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REVIEW: Optima Flatwound Strings 45s to 100s

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by nerkoids, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Since I was curious, and had a deal almost impossible to resist to try some what is considered to be 'premium' flatwound strings, I decided, why not? I didn't see any other review or demo of these strings anywhere on the net, so I made my own, thanks to Dannster's affordable offer that I took him up upon.

    Also, it's a happy accident that the silks (creamsicle orange) marries well with my nightmare orange burst P-bass.

    I was considering doing an A/B with my beloved GHS Precisions on my Ronnie Jazz Bass, but I have that instrument set up perfectly. Despite my somewhat more-than-lukewarm review, I chalk it up more to these flatwounds in need to be broken in rather than simply sounding 'bad'. In fact, they do not sound bad at all.

    They certainly have a crisp top end reminiscent of my GHS pressurewounds when they're foam muted. Those strings are still around, and will be gifted to my brother when I complete his bass. I think they'll do him nicely, and these will certainly will do for me once they get enough playing.

    AFA as tonal spectrum -- I have to say the top-end of these strings do remind me a fair bit to some newish Rotosound monel 77s. But they do have a nice, rich fundamental that I predict will become far more stronger with time. Not quite as thumpy as my GHS, their bottom is very similar to some broken-in D'Addario Chromes (which, when put on the right instrument, can really nail great vintage tones)

    I can see how these would complement a Ric bass perfectly. Maybe some day, I will experience it first hand.

    Anyway, feel free to leave questions, comments or suggestions.

    I do recommend these strings, although they are pricey...

    BigThud, Linnin, Camaro and 4 others like this.
  2. Nerkoids, you need to do radio or tv or movie voice overs. Your voice is amazing man, seriously I listen to npr all day and you would fit right in.

    Also nice review
    petch, bassandkeys42, BrBss and 3 others like this.
  3. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Nice review & Nice vocal.:cool:

    I like the sound from E & A string, really smooth low and round without boommy. But the D & G sound not full like E & A. Maybe it still in fresh or your Amp Scoop mode cut the mid.
    nerkoids likes this.
  4. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks, folks!

    The strings are still fairly new. Dannster sold these to me. Not broken in yet from the sounds of it, but you can hear the potential in these babies.
    Klonk likes this.
  5. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Canada, eh!
    I enjoy your videos nerkoids!
    nerkoids likes this.
  6. old-fashioned


    Mar 25, 2005
    Hey, great video and really promising strings. At 3:52 in my mind I heard Roger Glover playing the Highway Star... That sound really reminds of it!
    nerkoids likes this.
  7. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    $80! Yikes! :greedy: Thanks for the review bass bro. :thumbsup:
    nerkoids likes this.
  8. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Yeah, I wouldn't have never bought them at that price. Still, good strings, though.
  9. Camaro


    Sep 25, 2013
    Germany, NRW
    The odd thing about the Optima Flats is that here in Germany the price is well in the middle for flats, about 35€. For example GHS flats cost ca. 25€, LaBellas and TIs ca. 45€.

    It may be that the strings are not directly brought and imported from the manufacturer but from German shops for some reason (minimum purchase quantity?). The American shop then ads the import costs to the original European price, just keystones it and we get an huge increase in price. I assume its similar with the TI Flats.

    If it's so, then we have the odd situation that the American shop might get a higher profit out of a string set then the Manufacturer. At the expense, of course, of a very low sales volume. At 80$, I doubt that they sell more then one set per quarter. That can't be a satisfying situation for neither the shop nor Optima. Not to mention Costumers outside of Europe.

    Another option would be that a 3dt-party importer/distributor abuses its sort-of-monopoly situation and demands a huge markup for his service.

    And that happens with American stings imported to Europe, too. EB flats for incidence are more then twice here, then in the USA.

    I dont think its because of tariffs, they are pretty low.

    I'm not sure what's going on, but the situation is very annoying.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Wow! That low E on that bass is very impressive!
  11. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    35 Euros for a local (to you) product? That's ridiculous, these things should be dirt cheap for you guys like the Fenders are for the States. Keep in mind, I'm in Canada, we don't quite have the same tariff rates as the States, and we do have a Canadian distributor.

    I still can't understand how GHS can sell their flats for so cheap when they're really great strings.

    BTW, these strings have broken in now. They sound really sweet!
  12. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Oh, I had made another video, comparing them to Webstrings 50s to 110s. I've yet to put the Optimas back on. Since it's gotten colder up here, the relief on my Orange Nightmare burst P has gotten more manageable. The truss rod is almost pinned to its tightest (any more, and I risk snapping it) It's playable, but not terribly dexterous. Still, the Calig pup in it sounds great with almost any string I put on there...

  13. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Just $54 from StringsByMail.com. I have a set that I'm really diggin'. I have them on a Ric with a toaster and a re-issue horseshoe.
    Regarding Roger Glover, I believe he used Roto 77 flats for those recordings.
    nerkoids and old-fashioned like this.

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