for some months.
    Anyhow, rather than epoxying I feel it's better to switch to flats, which I've never tried before. I was thinking either D'addario chromes or DR flats. I've played DR rounds a lot in the past and always liked them a lot. However, also due to pricing, I've been using them on my fretted Spector in the last year and I'm pretty satisfied with them, both tone and feel wise. Durability seems nice too, they've been on for several months and I can't complain.
    So I'm quite undecided on the brand. I know chromes have a good reputation around here, but what do you say about the DR's? Can you comment on the difference between these two? I'd like the tone to be very bright, very mwaish.
    I'm also kinda curious about LaBella.
  2. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    Not to complicate your search, but I will anyway...

    I'd suggest you include GHS Precision Flats in your search. I've used these on fretted and fretless basses with excellent results. Tone, feel and durability are all far above average, and they're very reasonably priced. Ask others here about GHS flats and you'll get positive responses as well.
  3. Some local store had DR flats in stock, so I bought them to try. Old school thumpy sound but a dead E string. I ordered some La Bella 760 FS right after. Dads are going to be brighter initially but could sound nice on a fretless warwick.
  4. coronado3

    coronado3 Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Indiana, USA
    Chromes have a bit more "zing" out of the box... Closer to a round wound sound
  5. sxaxsx


    May 23, 2012
    Harrisburg PA
    It sounds like you are switching to flats not because you want the flat sound but because of necessity to save your fretboard. For that reason I definitely suggest the Chromes, they are brighter/punchier at first and they are cheaper than other flats so if you want to keep playing them that way you can change them as often as you would your rounds.
    If you find yourself liking the old school flat sound then at that time start looking at other flats like Labella and the above suggestion from Gary on the GHS Precision flats. But I don't agree with him that you should try them if you aren't looking for a thumpy old school flat. If you are just looking for a round sound but with sparing your board then the Chromes or maybe half rounds.
    But you did say you like the DR's so if that is the case they why not go with those?
  6. Thanks all for the suggestions!

    I've heard of those too and I'm also curious. However they don't seem to be as readily available where I checked. Maybe I should look again.

    Keep in mind it ain't a real Warwick. :D

    You're right. I am curious in trying the flatwound sound but the main reason is saving the fretboard. Chromes sounds like the way to go, I want my bass to really sing.

    Because I also like D'addarios. :D
  7. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    I've recently put Chromes on my new fretless after noticing wear on the board immediately with rounds. Loving the sound of the Chromes, they really seem to work with a fretless J.
  8. GKR1


    Oct 22, 2009
    San Diego
    I would try the DR SunBeams they are easy on the fretboard, also, checkout roto77s as well.
  9. jbednarski

    jbednarski Supporting Member

    May 31, 2010
    Chicago area
    DR flats are awesome.
  10. HosMan

    HosMan Los! Zum dritten Mal denn!

    Aug 24, 2009
    Northern CA,USA
    Also new to the World of Flats(or the FlatWorld).Just had a set of D`Addario CHROMES reg.lt.guage put on my vtg Fender Musicmaster. I think they would sound even better on a "regular" bass (you know the whole strat pup thang),but I`m getting some very melodic and piano-like tones from my 'D' and 'G' strings.Quite nice. Considering some LaBellas for my Squier VM Mustang.
  11. atracksler


    Oct 30, 2007
    NOt to complicate things, but I LOVE Pyramid flats.
  12. tedsalt

    tedsalt Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    I have for the most part used DR Lo-Riders on my basses. Having said that, when I picked up a RW P bass recently, I decided to go with the DR Legend flats as the tension is reported to be midway between LaBella JJs and TI flats, and due to the fact that I've had good success with DRs. I am very much enjoying the DR flats! No dead strings and tone for days ...
  13. How about D'addario half rounds? They seem to be brighter and BassStringsOnline lets me make a custom set, which is a HUGE plus.
  14. ElectricHeir


    May 25, 2013
    I used the half-rounds on my fretted 4-string, they work well but you may have to clean/change the strings regularly. The E on my set went dead after about three months on my bass with fairly regular play.
  15. I noticed I can make a custom set for the flats set. However I looked at the tension chart and tension is much lower on the half rounds, which would be a nice bonus given the weak truss rod on this bass.
    Cleaning them is not a problem. Would chromes be more durable/brighter?