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!  

POLL: I always come back home to La Bella

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bruiser Stone, Aug 4, 2020.


  1. 760M

    5 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. 760FM

    4 vote(s)
    8.9%
  3. 760FS

    15 vote(s)
    33.3%
  4. 760FL

    17 vote(s)
    37.8%
  5. 760FX

    4 vote(s)
    8.9%
  1. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Tennessee
    My poor P bass bears the scuffs and scrapes below the bridge of an owner condemned with string indecision. Rounds, flats, tapes...I’ve tried at least 25-30 different sets in the past three years. For rounds, DR Sunbeams and GHS Balanced Nickels are the standouts, but something about the creamy, mellow joy of La Bella DTB flats just feels like home to me. And they lend themselves to the music I play (blues, R&B, roots, praise music for church). I’ve been through 2 sets of FL’s, one set of FS, and now my third set of the big boys, 760M (or Jamersons...or 1954’s...or whatever they’re called).

    This last set of the bigguns’ doesn’t seem so onerous to navigate, perhaps because my hands are stronger with the many hours of exercise, and the tone...omg. The thump/punch is second to none. The tension is part of the magic, and my P’s neck seems up to the task. But they are unavoidably gargantuan, and as a one-bass owner who practices a lot, I’m curious about the toll they may take on my 40+ year old fingers. And though they do what they do really well, they don’t do much else.

    So I thought: why not a poll? I suspect FL’s will lead the pack, but the FM set intrigues me...maybe just a little less tension would be perfect. I don’t recall why I moved away from the FS set. The FX seems like it would be too light, but I’ll leave it open for consideration. As for the low tension versions, in context, I’ve tried TI’s Jazz flats thrice and decided I just can’t overcome the over-pliability or lack of low end. I’ve also tried D’Addario, Dunlop, Ernie Ball, Fender, GHS, and Rotosound flats. La Bella is where I’m at.

    Your explanatory thoughts and contributions in regards to experience with La Bella’s DTB flats are appreciated. I know it’s a well-worn subject, but I haven’t seen a thread consider all 5 variations together.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
    Mili and Jason Hollar like this.
  2. uwrossl

    uwrossl

    Nov 13, 2009
    Huntington Beach
    Have you played a set of the LTFs? Couldn't tell for sure from your post or if tried them or you had stayed away from them thinking they were like TIs. They are really nothing like TIs tonally or tension wise and that's from someone who likes TIs and is very familiar with both sets. Good bit more stiffness and definitely no lack of low end and nice thump to them. Not fully old school but not modern sounding like Fender/Cobalts/Chromes. Balanced very well both in tone and tension. I have a set of the FS on the way to test because it's been years since I've played them and figured I'd rather test them since people talk about the FLs being similar to DTFs. I think they should be a good balance of meaty Jamerson thump and the versatility of the lighter sets. I'm not one that's bothered by high or low tension strings and like both kinds for different reasons. I like to have a modern and a vintage flatwound on hand. Modern give me versatility when I need it and traditional give me the pure thump when I need it. I always have a nice broke in set of TIs as well because I have yet to find a better string for recording.

    FWIW I'm a string junky as well and over the last 4-5 months I made good use of my COVID time and have tested the following sets: (all on my Moollon P Classic IV) * = preferred set for one reason or another

    Ti Jazz Flats*
    Dunlop (all 3 sets/guages)*
    GHS Precision Flats (custom medium)*
    Roto 77s (light gauge)
    EB Cobalts (45-100)
    Fender 9050L
    DR Legends
    La Bella LTF*
    La Bella 1954
    Pyramid Flats
    Dogal Jaco Flats
    Optima RB Flats
    Chromes Custom Light
    EB Group IV flats*
    La Bella 760FS (inbound and land Friday...last set of flats I'm testing)
     
    trothwell and Bruiser Stone like this.
  3. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Tennessee
    I would be curious to hear your initial impression revisiting the FS set. They aren’t mentioned on TB often. I can’t remember if I thought they were a little too beefy feeling or why I took them off.

    LTF have been on my radar but I don’t want to compromise any of the old school tone. I haven’t worked up the curiosity to fork over the $ for a new set, but if I see some used in classifieds, I may give them a try.

    The difference in the 760M set I have now from my previous attempts is these are used. Not fully broken in, I’ve done my best to suppress my OCD with the badly frayed silks, but I’ve been successful in setting them up with lower action this time. They feel a bit more spry and spongy to my left fretting hand than I recall from my prior attempts, and this is a good thing, and my right hand LOVES them. Their beefy but bouncy feel works well for the intended market/genres. They are still a workout. You mentioned tension high/low isn’t so much a concern for you, but these didn’t earn your preferential asterisk. I’m curious as to why.

    And I sold a set of FL’s to a fellow TB’er a few months ago because they were fatiguing my fretting hand. Tonally, they were beautiful except not so much the too-skinny G string. Even with the lighter gauge, something about them seemed crossed-up to my fingers. I’ll blame my technique rather than the set because they seem really popular, but oddly enough, my current set feels easier to navigate, just not as versatile.

    I’m glad to know someone else out there is a string junky like me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
    uwrossl likes this.
  4. StoicStrayCat

    StoicStrayCat

    Oct 20, 2016
    Memphis
    I used the 54s for years but made the change to the FMs about two years ago and never looked back. It still has that fat, thumpy sound of the 54s but it doesn’t seem to wear my hands out nearly as fast. I’ve used them in jazz, funk, R&B, and Hiphop and it definitely had that vibe in all of them.
     
