New to this forum... P Bass, flats, still can't get the classic P bass tone

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Delirium1986, Mar 18, 2021.

  1. Delirium1986


    Feb 16, 2019

    I have a Fender MIJ PB62-70US, Fender Rumble 800 combo, and I recently purchased D'addario chromes. However, I find they sound very bright despite being flats. I can't get them to sound like the flats in this video or pretty much any video that uses flats... I find the E string especially sounds too bright and trebly... do I just need to get darker sounding flats (like La Bellas?) Thanks in advance.
  2. Schonbrun


    Mar 8, 2020
    Not all strings are created equal. D'addario chromes are pretty bright flatwounds. If you want to sound like the video, you should start by getting the strings featured in the video. Alternatively, play your new strings until they lose brightness or try this DIY trick if you're feeling adventurous.
    Eucerin Skin Cream Kills Strings DEAD!!!
    Delirium1986 and getbent like this.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Its the tort guard.

    P bass, flats and tort.

    If you don't understand that, you will soon enough.

    Welcome to TB :) !
    rpt50, Afc70, el jeffe bass and 2 others like this.
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    What @Joe Nerve said is scientifically verified.

    And Chromes can take a week or so to calm down. Don’t give up just yet. Depending how much time you play they will start to dull out and will be a very different string than when fresh. My experience. They are quite snappy out of the wrapper.
    Delirium1986 likes this.
  5. Delirium1986


    Feb 16, 2019
    Thanks for all your input! I did order a set of La Bella 760FS but I will keep the chromes as a backup... or maybe try the eucerin trick.
    marchone, LukeSlywalker and Schonbrun like this.
  6. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    The flatwounds strings sounded fine to me.
  7. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    No substitute for age. Flats need time.

    Every time you have sweaty palms, rub your hands up and down the length of your strings. Oils, grease...
    flatwound62p likes this.
  8. Franchy


    Jul 16, 2020
    Tone pot?
  9. SgtHulka

    SgtHulka Suspended Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2019
    Fort Arnold
    That video sounds terrible to me. That's not the way flats sound on my P.
  10. flatwound62p


    Apr 24, 2017
    This. Takes a few months for flats to start sounding how I expect flats to sound. I do not like new flats :(

    I do a version of the eucarin cream trick but just some generic white hand lotion I stole off my wife, eucerin doesn't seem to be available in Australia. I smother them and leave for about 12 hours before they get a wipe down with paper towel.

    Don't forget to stick a bit of foam under the strings for the classic sound :bassist:
  11. Lowendchamp


    Jun 27, 2021
    Shelton WA
    I just saw this post. I also have a Rumble 800 and I love it but it won't do the classic P tone. I get it through my acoustic though. I think it has more to do with the eq settings. Also I noticed the pickup determines a lot because I have the MIM 75th Anniversary P and it has The P Bass sound. My expensive AmPro 2 does not. The MIM has a 50s voiced pickup whereas the MIA has a mod v 2. I would try a different amp first, one with eq options. Then if you still don't like it do some research into artists you like and get a pickup like them. The foam under your strings tells me you want JJs sound. I would go for an original 52 pup. Good luck.
  12. marchone

    marchone Since 1951 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Change one thing at a time starting with strings. Try La Bella Original 54s. Then look at the pup. Fender has a few different windings available from Custom Shop and Pure Vintage lines. 62s and 63s.

    If all that doesn’t get you to the tone you have in your head then look at the amp. Maybe you need a vintage Ampeg B-15n. :cool:
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    There are two parts to that classic sound:

    1) Flats (preferably the Labella Deep Talkin' flats)
    2) Age!

    The flats will sound progressively better at one month, 3 months, a get it. Four or five years down the road they're ready for prime time. Just be prepared for slow change.

    I haven't played the Rumble 800, but my 100 has a very "old Fender" sound and should help you get closer to the sound you want.

    Meanwhile, that tone knob can be used to roll off the highs and get you closer to classic. Use it aggressively to knock off the highs.

    My current flats range in age from around two years to 49 years.
    marchone likes this.
  14. 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.

    Aug 3, 2021

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