Retro strings, or similar

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Andrew B., Feb 14, 2018.


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  1. Andrew B.

    Andrew B.

    Aug 20, 2010
    I'll try to keep the background brief.

    Health problems have led to me not being able to play. All I can do is plunk out a few notes. So I donated my Ibanez SR700 to a good cause.

    Eventually it started to feel just all wrong that I didn't have a bass. I still think of myself as a bass player. So I made an impulse buy. I bought a Fender Classic '60s Jazz Bass. It looks just like the pre-CBS Jazz Bass I played during my best years. I almost feel like I got my first real bass back. Except the new one came with round wounds.

    Can someone suggest some flat wounds that might sound and feel like the ones Fender was putting on Jazz Basses back in the Sixties. I bought my original pre-CBS second-hand, but I'm assuming they are the same strings that were there when the bass was new.

    Anyway, I realize this might all seem silly, considering my limitations. But I'm mostly homebound, and this is something I could enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  2. trothwell

    trothwell

    Apr 9, 2008
    I cannot personally attest to this, as I was not playing (nor yet born) in that time period, but general consensus seems to be that GHS Precision Flats are closest to the original Fender flatwound strings.
     
    AModestRat, Root 5, unclebass and 2 others like this.
  3. Pier_

    Pier_

    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    Also Labella Deeptalking, classic stuff.
     
    Andrew B. likes this.
  4. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    Yep. Two good recommendations so far.
     
  5. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Yeah, ^^THIS^^. I seem to remember considerable research and discussion about it, and yes, the GHS Precisions are supposed to come closest to the original Squier brand strings. I'm about to put them on my P-Bass very soon, so we'll see. But, as far as just flatwounds go; it is very hard to beat La Bellas. I use (and like) them, too.
    And, no, I don't think you're being silly at all...:thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
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  6. Andrew B.

    Andrew B.

    Aug 20, 2010
    Thanks. I tried to research the suggestions here and I hope I didn't take a wrong turn. But from what I gather I should be looking at GHS 3025 and GHS 3050 Precision Flats Stainless Steel? And the 3025 are the lighter gauge of the two? Also, more searching on Labella Deeptalking: they feel like they are strung more tightly on the bass. And mixed information on breaking in GHS strings in. Some posters said they sounds very unbalanced without a few months of break in.

    Am I getting this close to right?
     
  7. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    I don't have any recent experience with Precision Flats so I can't help you there. As for the Labellas, they come in different tensions, from very low-tension LTF's, to the DTF 760's that also come in increasing tension, from FX, the lightest, to the Jamerson set, the highest tension. I find the FL's to be very similar tension to average round wounds, if you like what you have now for a set-up. It's likely that what you had many years ago would have been closer to an FS set, which is one step up from FL tension-wise (thicker gauge). I've always found that they sound pretty good right out of the package, though they do take a while to fully break in. Be aware you may need to make some set-up adjustments to the bass no matter which new strings you choose. That usually means truss rod, bridge saddles and possibly intonation screws. But you won't know which of those things or how much is needed until you try.
     
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  8. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Yes, those are the ones. Yes. the 3025's are the lighter gauge ones. And, yes, some people have had problems with the GHS'; but, to be fair, people have had trouble with every kind of string there is; and aren't shy about letting the rest of us here know about it, either. Which is perfectly OK; that's one of the ways we learn. And, also to be fair; whenever someone has trouble with a set of flats, it's the E string that's the culprit, about 95% of the time. Come to think of it, it's the same with rounds, too... So, roll the dice and take a chance, I guess... I like La Bellas, and have them on a few basses; but I'm going to try the GHS Precisions on my '78 P-Bass simply because I want the "original" sound, and they're as close to the original strings as I can get. If they sound like I hope they do after they break in? Great; there they'll stay. If not, well... off they'll come. Maybe the 9050M Fenders will go back on (they feel, play, and sound pretty nice); maybe I'll try something else... If you're referring to the LaBella's tension, I don't know for sure. I don't pay much attention to tension numbers; I like stiff, tight strings because I play with a pick a lot. As long as they aren't limp noodles, I'm happy...;)
     
    Andrew B. likes this.
  9. Andrew B.

    Andrew B.

    Aug 20, 2010
    Thanks for the information. I looked at the La Bella website and now I'm a little confused. In the Deep-Talking flat wounds all I see is 760FS with that vary only for number of strings (4, 5, 6)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  10. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Go to www.bassstringsonline.com. They sell just about every string La Bella makes - for basses. The Deep Talkin' Flats come in many gauges and scale lengths; specialty ones for Danelectros and Hofners; low tension sets (LTF); string though the body sets; even gold colored ones. Two pages worth, in fact. Jason, the owner, posts here frequently ("SLaPiNFuNK"), and is easy to get hold of if you have questions. And, if you're a member here, you even get a discount...:whistle:
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
    Arthur U. Poon and Andrew B. like this.
  11. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    @Andrew B. great advice so far. My recommendation would be the 760FL set (104-43) of LaBella Deep Talking Flats. They have that sound and feel you're looking for. I'm 61, so I was around when flats ruled the earth...

    So glad you're getting back into playing, it really does the mind a world of good!
     
    Andrew B. likes this.
  12. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Hi Andrew, Jason at BSO has always given me 100%, spot on advice when I was experimenting with strings. He really, really knows his stuff. Shoot him an email via the BSO website.
     
    Andrew B. likes this.
  13. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    I found the GHS Precision Flats to still be unbalanced after a few months. The Low E got more and more thuddy (not thumpy) while the other strings mellowed, but still sounded unbalanced. Switched to La Bella 760FS and much happier.
     
  14. Andrew B.

    Andrew B.

    Aug 20, 2010
    I got the La Bella 760FS. Took me a long time to get them. I put them on yesterday and was so exhausted (bad health) that I didn't play the bass until today. With the flat wounds on it now feels natural to me. Feels and sounds like when I used to play 45 years ago.

    One thing is clear. I'm back to being a beginner. I can't remember a thing and I'm playing with my thumb. But I did manage to play a shuffle up to speed, which surprised me. Got lost when I tried to improvise beyond the basics. But no big deal. The important thing is it felt good to play.

    Anyway, thanks for all for your help. I'm up and running now.
     
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  15. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Thanks for the update, Andrew! The main thing is, you're a bass player again...best wishes on your health issues, buddy.
     
    Andrew B. likes this.
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