Please tell me these Fender 9050L Flats get better

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jj4001, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    Longtime LaBella 760FL user here. So...

    I'm two weeks in to a set of Fender 9050L flats on an AVRI 63 Precision and I'm having second thoughts about them. I love the lower tension and feel of these strings, which I find much easier to play than the LaBellas, but I don't like this midrange honk I can't seem to dial out. It fills up the space that the guitars sit in my band's live mix. I've tried drastically cutting mids with two different preamps but I couldn't get rid of it. I tried these because I wanted a flat that retains the mids and highs a little bit more than the LaBellas but I'm worried these strings may not settle into what I'm hoping for.

    Experience tells me I'm at least a month away from judging them, but I'm questioning what they are going to sound like once they're fully broken in. I'm not worried about the highs, but will the mids mellow out over time? Will these strings reward me if I tough out the break in period or should I just start over with a set of the LeBallas I've been using?
  2. Give them more time, they'll settle in nicely. Great strings.
    Linnin, BaticaBG and jj4001 like this.
  3. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    This is what I want to hear! I really like that I don't have to fight these strings at all. They're so easy to play. But so far, I can't make them sound right in a live band mix. I'd really hate to start over the misery of breaking in new strings, so I hope you're right.
  4. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    I'm a few weeks into a set, and I had a hard time with the tone at the beginning. They're finally starting to lose the harsh metallic overtones, so I'm going to stick with them for a while, at least. They just seem to take a good while to settle in. Now my gripe is that they sometimes have a Chromes-like stickiness, which I can't stand, but I'm hoping this, too, will pass.

    I'm also used to La Bellas with their glassy feel (or GHS Precision Flats with their dry smoothness). (By the way, if the 760FLs are too stiff, try the 760FX, which are quite supple.)

    UPDATE: I ditched them. Back to rounds for this particular bass. There was something about the tone that wasn't a great match for this bass.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  5. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    These do remind me of Chromes. I like the feel of them though they are very different than the awesome wrap LaBella uses.

    I've heard here and elsewhere that the low tension LaBellas were tonally the opposite direction I was hoping go, so I opted for the Fenders instead.

    Interested to hear your take on how your Fenders settle in over time.
  6. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I hate fender flats for the first 2 months, but then they turn into a great string.
    You have to be patient.
    I found chromes and fender take the longest to settle in.
  7. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Just to be clear, the La Bella 760FX are not the same as Low Tension Flexible Flats (which I have not tried). The FX is just the lightest gauge of the Deep Talkin' 760 line.
    The Fenders are perhaps cousins of Chromes, but to my ear, they have more low mids and overall heft.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  8. Like others already said, Fender 9050s do take at least a couple of months of regular playing time before they settle. They're annoyingly clangy for the first month, but do eventually settle into a full-bodied punchy warmth with a hint of grind. Don't expect them to sound like the La Bella DTFs, though, as they're not designed for the classic, old-school thump as such.
    RumbleMan3 and dagrev like this.
  9. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    Okay, I think you guys have me convinced it's worth toughing out the break in period. I do love the LaBella sound but I wanted to find something with a little more mids and highs. So far it's way too much, but you all have me hopeful I'll be happy with where they end up.
  10. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    They are nice strings, but I have found they are almost always a little to much of what you described, but they do mellow. If they don't calm down try some GHS Precision Flats. No upper mid honk but some have some low mid thump, and they feel as good or better than the Fenders.
  11. Are the Fender flats just rebranded D Addario chromes? Mine have the colored ball ends so ...
  12. Fender 9050s are made by D'Addario; however, they're NOT identical twins as the 9050s and the Chromes are made to different specs.

    I personally prefer the 9050s for both tone and feel.
  13. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    ^^^All True^^^ @iiipopes wrote extensively on Fender 9050s. As I recall they are wound anticlockwise.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  14. That's one thing I've never understood.

    Looking at this photo, it appears they're wound the same way.

    Root 5, jchrisk1 and TN WOODMAN like this.
  15. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Hmmmm ... quick hide the photo ... no, don't turn around ... act normal ...
    jj4001 and TN WOODMAN like this.
  16. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Labella LTF4A, case close.
  17. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Certainly... Those Fender 9050L flats get better...:D Yeah, they're one of those flats that seem to take roughly forever to break in. The ones on my '78 P-Bass certainly seemed to... Nice as they are, though, they'll be coming off soon. My P-Bass has the mute in the bridge cover, and frankly, for what I play with it, the 9050's just aren't "funky" enough to make me happy. I'm hoping they aren't cut too short to work on my Gretsch Broadkaster, 'cause I have a sneaky suspicion they'd be the cat's ass on that old thing. The P-Bass is going to get GHS Precision Flats; hopefully, they'll give me what I'm looking for. After, that is, I go through the whole "break in the new flats" drill - again...:rolleyes:
  18. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Just keep playing them. Give them at lest 90 days/100+ playing hours.
    A BIG part of that is the split pickup itself and is the signature Precision 'honk'. That is what put the funk in the Funk Machine. The '63 has it in spades. Don't blame the strings.
    Fender 9050M Stainless Steel Flatwound
    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  19. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    So you believe this frequency is specific to the '63 and not the four other Precisions I've owned that were all strung with LaBella 760FL? Interesting.
  20. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    No. All Fender Precisions from 1958 onward (with factory split single coil pups & electronics) have some variation of the signature Precision 'Honk'. It's just one of many things that makes them special.
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