1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Please recommend Flat Wound strings.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bassliner50, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Hey Guys. Been playing a P-bass with Chrome round wound strings exclusively. (50-105 gauge). They last long, sound good, are nice and taught and are relatively inexpensive. I would like try something easier on my finger tips and frets. I have several P's and would like to string one with flats. I Play straight ahead jazz mostly. Never use a pick. I like a rich woody tone almost like an UR bass. What FW strings have you used that might enhance
    my tone, stay in tune feel taught and last a while? Appreciate all advice...
  2. toons


    Oct 7, 2007
    I have an early 70's P bass that I have strung with Sadowsky flatwounds. IMO a welcome upgrade to chromes. The tension is less stiff, which for me enhances the playability. The bass has an ash body with a maple neck and the Sadowsky flats bring out that strong but woody thumpy punch that sits so well in a mix. I never plan on removing those strings.
  3. vxjoe


    Sep 22, 2013
    I moved from Chrome 45-100 to D'Addario half rounds, 45 or 50-105. The heavier gauge made a difference. Chromes seem to be missing the low end fundamental, which means there is less thud. The H rounds are better and still don't have all the finger noise of rounds. Also have a better slap sound than Chromes. They are not bad on your fingers either. If you want to stick with flats try La Bella 50-105. A big improvement on my jazz.
  4. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I think you mean you've been playing either nickel or steel D'addario rounds. Chromes are D'addario flat wounds.

    If you want rich woody tone, the answer is Labella deep talkin flats. They're higher tension than rounds of the same gauge, so you may want to try the 43-104 set. https://www.bassstringsonline.com/La-Bella-Deep-Talkin-Flat-Wound--4-String-Set_p_219.html

    If you want all thump and a legit motown vintage pbass tone, then you can try these:https://www.bassstringsonline.com/La-Bella-Original-1954-Fender-Style--4-String-Set_p_222.html
    They're super high tension and take some getting used to, but they nail that tone.

    If you don't like either, sign up for a supporting membership and sell them in the classifieds. They'll sell right away and you'll make about half your money back.
  5. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    GHS Precision Flats sound like what you're describing. They've been my go-to set for many years. Wonderful tone, especially on a Fender P or P clone.
  6. e-flat


    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    My experience is nowhere near as extensive as some of the bassists here, but this is what I've found from the sets I've tried:

    - D'addario Chromes (45-100): Very lively sounding in the upper mids, smooth but maybe a bit "tacky" / grippy feeling when sliding. Tension is a bit high, which is nice if you like low action and immediate response from the right hand. I wouldn't suggest these as a string if you want an almost upright tone.

    - La Bella White Nylon Tapewound (Light Gague with 105E): Nicely balanced tone with nice presence in the high mids, though the treble is subdued. Incredibly smooth & soft with moderate-to-low tension. Not a loud string. Great for achieving an "almost upright" tone with the tone rolled back a bit, though the La Bella Black Nylon Tapewounds are reported to have even less treble and may be another good option. The feel of these is unbeatable if you want SMOOTH.

    - La Bella Deep Talkin Flats (760FL Light Gauge): I just put a set of these on a fretless jazz and I have GOT to try a set on one of my fretted basses. Tension, balance, growl, vocal "mwah" .... This set has a perfect balance of what I'd hoped for on this bass. Also very smooth. These might be the best first step for what you seek, and then use them as a reference point if you want something different. I'll bet you these would really do the trick, though. Beautiful warm, full sound and smooth feeling strings.

    I have a set of GHS Precision Flats on the way for a Precision-style bass, but can't comment yet on those. I am seeking a particular sound for each of my basses and have been trying all of these sets in the last 2 months.

    Good Luck!
  7. Yeah, I was going to go Tapes too. I love flats, and have LaBella DTF's on my G&L, but for woody tone: tapes. I've got Roto tapes on my P and my Fretless. VERY woody, especially on the Fretless. I don't know how different the LaBella tapes are than the Rotos. Super quiet on a fretted too.
  8. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    I've tried DR black beauties, and Elixirs trying to find smoother strings. Eventually I settled on XL Half rounds and liked them pretty well. But just this week I tried out the Sadowsky flatwounds that I've heard mentioned in several threads. Thus far I like them a LOT. I like a more old-school non-hifi sound and these seem to be a big step in that direction.
  9. Thanks for the suggestions here. As my first venture into flats, its almost a coin toss about what to try first. I am leaning toward the La Bella lDeep talking flats.
    For the pst 20 nyears or so I have been using Dean Markley Blue Steel round wound chromes....These last and last, have that tension I like for right hand finger style and the tone is huge. Not as aggressive as you might think once the tone and EQ is set up to my liking. Usually can buy them off ebay for $18 or so shipped.The down side: tough on the fingers and frets. Its time to try some flat wounds on one of my P basses....
  10. Huge +1. I used to play lots of high tension strings, including Chromes and LaBellas. I like the LaBellas more than the Chromes, though I still keep a set of Chromes around as I like their non-tapered B string. On a recommendation by Jason at bassstringsonline.com, I tried a set a Light Gauge Sadowsky flats about 9 months ago on my PJ5. That was it! To me, they encompass the best of the flats that I like. They can have a vintage tone and the silky feel of the LaBellas, but they have this available kinda sizzle on the high end that I've had with no other flatwound. And they just keep getting better the longer I play them.
  11. Same here.
  12. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Easy on the fingers? Straight ahead jazz? Woody? Like an upright? Last a while?

  13. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    I would be pleased to recommend flatwound strings.

    Past that, you'd have to listen to some and see what you think. Every flatwound is the best, for someone, and I think we're kidding ourselves if we think we can reliably communicate about bass strings with words like "rich" and "woody." Mateusz Piotrowski did a pretty good job stringing up a handful of well known brands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R2LOXMqyg8 And with luck there might be more out there, along the same lines. (One caveat with that, however - tone can change over some playing time, and I guess the demos would typically be new strings?)
  14. Many thanks to you all.
  15. richrod


    Nov 19, 2006
    Orange County NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, Gruv Gear, Analysis Plus Cables, La Bella Strings & 1964ears

    I agree 100%
  16. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    I just answer this in other almost similar thread


  17. tedsalt


    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    I just put some DR Legend flats on my newly acquired RW P and I'm digging 'em ...
  18. As a new convert, I love my Chromes. I would not say they lose fundamental, however. They certainly have more than my previous rounds. Can't speak to other brands etc. but Chromes have ended my search indefinitely.
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wow, how come the TI Jazz Flats never sounded like that when I had them? If they had, I'd have kept them. But they sounded like rounds on my bass and they'd never go thuddy. Go figure.
  20. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    Is it possible that you're hearing more or less the same thing here, but attenuated by recording and the low bandwidth video? I think this is a great video, but it's hard for me to reliably pick out the differences between strings; if I were right there playing the bass those differences would probably be less subtle.