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  5. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Tennessee
    Thanks. I was hoping for some personal FM experience. This is my most probable option. I was curious if there is much of a noticeable difference in tone, but if it's the same with a little less effort, this may be just what I'm after.
     
    StoicStrayCat likes this.
  6. StoicStrayCat

    StoicStrayCat

    Oct 20, 2016
    Memphis
    I think the treble strings have slightly more presence on the 54 set but it’s not discernible enough to offset how much easier it feels to play these. Definitely worth trying out!
     
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  7. uwrossl

    uwrossl

    Nov 13, 2009
    Huntington Beach
    Based on this I would highly recommend trying the LTFs. I think you'll are pleasantly surprised what La Bella did with them and just how decidedly "La Bella" they sound. The issues you are describing with the FLs are what a lot of people end up liking about the LTFs. Excellent balance from string to string tone and tension. I would say it's definitely La Bellas most versatile set and the don't lack for thump. I would like to get my hands on a set of FLs and directly A/B them myself with the DTFs. Maybe if I don't get along with the FS I'll sell them for a set of FLs.

    I haven't played the Ms but I was surprised at how easy the 1954's were to play and how little I had to tweak setup when I tested them. Really liked that set of strings. Might be a little much on a 3 hour gig but they sounded phenomenal and is a set everyone should try at least once! Looking forward to testing the FS.
     
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  8. I voted 760FX (39-96) but I also like the 760M (49-109) set
     
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  9. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Tennessee
    I see that I missed a set of used LTF’s that sold here on TB this morning in about 45 minutes. That’s pretty fast.
     
    uwrossl likes this.
  10. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Tennessee
    I understand the biggest gauge of 52-110, the 1954’s aka “Jamersons,” have also been designated as set 760M by La Bella, and the 49-109 set is 760FM. Another confusing detail is the two largest gauges have the same royal blue silks. It gets confusing. Is this correct (?)
     
  11. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    After experience with 760FL, FS and FM, I only prefer LTF4A.....
     
    Selim, uwrossl and Bruiser Stone like this.
  12. The “Jamersons” are 0760M not 760M.
     
  13. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Tennessee
    Nice catch....
     
    Root 5 likes this.
  14. trothwell

    trothwell

    Apr 9, 2008
    I've used the FL, FS, and LTF sets. The FS was a little too stiff for my tastes. I don't remember the FL set being too stiff, but I wanted to try the LTF out of curiosity, and am so far really liking both the sound and feel.
     
    uwrossl and Bruiser Stone like this.
  15. uwrossl

    uwrossl

    Nov 13, 2009
    Huntington Beach
    I'm a couple days into the FS set and they are good. Fairly stiff but very playable. Sound is good right out of the package and no problem with any of the strings like some people mention or have. Already settling into that nice La Bella thump you'd expect and have a good amount of sustain and low mid growl. Tone and tension seem very balanced already and are sure to settle into a nice vintage flatwound sound.

    My initial thoughts are that this set gets left out a lot these days because it's kind of just stuck in the middle. Though very playable and to me not overly stiff at all...the tension isn't really that much lighter than the Jamerson or the 760Ms to where if you're after that big thick motown sound I'd probably just go with one of those sets. On the other side of the spectrum they don't have as much versatility as the LTFs and I'd imagine the FL's. The LTFs retain plenty of that low end and La Bella punch and have a better cut and clarity to them in the mids and highs with far more flexibility.

    So it's kind of a weird thing...I think the FS are a great set of strings but I think you'll get more out of the sets on either side of them(FL/LTF or 760M) with no real trade off. Of course it's way early and I'll continue to play them in and see if anything magical happens once they settle in that would make me choose them over the other gauges.
     
    Bruiser Stone and trothwell like this.
  16. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Tallahassee
    I have a string through set 45-105 on my American p bass, thinking of replacing my 50-105 chromes to 43-104 labellas. Maybe I’ll like those. The Jamerson set is interesting to me but....hmmm

    I have a moollon coming next year, if I decide flats on it I’ll probably go labella
     
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  17. Crispus

    Crispus

    Feb 15, 2020
    Labella FS for me, for a while now. I was really surprised by the difference in sound and feel from the FLs, which I liked, but am glad I gave the FS a try. Both 4 and through-body 5 string sets.
     
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  18. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Tennessee
    Thank you! I think you are correct. La Bella has a rather crowded field of flats. I’ve opted to try the 760FM on the P for a slightly lighter feel from the 54’s, but I also want to keep as much thump as possible. The heavier gauge is part of the fun for me playing the stuff I enjoy. As for the LTF’s, I think old school vibe barely edges out versatility for now, but eventually I want to find the right Jazz bass and string it with flats, and they will probably get the nod whenever this happens.
    618030E6-CEA4-4CC9-9A80-3AFA3B1DEE72.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
    uwrossl likes this.
  19. uwrossl

    uwrossl

    Nov 13, 2009
    Huntington Beach

    In post #2 I listed all the sets of flats that I've tested on my Moollon P Classic IV over quarantine. It loves the flats! Top three that I've liked the most are Dunlops, TIs, and La Bella LTFs. I've enjoyed them all though for different reasons and it was fun to witness differences and similarities first hand.
     
  20. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Tallahassee
    hip. I'm not trying to go down the flats rabbit hole though maybe. I'm mostly trying to decide if the moollon will be my flats or rounds P
     
  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.

     
    May 9, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.