New Tapes/Flats

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jonners98, May 8, 2021.


  1. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    I'm thinking of switching from my D'Addario Chromes on my fretless. I love them in general, but I find that the notes on the E string are a little too wooly for me, especially above 5th fret. I'd like to stick with flats or tapes as I love the smoothness, and I want a nice long string life too. Ideally, I'd like something close to a flatwound sound with a bit more precision in the low end, and perhaps a little more bite.

    Currently I'm considering EB Cobalt flats (unsure about string life and heard stories of them breaking?), and three offerings from La Bella: white tapes, gold white tapes and copper white tapes.

    Any suggestions or input would be great, thanks!
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Just buy TI Jazz Flats already. All the research you do is going to drive you to that decision. You don't need to spend all week mulling it over. Sound better, feel better, done. And they last basically forever so next time you post about wanting to change those strings you'll be in the home.
     
  3. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    As much as I like the tone I've heard on demos, I feel they may be too low tension for my tastes.
     
    Dominic DeCosa and JohnnyBottom like this.
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    That's fair, they take some getting used to.
    If you like Chromes, the feel and the general tone Roto 77 are pretty close in my opinion. But they seem to wear non-linear, like one day they sound great then the next they are more dead than my preference.
    LaBella DTF feel good, more tension than TI, maybe a little less than Chromes, they have a very rich tone that I use on my fretlesses. And their tapes are nice, I use LB tapes on an acoustic bass guitar. I get what you're saying about the low tension of TI.
    My thinking is get 2 or 3 sets and see what ends up on top. It's all personal preference, no right answer.

    I love LB on my fretlesses, they feel very good to me. That is what I use on my 73 maple neck in my avatar.
     
    EatS1stBassist and Hop Jam like this.
  5. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    Nice one. I have 77s on my ABG, great thump with definition - less sustain than I like on my electric however.

    The DTFs are defo on my radar, but I was worried they would still have that excessive wooliness in the low end.

    I just wish TI did high tension jazz flats!
     
  6. thabassmon

    thabassmon

    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    Like others have said there is not right answer.

    The flats I like are Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats, La Bella Deep Talking Flats and D’Addario Chromes.

    I have D’Addario Nylon Tapes on my fretless and while I don't like them very much, they maybe right for you. They have more highs than I want them to, but that may be bite in your view, the lower strings have clarity in the low end.

    Andres plays them, not the best example of regular playing but he does play throughout the range of the instrument so you can hear what it sounds like throughout the instrument, there are some clear single note low passages.

    They are low tension if that is of any concern.

     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    XephonXIII and Eon Sky like this.
  7. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    Thanks man. I've looked at the D'Addario tapes before, but annoyingly they're super expensive here in the UK.

    The tension issue is what's pushing me toward La Bella tapes, as I can get their sets in 60s.
     
    EatS1stBassist and thabassmon like this.
  8. thabassmon

    thabassmon

    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    Fair enough, the cost difference between the countries is definitely a factor.

    La Bella do make good strings, I like their deep talking flats, I've heard only good things about the tapewounds.

    One of my friends will only use La Bella strings and refuses to play anything else.
     
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    What’s the harm in trying LB flats? They aren’t too expensive.

    They might be brighter than you want for the first several days. But Chromes are like that too. They settle in quickly so don’t stress if they zing the first time you play them.
    I don’t dislike tapes but in my case my fretlesses have maple boards so they don’t need anything to mellow the tone.
     
  10. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    I've heard only good things about La Bella too, part of the reason they're on my radar! I've always been a D'Addario fan, but LB are hard to ignore
     
    thabassmon likes this.
  11. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    Here in the UK, they're 50 GBP a set, which is a lot on my student budget sadly. A set of LB tapes would be slightly less, and TI flats would only be a tiny bit more. The only thing is I don't have enough to try multiple sets and see what I like
     
    Killing Floor likes this.
  12. Shop around.


    Chromes are £41 from BassDirect inc postage, LB DTF are £42 all in. Roto 77's are £28 from Bax Music.
    GHS flats are £30 from Bax. Fender 58 tapes £29 / GHS 50's tapes £32, both from DV 24/7.

    TI jazz flats £43 from Bax.
     
    Criswell60, BlueTalon and HaphAsSard like this.
  13. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    Bax and DV ship from Europe, so won't include VAT or UK courier charges (post Brexit). That'll push them all up to the prices of UK stores but with a likely 12 quid handling fee :/
     
  14. Bax and DV 24/7 are registered businesses in the UK, their prices already include the VAT. You don't pay a courier's VAT collection fee if you've paid it to the seller.
     
  15. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    Really? That's frustrating, I was told in January not to order from them as they'll add fees to delivery post-brexit, my assumption being they must be EU-based.
    I wish I'd known earlier, both offer great prices. I have also heard negative things about them not reporting out of stock items properly though.
     
  16. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I'm a big fan of Pyramid Gold Flatwounds. Beautiful sound, soft feel, tension not too low or too high. I've tried TIs and the super-low tension didnt work for me, but loved the sound. Pyramids are the closest that I've found. Chromes are pretty tension and Pyramids are what I would call "medium" tension. Not sure about pricing in the UK, but shouldnt be as much as US-based strings since they are German manufactured.
     
    Holdsg likes this.
  17. Your contract is between you and a UK business, supply is their concern.

    Even if you were to buy strings from Thomann you'd still pay delivery but no courier's collection fee, that's the expensive bit. Any order under £135 has the VAT collected by the EU seller, £134.99 inc shipping is the limit. All the courier does is deliver your goods.

    Once you go over £135 the courier becomes HMRC's collection agent and the swines rake in the cash. Whereas before Royal Mail charged £8 to process and collect VAT + any import duty, Couriers fees start at £11.50.
     
  18. They are an imported product so cost about the same as US strings, around the £40 mark.
     
  19. jonners98

    jonners98

    Apr 23, 2013
    England, UK
    Oh of course, I forgot the sub-135 limit! Particularly embarrassing as my degree is in law and I did two commercial units haha
    Might make me reconsider Thomann then.
     
  20. Mind the £8 shipping and watch the exchange rate, UK banks are very good at finding the worst rates for you.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 20, 2021

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