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My Labella roller coaster ride

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by JimmyM, Dec 11, 2011.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ordered two sets of Labella flats in 39-96 gauges, one for my P Lyte, one for my Longhorn. Got Hofner Labellas and forgot that they won't fit on Longhorns, so I put them on my Realistic violin bass, the other set on the P Lyte. The G string wouldn't intonate properly in the P Lyte set, so I took them off till the could send me a new G.

    A few days later I get the new G and put the set on, and the D string breaks at the peg for no apparent reason. My request for a second new string was ignored.

    Meanwhile, I use the Realistic on a gig, and the strings sound and feel great, but I think that the output with them is lower than it was with the set of D'addario Half Rounds that were on it. As the Realistic is a quite low output bass, every bit helps. Recorded an AB between the two sets, and discovered that the Half Rounds were middier and not as strong on the bottom but output was about the same. Back went the Labellas on the Realistic.

    Broke down and ordered a ridiculously priced replacement D string for the P Lyte because of the Realistic recordings. It came Friday while I was out on the first two dates of my Florida tour with Bowzer. Just got home and strung up the P Lyte. No strings broke, all intonated. But the D was insanely bright compared to the other strings, especially the G they had sent me.

    Of course, that means time to pull out greasy stuff from the kitchen. Oil, peanut butter, creme filling from a Ding Dong...and now the strings have at least been deadened to an even point.

    Sounds and feels just as easy to play as it did with Chromes, and the G string is already more dead than I could get the Chrome G after months. I like Chromes, but they're too middy for my tastes and I just can't get the thinner strings to settle down. Chromes are more suited to my Dano, actually, where the mid boost helps it sound not as scooped.

    Labella has done a couple things here that make me look askance...this could be argued, but I really think they should have sent me a second replacement string. They were quick to respond and friendly the first time, but the string that broke had been on the bass twice for a total of 30 minutes and it was clearly defective in some way. Also, with the wonky first G string, and the varying levels of brightness between some of these strings when new, I can't say my confidence in them is high at the moment.

    But boy do they sound and feel good. The strings on the Realistic already sound like they've been on there for a couple years. The ones on the P Lyte aren't quite there yet, but a couple gigs and a few more nasty substances and they'll be there soon enough. All of a sudden I'm not jonesing for the old Fender flats anymore, though I am jonesing for the decent price they had. Let's hope the Labellas hold up longer than that D string.

    EDIT: OK, they've now lasted as long as the D string that broke ;)
     
  2. madmatt

    madmatt

    Apr 28, 2009
    Well LaBella's may be pretty good, but I will always get Chromes after the great service I got from Don Dawson at D'Addario. That is if the set I have now ever needs changing.

    All I did was complain on this board about a bad experience I had with some Chromes and Don contacted ME. I never expected or persued a new set of strings because I just wrote them off as another bad experience of buying strings which did not work for one reason or another, which is an experience I am sure many people on this board have had. But Don had a new set delivered FedEx overnight!

    Let's see if LaBella takes that kind of initiative...
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm a big D'addario guy, too, and Don seems like a nice guy. Used XL's for 25 years, can't recall ever getting a bad one. Been using Chromes for the past couple years off and on. I do like them, but if only the G and D strings would go dead quicker.

    Was not entirely happy with the Labellas on the P Lyte tonight. Not that anyone seems to care, though...sheesh! Only one reply in a day? Pfffft! But anyway, they ruled on the Realistic bass, but they came across as insanely bright through my B-15 stack tonight. I ended up rolling off treble to 9:00 before it was all said and done, and with the Chromes I usually have it at about 11:00. Not sure why that happened but it was weird.
     
  4. madmatt

    madmatt

    Apr 28, 2009
    I am a thread killer dude.
     
  5. thomastik are the ones i crave.
     
  6. pnut166

    pnut166

    Jun 5, 2008
    alabama
    The issue of removing a string set and then breaking one when putting `em back on ? I have broke numerous Roto G`s that way, not sure why. They break at the peg right at the point of coming in tune - pop ! Never had any other strings do that. I have emailed Rotosound on a couple of occasions about this, and never gotten a response.
     
