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Pressure/half rounds versus light gauge/low tension flats- please give advice

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by amaderasu, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. amaderasu


    Jun 12, 2011
    Pros: no fret buzz, clean clear tone (diad chords ring out beautifully), smooth slides (low friction string), the obvious mellow tone.
    Con: very high tension interferes with playability, high end can be a bit empty sounding (though quite clean)

    Pros: playability (low tension), high notes ring out a bit more clearly
    Con. overalll tone inferior to flats, fret buzz, slides aren't as smooth as flats

    I am currently using D'adario chromes on my 4 string pj bass. I love the tone of it (though the highs could be a little bit brighter). Before switching to chromes I was using progressively lighter gauge strings, I was down to 90-40 set. I loved the low tension for bending and soloing and just overall playability. I love the tone of my chromes now, but the playability is a challenge for me.

    Please reccomend a set of strings that will minimize fret buzz, give me the mellow low end of flats but with some of the brightness in my higher register that I got from rounds. Most importantly, I would like to find strings that do all these things and still have low tension for bending slapping and all a round playing.

    I have been considering GHS pressure wounds as they sound like they might be right up my alley. I am also considering going with a lighter gauge flatwound like a 95-45 set of the chromes I have now. Will going to a lower gauge flatwound give me the lower tension I want? Will going to pressurewound fix my tension issues, but at the cost of introducing fret buzz again?

    Anyone who has had experience with Pressurewounds, chromes, and light gauge flats please let me know what you think is best for me based on the characteristics I described.

    Thank you in advance to anyone who can give me advice.
  2. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Having used all three of these options on a PJ, my choices are as follows:

    TI flats
    Fender flats or Pressure wounds
    Like the sound of Chromed but not the tension. The three above in light to med gauges will have less tension than the chromes.
    Only liked half rounds on a passive P, but the Pup was exceptional so that made it hard to determine the opinion on the sound
  3. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Tonally GHS pressure wounds sound like they might be what you’re after and they are very smooth in feel. They are currently my favorite strings and I do use the light gauge 40-96 BUT be warned that they are higher tension than the gauge might indicate. I find them a higher in tension than Chromes in 40-90 but not too much.

    For low tension and flexibility it’s tough to beat TI Jazz Flats IMO but they are probably not bright enough for what you’re after.
  4. Selim

    Selim Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    New York City
    Sadowsky 40-100 gauge.
  5. amaderasu


    Jun 12, 2011
    thanks for the replies. The TI flats sound pretty good, though shockingly expensive. I bought a whole travel bass on craigslist for the price of those strings. I'm also a little worried too about the tension being too low for slapping. I like a low gauge for slap, but the strings should have a bit of spring to them. I like the low super light gauge d'adarios I had for fingerstyle, and it was easty to slap on. But, it kinda felt like i was slapping dead string without any spring back to them. .

    I've heard a few people now saying that GHS pressurewounds are higher tension than d'adario chromes? is this really true? If so those are out of the question since the reason I want new strings is that the tension is too much for me on my chromes.

    I'm looking for a string with similar tension to D'adario super light gauge rounds but with a bit more spring to the for slapping and the tone and feel to the touch (smoothness) of chromes.

    thanks for all the help so far
  6. amaderasu


    Jun 12, 2011
    anyone ever slap on TI flats? whats your impression compared to some of the other strings discussed here?
  7. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    the feel of flats is what really brings me back ... and I am starting to prefer lighter guages as well with my arthritis ... I tried pressurewounds recently as was pretty dissapointed .. they are much more like rounds to play than they are light flats ... they felt like I was playing rounds on my hands ... JMHO
  8. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    **high five**
  9. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

    Oct 30, 2012
    I had my Fender Jazz setup with light round D'Addarios (45 - 100) but got tired of the brightness. I put D'Addario Chrome flats on (50-105) and just discovered my neck now has a bow!

    I probably should have had another setup done for the higher tension, higher gauge strings but it never occurred to me. I'm kicking myself as we speak. Just a heads up. :rollno::bawl:

  10. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    You went from rounds to flats AND went up in gauge so it’s no surprise your neck needs a truss rod adjustment. You’ll likely need to reset the intonation at the bridge as well.

    It’s all simple stuff that can be done in a few minutes and it’s really something worth learning to do on your own IMO. There are some links here to help: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f18/all-basic-setup-questions-answered-here-125382/
  11. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

    Oct 30, 2012

    That's an excellent video, thanks. I found another one for a Fender Jazz, went out and bought a 3/16" allen wrench and adjusted my truss rod so it looks straignt now. Intonation is much improved. I'm playing in church tomorrow, so this is a good emergency fix for me. I'll try the saddle adjustment when I have more time. Thanks again! :)
  12. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Cool, glad to hear it helped!

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