Not bonding with my flatts

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SteveBassJr, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. SteveBassJr

    SteveBassJr It all sounds the same, It's all one song! Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Hey string gurus,
    I bought a P bass awhile back and I immediately put some Flatts on it.
    I haven't really bonded with them. Unfortunately. So I'm looking for an alternative. I really want that deep sound but I also need to cut through.
    I use NYXL on my number one bass but, I don't want to go that route on my P. I don't really have any experience with Tape wounds but that could be an option. One thing that turns me off from the Flatts is non Flexibility.
    Any suggestions as what to try would be appreciated ( I don't want to go the stainless steel route )
    Thanks in advance
    woodyng2 likes this.
  2. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Not everyone likes flats. What brand and gauge did you try?
    ajkula66 and woodyng2 like this.
  3. GHS Pressurewound ML7200 (44-58-80-102). A perfect blend of flatwound-like punch and roundwound-like crunch without excessive thump or zing.
    joebar, ATLbassist, Sparkl and 5 others like this.
  4. Duder


    Dec 6, 2014
    I never bonded with my flats, either. Tried them on two basses and never got the sound I wanted.
    wmhill, five7, Helix and 1 other person like this.
  5. Flats aren't going to cut through, that's not what they do. What they will do is give you a nice solid fundamental that sits in its own place in the mix without any overtones bleeding into the guitars.

    As for the flexibility: they break in a little after a month or two, and you kinda get used to the stiffness. You really have to just meet them in the middle on that one.

    If you're considering tapes, they'll be far more flexible than flats, but with an even mellower sound.
    arrowsun, AModestRat and 60bass like this.
  6. jallenbass

    jallenbass Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats give me that fat flat sound and they cut through as well. YMMV.

    I use the light gauge.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    xoloder, Mosstone, Pocket4 and 10 others like this.
  7. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York

    They are the ticket to flatwound paradise.
    xoloder, Mosstone, waynobass and 4 others like this.
  8. As long as they don't break during installation. :D:roflmao:
    Fxpmusic, lpcarter and Dean-oh like this.
  9. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Have no idea what that's about. I installed them the same way I have for 30 years paying no attention to the included instructions. To be honest they are so good if I had an issue I would try again.
    waynobass likes this.
  10. Pbassmanca and Helix like this.
  11. Maybe you should've tried Scruggs.
  12. Had to think on this one for a moment...
    Brought back some memories of my younger days when I once played the mandolin in a Bluegrass band back home in Japan!
    Pbassmanca, ak56 and woodyng2 like this.
  13. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    If tension is an issue you could try a set of TI Jazz Flats.

    Interestingly enough, it's that flexibility (along with their high cost :() that turns a lot of flat players off to them.

    However, if flats aren't your thing, there's no shame in that. Move on and try something else. Life is short enough as it is.

    If you want something really different, try a set of LaBella White Nylons.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    dalahorse, oren, Inara and 5 others like this.
  14. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I would say that some do and some don't; depends on if you like the whole modern or classical flats thing.

    I will say that one of the major appeals of TI flats to me, is that they have this natural voice that tends to really jump out in a mix. Rarely do I lose myself in a band setting with those strings, and if I do, it seems like it's and environmental issue and everyone has a hard time hearing everything.
  15. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Yup. +2 for the TI Jazz Flats and +1 on the La Bella White Nylons.
    Pbassmanca, Groove Doctor and Inara like this.
  16. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Lester, or Rascal? That may be the problem.
  17. Uncle Hanky

    Uncle Hanky Guest

    May 10, 2017
    Another +1 for Cobalt flats. Perfect marriage of round zing and flat thump.
  18. ThePresident777

    ThePresident777 Guest

    Oct 6, 2013
    I've tried EB Cobalt Flats and I think they're good. They are lower tension/stiffness than Chromes (my go to strings).

    La Bellla has low tension flats too, which I have not tried. I use the La Bella 1954 flats for D standard tuning, super stiff strings. They're "bright" as far as flats go.

    I also have D'Addario Tape wounds and those sound like Geezer Butler. Their growl and fret "noise" sounds like an overdrive.
    Hans Gruber likes this.
  19. mexicanyella


    Feb 16, 2015
    Troy, MO
    Step aside for Captain Pedantic!!! Just leave everything to me. There is a problem, and it lies in singular/plural agreement: Lester Flatt is singular; Rascal Flatts is plural. Flatt & Scruggs.
    Deak, Max Blasto, ak56 and 3 others like this.
  20. jaymelewis


    Jan 6, 2010
    Fillmore, CA
    Check out nylon tapewounds - they're mellow like a flat but still have that zing. Very cool sound! Pricey, though. I use these D'Addario's.
    pudge likes this.