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Roto Flats 77 VS La Bella 760

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Geo0321, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Geo0321


    Jun 6, 2018
    Looking for a new set of strings. I play a jazz bass through an Ampeg, and I’ve always played rounds. Did some research and decided to give some flats a try. I’m looking for something that isn’t completely mellow or dark sounding, but something that’s not so bright it kind defeats the purpose of flats. A good source of reference are the first two zeppelin albums, nice warm thumpy tone, not to bright not to mellow/dark. Narrowed it down to these two sets, not sure on the gauge, probably just some 45s. If anybody can lead me to which set, and which gauge I should get, that would be great.
    Thanks me lads
  2. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    La Bellas
    trothwell likes this.
  3. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    In my experience the Rotos are a little shy on bass and tend toward the mid to upper mids. They also have lover volume, but that can easily be addressed. They are on the stiff side as well. Just tried them on a G&L and sounded a little thin. But they used to sound good on my '58 Precision. Read up on any threads on the Rotos and that might give you a better idea. I'd start with the 760s as they are more standard and you can figure out which way to go from there.
  4. For someone who's just venturing into the world of flats for the first time and looking for an all-purpose, middle-of-the-road starter set, I always recommend the Fender 9050L (45-60-80-100). They sound really good on a Jazz bass.
  5. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    Between those two sets, I think Labellas sound better on a Jazz bass. Agree also with michael_t's suggestion of Fender 9050.
    DavidEdenAria and michael_t like this.
  6. unclebass


    Dec 17, 2012

    The 45-100 Fender Flats aren't too stiff and have a really nice sound, and they're about the cheapest flats you'll find. Give them a few weeks of playing, and if they aren't what you're looking for, it should be easy for TB community to guide you in the right direction once you describe where they fall short. Better spending $20s and not liking them than spending $40-80 for strings that miss the mark.
    DavidEdenAria and michael_t like this.
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    My only experience with the Roto 77 flats is with the heavy (65 -130) strings from a 5-er set, on a Carvin LB-20 that's tuned BEAD. Nice strings, but... yeah, they're stiff buggers. Not the world's smoothest flats, either... I have several basses with La Bella flats, in various gauges and scale lengths. La Bellas are pretty much THE flat wound string, and you'd have to work pretty hard to go wrong with them, IMO. And, I currently have Fender 9050M flats on my '78 P-Bass. My only complaint? They're not Old School, vintage Motown thumpy enough. Don't want versatile; I just want thump from that bass. I have 23 other basses if I want something else... However; I think I'd have to agree with michael_t. I honestly can't fault the Fender 9050s for anything but lack of stupid low, old school thump. And I'm really hoping mine will fit on another bass that currently needs strings. I'd really hate to get rid of them... I'd be willing to bet that some 9050Ls on your Jazz will make you smile...;)
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
    DavidEdenAria and michael_t like this.
  8. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    I agree with all of the responses...however having used several sets of 9050's and going to a used set of 760 FL La Bella on my 04 MIM J bass, the E is noticeably 'thumpier' than the rest of the 760 FL set which in itself is kinda cool.

    I love the feel and balance and tone but i dont know how 'broken in' this set of La Bella 760 FL are, but i can tell you they tuned right up easily with no stretching and remained very close after 48 hours, so i assume they are broken in.

    Fender 9050 not even close to the thump on the E as the La Bella but 2 of my 9050 sets are not well broken in.

    My main amp is an Eden Metro into the 1st tube preamp channel which this amp doesnt have tremendous drive but a nice compressor on board but the bottom end of the La Bella E is very punchy and bassy....i am using other drive pedals; JHS Double Barrel (Ts 808 modded) and Marshall Bluesbreaker in one pedal and a Timmy clone both mild OD pedals.

    I will pull out another compressor as well but the bottom end of the La Bella E is tremendously thumpy...unexpectedly so!
  9. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    For me, the LaBellas sounded great for about 6 months then just turned to mud. So it depends on how long of a life you expect to get out of them. I liked the Rotosounds for a couple of months but took them off to try other strings so I can't vouch for how well they age. If I had to go back and use one of those sets again I'd buy the Rotos. I owned them in 40-100 gauge and they were stiff but not too tight. I had the Labellas in 39-96 gauge and they sounded the same to me as the heavier gauges.
  10. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    I like DiAddario Chromes. They are very smooth, a little on the stiff side, but more flexible than rotos. They don't have a huge bottom end, but the top end is there if you want some sizzle, a quick turn of the tone knob will get rid of it. They seem to break in well after about three months with heavy use, and get a nice thump going, in my opinion. At 6-8 months they seem to have a great feel and relatively even sound.

    I've got them on five basses, ranging from 4 months old to three years. Three p basses and two jazzes. If I back out of the bridge pup a touch and dial back the treble knob a little, I can really nail the JPJ tone you are talking about. They have a midrange voice, but they compliment the mid scooped jazz bass well, adding some body in the scoop the jazz has.
  11. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    That E’s probably just twisted a bit during mounting. Relieve that torsion and the sound will be much more uniform top-to-bottom.
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  12. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Thanks...i will try it!
  13. Been a dedicated Jazz with flats player since 2006. First it was Roto 77s and I really liked them, although they tended to die for me after about six months. I tried the hallowed TI Jazz flats in 2010, and have had the same set on there since.

    My only experience w/ Labellas was the set that was already on a 78 P bass Fretless I got five years ago. I liked them on the P, but eventually went with TIs on that as well.

    Since that freed up the Labellas, I tried them on my Jazz. Lasted about 2 days and I put the TIs back on. For whatever reason they just didn't speak to me on the Jazz.

    So, between the two, I'd go Roto.
  14. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Sure enough, that was the issue! i am totally satisfied now with the La Bella 760 FL, just a night and day difference and the D'Adarrio RW i pulled off were okay strings, just not my thing with most RW strings in general.

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