  7. mwesth

    mwesth

    May 30, 2009
    Skovlunde, Denmark
    I recently switched from Chromes to LaBella Mustang Flats for my Mustang RI. No quality issues with either, but I like the sound and feel of the LaBellas a lot. Better low end and better balance between the strings.
    I am also a d'addario guy, have been using d'addario on my guitars for 35 years, but for the Mustang, it's LaBella's from now on.. just ordered a spare set from Elderly.
     
  8. tjh

    tjh

    Mar 22, 2006
    Minnesota
    Jimmy, I slide my foam in at the bridge on just the D and/or G until they catch up if needed ... seems to make it bearable in a pinch anyhow (I should add my foam has two thicknesses, one way lightly skims the strings, and the other a nice solid mute)
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I dig the way it sounds to mute strings like that. Might give it a shot.
     
  10. Bummer about your introduction to Labellas. They're easily my favorite flat. Feel and quality have been A1 for me.

    Is the Realistic a bassy bass? As a hollow shorty I assume it must get a bit subby. I'm tossign up whether to put Labellas on my semi acoustic which ATM its rockin Chromes. This bass is very bassy and I think the middy sounding Chromes might be helping it out. I'd love to strap some Labellas on but it might push it underground.

    Duesenberg Starplayer with Chromes ...
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Realistic is a bassy bass but it can be dialed down, even with Labellas. I really like it once you do that.
     
  12. onestring

    onestring

    Aug 25, 2009
    Richmond, CA
    I hear you on spotty QC issues. My first set of LaBellas were not good strings. They arrived with machine oil all over them (the paper envelopes were stained with it) and they had no personality.

    And even since I've learned how awesome they can be when you get a good set, they are finicky. Other strings (especially my beloved TIs) can survive being removed and reinstalled repeatedly where the LaBellas tend to change character, and the wrap's hold on the core becomes tenuous if you are not really careful. But there is no faster route to a nice fat vintage tone than LaBellas.
     
  13. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    (String manufacturers do not design their strings to swap from bass to bass, they expect them to be put on one bass and stay there... Most string "Breaks" like this happen on the 2nd install.)
     
  14. onestring

    onestring

    Aug 25, 2009
    Richmond, CA
    I agree, but I frequently don't use things as they were intended to be used by the designer. In fact, how "tinker-able" something is matters more to me.

    Just saying my 10+ year old set of TIs has been on and off half a dozen times, as have some well-used D' Addario XLs that go on when I want rounds, and those strings have a non-intended property of reuse-abilty in a way the LaBellas don't.
     
  15. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    my problem with the labellas was that when they were broken in, they sounded so dead and lifeless that recordings with a fender jazz sounding like mud city, no definition, no clarity, just some bass note that i can't tell what the note is cause is loose and muddy.

    i put on TI's and i'm loving the punch, middyness, and bite from them.
     
  16. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    I agree you can swap strings how ever you want... But you don't know what is going to happen all the time. If they bend differently the 2nd time around, the vibrations on the bend in the metal on the core will eventually break...

    My buddy has a set of T-I's that were worn to where he likes them... I told him not to swap them every time he got a new bass... eventually they broke at the bridge... But he did this for a while between different instruments... so every scenario is different with every string brand / type when swapping...

    sometimes it goes longer / sometimes it doesnt.

    The T-I's are a bit more flexible than the LaBella's so they are probably more forgiving when it comes to string swapping. You take them off and they are like spaghetti flopping around.

    But its like through body instruments. Every one of them is different, so they just say don't use them as a general statement. You can if the through body does not bring the string at too extreme of an angle, but if the through body design is too harsh of an angle, the strings will simply break.
     
  17. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    Hey Jimmy, I can't say for sure as I've never used them myself, but I suspect the overly bright D & G strings you're getting in the Chromes has to do with the light gauges.

    I use the medium set which is 50-70-85-105 and they are wonderfully even from top to bottom, more so than any of the other sets I've tried in Chromes. Those big fat D & G strings have a meaty thump to them that is simply awesome.

    I know you like light gauge strings so that's probably not an option you want, just hypothesizing here :)
     
  18. bought flats from carvin for my fretless, and lo and behold the package that arrived was LaBella flats. I think carvin brand strings are repackaged LaBellas, and very inexpensive. Hope you have a better experience next time. I've been using the carvin stainless rounds for several years, and love them. $13 a set for 5 strings makes me love them more! The flats were $26.
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Interesting. Now I'm totally paranoid about using them!
     
  20. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Wait a minute. I thought you were done with flats?
     

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