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Need Flatwound Advice

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Flatwound, Sep 11, 2000.

  1. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    OK. I went back and read through all the posts here dealing with flatwound strings, and I have some unanswered questions. I have been using flatwounds recently, after using rounds for about 20 years. So far I have tried Fender, Thomastik-Infeld and Carvin (gag) flats. The TI's are good, of course, and I also liked the Fenders. I'm not as thrilled with the TI's as some, but they are definitely nice.

    Here's my problem: my bass has a major dead spot at C and C# on the G string. Using lighter guage strings helps, so the Thomastiks, starting at .043 work better for me on this bass than the Fenders I was using which start at .050. Apparently this neck likes low tension. Ernie Ball and D'Addario make .040 - .095 flats, and LaBella makes a .039 - .096 or something set. I really like the Fenders but they don't make anything that light. Just incidentally, I tried some roundwounds, too, and the dead spot was just as bad (at least), in case you wondered.

    So, it looks like my choices are Ernie Ball Flatwounds, D'Addario Chromes, and LaBella "Perfectly Balanced" flatwounds. Oh, yeah, I think the Lakland Joe Osborns are available in .040 - .095, too. So given these four brands, and realizing that I liked the Fenders, what would you recommend?
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I don't use flatwounds, but GHS makes flatwounds too. Just trying to give you another option.
  3. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Thanks, Slater. The reason I'm not looking at GHS strings is that they don't make really skinny flatwounds like the four brands I mention. So, to rephrase my question, has anyone used the following flats, and if so, can you compare them to Fender and Thomastik flats?

    -LaBella "Perfectly Balanced" Flatwounds
    -Lakland Joe Osborn Signature
    -Ernie Ball Flatwounds
    -D'Addario Chromes

    Not concerned about price at this point, they're all close enough.

  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    It may be worth contacting the various companies and seeing if any will make custom flats. Lots of companies will, though you sometimes have to order a few sets at a time. Fender may make you 5 sets or something...

    FWIW I use Elites flats, which are made to Bass Centre specs by GHS, and are great. I've had the same set on my 6 string fretless for a year, with no real loss of tone...


  5. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Max, I can't speak to the others, but IME D'Addario Chromes are very taut and stiff-- they have a hex core (the most common construction), unlike the Thomastiks, and are very stiff, thick, and high tension.

  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000

    Why didn't you like the Carvin flats? They're made by LaBella...

    Will C.:cool:
  7. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    BW - La Bella denies responsibility for Carvin flatwounds, as does GHS. The set I tried had a really bright G, somewhat less bright D, kind of dull A, and a dead-as-a-doornail E.

    I tried to find out who made these strings, so I could avoid them in the future, but was unsuccessful. Carvin says GHS makes them, but I called and e-mailed GHS and was told no both times. I also called La Bella. La Bella makes their tapewounds, but they said they don't make the flats.
  8. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    HI I am getting into reggae, and I want to buy a set of flats for my frettles. (currently using rotosound. used them before I knew who Jaco was) I live in the land of rock shops...Does any one know where I can find any of these good brands on line? or possibly in a store...I dont feel like taking the 2 hour drive to king of prussia to sam ash, but if that is what it takes...any one in PA know where to buy some...I heard harrisburg has a decent guitar store...oh I just thought of one! Guitar Villa...I will check it out. but any suggestions are welcome.
  9. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)

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