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Need Flatwound suggestions for a vintage fender p bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bjazzman, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Bjazzman


    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    i have a 76 p bass with active emg's. the current strings on the bass sound great and as far as i know they could be the original strings since i bought the bass second hand. they look really old and don't have a color on the ball end or string ends. The gauge is 105 85 70 50

    the only thing i don't like about the strings is that i do occasionally get string/fret noise when i slide up to certain positions. this could be attributed and brought out because i use a really clean/quick head: mesa carbine but i'd like to get a similar sound but without the string noise. if i could add some more harmonic content and brightness without being harsh i would like that too

    so with that in mind im thinking bright sounding flats:

    dr sunbeams
    d'addario chromes
    ken smith slick rounds
    ghs bright flats
    fender flats

    are these the ones i should try? is there one i should try before the others?

  2. not on your list but there are a few of us that love GHS P flats on a P Bass...
  3. Rotosound 77s/Steve Harris flats are pretty bright. But if you want harmonic content without being too harsh I don't know if flats will be what you want. I would try a coated steel roundwound like Elixir nanoweb Steels.
  4. Bjazzman


    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    Do the coated strings help eliminate string noise? I know dr supposedly makes a good coated string that's not their neon ones
  5. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    there are no bad flats.
  6. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Fender flats, Chromes, TIs, and Sadowsky flats are the brightest flats that I've tried. Over time the Chromes and Sadowskys will develop more of a traditional flatwound sound compared to the Fenders or TIs. I've tried GHS Brite flats before and they sounded awesome for about 3 months, and then went totally dead.

    GHS Pressurewounds are a string you should look into as well, they are more on the roundwound side of the spectrum with lots of overtones but much less finger noise.
  7. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    I don't know if Sadowsky is making flats but I really loved those strings…

  8. Be aware that coated strings can add perceived noise (hum/buzz) as they remove the grounding function of conductive strings...
  9. Most tapes are rounds inside, so they give you a sound a brighter sound than most flats, but mellower than most rounds, and they are very quiet as far as both fret and finger noise.

    Aren't coated strings still grounded to the bridge through the ball end of the string? Tapes are. Or are you talking about the ground extending to your body through the strings?
  10. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    Sadowsky flats
  11. And I'm one of them.

    I had Chromes on my Pbass V for a couple years and they sounded good, but they're pretty stiff strings. Like Duckwater said, they mellowed a bit after a while.

    I switched to GHS Precision flats about 8 months ago and dig them a lot more... a little less tension and more life/presence in the high mids (?). Tough to really describe in words, but they're some pretty nice flats and they sit a little better in the mix with my 11-piece funk band than the Chromes did.

    DR Sunbeams aren't flats, they're nickel rounds. Not bad strings, but not flats. ;)

    I'm not a huge fan of the coated strings... Had an Ibanez that had a set on it and maybe I just had a bad set, but after I got done playing, my fingers always felt coated. :meh:

    $.02 ;)


  12. The latter, yes... Just thought it was worth mentioning as I've read people having issues before.
    IME, I've only noticed grounded strings being useful when an amp has been faulty or the source of grounding/noise issues.
  13. Bjazzman


    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    Thanks for the ghs suggestions. I'll look into those. I was thinking dr flats not sunbeams. I believe they're called ledgends now
  14. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic

    P Flats + P Bass = P erfect. Just my .02 cents.

  15. Talkbass needs a Like button and I think this needs to be on a t-shirt. :)

  16. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Either Labella flats or TI. Both have fantastic tone, and are so easy and fun to play. GHS have a meh uninspiring sound and unpleasant feel to me. Rotos are way too stiff with lack of low punch and mids that are too broad. Chromes too stiff and dont have a sound that slots well in my bands.
  17. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I strongly disagree...
    I think F flat is a bad flat. Very dishonest indeed. It tries to make you think it's an E.
  18. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    That's when they begin to sound awesome!
  19. Bjazzman


    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    Labellas sound great for old school thump but they're not what looking for because they're pretty stiff. Same I think for chromes. I've had ti's on a jazz before and they're great too but not enough top end and they're pretty loose tension wise.
  20. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    Yep. Light gauge for the win. I love 'em.