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! :)

Question for flat players-Fender P bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bassossorus, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Bassossorus


    Oct 21, 2004
    Just got an old Fender P that was set up with roto rounds. I want to put flats on and am looking for recc's; ideally something that won't require big time new set up.
  2. Fender stainless flats (9050) are seriously high tension, and probably a close match to that of the Rotosound. This would be a quick and dirty string change as far as neck adjustement goes.

    Intonation and bridge height... YMMV.
  3. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I thought rounds had much lower tension than flats??? Maybe some medium tension flats like D'addario Chromes.
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have chromes on my SX p bass and they work pretty well.
  5. Bassossorus


    Oct 21, 2004
    would SIT power flats work??
  6. He mentioned Rotosounds, which are known to be very high tension strings.

    The Strings tab in my spreadsheet has tension values for quite a few strings, but not Fender or Rotosound (they don't publish specs).
  7. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I've tried alot of different flats, but haven't changed since putting on my first set of Labellas about 12 years ago. Flats sound killer on a P Bass- incredibly old school tone that sits in a mix like a Mack Truck. Listen to D'Angelo's Voodoo album to hear Pino Palladino with that combination (for a modern taste- you could listen to any Motown, West Coast Wrecking Crew, or Stax Volt classic to hear the 60's vibe. It's a classic.)
  8. I agree, totally. The first bass I ever owned (and still do, although I haven't seen it in 4 years...it's in America) is a P-Bass copy, I put together myself. I fitted it with flats (I didn't know much about strings at the time). But this bass is SOLID! I love that bass...I cannot wait to get it back into my hands....mmmmmmm :) Someday...
  9. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    I think a Precision sits in the mix well, regardless of the strings. It is voiced just perfectly for rock, blues, and many many other styles. Of the flats I've tried here's my thoughts-

    TI- A little floppy for me, nice mids, but hollow sounding lows, not enough thump for me. Well made, intonate well, and evenly balanced.

    Labella Jamersons- Big ole cables, Great tone, but too stiff for me.

    D'Addario Chromes- Nice articulation, good mids, nearly as much thump as the Fenders. Smooth.

    Fender 9050ML- Lots of thud. Very stiff. Some high end if you want it.

    Roto 77- Stiff strings, but feel nice and are evenly balanced. Somewhat less lows than Chromes or Fender.

    GHS Precision- Kind of in the middle tonewise between Fender and Chromes. Not quite as stiff. I like them a lot.
  10. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I'm going to have to pretty much second what Luckydog said, although I don't really like the GHS flats much.

    However, I want to throw Pyramids into the mix. I think that they're hard to beat for old-school tone. They're sort of medium tension, not ultra-stiff like 9050's, but not wiggly like the TI's either. They are pretty expensive at $65 or so a set, so trying them just for grins is a tough sell. At first the E is thuddy and the others have various degrees of twang, but after a month or two they settle in nicely IME.

    The thuddiest strings I've tried are Dean Markley flats. Very dead-sounding right out of the box, but not completely without appeal. I think Robert Mercurio of Galactic uses them.

    My recommendation for a "general purpose" set of flats would be Fender 9050's (probably try the L "light" set if you're changing from rounds) followed closely by D'Addario Chromes.

    In terms of tension, it's gonna be pretty hard to say for sure what set you could use without adjusting something on your bass, though.

    The Fenders can usually be found pretty cheap if you do a bit of shopping.