New strings for my P-bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Mo Boogs, Oct 28, 2021.

  1. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    I’ve got a 2014 American Standard P-bass that I bought new. Finally changed out the original rounds with some Fender tapewounds. They’re okay but aside from some RF interference depending on the location I’m playing I don’t love the finger burn I get when sliding around. I’m kinda thinking about either trying a set of flatwounds or going back to a new set of rounds. What’s a good go-to set of flats? I was looking at the Labella 760FL’s. Reviewers said they nail the James Jameson tone (love that) and because they’re light the string tension’s not too far off from rounds. Would these be good for Larry Graham tone too? And rocknroll?
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  2. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I liked the Labellas but I forget which gauge.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  3. tindrum

    tindrum Supporting Member

    May 2, 2007
    Suffolk, VA
    The Labella’s are great for many things but you will never get a Larry Graham tone from them. As for using them in Rock…you could. They’ll be very “supportive” by holding the bottom end but if you do any tracks where you’ll need to cut through they may not be the best choice.

    As for rounds just about anything will work great with a P Bass. I’m partial to DR Sunbeams on a P as they are a bit scooped in the lower mids so they don’t “clash” with the inherent mid-rich tone of a P. Gives a much more balanced tone that allows the bass to really shine.
  4. I have a 2014 Am Std P bass I got in 2015. The first set of strings I tried on it was the LB 760FL. While they did provide the old-school Motown vibe without the high tension or the stiffness of the 1954 Originals, I didn't like the way the 104E tended to get a little muddy.

    I ended up preferring the GHS Precision Flats 45-95 on this particular bass for a cleaner and more focused low-mid punch and woody warmth.

    EDIT: By the way, this P-bass of mine wears a set of GHS Pressurewounds these days.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
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  5. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    I use Hi Beams, Pure Blues or Lo Riders on my Precision. @michael_t suggestion of PressureWound is a really good one if you don’t like finger noise.

    Flats that worked really well on a Precision for me are TIJFs, LaBella DTF 760FL, LaBella LTF, and Sadowsky Blue Label Flats. However @tindrum is also correct about flats when playing rock. You should give that some consideration when deciding on strings.
    CallMeAl, halech54 and tindrum like this.
  6. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    Yeah I definitely want something where I cut thru. I’ll probably just go back to rounds. Maybe try a good set of DR’s. I’ve got DR’s on my shorty bass and they sound great.
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  7. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I wish I had 2 P basses so I could string one with rounds and one with flats.
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  8. This is exactly the reason why I switched to GHS Pressurewounds. All the roundwound tone I need but with a much smoother feel with less finger noise than typical rounds.
    StevieMac likes this.
  9. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    Right on! Just ordered a set. Can’t wait to try these out.
  10. Dunlop Nickel Medium/Brights - all the way for me on my P-Special. Great balance, IMO, on the tonal spectrum.
  11. I have a few suggestions; GHS Precision Flats (they will nail the Motown/old school thump sound but fall short of achieving a Larry Graham sound). I think a set of either Chromes or GHS Pressurewounds would get closer to what you're searching for. Also, consider EB Cobalt Flats... nice smooth flatwound feel but has some clarity and bite. And you can tame that down anytime by rolling back the tone knob on your P.
  12. ColdEye

    ColdEye Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Dunlop flats, Optima Chromes or the RB. They are around the same price, last forever. Research on which flavor you like.
  13. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Cobalt Flats are certainly the most aggressive flat I have ever used. They served me well for a Pink Floyd set we did. Almost forgot about them. Great suggestion.
  14. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    +1 I put some beans on my P basis as well when I want rounds, They seem to fit in that very nicely with a P bass. I love flats as well but just find them limiting to the number of use cases I can use them for.
    tindrum likes this.
  15. MTN.bass72

    MTN.bass72 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Blue Ridge, Ga
    I absolutely love the 760fl's on my Duck Dunn...
    But, just got a D Lakin JO, and the previous owner had Chromes on it..
    My first time playing them.
    They're well respected around here and now I know why... I love them.
    I'm debating tossing a set on my Duck Dunn.
    Check out the Sadowsky Blue Labels too
    GTHintz likes this.
  16. You will not be disappointed. I have PWs on both my J basses and they sound awesome!
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  17. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    First thing, I actually liked the rounds that came on my last (2021 MiA) P bass, I assume they were Fender brand. I was not in a hurry to take them off because I didn't "need" another P with flats.

    But I did eventually put TI Jazz Flats on it. They are my favorite for that type bass. So if you want to be down you need to put on TI.

    Or just try a bunch and make notes which ones you like the best. There's really no wrong answer.
  18. Isaac_James


    May 20, 2021
    Eugene, OR
    I use that exact set on my P Bass. I play in a rock band, and I've found that I really like the tone I get out of these strings with a lot of mids and some light overdrive for grit. The strings have a really strong fundamental tone, good thump, the mids help them cut through just a bit.

    As far as the Jamerson sound, yes you can achieve that, turn up low frequencies in the EQ and roll off your tone knob a bit. Stick a little foam under your strings and it's pretty close. Jamerson used a really heavy gauge so it won't sound exactly like him, but the difference is slight.

    Larry Graham used light gauge rounds on a Stingray jazz bass or Warwick. Very different sound to what you'll get from Labellas on a P Bass.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
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  19. shastaband

    shastaband Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    That's why I have SIX P-basses. Three with different brands of flats. three with different brands of rounds.
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  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Good all around goto strings for a PB (IMO):

    GHS Precision Flats
    GHS Pressurewounds
    DR Sunbeams
    LaBella Copper White Nylons.
    tindrum likes this.